If you pay any attention to popular culture and trends, you will remember the global rise of an activity known as planking. People would post photographs of themselves posing in rigid planking form from a gamut of unique locales. Planking also gave way to a new fitness fad that still exists today. Planking has risen to fame quickly, becoming viral online and initiating a slew of videos and memes dedicated to this unconventional and rigorous exercise phenomenon.
Planking has come a long way since its inception in 2011, from a ploy to garner online views to a serious and often extreme form of physical fitness:
Planking. Traditional planking works the core muscles and can build strength in your back. The goal is to provide stability in your back through core training, and you can immediately feel the effects in your arms, chest, and shoulders. The effects are yoga-like, as it targets your core and increases flexibility through strength training, using the resistance of your own body-weight. Planking requires great endurance and upper-body strength, and typically those who can maintain form for three-minute planks are considered quite admirable.
Proper form. To plank, lay face-down on a flat surface, and move your feet so that your toes meet the floor. Place your forearms parallel to one-another, on either side of your head, and gently life your legs and torso up and off the floor’s surface. Your weight should be on your forearms and toes. Remain straight, forming the linear silhouette that lends to the name- plank. Hold the position for several seconds, and focus on breathing throughout. Over time, work toward maintaining plank-form for 60-second intervals.
Extreme planking. Naturally, some fitness enthusiasts want to take planking to the next level, which is where extreme planking comes in. This sport involves setting records in terms of how long you can hold a plank position. There are ‘plankers’ that have maintained true form for upwards of four-hours, setting world records. Usually plank positions are held in sets of a few seconds up to a couple minute repetitions.
While videos and photos of planking are less popular than they once were, people still enjoy planking and are transforming it into something new. Fitness experts recommend short periods of planking, a few seconds, with a gradual increase to sets of 60-second intervals. Build stability in your lower-back, strength in your core, and overall endurance by incorporating this fitness trend into your everyday workout regimen.