Instructions to Fix the 5 Most Common Planking Mistakes
The PLANK can be one of the best exercises in your workout routine. However, focusing on proper form is KEY.
Big thanks to Lyndsay Babbit, Personal Trainer at Santa Cruz Core Fitness + Rehab for demonstrating the do’s and don’ts of Planking.
The Mistake: Letting the Head Drop
While the emphasis may be on keeping the hips, butt, and back in the best possible position, it’s also imperative to think about the head and neck as an extension of your back. Keep your eyes on the floor, giving them a chance to rest. which will help keep the neck in a better position.
The Mistake: Reaching the butt to the sky.
Planks should not resemble a downward dog. To truly get the core working properly in the plank position, hold your back sufficiently level so your abs feel connected with your sternum.
The Mistake: Collapsing the lower back.
Stabilize your low back by engaging your core, drawing your belly button towards your spine. This will engage the transverse abdominus, which shares innervation with the pelvic floor muscles, the thoracic diaphragm and the multifidi. These muscles are referred to in a group as the ‘inner unit” by Paul Chek, an internationally renowned expert in the fields of corrective and high performance exercise kinesiology.
Inner unit muscles work together to stabilize the low back like hoops on a barrel, functioning in a stabilization role to protect the spine. If you need extra help with this move, have a trainer or friend place a wooden dowel or other straight object along your spine from head to hips. By tucking your shirt into your pants, they will be able to see how straight your back is and how much you are drawing in.
The Mistake: Forgetting to breathe
It’s human instinct to hold your breath when in a strenuous position. Not breathing properly can cause compensatory breathing patterns which lead to dysfunction and pain. Keep your core tight and focus on drawing air as deeply as you can into your lungs like you’re filling your back with air.
The Mistake: Focusing excessively on the stopwatch
Quality trumps the quantity of seconds. At the point when the body cannot maintain good form and and begins to shake is right before the ideal time to end the set. Better to do high quality exercise for less time that leads to improved strength, performance, posture, etc. than to do sloppy exercise for more time that leads to dysfunction, pain, a false sense of strength, decreased performance, and poor posture.