Workout Myths – Planking Longer = Better Results
The Plank has become one of the most misunderstood and misused exercises in our pursuit for core stability and let’s face it abdominal superiority. Over-use and blind faith have turned this once valuable weapon into a disappointing flop.
Exercise is about movement
This might seem obvious but it seems to be forgotten. The point of exercise, at the core, is to improve movement. The other effects like a healthy body, weight loss or cardio-fitness are all glorious side effects of actual exercise. At its most basic level, exercise is supposed to help us ‘move’ through our daily tasks more easily with more powerful, more reliable muscles powered by a healthier, stronger heart. How do you get better at moving? Practice.
The Wrong Type of Burn
Isometric exercises like the plank, burn very few calories per minute and actually cause a relatively high level of discomfort. The lack of blood flow around your body, especially away from the muscles you are working causes waste products to accumulate much faster than with more active exercise. The end result is maximised burning in the muscle but with a minimum number of calories being burned.
Should I Stop Planking?
Not at all, but as with everything just be smart about it. Instead of devoting a large portion of your precious workout time in one long plank, mix it up. Instead of the 8 minute plank hold 6-8 variations for 20-30 seconds each.