If you’ve stepped foot in a gym recently, you may have seen one (or more) people still doing sit-ups and crunches to strengthen their abs.
But the sad part is: They’re wasting their time!
You see, sit-ups and crunches are outdated exercises, being replaced by more conventional exercises to strengthen the core and give definition to your abs.
So, if you’re still doing crunches in order to get that six-pack look, then you should seriously consider retiring those exercises and replace them with this one particular exercise.
The PLANK! You see, trainers all over the world are moving away from crunches and sit-ups for ab development.
Not that they don’t give you a burn, but they put way too much stress on your lower back, leading to numerous overuse injuries or strains in the lower back. Many people don’t know this but the real function of the core is to stabilize the spine not increase flexion and extension.
Who needs that? No one is the correct answer! That’s why more and more people are turning to the plank in order to give their CORE—and their entire body—a much different and more intense workout.
Not sure if the plank is for you? I would like to give you 5 different reasons why you should ditch the crunches and sit-ups and hit the plank instead.
The 5 Reasons Why the Plank is Better Than Crunches
There are many different reasons why you should move away from doing crunches or sit-ups for ab development and focus more on the plank.
Not only does it help strengthen your ENTIRE body, the plank also does the following 5 things:
1. Develops Your Core
Most people do crunches or sit-ups to develop their core, attack their abs, and develop the six-pack ab look.
However, those aren’t the only exercises you can do.
The plank—which again, focuses on your entire body—stresses your core without adding too much negative strain on your lower back.
The focus of the plank is for core strength—which you will get plenty of the longer you hold this pose.
2. Less Stress on Your Lower Back
If you find that the exercises you’re doing for your core are hurting your lower back, then you may be doing them wrong.
Or shouldn’t be doing them at all! Crunches and sit-ups, due to the way they are performed, may cause more low back pain and injuries than most exercises.
If you’re looking to attack your core, but don’t want to do crunches, then the plank would be the best option.
Not only will the plank strengthen your core, it could alleviate stress to your lower back, therefore cutting down on low back pain and injuries.
Think about when most back injuries occur….picking something up and your spine bends into a flexed position. Well then, does it make sense to be cranking on your neck and pulling your spine into that flexed position?
Think of your spine as a credit card. You may be able to bend it over and over but you know how your CC eventually gets that white crease and cracks……then you get the picture of what is happening when you are cranking on that neck performing some of those “core” exercises.
3. Faster Metabolism
Most people don’t think they will lose fat just by doing the plank—but you can!
Since the plank is a full-body exercise, there will be more muscles recruited during the exercise. Doing the plank will help develop a strong core, which could translate to more calories burning during exercise and at rest.
(More muscle mass could increase your metabolic rate so you burn more calories throughout the day. )
4. Better Posture
Have you ever heard of texting neck? How about forward posture? Many people who have desk jobs tend to have problems with their posture.
From rounded shoulders and tight chests, to tight hamstrings and hip flexors, sitting for prolonged periods of time really makes an impact on your posture.
Well the plank can help! Since the plank is a full body workout, your entire body will be strengthened.
That means your shoulders (due to making sure the shoulder blades are locked in the back), arms, legs, back, and core will all get stronger, making it much easier to improve your posture.
5. Flexibility will Improve
Another cause of lower back pain could come from tightness in your hamstrings or other areas of your body.
Luckily, the plank could take care of that problem! Remember, the plank works all the muscle groups in the body.
But, depending on the position you hold, the muscles in your arms, shoulders, legs, and back may feel quite a stretch.
This could improve your flexibility and reduce low back pain and strain.
Plank to the Rescue
If you’re looking to get stronger…have a rock-solid core…or cut down on simple aches and pains, the plank may be your solution.
This exercise is simple to perform allowing for your entire body to be worked as one unit.
But that’s not all it does…
The plank may also stimulate FAT LOSS by strengthening and building your core, making you a metabolic machine.
And speaking of metabolic machines…
Did you know there’s a simple way to increase your metabolism and burn unwanted belly fat? It’s true! But that’s not even the best part…
If you think doing endless bouts of cardio…or even spending a few minutes pushing yourself to extreme levels is the answer—it’s not.