Originally published on 5/26/2020
Everyone knows the Plank, but do you know the Suspended Plank?
If you’re already working out, and have established a routine that works for you, you might have poses and exercises that you prefer over the others.
Those people who love cardio exercises would most likely look forward to their cardio days because they enjoy this a lot. Whereas people who do not like intense cardio workouts would possibly dread these days.
There also might be a good percentage of people who hate the thought of leg days. Some might even put it off until they can’t come up with a workaround anymore.
It’s totally normal for you to feel like this. Not every day is a good workout day for most of us. Sometimes you just have to find a way to enjoy your set of workouts for that day.
Among the infamous exercises is the Plank. Despite this pose looking very simple and easy, holding it for even just 30 seconds will surely give you a killer burn. Others love the challenge, but the majority would feel like it’s taking forever!
Generally, core workouts such as Planks will give you the burn that you need. Our abdominal area is one of the hardest areas to work out. Indeed, those six-pack abs won’t come in a blink, so if you want to improve your core strength or just the physical appearance of your midsection, you have to be consistent!
Now, if you’re not a big fan of core workouts, particularly planks, you might be able to enjoy this more with a different approach– suspended planks.
In this article we’ll talk about the Plank and its benefits, along with how you can incorporate the Aerial version into your workouts!
Let’s Talk About Planks..
The Plank is a type of isometric exercise that entails holding your body in a certain position for a certain amount of time. You’d have to be in a straight line, whether you’re doing a forearm plank or a high plank, in order to get the full benefit.
Planks are known as core killers, however, they also work on your upper body strength. There are different variations of this exercise, but the most common ones would be the high plank and the forearm plank.
The high plank is done by having your arms extended, palms flat on your mat, and wrists below your shoulders. This is the position you get into if you’re doing push-ups.
The forearm plank is another classic plank workout that requires you to have your forearms on the ground while keeping your body balanced. It’s much closer to the ground so definitely much harder to pull off!
The full body benefits of the plank make it a go-to low-impact exercise and many bodyweight conditioning classes will have you doing several throughout the session. Body-weight exercises are certainly gaining more recognition for their simplicity and practicality, and planks are one form of body-weight exercise that stands above the rest.
Planks are not only one of the most effective exercises you can do but perhaps the simplest of them all. All you need is enough space to get down on all your fours and stretch out for an ideal plank workout. It won’t take long to achieve substantial results by doing planks on a regular basis.
Planks Work You to the Core!
Why are planks so good? Well, it is because they really target the core muscles. Your core muscles are a group of muscles throughout your midsection. They work together to stabilize your entire body and allow you to perform most forms of movement.
A strong core will make a big improvement in your ability to move and exercise further. This also aids in preventing many injuries.
The plank hits all the major muscle groups of your core that include basically the entire abdominal and buttocks muscles. Additionally, the core plays a big role in supporting your back and spinal column.
However, planking exercises benefit far more than just your abs and core muscles. By holding yourself in the plank position for an extended amount of time, you’ll notice planks encompass all muscle groups and activate a full spectrum of muscle engagement.
Your arms, shoulder muscles, and upper back are also being worked – including the erector spinae, rhomboids, the trapezius muscles, and deltoids etc.
Planks are also a full body exercise that can be a foundation of a whole range of exercises such as push-ups and mountain climbers.
Adding the plank to your daily workout will allow you to build muscle while not putting too much pressure on your spine or hips. You can do it everywhere as you don’t really need any equipment to execute this. With enough space and a yoga mat, you can practice your planks whenever you want.
As a rather simple movement, planks are a great way to exercise for people who lead a sedentary lifestyle. You’ll be able to insert this workout into your routine easily. You can even try exploring its variations, especially if you’re up for a challenge. You may even perform it on your palms, on your side, or using an unstable surface, such as a stability ball.
Doing suspended planks with an Aerial Swing can be a good option for you. One of the most effective ways to amplify the plank which will force you to work harder at stabilizing is by simply lifting up one arm or one foot off the ground, and holding for several seconds.
This is the added benefit you receive from doing a suspended plank using the yoga swing or aerial hammock!
Doing the plank in a suspended fashion using the yoga swing is far superior to the traditional plank method due to the fact that it requires greater control and awareness, balance, stability, and coordination to perform a strong plank in suspension.
It forces your body to recruit more muscle fibers than otherwise needed on a stable non-moving surface, especially the smaller rotator and stabilizer muscles.
Therefore, a suspended yoga plank can engage the core muscles to a greater degree than a standard floor plank.
