Many variations exist such as the side plank and the reverse plank. The plank is commonly practiced in pilates and yoga, and by those training for boxing and other sports.
Benefits of Planking Exercise:
The planking exercise strengthens the abdominals, back, and shoulders. Muscles involved in the front plank include:
- Primary muscles: erector spinae, rectus abdominis (abs), and transverse abdominus.
- Secondary muscles (synergists/segmental stabilizers): trapezius (traps), rhomboids, rotator cuff, the anterior, medial, and posterior deltoid muscles (delts), pectorals (pecs), serratus anterior, gluteus maximus (glutes), quadriceps (quads), and gastrocnemius.
Muscles involved in the side plank include:
- Primary: transversus abdominis muscle, gluteus medius and gluteus minimus muscles (abductors), the adductor muscles of the hip, and the external, and internal obliques.
- Secondary: gluteus maximus (glutes), quadriceps (quads), and hamstrings.
Record of the Plank:
The current world record (according to Guinness World Records) is held by Chinese policeman Mao Weidong who has smashed the Guinness World Record for the longest time planking after remaining in the position for four hours and 26 minutes.