The health benefits of plank exercises and how to do a plank properly

Planks have a wide range of health benefits.
Planks have a wide range of health benefits.


Planks are a great way to strengthen your core and work out many different muscle groups, all at once. You can also do them anywhere — all you need is your body weight.

“The versatility and accessibility makes it one of the most incredible, well-rounded core exercises,” says celebrity trainer Jillian Michaels, creator of The Jillian Michaels Fitness App.

Here’s what you should know about the health benefits of planks and how to do them effectively.

Planks are a full-body workout

Planks don’t just target your abs, but require almost all the major muscle groups in your body to work together.

“Planks strengthen your spine, rhomboids, lats, trapezius, core, quads, glutes, hamstrings, shoulders, and triceps when done properly,” Michaels says.

plank muscles infographic
plank muscles infographic

Shayanne Gal/Insider

Other exercises like crunches or sit-ups can target the abs and core as effectively as

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Prince William Says Soccer Can Help ‘Break the Stigma Around’ Mental Health Effects of COVID-19 Pandemic

Beatrice J. Doty

Prince William is using soccer to help those affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

In a video promoting the landmark Mentally Healthy Football Declaration signed by leaders of the entire U.K. soccer family, the Duke of Cambridge openly references the positive role he believes the sport can play.

“This has been a football season unlike any other,” William says in the video. “The coronavirus pandemic has affected everyone, and it is clear it will have a big impact on many people’s mental health. Football’s role in breaking the stigma around mental health has never been more important.”

The Mentally Healthy declaration has been signed by the English Premier League, English Football League, and the soccer associations of England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.

It’s also drawn the support of famous names in the soccer world including England manager Gareth Southgate, England captain Harry Kane and Scotland captain Andy Roberston.

A direct

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50 non-white fitness, health, and wellness influencers to follow to diversify your Instagram feed

Beatrice J. Doty
Sohee Lee, Ngo Okafor, and Lita Lewis.
Sohee Lee, Ngo Okafor, and Lita Lewis.


  • If the word “wellness” conjures up images of a slim, white woman drinking a green juice while sitting on a yoga mat, it’s time to mix things up.

  • There are innumerable brilliant influencers in the health and fitness industry who inspire their followers to live healthier, happier, more wholesome lives.

  • Diversify your feed by following these non-white Instagrammers who talk about everything from nutrition and workouts to sex and mental health.

  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Ally Love, @allymisslove


Ally Love is a Peloton instructor and Adidas ambassador who encourages her 367,000 followers to stay active and practice self-love.

Koya Webb, @koyawebb


Koya Webb describes herself as a “Spiritual Health + Wellness Educator,” posting to her 987,000 followers about meditation, breathwork, and yoga.

Jonelle Lewis, @jonelleyoga


Jonelle Lewis is on a mission to make yoga and wellness inclusive and accessible,

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Arizona health deptartment orders gyms to close amid COVID spikes or face legal action

Beatrice J. Doty

The Arizona Department of Health Services ordered three of the state’s gyms to close immediately amid significant spikes in coronavirus or face legal action.

Two of the gyms — LifeTime Fitness, Tempe and LifeTime Fitness, Camelback — agreed to comply with the order while the third gym, Mountainside Fitness, Scottsdale Shea, refused, the agency said in a statement.

“ADHS has agreed to partner with LifeTime Fitness to develop examples of best practices for the fitness industry to provide technical assistance for other fitness professionals,” the statement read.

On Thursday, the department ordered the gyms to close immediately after they learned “certain fitness centers were not complying with Governor [Doug] Ducey’s Executive Order.”

The gyms had to respond by noon local time Friday regarding their compliance.

Department director Dr. Cara Christ said LifeTime’s agreement “is in the best interest of all Arizonans.”

Mountainside, on the other hand, “made it clear

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