The Plank! The one exercise everybody says they do, but most of the time not doing it correctly. I often hear people say; “My lower back hurts when doing plank”. That’s probably because they are doing it wrong. 9 out of 10 times the pain comes from incorrect form (i.e. your spine supports all the load instead of your core musculature).

In this short post I will demonstrate a way to...

  • increasing the efficiency of the “plank”
  • avoiding pain in the lower back when doing the plank
  • protecting your spine by strengthening your core musculature

The plank is a great body weight exercise to target the core/abdominal muscles. When performed right over time you can significantly strengthen your mid section, engage the whole core and avoid injuries. What is also positive, is all the variations you can do! I constantly see and learn new fun variations of the plank.

Here is a good tip how you "plank it right":

1. Go into the plank position, elbows below shoulders.

2. Keep the forearms parallel.

3. Bring your feet close together.

4. When in correct position, slowly start pulling your elbows towards your toes without lifting them.

5. And now, while pulling elbows inn, squeeze your glutes - think prison ;-)

not engaging core, unwanted pressure on lower back

not engaging core, unwanted pressure on lower back

Pull elbows towards toes, engage core

Pull elbows towards toes, engage core

On the picture to the left you see my lower back curving down. With a curve like this the core isn't engaged properly and it puts unnecessary, unwanted pressure on the lower back.

On the picture to the right you see me pulling my elbows in, tightening up my gluteus.

My back is straight, I am completely engaging my core and I am putting very little stress on my lower back. 

Hope this helps! Try it out and tell me how it was!

Umit Dolen