Taking on any fitness challenge usually yields different results from what we thought possible. Such was the case for Prevention writer Leah Wynalek, who did the 30-day plank challenge and incorporated planks into her work day. While building up your body to doing a five-minute plank sounds like an arduous body weight exercise, Wynalek saw benefits in areas she hadn’t expected.
Considering taking the challenge yourself? Here’s how a five-minute plank can transform your body in 30 days.
It stimulates your metabolism
That’s right — doing planks regularly can go a long way to improving your metabolism. Lifehack explains this exercise works all of your muscles in a way that helps you burn more calories. “The muscles you strengthen by doing this exercise on a day-to-day basis will ensure that you burn more energy even when sedentary,” it says. For anyone stuck at a desk job five days a week, planks could make a huge difference.
Next: A commonly overlooked benefit that the plank challenge provides
Good posture is highly underrated. It keeps your spine in alignment, so it can better support all of your muscles and organs. Proper plank position can help you achieve better posture, making you look taller and more confident. And, as Lifehack tells us, the plank goes a long way to helping your joints and muscles.
Next: And if your muscles and joints are healthy, that means the plank also …
At the root of it all, a plank is all about core stability. And that stability goes a long way to helping your body prevent myriad injuries. Hip, back, and knee injuries can all be prevented and rehabilitated by doing regular planks. “The plank has become the go-to exercise for people rehabilitating from injury as well as those trying to stave off potential problems,” The Columbus Dispatch summarizes.
Next: It isn’t just your core that gets a workout.
Improves mental functions
Believe it or not, this body weight workout is good for your head, too. Lifehack explains the stretching position of the plank helps relieve tension from the body, thus calming stress in the brain. This means planks can help improve mood and combat anxiety if done on a daily basis.
Next: Your body and mind will be challenged, as well as your level of responsibility.
Wynalek admits she had some difficulty keeping to her scheduled daily plank. But after she stuck with it, she could feel the results. “Sometimes I’d delay the plank break to finish a task,” she writes. “But whenever I finally got out of my seat and down on two hands, I always felt better afterward.”
Next: But above all, doing planks regularly …
Between the muscle stretching and tension relieving, 30 days of regular planking also leads to a boost in energy. “I was surprised by the jolt of energy I felt from such a short spurt of physical exertion,” Wynalek writes. “And it inspired me to move around more in other small ways.” It’s amazing what a couple minutes of a stationary exercise can do!
Next: But what makes this fitness challenge so accessible is …
It can be done anywhere!
This exercise doesn’t intrude on anyone else’s space. Case in point: Wynalek performed the challenge at work. So it can be done anywhere (but maybe not in the middle of a crosswalk or in the supermarket — you get the idea). As long as you have room and the drive, there’s no reason not to drop to the ground and start reaping the benefits that regular planks have to offer.
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