You see this exercise in every gym, but what’re people actually working out? And are they doing it correctly?
The Plank is a standard exercise for increasing core stabilization.
Have you known people to have a 6 pack but still have back problems? Are you on a program that has you doing 500 crunches a week?
Exercises like the Plank will increase the strength of your deep core muscles (the muscles that help with posture, keep you breathing well and are the more important muscles in determining torso stability/strength/power).
I want you all to have a strong core. I hate hearing about lower back injuries and then hear that clients are only doing crunches. It honestly hurts my heart.
Lemme break down this exercise:
Start by lying down on your stomach and have your hands underneath your shoulders. You should be on the balls of your feet with a 90 degree angle at your ankle. Press through the balls of your feet to straighten out your legs and have your butt engaged (squeeze your butt). Draw in your belly button towards your spine (this engages your deep core muscles), and straighten your elbows so that your arms are straight, and hold this position. Make sure that your shoulders stay away from your ears and focus on slow controlled breathing, spending 3 seconds each on the inhale and exhale. Have your weight evenly distributed between your two feet and both of your hands.
Because this is a stabilization exercise, it’s important to maintain stability and not allow your body to tilt, hike, or rotate at the shoulders, torso, hips, or feet. Also, keep your head, mid-back, and low-back all in a straight line. This means that if I take a PVC pipe and lay it on your back, it will touch these 3 points and should be able to rest on your back through the entire Plank exercise.
Try to perform 3 sets of this exercise, holding each plank for up to 1 minute each time. BUT, only perform this exercise for as long as you can keep perfect form. If you’re feeling pain in your lower back please stop. You either need to regress the exercise or readjust your positioning.
Please let me know if you have any questions or comments. I want to make sure that you’re getting the most out of your workouts. Staying pain free is a high priority for everyone, so make sure you’re doing exercises that are good for your body.
In order to achieve something you’ve never done before, you must be willing to become somebody you’ve never been before.