Benefits of Planking

Planking is a very simple and short exercise that you can do anywhere, anytime but don’t get fooled by the simplicity, it’s easy to do but very hard to keep doing.

So the team tried planking for about a month, no competition but the only deal we had is that we list the duration of our planks, how many times we do the planks, and also record our experiences and here are some things we discovered and experienced.

The first week we tried 1 minute, three times a day, by the end of the day, we reconciled to do 30 seconds, three times a day then gradually increasing the duration of the planks.

Posture

Careful not to put pressure on our lower back and hips, we amazingly aligned the position of planks, on the second week of planking we noticed that we had been sitting and standing straight planking does help with our posture. Especially for us, who usually sit in front of the computer or couch and/or slouching all the time. Correcting our posture helps our planking and thus helped us maintain a longer plank. As planking strengthens the core it also helps reduce back pains.

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Body

Planking benefits the body and the muscles as we’ve learned later that it strengthens the abdominal muscles, works out the four muscle group in the stomach. Helps control the beer belly from getting out of hand, though I didn’t get the six-pack abs I was dreaming about at least I got it toned down a notch and not going wild (think Dad bod).

Energy

We were able to hold our planks longer as the week progresses, we also noticed that we’re much more active and flexible that we started adding other variations of planks but during the first few days my body was already shaking and in pain as we stare into our timer waiting for the clock to reach the desired time.

Appetite

With increased energy comes the increase in our appetites, we never followed a strict diet but we tried to eat healthy but cutting down on bacon, the body tends to reject some foods that we usually like before we did the Plank Challenge so we ate less of the junk foods and more of the carbs and the proteins.

Mindset

During the first few days of the planking challenge, I was prepared to quit. But encouraged by the tFI team, I decided not to abandon the challenge. Overall we felt more alive and ready to take on the next challenge, I’m glad I didn’t quit early in the game, for every exercise or any physical activity the body releases Endorphins which helps relieve stress and boosts your mood, which is the “feel good” chemicals your body releases, partner it with the fact that body is fit and healthy gives a very positive active mindset.

Lifestyle

With changes to our body, the 30-day plank challenges encouraged us more to stay fit, healthy and eat right. We plan to continue doing planks and adding it to our daily regimen. We plan to do more Biking, hiking, and other outdoor activities, we are really excited to share all of our experiences in the coming days.

 

Most important exercise fact we tend to ignore

Before you start any exercise, remember to warm-up

Warm-up Facts

The warm-up. One of the most important aspects of working out, or any physical activity. At the same time, it is also the most ignored / neglected. Ask any fitness guru or any professional athlete. They will tell you just how important warming up really is!

Let me tell you a few very important facts about warming up.

The main objective of doing a warm-up is to slowly raise the body temperature in a state where the muscles will be at its optimum level of performance. At a higher than relaxed temperature, your muscles gets loosened up and well lubricated. This state is what we want to achieve before doing our main physical activity, or the workout itself.

So, how do we do the warm-up? I get that a lot. The key to a good warm-up session is to keep it simple. First, think of the main activity you will do. Whatever it is, warm up by doing some movements exactly like it or very similar to it, but of less intensity. Much less. Here are a few examples:

  • If you will be doing a sprint or a marathon run, do some light jogging or a few jumping jacks.
  • If you were to do high-intensity dancing, do a few jumping jacks or skip rope
  • If the workout would be of a martial arts nature, I would recommend a few light kicks and strikes

If you would be doing a bodybuilding type of workout, though, It will be different. You would have to do a light warm-up set for every muscle group you would be attacking.

Warm-up before any workout session
Gratisography at Pexels

For instance, if it happened to be a chest day, you will be doing all sorts of chest exercises. Probably the bench press, the flyes, the pec deck or the crossover. All these movements attack the chest muscles. The ideal warm-up before you do your heavy chest work is to probably do a few reps of push-ups. (that is if push-ups are easy for you).

So, should stretching be included in the warm-up routine? OH HELL, NO!!! Never stretch a cold muscle!

Please keep in mind that the objective of stretching is not to loosen up or warm the muscles up. It does nothing for warming up. As in nothing, nil, zero, naught, blank, zilch, dry hump! Stretching does not do anything to increase body temperature. The main objective of stretching is to increase the range of motion ONLY. It is safe to say that stretching should be done, after the workout, when your muscles are thoroughly heated and lubricated, ready to be trained for flexibility. If the activity or workout you need to do requires better flexibility or a wider range of motion, go ahead and do your stretching routine, but ONLY after you are thoroughly warmed-up. Capisce?

The idea is, an ideal warm-up routine shouldn’t last any more than 5 minutes. Even 3 minutes should suffice. The warm-up routine should leave you warm enough to get the muscles well lubricated and ready for action, or even a bit breathless. Once you achieve this state, your muscles can do pretty much anything you would sanely subject them to.

Considering the very low level of difficulty of warm-ups, everything to gain and nothing to lose, the dangers of not doing it, do you suppose you could now promise yourself to do a warm-up routine every time you would workout?