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Never Do the Plank … (It Can Do More Harm Than Good)

by Brian Klepacki, MS, CSCS, FMS2

 

I’m Coach Brian, creator and author of Crunchless Core, and everybody’s heard of the plank. Everybody does the plank. Everybody thinks that the plank is the best core exercise on the planet. However, you should never do the plank – if you have these issues. The plank is a great exercise. Don’t get me wrong; we’re not bashing the plank. But the plank isn’t as beneficial and isn’t as easy as a lot of people make it out to be.

If you have back pain, or if you have shoulder pain, you should not be doing the plank. The plank is good for strengthening the back and shoulders, but if you have back pain the plank is not going to fix it. It’s not going to help it; it’s not going to just get rid of back pain. It’s good to prevent back pain.

Let’s talk about the shoulders for a second. A lot of people dip the head down. They’re pretty much either looking up or looking straight down between their knees. Make sure your chin is tucked in to your head, and bring those shoulders up, which will also bring the lower back up. Perfect!

You should also never do the plank if you have any type of Achilles tendonitis or plantar fasciitis because there’s a lot of tension going on in those areas. So if you’ve ever had a strained calf, your Achilles is stretched out or you’ve had surgery on your Achilles or even plantar fasciitis, common in running and jumping, don’t do the plank because it’s only going to aggravate it even more.

The last reason why you should never do the plank is that if you’re just not physically strong enough to hold the plank in proper position. A lot of people think the plank is one of those exercises you can do for 10, 20 minutes, even up to an hour. There’s no point in that. Stop doing that. It’s proven that the plank is best done in short bursts of holding. I mean, just 10, 20, 30 seconds tops. Because after that usually the body starts fatiguing and you start recruiting different muscles to hold that position. The head drops down, your hips are tilted a little bit. It just kind of gets pointless at that point. So no plank competitions, no long, drawn-out planks in classes, things like that. Use planks in short bursts.

You should never do the plank if you have any back pain, shoulder pain, Achilles or Plantar Fasciitis issues, and you should also never do the plank for a competition or muscular endurance. Do the plank in short bursts. Do the plank when you’re healthy and I guarantee the plank is going to be one of the best core exercises you can do, if you’re doing it right.

Hey, if you’ve got a comment or question about core training, post it down below. I’ll be more than happy to answer it for you. Hey, but we have a report called The 5-Minute Core Workout. It’s an actual workout. It has a bunch of different exercises you can do for the core in five minutes. It’s free and it’s right there. Click that link below, give us your email and the workout is going to be sent to you immediately.

Check out this FREE 5 Minute Core Workout!

 

Have an awesome day! We’ll see you soon.

-Coach Brian

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