Are you planking? If not, you should really consider it.
This exercise replaced the crunch as the number one core strength exercise recently.
More and more people add it to their workout regime, and many are doing it in rehabilitation programs and injury prevention sessions.
Let’s see what is the plank and how it can actually help us with lower back health!
The plank (or front hold, abdominal bridge) is a static, isometric, strength exercise.
You do the exercise by holding your body stiff in a position that resembles a push-up, for as long as you can endure.
It’s important to hold your body in a straight line, while your whole body weight is held up by your forearms, elbows, and toes. It only seems easy, but holding that position requires strength and endurance in your abs, back, and core.
There are numerous variations of this exercise, from basic to more advanced, such as the front plank, side plank, reverse, the extended, and many others.
No matter if you’re a beginner or experienced with the plank, it is imperative to do planks properly. Otherwise, you won’t get the desired results, or worse, you may injure yourself.
The plank is practiced in Yoga, Pilates, or in other training and sports.
A great thing about planks is that they don’t require any equipment so that you can do them almost anywhere and anytime. Just choose the right one for you and start your workout.
Planks are amazing for the whole body.
They activate muscles from your shoulders to your legs. Your muscles have to work in synergy to achieve the proper plank position and maintain it for the time. Plank exercises support proper posture and improve your balance, and are also good for your mood because they relax stiff and tense muscle groups.
Plank and Lower Back
There is a widespread misconception that the plank is not good for your lower back. Some cases of injury and pain were correlated with this exercise but without scientific proof nor investigation.
You can’t hurt your lower back by planking, but you can if you exercise improperly. For example, if your hips are too high, or your chest is too low to the ground, etc. That makes a major difference.
Q. So, how will you know that you are doing them wrong?
A. You will feel the burn in your lower back and arms, and not in your abs, gluteal muscles, and thighs.
Plank exercises can do miracles for your lower back strength and will protect your lower back from injury and relieve the pain if you have any. Just be sure you are planking the right way.
4 Ways Planks Boost Your Lower Back Health
Here are some of the most important benefits of planking for lower back health.
1. Planks help strengthen your core
The core consists of series of muscles. Core muscles are important for almost every movement of the body. The major core muscles are in the area of the belly, mid and lower back, and peripherally in the hips, shoulders and the neck area.
A properly performed plank is one of the best exercises to strengthen your core, which is also important for the proper body posture and alignment of the spine.
By planking, you strengthen your lower back muscles significantly, thus making you resistant to back pain. Different variations of the plank concentrate on the lower back area, improving your stability and enabling you to lift heavy things.
Performing plank exercises regularly do wonders for lower back pain. It is crucial to know how to implement them into your lifestyle properly though; if done right, this will alleviate and ease the pain you already have, and lower the chances of reoccurring back pain, which is common in various medical practices.
Combined with proper treatment, planking will multiply the positive effects of pain therapy and make you resistant to future pain manifestations.
The occasional injuries happen whether you’re working out or not. Sudden moves, heavy lifting without preparation, or even leaning can bring us to a world of lower back pain. When doing plank exercises on a daily basis, these unexpected painful situations will never happen to you.
The well-trained and balanced lower back serves as a foundation for stability and as a strong center of your body. By stimulating it through plank training, it will become pain-proof.
The plank is fantastic for the lower back, but only if done correctly.
If you start doing plank exercises, it will hurt.
You won’t be able to hold it for a long time. But, as you progress, you’ll start to feel the various benefits that plank exercises provide.
Never jeopardize the proper form to get a longer time. Be patient, and you’ll progress!
Annie Jones is the main responsible for the BoostBodyFit.com. She started off a bit on the chubby side, but went through the transformation and now enjoys great health and looks great.