The plank is a basic exercise… And you are doing it wrong!
The plank, if done correctly can be very beneficial to your strength, posture, pelvic position, and core. But…any exercise done incorrectly has the potential to hurt you.
The plank (one of the simplest exercises) is being performed and taught incorrectly and being allowed to be performed incorrectly by the vast majority of health and fitness professionals (just search your social media account).
Why this is happening, IT'S confusing to me?
This month I have failed to see anyone perform a plank 80% correctly let alone perfectly. In the great words of Vince Lombardi “practice doesn't make perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect.”
These are the most common mistakes I find… and yes I often see multiple of them, and the stresses it places on your body.
You have large low back curve (also known as lumbar lordosis or lumbar hyperextension)
Your upper back is rounded (also known as Thoracic Kyphosis or Thoracic flexion)
Your hips are anteriorly or posteriorly shifted
Your hips are anteriorly tilted (the top of your hips are forward)
Your shoulders are protracted or tilted
Your shoulder blades are winging
Your neck is flexed or extended
I often have clients who also report that when they do their plank they add weight on their back to make it harder.
YES THIS HAPPENS!
This is the first image I found on google when searching "plank with weight".
It is featured on multiple sites including plus.google.com, pinterest.com, sportsscience.com, wiki-fitness.com, topme.com, bodybuildingadvisor.com,
Why are we listening to people who are not actually experts!
Now if you remember from my post on why your hamstrings aren’t tight an injury occurs when you place a normal force on an abnormal structure or an abnormal force onto a normal structure, by performing any exercise incorrectly then adding weight you are placing an abnormal force onto an abnormal structure which increases the risk of injury. This exercise can be performed (if done correctly) but the negatives outweigh the positives if the foundation of the exercise is being performed incorrectly to start with. This will take you down the road to inury which you may not recover from.
After reading this article please take a look through any picture on your Facebook and Instagram accounts where someone is TRYING to perform a plank correctly and try to find one that doesn’t have one, if not multiple of these errors. If you want help with your plank or you know someone that does please don’t hesitate to post on facebook, instagram or contact me at the practice.
Exercise shouldn’t hurt or cause injury - if it is you are doing it wrong!
Sean Yates | Physiotherapist | Doctor of Physiotherapy | Bachelor of Exercise Science |
ASCA level 1 | AWF Level 1 coach | Functional Patterns Level 1, 2, 3 | Human Biomechanics Specialist | Dry Needling | Clinical Pilates Level 1, 2, 3 | APA sports Level 1 | Watson Headache Level 1 | IASTM - Smart Tools Instructor |