PLANK and prevent low back pain

When it comes to injury prevention for the lower back a number of exercises can be recommended. Sometimes finding the right exercise can be overwhelming, with so many options and varieties where does one start on the journey of gaining spinal stability and preventing low back pain??


Well, …one exercise that I personally incorporate into my own gym routine and always recommend to clients is the PLANK. Why? Well, its simple, effective and has a range of varieties to remain a challenge and progressively strengthen both your spine and whole body.


SO what muscles am I working out exactly while planking??

Time for an anatomy lesson! 🙂

  • Transverse abdominus
  • Rectus abdominus
  • Obliques
  • Glutes


These muscles form a corset around the lumbar section if your spine and are crucial in maintaining spinal integrity and stability. An exercise that tones and strengthens your stomach, back and butt all at the same time? Yes, you read correctly 😉


How to plank

  1. Get into pushup position on the floor.
  2. Now bend your elbows 90 degrees and rest your weight on your forearms.
  3. Keep your torso straight and rigid and your body in a straight line from ears to toes with no sagging or bending.
  4. Hold the position for a full minute.
  5. Remember to breathe. Inhale and exhale slowly and steadily.
  6. When your form begins to suffer, pull the plug. You’re only benefiting from the plank by actually doing the plank.


So my muscles get stronger just by holding this position?

YES! It’s important to understand that the muscles mentioned above are ENDURANCE based. This means that they respond, adapt and grow most efficiently to exercises that keep them engaged and “turned on” over a period of time. Ideally, holding the position for a minute is sufficient. However, if that minute becomes too easy, its vital to progress the exercise in order further challenge these muscles. If it doesn’t burn, then it isn’t working!


Progression can be done by:

  • Extending the duration (>1min)
  • Changing arm/elbow/leg positions
  • Performing on an unbalanced surface
  • Squeezing the muscles to 100% contraction/effort


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Keep in mind that performing this exercise should NOT cause pain if it does there may be an underlying issue that needs to be investigated.

For any questions or queries regarding the exercise don’t hesitate to call the clinic on 9949 3017 and have a chat with one of our practitioners

May 9, 2018
Bader Eldejany