Does Planking Give You Abs?
Planks are usually recommended for an ab workout, but does planking build abs? Can you just do planks alone to get strong, defined abs?
These exercises work your core, engaging abdominal muscles, as well as the muscles of your shoulders, forearms, back, and the back of your legs. So, they offer a lot of benefits throughout your entire body. Planks are primarily known as a core building exercise that help to improve your endurance but are not actually known for making people buff and built.
Does planking give you abs that you can be really proud of? Can you focus your ab workouts on planks and spend the rest of your workout session doing cardio or powerlifting and still get great-looking abs?
Burn Fat for Great Abs
To understand what planking does and how it can help you develop your abs, let’s talk how your body burns fat. You won’t be able to target specific body fat as you exercise. Doing ab exercises doesn’t specifically burn the fat around your abs. However, all exercise you do can burn fat all throughout your body.
So, as you do planks or other fat burning exercises, you can get rid of some of the fat around the abs and expose the ab muscles that are already there. Doing planks is not a high intensity exercise, but it does burn some fat. However, any workout you do can help to burn fat in problem areas like your thighs, abs, and upper arms.
Does planking help abs? It certainly can burn fat and can be part of a larger workout regimen that’s very effective at developing your ab muscles. Once you understand the way your body burns fat, though, and how exercise can help to burn fat effectively, you’ll see that planking isn’t the best way to get rid of body fat, even around the abs. It’s an easy enough exercise to do, which is why a lot of people prefer it as an ab exercise, but there are other exercises you can do that will burn more abdominal fat.
Does Planking Work Your Abs?
If you’re doing the planking exercise properly, you will be engaging your abdominal muscles. They are certainly not the only muscle group you’ll be activating, but planking does require some effort from these muscles.
There are certainly more high intensity exercises you can do that will work your abs better than planks. Sit-ups, boxing, and pushups are all much better ab exercises, but if you’re looking for something low intensity, planks are a good choice.
I like planks for an ab workout because they work your entire core and not just a small, specific part of it. They also put very little pressure or stress on your spine and your back muscles. So, if you have a bad back or if you’re concerned about injuring your back while you work out, planks are a low-stress exercise for that area of the body.
The sheer variety of planks is one of the more attractive things about them. You can make them more powerful and more effective with some of the variations. You could try one-legged planks, side planks, and other variations to see if you can get more out of them.
The long and short of it is that planking does not get you abs. You can do planking all day and not develop any real abdominal muscles. In order to build abdominal muscles, you’ll need to do more exercises than just planking. They do very little to give you ripped, muscular-looking abdominals.
What planks do for you is serve as a warmup for a larger abdominal workout routine. You can use it to start working that part of your body, stretching those muscles, and reducing soreness later on. If you use planks as a warmup, you can ease into a larger, high intensity workout and reduce your risk of injury. You’ll also minimize your recovery time by doing a stretch like this.
That’s really what planks are- a powerful stretch that works your abdominals and prepares your body for something more intense. I definitely recommend them as a warmup exercise before your fitness routine, and you can also use them to cool down and ease out of the workout.
Will Planks Make Me Sore?
Planks might not be much of a workout and might not burn a lot of fat or give you powerful looking abs, but you can still get sore after doing them. If you’re not used to doing planks or holding your planks for a long time, you can feel some discomfort and even pain in your abdominal area afterwards.
This happens because you’re holding the planks longer than you normally do or you’re just exhausting and stretching those muscles quite far. You may also not be warming up your body properly, and you may need a warm up before you do planks. For some people, this exercise is more strenuous than others and stretches their muscles far enough that they will have soreness afterwards.
When planking for abs, does the soreness eventually go away? Yes, it will go away, but how long it takes to disappear will depend on how strenuous your exercise routine was. It’s not just the planks that are causing you abdominal pain, probably. There could be other exercises in your routine that create pain and discomfort there, and cutting back on those can help you to experience less pain. If you make your routine less intense or do abdominal exercises less often, that can help you not feel as much pain there.
If you would like the pain to go away quickly, you can do a few stretches. This is what fitness instructors will advise for anyone who suffered a really rough workout. If you damage your muscles or stretch them too much, you can do some gentle stretches as you take a break from your workouts.
If you’re dealing with some serious muscle pain, you should not go back to your workouts until you’re better. Your body needs time to relax, so you need plenty of bed rest and sleep. This will help you to feel faster and get over your muscle injury quickly.
Find a Routine That Works
There are a number of different fitness routines and exercises you can do that will develop strong, impressive looking abs. Planks can be a great part of that and important part of sculpting the kind of abs you want and getting rid of belly fat. Just make sure that you incorporate them into a larger fitness routine.
You should find a routine that works for you, and it should be one that isn’t too stressful or too strenuous for you. Whenever you start a new routine, make sure you start slow and easy, and then over time you can work your way up to a more strenuous, high intensity routine. Give your body time to adjust and your muscles time to develop to take on some of the harder aspects of an abdominal fitness routine. Eventually, you’ll get the abs you want, if you keep at it. You will achieve great results faster if you’re careful about the exercises you do and don’t push yourself so hard that you need to take a lengthy break from working out.
In closing, you should make planks a part of your abdominal fitness routine, if you’re trying to get great looking abdominals. Just be realistic about what these exercises do and how effective they are. Realize that planks on their own will not give you a six pack, but they can be a vital part of a larger program that does.