Whether you start with them, finish with them, or just plain out old fashioned fear them, the plank is the ultimate test of core strength and the perfect beginning or ending to almost any workout. But, have you ever felt that sagging back, the shrugged shoulders, or that slight strain on the neck? Odds are it’s not the plank, it’s you. So instead of living in fear or enraptured in a love hate relationship, check out this article and a quick fix to your most pressing planking issues.
- If your abdominals aren’t engaged, your arms will tire out from supporting the majority of your bodyweight. When that happens, your first inclination is to arch your back, which puts undue pressure on your spine.
- When your abdominal and arm muscles start to fatigue, it’s likely your hips will begin to sink. (Gravity, ladies and gentlemen!) The downside to letting it all hang down: Your core muscles will be less challenged in this position, and you’ll be putting strain on your lower back.
- Another common mistake is cranking your head too far back looking up at the ceiling or straight ahead. This can put a strain on your neck, and as a result, the rest of your form will fall apart.
“This ultimate isometric exercise engages the muscles in your abdominals, lower back, hips, and arms. It’s not a surprise that many workouts begin and end with a some variation of a plank challenge. But do you find yourself lowering your hips or arching your back after a few seconds of holding it together? We feel you.”