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Video: Abdominal Plank - Why And How?
Although we are all confined, there are many solutions to stay in shape without setting foot in the gym. But one of the most express and effective ways to slim your figure is undoubtedly the abdominal plank! So, for those who dream of a visibly more toned body, it is the ventral sheathing that should be taken up. The idea? Each morning you set aside 5-10 minutes for fitness using your own body weight. This progressive form of weight training without additional loads is easy, fast and absolutely ideal for regaining your weight and promoting muscle building during periods of confinement. Ready?
Why do the abdominal plank? Health benefits and virtues
At first glance, ventral sheathing might seem a bit trivial to some. However, there are quite a few toning and easy variations that you can try out at home. In addition, the virtues and benefits associated with this type of exercise are many. To prove it to you, we take a closer look at them!
Muscle development and toning
Sheathing is not an exercise to be underestimated. This type of strength training works in depth almost all the muscles in your body: the abdominal group, the glutes, the back and the lower back. Its regular practice can even reduce back pain. And because it contracts all layers of the abdominal muscles and requires minimal movement, the plank is certainly one of the best ways to strengthen the central part of the body and reduce lower back pain.
Improved strength and posture
Getting to rest on your forearms and toes requires a lot of effort and concentration. Belly training requires you to push and hold all the major core muscle groups. The board practiced for 30 days promises concrete abs as well as improved posture. It will also allow you to lift a little heavier loads gradually. Simple everyday tasks, like shopping and cleaning, will be child's play for you!
Have you ever tried to balance yourself on one of your legs? If you fail every time, it's probably because your abs aren't strong enough to help you maintain your balance! To boost it, try the side plank or the straight plank by lifting both the leg and the opposite arm. Simple and effective, abdominal exercises go a long way in supporting your torso and back by improving the ability to stand up straight.
Acceleration of metabolism
Although movement during core training is kept to a minimum, this static exercise demands a lot of energy from the body. This is why, it is considered that it speeds up the metabolism and burns more calories than traditional abdominal exercises such as sit-ups. If you haven't yet taken the plunge, dedicate a few minutes of your day, before or after work, and your body will thank you. The board only offers big advantages to those who practice it. So get yourself a fitness or yoga mat and get started!
Be careful, this is not a miracle exercise, if it is not associated with a good healthy diet! For non-beginners, you can supplement your core strength with some cardio exercises.
Abdominal plank and calories
Knowing the number of calories consumed is good, but knowing the number of calories burned is better and certainly more motivating! That's why, we put on the board! Planking for 3 minutes therefore burns around 200 calories. So, do your accounts and get down on the ground, resting on your elbows and toes!
Sheathing, for whom?
Generally, the board is for everyone. It is suitable for people with little sport as well as for athletes. The core strengthens the abdominal strap for beginners and improves strength and balance for advanced. Moreover, they can try to widen the space between the arms and the feet in order to solicit more the muscles. For beginners, from the starting position, they can put their knees on the floor to facilitate the exercise.
Basic exercise and variations
As a general rule, the most common board is the straight or stable board. Efficient and easy to make, it is ideal for beginners. To make a perfect straight sheathing, stand on the ground, resting on the palms of the hands and the tips of the feet. Position the wrists under your shoulders. The ankles, pelvis and shoulders should be perfectly aligned while the hips and knees should remain tight. The neck, on the other hand, should be relaxed. The head is in the axis of the column and the gaze turned towards the ground. The same exercise you can perform on your forearms.
Unstable casing for regulars
This variation of the abdominal plank combines both the notions of sheathing and balance. However, it is not recommended too much for beginners. By engaging the abdominal muscles in depth, the unstable plank is an exercise that can be found in Pilates in particular. How to achieve it? Get into a seated start position with your feet off the ground, straighten your legs and tilt your torso back. Try to keep your back straight and your arms straight to maintain balance. Hold the position!
Side or side sheathing to slim the waist
To do a side plank, stand on one folded / extended arm and the side of the same foot. Your body must remain well aligned (legs, bust, head). Raise the other arm, as shown above, and hold this position for 10 seconds, if you are a beginner. Be careful not to lean forward or back. The body should be straight. As you train, increase the duration of your plank. Every day a new challenge, from 15 seconds at the start to 3 minutes when you master the exercise!
Gainages for the most experienced
Once you have mastered the basic plank, you can go for an abdominal plank with a straight arm, a side plank with rotation, a plank with raised arms and legs opposite or a plank with “jumping jacks”. You can also try the dorsal abdominal plank using a stability ball. The variations are endless, you just need to be creative!
Mistakes to avoid in plank position
What are the mistakes to avoid for a perfect sheathing? First, it's important to clarify that it's not about how long you can hold a board, but how long you can hold a perfectly aligned board. Once properly positioned, you should only remain static until you feel the burn. Easy to explain, hard to imagine? Here are the mistakes most frequently made by cardio enthusiasts, explained by Christophe Carrio.
In short, to reduce the risk of back and spine injuries, avoid:
- too low hips and buttocks
- lifting the hips and butt too much
- Bend the knees
- round shoulders
- spread your arms too far
- drop head and neck
- raise your head and neck
- forgetting to contract your gluteal and abdominal muscles