At 10 seconds in, I give myself a mental high-five for having awesome form in my plank. 30 seconds and I start to shake a bit. At the 45-second mark, I am usually picturing that perfect 6-pack that is well hidden right now. By the time a minute rolls around, my happy thoughts may have turned to muttered curses.
But it’s worth it, right?
There are so many benefits to doing a plank every day.
Get more core definition. Build up those abdomens, obliques and glutes. These muscles are essential for balance and coordination. A well-defined 6 pack is also a bonus!
Improve posture. The core muscles aid in supporting the spine and provide tone throughout the body. A stronger core helps keep the head in its proper position, shoulders back and pelvis even.
Reduce the risk of injury. A strong core allows the body to perform smooth movements in all planes of motion. This coordination helps prevent muscular tears, sprains and strains.
Get better balance. When the core muscles are strong and engaged, balancing becomes infinitely easier! If these muscles are weak, its much more difficult to find equilibrium.
Work out anywhere. Literally anywhere. At work, at the bus stop, at that boring family gathering, or while watching TV. You don’t need any equipment or a lot of space, and it only takes a few minutes to complete a full workout!
Everyday activities will become easier. Planking is a ‘functional exercise,’ meaning that they help improve ease of regular motions. Over time it will be easier to garden, grocery shop, decorate for Halloween and play with the kids. These actions will require less energy and less physical exertion because of your core strength.
These reasons are all super awesome, but there is one BIG reason why you should plank everyday:
The mental stimulation boosts endorphins and helps relieve stress.
When you set a timer and get in position, you face 1, 2, 3 minutes of intense mental demand. You have to remain focused on engaging the correct muscle groups, concentrate on breathing, and visualize your goal as the timer counts down. This mental engagement activates hormones and brain chemicals that communicate with your stress response. Over time, you will train your mind to have amazingly clear concentration and calming response to mental demand.
Doing a plank every day may seem like a simple physical challenge, but the mental benefits far outweigh the other benefits we listed. Try it out for yourself and see. Your brain and body will thank you!