I wish I could tell you the number of women who confide in me that they have completely stopped a specific exercise because of pain or fear of injury. Planks rank high among those exacerbating exercises.
Do planks hurt your back?
Has someone told you to avoid as specific exercise in order to avoid symptoms?
If you would like to plank again but are apprehensive on how to start, then this video is for you!
Learn ways to test your core strength in a plank and ways to train for a better/stronger plank. If you are currently injured, try these exercise strategies under the supervision of your PT or MD. If you are not injured, but dealing with core weakness, diastasis recti, minor low back pain, and/or pelvic floor dysfunction then this video is a great place to start.
The key points I cover are:
- Belief- your mindset is powerful. Avoiding exercise out of fear is a limiting belief pattern. Be confident! You are capable of challenging your mind and body in something new again.
- Positions, Postures, and Pressures – these are areas to pay attention to and areas you can alter to improve your plank strength and or improve your symptoms. For example, many trainers will tell you not to leave your butt up in the air with a plank, but as long as you are strong enough to hold that position and it reduces symptoms for now, then train yourself in that position. Key word, “for now”, not forever. As you gain more strength you should be able to lower that bottom toward the ground.
- 5 second test – Get in the plank position that you think is difficult. Test your tension. Where are you gaining tension from the most? Test your breathing. Are you holding your breath? Do the symptoms subside when you inhale or exhale?
- Modify-If a full plank is too difficult due to weakness or exacerbating symptoms, then modify. Modify to your knees or into a chair plank. Train at the position of ease and increase your timing of the hold to gain strength. Once your endurance is improving, you can add variations of stability to gain further strength.
- Re-test – If you have successfully mastered a chair plank, then re-test a plank on your knees. Keep challenging yourself as you gain strength and confidence. You are capable!