You can get yourself an aerial hammock or yoga swing and perform many different exercises along with your traditional mat based yoga practice.
Aerial Yoga is a fun way to do yoga and explore other routines that will challenge you. Almost all of the workouts and poses that you do in your regular routine can also be done with an Aerial Swing. Consider it a level up from what you’re already doing.
This practice is great for those who want a newer and more challenging routine. Though it may seem like this can only be done by professionals, a lot of Aerial Yoga students have zero experience with yoga when they started this.
The Suspended Plank is also featured in the Aerial Fitness Workout Video. There are also several guides out there that you can use to ensure a proper form and execution.
If you’re still not convinced to try this out, here are a few other benefits that might get you hooked.
Planks Help Relieve Back Pain
According to the American Council on Exercise, doing planks regularly not only ensures strong support for your entire back but also significantly reduces back pain. If you’re used to sitting at your desk all day, this is a good way to release the tension in your neck, back, and shoulder area.
Doing this won’t also take much of your time. You can easily slip it during your breaks, as you do your mid-day stretches. Remember, moving your body is very important. You’ll see how you work better when your body feels more relaxed and tension-free.
Aside from this, doing planks can also help those with back concerns. Anyone with disc issues or existing back pain will find that planks are safer and more comfortable than crunches because they don’t require flexion of the spine.
Planks Improve Your Balance
Planks are also known to improve stability and balance. Building your core strength is not just for improving your core muscles (and their appearance), it’s also for enhancing your body’s overall stability.
Your core essentially stabilizes your spine so having a strong core will allow you to have more coordinated movements and bodily control. With consistent practice, you will notice over time, as your abdominal muscles strengthen, that balancing poses are much easier.
Once, you gain better control of your body, those one-legged poses are just a piece of cake. This can also be further enhanced by doing side planks and planks with extensions.
If you do suspended planks with an aerial swing, you’re definitely up for faster results. You will be able to activate and engage your core muscles more as you’re doing it mid-air.
Planks Maintain Better Posture
In line with gaining more stability, planking exercises can also make a great improvement in your posture. This is connected with the proper alignment of your spine because of your increased body awareness and control.
A healthy and aligned posture would entail a huge number of fantastic benefits. This includes improved overall effectiveness of your muscles and proper facilitation of breathing and nervous system function.
Moreover, having a better posture allows for an optimal operation of your internal organs and digestion. Not to mention, someone with good posture feels better, healthier, and more confident!
Planks Can Also Enhance Flexibility
Yes, planks can definitely enhance your flexibility! You wouldn’t think it’s possible, but a key benefit of doing planks regularly is that it can contribute to increasing your flexibility.
The plank stretches all your posterior muscles, from the shoulders – right through to your toes. This results in tight areas being stretched such as your hamstrings. You can also try modifying the plank to side lying, so you can work on your oblique muscles which will provide further benefits.
By consistently doing the plank (and its modifications) you can stretch and improve your range of motion.
Planks Boost Your Metabolism
Performing them for a few minutes a day can boost your metabolism throughout the day and even during the night. Your core muscles are not just composed of your abs. There are other muscle groups involved that can contribute to the boosting of your metabolism.
Here’s How To Do Suspended Plank
Want to get started on your Aerial Yoga journey?
Here’s how you can do a suspended plank using your Aerial Yoga tools!
- To start, you should position yourself comfortably on your belly, with your feet below your aerial hammock or yoga swing saddle.
- Support your weight and place one foot at a time into the sling and face the floor.
- Hold your elbows directly under your shoulders and place your wrists in line with your elbows.
- Brace yourself and raise yourself off the floor into a strong plank position.
- In this position, contract your abdominal, glute, and quad muscles simultaneously while continuing to breathe normally.
- Push your body up into your upper back and hold your chin close to your neck.
- Hold the plank for at least 20 to 30 seconds.
- Rest for approximately one minute and repeat three to five more times.
Give It A Try!
What we are saying is, once you have mastered the traditional floor plank, move on up to suspended exercises.
There are a lot more workouts and routines that you can do with your Yoga Swing or Aerial Hammock. It’s definitely a good start for those who are up for new workout ventures and want to spice up their routines.
Besides, it won’t take too much to get things started. There are many yoga studios that offer beginner aerial yoga classes. You’ll get to meet several professionals, yoga enthusiasts, and even beginners in the practice.
If your schedule is a little bit tighter, just do it at home with the Gravotonics Aerial Yoga Swing.
Here’s your chance to start doing the plank in suspension and never plateau again.
All the best!