I realize everyone trains differently. We all have our pet peeves, favorite, least favorite, and everything in between exercises. However, I’ve noticed this one in particular, seems to be fast becoming the holy grail.
Unless you’ve read little to nothing regarding fitness, planks are now hailed as the all-inclusive, all-powerful tool to tone, tighten, and trim. Ok. Let’s look at this.
Better yet, let’s put it to the test. I did. But more on that in a moment. True enough, planking forces major muscle groups to engage; especially your abs. Side planking, raising one arm, raising one leg, etc., takes it to a new level.
But hold on a minute. What’s the effect of all of those planks on your elbows? Your toes? Sure you can hold a plank with your arms in push up position. Still the toes are asked to do quite a bit.
Visualize or recall the last time you saw a human skeleton. Pull up a picture, better yet, go see one. Notice the direction in which your elbow moves. More to the point–look at the size of it. Yes, muscle and tissue encapsulate it. But if planking on your elbows is a mainstay, you may want to re-think the number of times/minutes you spend doing this. Working your way down to the feet, look at the bones. Like the elbow, muscle and tissue surround them. Again, notice the size and direction they move–or NOT. Get the idea?
Now for my findings. I discovered hot yoga a few years ago. Let me differentiate here, between hot yoga and BIKRAM yoga. The latter does not depend upon planking as a cornerstone. Really they are non-existent. The former depending upon the teacher, can consist of more planking than actual yoga.
Yoga is far from the only entity that overuses the plank. See how long it takes before the trainer of your choice, starts with the holy grail all-inclusive.
As you can tell, I’m not the biggest fan.
As I stated earlier, some yoga teachers pride themselves on the number of planks they place in their practice. Why? A plank has its place; and for me it should be relegated to pirate prisoners walking them. Ok they are a transition move–but let’s keep it to just that, a transition. A mainstay that should go away–perhaps not. But my wobbly elbows would beg to differ. I noticed this while doing a similar exercise, just how weak they were at times. Do I attribute this to the overuse of planks or some variation? You better believe I do. I’ve all but given them up; swapping them out for other exercises. By the way, my toes are overwhelmingly thanking me as well.
Have my abs become flabby, my arms lost tone, or the host of other ills that should befall an ex-planker? Hardly. I’ve developed my own solutions for my body, and what it needs.
Does your trainer know how to do this? Better yet, do you?
All for now. Keep up and keep at it.
Questions? Comments? Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org