Plank jacks exercise primarily focus on core muscles especially the adductor muscles of the hip, and the external and internal oblique. Apart from it, plank jacks are also effective for lower body muscles including glutes, quads, hamstrings and upper body muscles mainly shoulders as well.
There are several types of planks for different sets of muscles like a simple plank, reverse plank, side plank, walking plank or plank walk (introduced by NIKE training Club) and superman plank etc. But if you are looking for an effective exercise for lower body muscles, shoulders and core muscles then plank jacks exercise is the best exercise.
The plank jacks are also referred as a core strengthening exercise and help to get the body in perfect shape. Just like other exercises this exercise also needs a perfect execution to gain maximum results out of it. Doing it in the right way is the only best way to get desired benefits. So instead of focusing on how many plank jacks you can pull, the most important thing is to perform it in a perfect way.
How to perform the perfect Plank Jacks
The method of performing perfect plank jack is very simple. First, you need to adopt the standard plank position. Then hold your body up with the help of your forearms and toes support. Afterwards, it is as simple as spreading your legs out to the side like in a jumping jack as much as you easily can. Now from this position, you need to bring them back to the original starting position of the exercise. Most importantly brace your core throughout the exercise for attaining maximum effect.
It might seem difficult to balance yourself in the beginning but soon it will be very easy for you to perform several plank jacks at once. There is no specific limit on this exercise; therefore, you can jump back and forth as many times as you can easily. But just to simplify it for you, you can take a 30-second to 1-minute break after performing continuous plank jacks for a minute or two as per your stamina. And after the break, you can repeat it again. If you find it difficult to jump out with both legs, then a good way to make the plank jack simpler is stepping out each foot, in turn, one by one alternatively.
You can also slide your feet apart instead of jumping to spread them in case you can’t make a jump spread easily. You can achieve sliding off your feet either on a slippery surface or with the help of socks.
Benefits of the Plank Jack
The plank jack is a great cardio workout that elevates the heart rate and heart pumping when we add jumping jacks movement in this exercise. With the elevated heart rate, the body burns calories at a rapid pace and helps in increasing metabolism. Plank jack also helps in decreasing the severity of back pain and strengthen the core.
Things to keep in mind
As the plank jacks exercise is performing by facing downward and carrying all your bodyweight on your upper body, it could be difficult to breathe while performing this exercise. This is why for smooth breathing you need to follow these instructions carefully as mentioned below:
- While performing the exercise keep maintaining your body balance and don’t let your hips drop.
- Keep your back steady and stable your spine.
- Do not raise your feet too high off the floor.
- Try to maintain breathing pattern slow and steady.
- Pull your abs in tight maintaining the strength in core muscles.
- Do not jerk your body during the exercise and maintain a straight line from your shoulders down to your ankles throughout the exercise.