If you’ve been keeping tabs on the British Royals’ Canada tour, the one thing that you would have definitely noticed (apart from the kids, obviously), was the Duchess’ toned body and it was reported that palace insider’s credit her fitness to a rather hassle-free exercise: The plank.
Fitness experts say that the plank — an exercise where you elevate your body by putting the entire weight on your forearms and toes and stay in that position for a while — is a sure-shot way to increase your metabolism.
Celebrities in India too have sworn by the effect that planking has had on their bodies. Reports suggest that everyone, from Shilpa Shetty and John Abraham to Deepika Padukone and Katrina Kaif, have used this in their workout. But, before you jump onto the bandwagon, remember there are dos and don’ts.
Celebrity fitness trainer Kunal Gir says that it isn’t how long one can elevate themselves, rather the intensity of contracting the muscles during the time they do so, that matters. “In this , the muscles contract without any movement and the body stays still in an elevated position. There is no risk of injury here, but, if you don’t tense your muscles well, there won’t be any effect,” he says.
He adds, “I tell my clients that when they do the plank, they should be able to hold themselves in that position even if they are being beaten up. That’s how tense the muscles should be.”
“When planking is done right, it helps strengthen the core muscles which in turn increases the metabolism,” explains Kuldep Sethi, fitness expert. “When the body is elevated, it works against gravity and there is a lot of pressure on the core muscles,” he says.
The exercise is also great for beginners and for those who have suffered an injury. “Since this doesn’t involve any movement, there is no chance of injuring yourself further. Planking is done in many ways, and each method could help tone a particular part of the body,” explains Kunal. However, planking alone is not enough. Kuldep says, “You will need to follow another fitness regime too. Beginners can do the plank before their work out session, after they warm up, for a minute and then gradually increase the time, while the experienced can work out and then do the plank.”...