Planking exercise is one of the most popular bodyweight exercise that primarily targets the core muscles. However, how many calories does planking burn?
The number of calories burned during planking varies depending on several factors, including your body weight, the duration of the plank, and your individual metabolism.
Planking primarily engages your core muscles and activates other muscles in your body, such as your shoulders, arms, and legs, to maintain stability.
On average, a person weighing around 150 lbs (68 kilograms) can burn 3-5 calories per minute while performing a plank. However, this estimate can vary. A person weighing 175 lbs (79 kilograms) can burn 4 to 5 calories per minute, while a person weighing 110 lbs can burn about 2 calories per minute.
Keep in mind that these numbers are approximate and individual results may vary. The duration and intensity of your plank exercises and overall fitness level significantly affect the total calories burned.
Furthermore, planking is primarily a strength-training exercise, so its main benefits are improving core strength, stability, and posture rather than being a significant calorie-burning activity.
How to perform a basic plank
The plank exercise is a popular core-strengthening exercise that involves holding a position similar to a push-up but without movement. Here’s how to perform a basic plank:
- Start by getting into a push-up position with your hands shoulder-width apart and your toes resting on the ground.
- Ensure your body forms a straight line from your head to your heels, with your core muscles engaged.
- Brace your abs and avoid sagging your hips or lifting your buttocks too high.
- Maintain a neutral neck position by looking down at the ground, keeping your head aligned with your spine.
- Hold the position for a specific duration, such as 20 seconds, and gradually increase the time as you build strength and endurance.
What are the different variations of plank exercise?
Planks can be modified to suit your fitness level and target specific muscle groups. Here are a few variations:
- Forearm Plank: Instead of placing your hands on the ground, lower your forearms and elbows to the ground, resting on your forearms. Maintain the exact alignment as the basic plank.
- Side Plank: Begin in an essential plank position, then shift your weight onto one hand while rotating your body to the side. Stack your feet on top of each other or stagger them for balance. Raise your opposite arm towards the ceiling or place it on your hip.
- Knee Plank: If the full plank position is too challenging, you can exercise with your knees on the ground while maintaining a straight line from your head to your knees.
- Reverse Plank: In a reverse plank, you sit on the ground with your legs extended in front of you and your hands placed behind you, fingers pointing towards your feet. Lift your hips off the ground, creating a straight line from your head to your heels. This exercise engages your core, glutes, and shoulders.
- Spiderman Plank: To perform a Spiderman plank, start in a high plank position, then bring one knee toward the same-side elbow, engaging the oblique muscles. Alternate sides, bringing each knee towards the elbow in a controlled manner
Other Benefits of Planks
Plank exercises offer a range of benefits for your body and overall fitness. Here are some key benefits of plank exercises:
- Core Strengthening: Planks primarily target and strengthen your core muscles, including the rectus abdominis (six-pack muscles), transverse abdominis, obliques, and lower back muscles.
- Improved Stability and Balance
- Reduced Risk of Back Pain
- Enhanced Flexibility
- Better Posture
- Increased Metabolic Rate
- Improved Athletic Performance.
Planks are more of a core muscle-strengthening exercise than a weight-loss exercise. Overall, you can only burn around two to five calories per minute via plank. If you want to burn more calories, you can do high-intensity exercises.