If you have given birth a beautiful baby or shed a great amount of excessive abdominal fat, you may notice that your belly does not look as firm as you want it to be. The skin looks stretched due to fat layers and the tissues do not quickly adapt to the new shape. In order to get away from such woes, it is better to embrace a plank challenge which will tighten your abdominal muscles and give you a toned body.
What are the Benefits of Choosing Plank Challenge?
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Plank is one of the easiest and simplest moves that your instructor may tell you to do to stay fit. Holding your body in the trunk position off the floor, it is important to make sure that you are holding it in a straight line. With this simple position, you can strengthen your backs, abs and core.
Most importantly, you can tighten your belly with a plank challenge and enhance your ability on balancing. Moreover, through the straightforward plank challenge, you can support your body and work on hamstrings and glutes.
Plank challenge is great for all those who wish to improve the flexibility of posterior muscles. The muscle groups in the collarbone, shoulder blades and shoulder can stretch and expand. Additionally, the hamstrings become flexible and you are able to do arches touching your toes and feet.
When you put your hand up over your head maintaining a straight line with the body, you can stretch out to do a side plank. Rock your body backward and forward, you can choose to do basic plank form advancing your toes few inches in any way.
Get Rid of Back Problem
Back pain is one of the common issues of everyone in this postmodern world as people are bound to a desk job for over 8 hours. The plank challenge requires minimum effort and movement at the time of connecting with every layer of abdominal fascia. The pain goes away because your core becomes strong and firm along with the upper back muscles.
Enhance Posture and Balance
In order to execute a planned plank challenge, it is necessary to engage the abs to be upright. There is no doubt that planks with extension and side planks are widely helpful for anyone dealing body balance issue. One can add stability ball to increase the effectiveness of the entire workout plan.
If one does plank exercises regularly, it becomes easier to straight sit or stands up while not losing the balance of the core body.
Get Toned Belly
With the plank moves, you can ensure that the deep core muscles stay fit while you are able to maintain the popular six-packs look. The stronger abdominal muscles become, the more your mid-section becomes tighten.
But for mastering the six-pack abs look, it is essential to bid goodbye to a great deal of fat. Dealing with abdominal fat is a challenge itself and it is not easy to see flab abdomen when you have been through a lot. Hence, the easy plank workout can give you the confidence to wear all your favourite jeans and dresses and look more fabulous than ever.
Follow 21-Day Plank Challenge
Plank is the ultimate full-body workout which can tone your buttocks, legs, arms, back and abs for improving stability and posture. The versatile pose can regulate your heartbeat and enhance additional movement for staying completely fit.
Every week an individual can begin with the 1st challenge and keep doing it till you have followed every instruction. Only after finishing it, move on to another. You can practise it by following your own skill and pace level; however, it is essential to observe whether there has been any significant progression each week.
It is important to know about the rules before performing plank because the form can sabotage the entire result of the challenge.
- At first, you need to stand up straight keeping hips apart.
- Ask your instructor to knock you off balance and focus on the muscles that are required to be in the centre. This is important since the instructors think that while planking, this feeling is necessary.
- Then lie on belly and keep your hands or forearms beneath the shoulders.
- Use your toes and squeeze the glutes holding on to the position for five to ten minutes.
- You can hold the plank position for 20 to 30 seconds or even more than that. In case, you want to rest, you should lower the knees to the ground for several seconds.
One can do a plank for thirty seconds on the first day and second day. Additionally, you can practice 2 sets for thirty seconds after waking up and before going to bed. If the person is ready to increase the difficulty level, he/she can stretch it to one minute long.
If the person undergoes lower back pain or shoulder pain, it is better to hold the regular plank for a longer period. In case, the back portion starts creeping toward the ceiling, the instructor may tell you to stop at once and start all over again.
- Without taking any break or rest, hold the plank position for thirty seconds straight.
- After holding on to the static plank position for thirty seconds, you can do the downward dog pose for another five seconds. If you do not sense of any uneasiness, the pose can go on for more 15 seconds.
- Following the downward dog position for forty-five seconds, you can do the plank for 15-30 seconds.
- Now you are likely to be ready for doing the plank for minimum one minute and take rest in downward dog, if you wish to. Then again plank for 15-30 seconds is advisable.
