Since the U.S. military has decided to phase out sit-ups and crunches for the safer and more effective plank exercise, it might make sense for the fitness industry to follow suit and begin promoting the amazing benefits the plank exercise has to offer.
1. Prevent Low Back Pain
There is nothing worse than back pain, especially lower back pain, which often leads to leg pain and the inability to enjoy an active life.
However, unlike doing crunches and sit-ups, planks require very little movement, thus reducing the chance of injury. Planks strengthen all your core muscles at the same time, which can help reduce or even eliminate back pain.
2. Burn More Calories All Day Long
When you plank daily, you fire up the major muscles of your body, sending a powerful message to your brain that those muscles are in use and needed.
This simple daily habit triggers your body to build and maintain lean muscle mass, which leads to a higher metabolism. The more muscle you have, the more calories you burn all day long.
3. Build a Superhero Posture and Confidence
Did your mother ever tell you to stand up straight and stop slouching? Well, it turns out having a good posture may actually boost your self-confidence. Amy Cuddy, a Harvard researcher and social psychologist, proved the way we hold our bodies can have an impact on our minds as well.
In other words, by standing like Superman or Wonder Woman (in a power pose) for just a few minutes, you can increase your self-confidence and project to others a more powerful person.
Her study actually showed an increase in the fat-burning hormone, testosterone, and a decrease in the fat storing hormone, cortisol from just a few minutes of holding the power pose.
4. A Flatter and Firmer Belly
When in the plank position, gravity requires you to contract your inner ab muscles (transverse abdominis) to hold your organs in. If done on a daily basis, you strengthen those muscles, which leads to a flatter, firmer midsection. Planks are one of the few exercises that target your inner abdominals, making it perfect for new moms wanting to get their pre-baby belly back fast.
5. Reduce the Risk of Falling
We all know planking daily builds core strength. But did you know it may also prevent you from falling and breaking bones? Several studies have now proven that seniors who focus on building core strength have better balance and improved reaction time.
Planking daily keeps your core muscles activated and alert so you can quickly regain your balance the next time you stub your toe on an uneven sidewalk or slip on a patch of ice.
Don Brown is the co-founder of Stealth Body Fitness, LLC, which provides innovative technology-based fitness products for residential and commercial markets. For more information on the Stealth Core Trainer visit trystealthnow.com.