The Plank: Regarded by many as the king of all core exercises, this isometric movement does require a fairly decent inner unit (though there are SO many more effective exercises to improve your core stabilisation like the Pallof press, single arm cable push on 1 leg...)
But only if it's done CORRECTLY! Saggy spines, butts in the air and a sunken upper back are all signs of poor technique. 😖
What Happens If You Plank Wrong?
For any exercise to be effective you need to make sure you do them right otherwise:
1. You're not actually training the muscles you're trying to train instead -
2. You're strengthening BAD movement patterns and setting yourself up for pain and injury, which means -
4. You'll need to come see someone like me, and the first thing I'll do is tell you the cause of your back pain was the exercise you thought was helping it!
How To Plank Like A Pro
Not sure if you're doing your plank right? An easy tip at the gym or even at home is to perform it side on to a mirror so you can see the whole length of your body: you're looking to maintain a posture that a straight rod could pass through from the back of your head to the back of your thighs, making contact with your mid back and sacrum along the way.
For some of my clients I'll actually place a wooden dowel along their spine to teach them what good posture feels like. Using visual and tactile cues at the beginning (plus some verbal modifications from a trainer or your physio), will help to facilitate your body learning where it is in space, in other words, its proprioceptive or spatial awareness. Many people have no idea where or how their body is moving and as such, find it near impossible to get into the right postures to do an exercise correctly. A little coaching and a lot of practice using perfect form will quickly help you to improve your movement ability and in turn, overall performance.
#trainsmart to #livewell