I truly believe that they are one of the best full-body exercises and provide the most bang for you buck. But in order to get the most of this exercise it’s important to maintain proper form.
There is one simple tip that can dramatically improve your plank hold time and comfort level.
It begins with the pelvis and ends with the core.
A common mistake I see is people dropping their hips so low that they end up with a hyper-extension (or arch) in the lower back.
Not only does this put unnecessary strain on the lumbar spine, it’s uncomfortable and inefficient.
Instead, focus on lowering your hips so that they are in line with your spine, and while maintaining a neutral spine, envision that you are drawing the tips of your hip bones closer together.
Will this ACTUALLY happen? No. You will not actually move the bones. But using this image will help you connect more effectively to the deep core stabilizers (pelvic floor, transverse abdominus) and greatly reduce your risk of injury.
Focusing on narrowing the front of the pelvis will help to stabilize your core from the underside so that you’re not relying solely on the muscles of your lower back to keep things in place.
As you can see in the photos it has a domino effect on the rest of the spine which relieves pressure in the shoulder joints as well.
Do you ever feel strain in your lower back when planking?
Give this a try and let me know how it goes!