When you’re doing a plank, one minute can feel like 10. It doesn’t matter how many times you’ve successfully completed a plank, it always feels like it’s the longest exercise either.
However, despite it being so difficult, it’s the best way to lower your blood pressure according to a new study.
Researchers at Canterbury Christ Church and Leicester Universities examined different types of exercises and their effectiveness in reducing blood pressure.
exercises like cycling and fast-walking as well as maintaining a healthy diet reduce your possibility of developing high blood pressure
“Isometric exercises” are exercises that engage your muscles without movement. The study found that wall sits and planks were more effective than the guidelines for exercise created by the government.
Every type of exercise requires effort, however, doing less could actually be more beneficial for your health. Adults should engage in 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity every week, according to the NHS.
This includes exercises like cycling and fast-walking as well as maintaining a healthy diet and other lifestyle changes that could limit your possibility of developing high blood pressure.
Adults should engage in 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity every week
“Millions of people are living with undetected high blood pressure and raised cholesterol, which can put them at significant risk of a heart attack or stroke,” Prof. Sir Nilesh Samani, medical director at the British Heart Foundation (BHF), said.
Doing plank correctly
So how can you make sure you’re doing plank properly? If it feels easy, then you’re probably doing it wrong.
Fitness content creator Matt Irving explains that a typical plank position requires you to have an excessive arch in the lower back.
“The first cue I want you to think about is turning your hips underneath and squeezing your butt muscles,” Irving says. This will allow your core to activate.
“The second cue I want you to think about is turning your chest up and tucking your chin, that’s gonna bring your upper spine into a more neutral position” he adds.
What about wall sits?
Wall sits to improve muscle endurance #beginnerworkout#fitnessforlife#workoutplan
If you’re a beginning, TikTok user Justin Agustin says you don’t have to go so low at first. “Sit at an angle that works for you, as you get better at the exercise try different variations to challenge your muscles,” he says.
“If you can hold on to 30 seconds easily, it’s time to bring a little bit of weight,” Agustin adds.