As summer approaches, many of us search for ways to develop washboard abs and tight, sculpted buns. Health and exercise experts advise that one of the most effective exercises for gaining a flat tummy involves a posture called “the plank”. It requires physical effort to maintain. Holding this positions demands a lot of self-discipline. In fact, some people assert that simply maintaining the plank posture successfully will provide the same benefits over the course of a month as performing 1,000 sit-ups.
Unlike an aerobic exercise, the plank does not involve movement. Quite the opposite, the gist of this posture involves remaining motionless in a single position. You should avoid the urge to shift you balance or move while maintaining the plank position rigidly.
Don’t try this one all at once! Most people need to gradually build up their endurance in order to perform the plank successfully even for brief periods of time. Complete learning the posture gradually, then extend holding it by periods ranging from 10 to 20 second intervals until you can maintain this position for a minute or more.
What does assuming the plank position involve? Essentially, the exercise required you to maintain a segment from a push-up in which you rest all your weight upon the tips of your toes and your palms. Complete this exercise three times in succession.
The plank relies heavily upon the force of gravity as a counterbalance. Maintaining a perfectly aligned, straight back and abdomen while holding this posture for an extended period involves a considerable degree of physical effort.
To complete this exercise, it remains essential to begin by placing your body in the proper position. Lie face down on an exercise mat with your arms extended in front of you. Press you palms into the mat, while taking time to ensure that you have elongated you arms sufficiently to stretch your shoulder blades. Also, try and stretch out sufficiently to feel your neck muscles attain an extended position. The initial posture should involve stretching, but should not entail any discomfort.
Position yourself on your flattened palms as you raise your body onto the tips of your toes. During this period, maintain absolute rigidity of the core. You should endeavor to keep your torso and thighs in alignment with your flattened abdomen, as though you had become “a plank”. Resist any temptation to elevate your buttocks in order to alleviate tension from this posture!
Exercise experts recommend using rhythmic patterns of breathing while endeavoring to maintain the plank. It may help you to retain the correct position by imagining that someone placed a filled cup of water on your lower back. You must stay in a flat, straight posture without moving in order to prevent the water from spilling.
Once you have achieved the correct plank conformation, gently press your knees onto the floor. Your wrists should remain in alignment with your extended shoulders while you maintain a rigid, straight back. Raise your eyes so that you can see between two and three feet ahead of you, at a 30 degree angle. The back of your head should remain in position meanwhile, with your nose still pointed towards the floor.
Gradually stretch and extend each leg separately behind you. The goal should become resting your entire body on your toes and hands. Hold for 20 to 60 seconds while consciously tightening your abdominal muscles.
End the posture gradually by bending your knees and shifting your weight towards your heels. Gently touch the floor with your head and relax the posture. Practicing this exercise helps achieve a flat tummy quickly.