Looking for a full-body exercise that strengthens your glutes, hips, and lower abdominal muscles? Incorporate bear plank exercise into your fitness routine.

When it comes to cardio, one of the best exercises is a plank that works your core and increases your heart rate. While planks bring all the burn to your torso, it becomes kind of boring to keep doing the same exercise over and over again. Enter – plank variations! If you have been looking for different ways to do a plank, you must try the bear plank. It is a great bodyweight exercise for beginners as it strengthens the muscles of the hips, glutes, and core. It is a great balance and core stabilization workout as well. Here are the benefits of bear planks and how to perform them the right way.

Benefits of bear plank

Here are some of the notable benefits of bear planks, as explained by fitness coach, Yogesh Bhateja.

1. Improves posture

Your abdominal muscles act as postural muscles, supporting your spine. Therefore, you can improve your posture to a greater extent by strengthening these supporting players. Not only can poor posture be unattractive, but it can also cause lower back pain.

Poor posture can affect your spine health
Performing bear plank improves your posture. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

2. Keeps lower back pain at bay

A 2016 study published in the Journal of Physical Therapy Science found that specialised core exercises targeting the upper and lower abdominals can help avoid lower back pain since a strong core equals a stable spine. The bear plank is also an excellent alternative to the traditional plank, especially for people with lower back discomfort.

3. Helps to enhance athletic performance

Bear plank exercises support the spine and enhance the production force for running, jumping, squatting, and other sports. Moreover, in a study published in the Public Library of Science (PLOS), a stronger core may improve running performance because it can control, support, and move the upper body, transferring force to the lower body.

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4. Enhances rectus abdominis or abs

Incorporating bear plank into your fitness routine helps to activate the lower abdominal muscles. Lower abs can be difficult to work because many standard core workouts don’t target them, but the bear plank does. This aids in developing the powerful rectus abdominis.

5. Targets quadriceps

The bear plank is an isometric exercise. Your quadriceps, which are important for walking, standing, and running, are among the main muscles engaged in this workout. A bear plank engages your quadriceps to keep your knees off the floor and your hips stable even while you’re stationary. Thus, it’s an excellent way to strengthen your quadriceps.

How to do bear plank?

Here is a complete guide to do bear plank as explained by the expert.

  • Step 1: Put a yoga or exercise mat on the floor.
  • Step 2: Get into a tabletop position on all fours, wrists under shoulders, knees under hips, and back flat. With your body positioned on all fours for the exercise, this is also known as the quadruped position.
  • Step 3: Engage your core to maintain your back flat, then push your hands onto the floor and elevate your knees three to six inches off the ground. Your shoulders and hips should be at the same level.
  • Step 4: Hold the bear plank position for 30 to 60 seconds. Remember to breathe, focusing on a slow and deep inhalation and exhalation pattern. If you feel your back sinking or your core weakening, set your knees on the floor, rest, and repeat.
  • Step 5: After the recommended time, slowly return to the initial position by bringing your knees back to the starting position.
  • Step 6: Take a rest for 20-30 seconds between each set. Do at least 3 sets.

Also Read: Love planks for weight loss? Try these variations to lose some extra kilos

bear plank
Here’s how to do bear plank. Image courtesy: Freepik

Are there any side effects of the bear plank exercise?

The bear plank is a safe exercise for most fitness levels, as long as you maintain the right form. However, this exercise might not be appropriate for you if you have lower back discomfort, wrist pain, or knee problems. Plus, if you have hip problems, be careful to pay attention to any pain or restricted range of motion. Discontinue the exercise if you experience any pain while on all fours or during the activity.

However,it is advised to consult with your doctor before incorporating this exercise into your fitness routine.

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