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Five Reasons to Practice Planks

Five Reasons to Practice Planks
Five Reasons to Practice Planks

If there was one pose you could do everyday to help improve your body would you do it? Well, there is. Plank pose is a strength training pose that works several muscle groups (including abdominals, arms, legs, chest, back, and glutes) at one time. It’s done isometrically, meaning the pose works by contracting your muscles and holding one steady position. Planks won’t take the place of aerobic workouts which burn a lot of calories. Cardio workouts are essential for gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, and lap band patients to burn calories and promote weight loss. But strengthening exercises are also important for weight loss and for healthy bodies, including for bariatric patients.

If you don’t know how to do a plank, we’ve got you covered here. Planks can be done almost anywhere, almost anytime, even when it’s late, when it’s raining outside, or when your kids are sleeping. There is almost no reason not to incorporate it into your daily regimine (once you’ve been cleared to exercise at your follow up appointment with Dr. Shillingford), and we’ll even give you five reasons why you should.

  1. Strengthen your core: Planks work four abdominal muscle groups (rectus abdominis, transverse abdominis, and internal and external obliques), plus your shoulder and pelvic girdles. They work several muscle groups at once unlike other exercises which focus on one specific muscle.
  2. Reduces back pain: As your abdominal muscles grow stronger, your body relies less on your back muscles for everyday activities, including lifting. This reduces the overuse and overextension of your back muscles, leading to less back pain. Improved posture is also a benefit to performing the plank, which also helps to reduce back pain.
  3. Boost metabolism: When you build muscle mass, as you do through strength training, you increase your resting heart rate. Muscle cells need energy, so by building muscle your body will burn more calories even when it’s at rest.
  4. Improves balance: Balance can be improved through strengthening your muscles on each side of your body as well as your core. The ability to hold this isometric pose will help you enhance your ability to stabilize yourself in everyday situations. Improving balance can help reduce falls, which in turn helps keep you exercising instead of sitting on your couch.
  5. Boosts mood and helps relieve stress: Well, this may not be specific to practicing plank pose, but it’s true for almost any physical exercise. When you exercise, endorphins are released by the brain which lead to increased feelings of happiness and reduced stress. Also, as you can quickly see and feel improvement in your plank pose, it can lead to feelings of accomplishment and pride.

Dr. Shillingford, MD, PA encourages his gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, and lap band patients to exercise once they have been cleared. Exercise, both cardio and strength training, are key to weight loss, which is the goal of most bariatric surgery patients. Dr. Shillingford’s gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, and gastric band patients receive top notch care at Northwest Medical Center’s Center of Excellence in Bariatric Surgery, where Dr. Shillingford proudly serves as Medical Director. His patients often come from nearby locations like Boca Raton, Delray Beach, Coral Springs, Fort Lauderdale, and Miami, but also from farther distances like Orlando, Tampa, and Jacksonville.