Planking is a powerful isometric exercise that not only strengthens your core but also lowers blood pressure.

Planking has become a popular exercise in the fitness world due to its effectiveness in strengthening the core muscles.

However, a new study suggests that planking and other isometric exercises are not only good for your abs but also have a positive impact on blood pressure. But don’t be fooled, planking is not as easy as it may seem. It requires proper form and technique to reap the full benefits. Let’s dive into the details and learn how to do it right.

Planking is an isometric exercise that involves holding a push-up position for as long as possible. It primarily targets the core muscles, including the abs, obliques, lower back, and glutes. This exercise is not only beneficial for strengthening the core but also for improving overall stability and posture.

According to a study conducted by scientists at Canterbury Christ Church University, isometric exercises like planking are more effective at preventing high blood pressure than aerobic exercises like running or biking. The study reviewed over 200 trials and found that isometric exercises have a significant impact on blood pressure levels.

One of the main advantages of isometric exercises is their accessibility. They can be done anywhere and at any time, as they require no equipment. This makes them a convenient option for people with busy schedules who struggle to find time to go to the gym. You can easily incorporate planking into your daily routine, whether it’s at home or at work.

However, it’s important to note that not all planks are created equal. Proper form and technique are essential to maximize the benefits and minimize the risk of injury. Many people make common mistakes when doing planks, such as sagging the hips or rounding the back. These errors can limit the effectiveness of the exercise and put unnecessary strain on the body.

To ensure you’re doing planks correctly, here are some tips from the experts:

1. Start by getting into a push-up position with your hands directly under your shoulders and your body in a straight line from head to toe.

2. Engage your core by drawing your belly button in towards your spine. This will help stabilize your spine and prevent sagging or arching.

3. Keep your neck in line with your spine and avoid cricking it backwards or dropping it too low.

4. If you have hypermobile joints, you may need to work harder to maintain a neutral spine. Focus on engaging your abdominals to stabilize your spine.

5. If you have weak wrists or shoulders, you can modify the plank by using your forearms instead of your hands. This will reduce the strain on your wrists and shoulders.

6. If you’re just starting out or need to build up your core strength, you can drop onto your knees instead of being on your toes. This modified plank still engages the core muscles but reduces the load on the upper body.

7. Once you’ve mastered the basic plank, you can add variations and challenges. Try lifting and lowering your knees, lifting one arm or leg, or moving your knees to the side to engage the obliques.

The Bottom Line:

Planking is an effective exercise for strengthening the core and improving overall stability. It has been found to be more effective at preventing high blood pressure than aerobic exercises. However, proper form and technique are crucial to maximize the benefits and minimize the risk of injury. Remember to engage your core, maintain a neutral spine, and listen to your body’s limits.

Key Points:

– Planking is an isometric exercise that targets the core muscles.
– Isometric exercises like planking have been found to be more effective at preventing high blood pressure than aerobic exercises.
– Planking is accessible and can be done anywhere without any equipment.
– Proper form and technique are important to maximize the benefits of planking.
– Engage your core, maintain a neutral spine, and avoid common mistakes like sagging the hips or rounding the back.
– Modify the plank if needed to reduce strain on weak wrists or shoulders.
– Gradually increase the difficulty of the plank by adding variations and challenges.
– Listen to your body’s limits and stop if you feel any pain or discomfort.

Source Article: https://www.nzherald.co.nz/lifestyle/planking-is-a-miracle-exercise-but-only-if-you-get-it-right/AM4GBWLDWNGYBPB34UJQV4VKGY/

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