You can gradually increase the duration of two sets in each day and pay attention to maintaining the right form. Being sloppy is natural at this point but only if you can resist the temptation, you can benefit on a large scale. After the 10th day, go for variations and work on few moving planks without quitting until you hit the 1-minute timer.
Now it is time to be comfortable with the regular variations that last for one minute long. You can try to finish all the three variations continuously after tacking onto every pose. Instead of doing a forearm plank, one can drop the right hip for letting the right thigh grazing on the floor.
- Get back to the beginning pose and drop the left hip and keep doing it.
- However, a little thing that it important to keep in mind is that the thighs may not touch the floor if the balance is on the hands.
- You can extend the right arm in front of you and keep it parallel to the floor without disrupting the position.
- Get back to centre and extend the left arm. In addition to the context, you can repeat this set with left and right legs. In this way, you can check the balance of your position.
- For changing the levels, planks of forearms can be initiated. Put the presser on the right hand and then on left before taking the high plank position. Now you can get back to your right forearm and then gradually to your left one.
- Keep doing the same pattern while choosing an alternative beginning arm.
After the 15th day, you should push yourself to check how far you can go with the plank challenge. Ditching the traditional 1-minute long plank position, it is time to go for 90 seconds or up to 120 seconds. But do not sabotage the pose by letting the buttocks fly in the air.
You get day 19, 20 and 21 for shaking things little up by going for the various planks in the morning. Then again choose to do static plank in the evening to keep up the balance of the entire challenge and notice the belly to get tightened slowly by now. Moreover, one can maintain or set a record on a daily basis to beat it on the very next day.
You are What You Eat
At first, you need to notice the number of calories that need to be shed for making the real difference. Keep sugar out of the regular diet and binge on fruits, for a change. It is important to consume foods with good fibre and even if you get sweet cravings, fruits can be good for replacing.
The healthiest part of the meal plan is the vegetables and the vegetables on your plate will make sure that you remain full. For lowering the calorie and having a tightened belly, the plant-based foods can only be beneficial for all. Lean meat instead of processed red meat is widely helpful and one should go crazy over meat consumption, either.
Chicken breast or salmon is considered as a great choice for consuming protein and other essential nutrients.
Dos and Don’ts of Planking
Now you have come to understand that doing planks does require you to be a rocket scientist but there are certain rules that you should always keep in mind for achieving the coveted result.
For all the beginners, it is important to remember that the entire body needs to be in a line starting from your head to toe. Other things that one needs to adhere to perform properly,
- Always keep breathing because the muscles require oxygen to function proper and it is also important to keep up a steady flow.
- Pull the belly button toward the spine and brace the body as if someone is about to punch. In the meantime, keep breathing normally and focus on engaging the core.
- Whether there is any progress or you are doing it right, you can check the form by using a phone camera or mirror. With self-reflection, you can tone abdominal muscles and tone belly in an effective way.
- Keep hands directly under shoulders depending on the direction of your planking.
- The body needs to feel long meaning that one should stretch back through the heels.
- For keeping the body tight, it is essential to ensure that building the muscles in a right way is taking place simultaneously. Squeeze the quads and glutes to tighten the muscles.
When your core is getting stronger, you can go for different plank positions and walking planks, knee-in planks, side planks and forearm planks can be effective.
The first that you should not do is to keep doing a plank for a long time and in case, it becomes difficult for keeping up the form during the stipulated time, there is no need to strain muscles.
- Do not let the buttocks hang in the air because the entire point of doing the plank challenge goes missing. During this period, your abs cannot support your weight and you will only be left with a weird plank position adding nothing to your health.
- Avoid sagging the hips towards the floor because the abs get out of the equation and the core does not get any stronger or tightened. The lower back is put at risk when all your effort goes downhill.
- Do not let the head keep hanging there as it pulls the spine out of the equation. Additionally, it can overstretch the muscles of the back of shoulders and neck. Hence, never look down the ground and keep it up straight.
- Do not injure yourself while facing problem to hold on to one position. You can cut yourself slack and get right back up.
- Avoid spreading hands too far because there is a certain difference between push up and plank.
The plank challenge is no doubt a great workout to follow but along with the challenge, following a proper meal and bringing certain lifestyle changes are necessary. Losing fat may seem to be easy if the instructions are followed properly but maintaining the firm belly is not that easy if the challenge is not finished. However, do not be too hard on yourself and keep planking understanding the potential of your body.