The Plank Exercise

This is about the best instructional video that I’ve found on how to do the plank exercise.

For the patients I have advised to do these and anyone else at home wanting to strengthen your core for health reasons and to stabilize and relieve pain in your low back here are a few more pointers I would add to the video.

  1. Keep your neck in line with the rest of your back – she is busy looking at the camera and forgot to mention to look straight ahead without letting yourself tuck your chin down or tilt your chin up because of the added stress to your neck and shoulders.
  2. When she demonstrates bending the knees to make the exercise a little easier for beginners I would advise trying to NOT cross your ankles. If you absolutely MUST because of stability it’s ok, but stop doing it as soon as possible. Try pressing your ankles together instead if at all possible. Crossing our legs can lead to extra strain on our knees, hips, ankles, and back so again try to avoid this if you can.
  3. I would start on elbows and forearms first. The best part of this exercise is for the core and not really important for the arms and shoulders. So starting out I would always go with forearms and possibly on your knees to really focus on what’s most important.
  4. At the end of the video she promotes a bicycle kick workout for your abs. As a chiropractor I’d have to advise against this and really any abdominal workout on your back bending up and forwards. It has caused so many low back injuries that the Canadian military has eliminated sit-ups from their regular physical fitness testing and our own military is looking for an alternative, as well.
  5. Everything else looks like great information. If you have any questions just call us or head on over to the office to pick my brain on anything that seems unclear.
  6. As always, if it hurts STOP doing it. Don’t continue until you have talked it over with me another chiropractor or another Doctor in the field of medicine or physical therapy.

See Page 1 for using Hot and Cold, Page 3 for the Doorknob Squat, Page 4 for the Side-Plank Exercise, Page 5 for how to make a “Peanut” roller

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