Doing side planks daily can help improve your health and stamina without too much effort. You don’t even need a gym membership to perform this exercise to build muscles; it only takes a few minutes to complete. Home workouts have become increasingly popular due to the pandemic and more hectic schedules.
Even if you’re a beginner, side planks offer easy exercise to get your health journey started on the right note. Adding them to your workout routine will promote positive changes to your physical and mental well-being. We all need exercise, and everyone enjoys different types of physical activity.
You should take to side planks easily if you enjoy stretching and yoga poses. Even if you don’t, you can still add them to your exercise plan every so often to build strength.
Six Benefits of Side Planks
Below, we’ll go over a few benefits of side planks that will encourage you to try them out.
1. They give your core muscles a workout.
If you’ve ever done side planks before, then you know they provide a killer ab workout. After you finish, your abs will likely be on fire from holding the position for so long. Studies show that side planks strengthen the oblique muscles, an area that regular crunches don’t target. The obliques get a workout because of the sideways position of the body. Holding yourself up with one arm and the side of your foot activates these often overlooked muscles.
2. Side planks stabilize the abdominal muscles.
Side planks force you to engage the ab muscles to keep your body in the same position. This exercise should become part of your regular routine if you want a strong core. Having tight core muscles can help prevent injury and increase muscle endurance. They also improve balance since you have to remain in one position for a prolonged period.
3. They don’t put pressure on the lower back or neck.
Many pregnant women prefer doing side planks over crunches since they put less pressure on the body. In particular, the neck and lower back get a break from tedious workouts and uncomfortable positions. Side planks target the abs, glutes, and shoulder stabilizers as these muscles engage to hold the posture.
You can enjoy this relatively undemanding exercise even if you’re not pregnant. It’s especially beneficial for people with chronic back or neck pain since side planks don’t exacerbate these areas.
4. They protect the spine.
One study showed that side planks activate the quadratus lumborum, a stabilizing muscle deep within the spine. Exercising this muscle regularly can reduce the risk of spinal or back injuries.
5. Side planks help you achieve a flat stomach.
If you’ve worked out before, you know that building ab muscles can be challenging. It takes hours of hard work and dedication to get the six-pack most people dream of having. However, side planks may help make the process a bit easier. The study found that postpartum women who engaged in deep core stability exercises, which included planks, had improved health after eight weeks.
6. This exercise increases flexibility and agility.
Planks also help the body become more limber and less rigid over time. After sitting at a desk all day, most people have so much tension and stress stored in their tissues. Planks help relieve some of this tension by increasing resistance in the body. Therefore, this resistance cancels out the accumulated stress and allows it to leave the body after a strenuous workout.
Most people have difficulty starting a new workout routine, but it becomes a healthy addiction. The release of endorphins keeps them returning for more, something you can enjoy by doing side planks daily.