The plank is an awesome exercise that works more than just your abs. A proper plank will challenge your butt, back and quads as well. Many people just assume the position and hold it without actually focusing on what to contract. You’ll find that it will be much harder at first to hit your regular holding time if you start contracting your abs, butt, and quads at the beginning.
If planks hurt your lower back, then you aren’t using your core to brace yourself. It’s also possible that your core is so weak that it can’t hold your body in place. If that’s the case, then start yourself on an incline plank. A table is the perfect starting point to build your strength. Progress to couch level next and then the flat ground.
You might be surprised to find out that there are different levels of core muscles. Your inner-most core muscles are the ones that protect your back from injury in sudden twisting movements and support your posture. These are the muscles that planks focus on. It’s important because these muscles are the ones that keep you healthy and supported during sports and other intense activities.
- Assume the position, with your elbows at a 90 degree angle with your eyes looking slightly in front of your hands
- Contract your abs, butt and quads
- Tuck your butt
- Keep your back flat, many tend to round their shoulders and upper back