Once upon a time, sit-ups were touted as the best exercise for slimming and sculpting your midsection. Today, experts agree that people can forgo cumbersome spine-curving sit-ups in favor of a better exercise: the plank.
Now considered the gold standard of core training, the plank targets the entire core, which also includes the muscles that run along the sides, front and back of the body. While sit-ups and crunches only work a few muscles groups, the plank helps to strengthen all the muscles people use on a daily basis, which can help decrease the risk of injuries.
Even the U.S. Army has changed their fitness guidelines to incorporate the plank and forgo sit-ups and crunches. The military recognizes that sit-ups put too much stress on the hip flexor muscles, while crunches only target the rectus abdominis muscles.
The plank, however, can increase stability, strengthen and improve endurance in the abdominal muscles, gluteus muscles, obliques and hamstrings, which makes it one of the most versatile and important exercises.
There are many other benefits to planking, including:
- Proper spine alignment
- Activates both the abdominal and trunk muscles
- Improves athletic performance and prevents injuries
- Helps to support proper posture by safeguarding the spine in an erect position
Most people avoid doing the plank exercise because it is so boring. Holding a static/isometric contraction while watching a timer for several minutes can be pure torture.
Dynamic Planking with GamePlay Technology
Stealth Body Fitness has reinvented the plank, making it both fun and competitive. With smart technology via your phone and the Stealth app, users transform the static boring plank into a dynamic competitive gaming experience. As you exercise on the innovative Stealth Core Trainer platform, the Stealth smartphone app guides you through the core challenge game, tallies your score, keeps track of your progress for each session, and (if you opt in) ranks your result on a worldwide leaderboard to see how you compare with your peers.
Start your day with a three-minute workout that will wake up over 29 core muscles and deliver results such as a fit core that is sure to impress significant others, family, friends and help ward off injuries.