What is Planking?

A new exercise fad that is quickly becoming a huge hit is planking. Planking is the positioning of your body, most often in a straight line and keeping that position for minutes. It helps tone your muscles and requires a lot of effort to keep your body aligned, much like how yoga poses are done.

Does planking help you lose weight or is it all a fad?

Is planking more effective than dieting?

It depends on what you want to achieve. If it is weight loss, no, planking is not more effective compared to strict dieting like South Beach or Cohen. Why? Because planking, while it burns calories, is not the most efficient calorie-burning exercise. You might be better off with Zumba or even better, stationary cycling.

But if you want to tone your muscles and improve your posture, then planking is definitely the way to go.
niced1When you execute a well-planned diet, it can really help you lose weight. Most of the diet fads today all offer the same thing – less carbs, more protein for you. When you commit to a diet plan, you can expect rapid weight loss of about a pound to two pounds per week. But this means massive sacrifices for you because you need to:

  • Measure your food intake (portioning)
  • Count the calories you take (and burn)
  • Stick to healthy food which is not always fun
  • Stay away from sweets and yummy carbs

Benefits of planking

Like in the photo below, planking (if done properly) can really help enhance key sections of your body, specifically your tummy and arms (and shoulders). When you keep poses for a few minutes, your muscles tense up and are forced to work to maintain the pressure.
niced2Planking regularly helps you:

  • Improve your posture especially since it helps strengthen back muscles.
  • Improve flexibility of your legs and arms
  • Increased body strength especially for your arms since you are supporting your whole body (and keeping it aligned) for several minutes.

Even if planking cannot make you drastically lose weight, it is still a good idea to do that every day for 5 to 10 minutes before you go to work.

Combine yoga with planking for best results

niced3You can also mix your planking with yoga since they are both very similar in the sense that you hold poses for extended periods of time. If you are doing your yoga at home, you can incorporate some planking poses at the start of your workout when you have the most strength.

After your planking, that’s when you move on to your flexibility poses to relax your mind and body.

Alternatives to planking

If you are in a hurry to lose weight, we recommend that you try these other options to get rid of your fat cells:

  • If there is a pool nearby, do 30 to 45 minutes of swimming every day. If possible, wear leg weights to help make the routines tougher. Swimming is a low-impact activity that can help you burn more than 300 calories in an hour if done right.
  • Another high-intensity workout is boxing. 45 minutes to 1 hour of boxing can help you burn close to 500 calories. But this is not for the beginners. This can easily tire you out and we recommend doing boxing for a maximum of 2 times a week for beginners then three times a week for intermediate users.
  • Running 5km per day at a rate faster than 40 minutes can help burn 180 to 250 calories. Do not use leg weights – you might injure yourself when you do this. Just run in 1 minute intervals (1 minute sprint, 1 minute jog) for 40 minutes or until you reach 5 km.
  • Start and stick to a diet plan. If you decide to do Cohen, be ready to measure your food and limit your food intake to just 2 servings of carbs (low calorie crackers only) every day. Cohen can easily make you lose 10 lbs. in just one month.
  • Diet pills. If you need to lose weight rapidly and at the same time, do not have the time to exercise, then diet pills might be the one for you. A good diet pill can make you lose a pound per day.

Before you head on and buy the first diet pill you see online, check if it is FDA-approved and if it lists down its active ingredients. Go for those that are laboratory-made and not those herbal formulations.

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