As we mentioned in our previous post about Rows, we want to make sure we don’t neglect to train the muscles that we can’t see in the mirror. Planks are one of the best exercises we can do to build a strong core.
Benefits of Doing Planks and Plank Variations
Reduced low back pain by improving posture
When our core muscle are stronger in the front than in the back our midsection is continually being pulled forward by the tighter front muscles. This continual pulling causes chronic lower back pain. Doing planks evens out your core muscles because they strengthen the muscles around your spine in your low back. They correct the imbalance between our front and back abdominal muscles.
Reduce risk of back injury
Most low back injuries occur when we pick things up off the ground, boxes, bags, small children, etc. We are much less likely to get injured if we regularly train and strengthen the stabilizer muscles around our spine.
Planks also reduce our risk of injuring our backs when we workout. They are an anti-flexion exercise, meaning that we are not bending our spine and pressurizing our vertebrae and disks like we are when we do a crunching movement. In a plank position we are focusing core muscles in the back and front to keep our spine straight. If they don’t, we fall to the ground. Our core abdominal muscles were made to rotate and stabilize the center of our body, not the flex and squeeze forward.
More planks. Less sit ups and crunches.