The plank is a popular exercise for building core strength and stability, but did you know that it can also be an effective way to burn calories? In fact, a 1-minute plank can burn as many as 6-8 calories, depending on factors such as your weight, body composition, and the intensity of the exercise.
To understand how the plank burns calories, it is important to understand the muscles that are being targeted. The plank primarily works the rectus abdominis, transverse abdominis, and obliques, as well as the back, shoulders, and legs. When these muscles are activated, they require energy to perform the movement, which is where the calorie burn comes in.
One of the key factors that affects the number of calories burned during a plank is your body weight. The heavier you are, the more energy it takes to perform the exercise, which translates to more calories burned. Additionally, muscle mass also plays a role. People with more muscle mass will burn more calories than those with less muscle mass, even if they weigh the same.
Another important factor is the intensity of the exercise. The more intense the plank, the more calories you will burn. For example, a traditional plank that is held for 1 minute will burn fewer calories than a plank with a leg lift or a plank that is held for a longer period of time.
It is also important to note that the plank is not just a calorie-burning exercise, but also helps to tone and strengthen the core, back, and shoulder muscles. This can lead to improved posture and balance, as well as a reduction in the risk of back pain.
Calories burned during exercise depend on several factors, including body weight, muscle mass, and intensity of the exercise. The plank is considered a high-intensity exercise and can burn a significant number of calories in a short amount of time. According to the American Council on Exercise, a 150-pound person can burn approximately 4.5 calories in 1 minute of planking. This number increases to 6 calories for a 200-pound person and 7.5 calories for a 250-pound person.
It is important to note that these numbers are estimates, and the actual number of calories burned during a plank can vary depending on the individual’s fitness level, muscle mass, and body composition. Additionally, the number of calories burned can also vary depending on the type of plank being performed. A traditional plank, where the body is supported by the forearms and toes, will burn fewer calories than a dynamic plank, such as a side plank or a plank with leg raises.
Another factor that affects calorie burn during the plank is the intensity of the exercise. The harder the plank, the more calories will be burned. For example, holding a plank for 1 minute with perfect form will burn fewer calories than holding a plank for 1 minute with poor form. As you progress in your fitness level and can hold the plank for longer, you will burn more calories as well.
To maximize the calorie-burning effects of the plank, it is recommended to incorporate it into your regular exercise routine. Aim for 3-4 sets of 1-minute planks, with a rest period of 30-60 seconds between each set. As you build strength and endurance, you can increase the duration of the plank or add variations such as leg lifts or side planks to increase the intensity.
In conclusion, the plank is a great exercise for burning calories and building core strength and stability. A 1-minute plank can burn as many as 6-8 calories, depending on factors such as your weight, body composition, and the intensity of the exercise. Incorporating planks into your regular exercise routine, along with other strength and cardio exercises, can lead to improved overall fitness and health.