Planks - Do They Really Work?

The core includes your abdominal muscles, back muscles and the muscles around the pelvis. Strong core muscles make it easier to do many physical activities. 

However, core exercises are only useful if they are done in situations that mimic your activity level. In a 'relaxed state' the diaphargm is available to help perform core exercises link the plank. 

The plank is an isometric core strength exercise that involves maintaining a position similar to a push-up for the maximum possible time. 

In real life during an athletic event would not be considered a 'relaxed state'. There are multiple stressors on the body not only physically and mentally but also external factors that are out of our control. Therefore, the diaphargm now has elevated breathing responsibilities and reduces its stabilizing role for the lumbar spine as it fatigues. 

When you are incorporating planks into your strength and conditioning routine be sure to ensure your heart rate is elevated to mimic your desired sport. For example, including planks in your HIIT workout or circuit training cycle or in-between weight lifting sets. 

Stay tuned for our next article on more suggestions for core exercises that compliment activity levels!

Would you like to learn more about your diaphargm and what it does? Read our article 'LOW BACK PAIN LINKED TO A WEAK DIAPHRAGM'.

Written by Kevin Honsberger, Owner/Founder of HonsbergerPhysio+
Registered Physiotherapist

Orthopedic Rehabilitation
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