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Exercise & Fitness
Straight talk on planking
- By: Matthew Solan, Executive Editor, Harvard Men's Health Watch
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Is there anyone who should not plank? Any certain spine conditions? Thanks
Mixing a set of normal planks with side planks adds an extra dimension to the workout. This has been good for my lower back issues. M
I got costochondritis (inflammation of rib cartilage that can mimic a heart attack) from too much planking-especially side plank versions, so don’t push too hard if you are carrying any extra weight. Women are especially prone to this condition, and cartilage can’t be strengthened.
While I feel the plank is a beneficial exercise, there is more to core health than this one exercise.
Successful core training should involve static movements (like the plank), basic exercises like an oblique crunch on a fitball and functional movements like medicine ball tosses. Those reflect the demands on our core in a much more balanced way. If you rotate through these types of exercises for the core, your program will yield amazing results
I do planks for about a minute and a half. Also, a terrific stomach exercise is to lie on your back. lift your legs about six inches off the floor, and hold your legs up for a minute or a little longer.
For many years, the plank has been my go to exercise. I am a caregiver and time is limited. I can sneak in a plank without changing into workout clothes. I am a Health and Wellness Professional and staying active is vital to our health.
Sometimes, if I am heating water for tea, the microwave becomes my timer.
I love the feeling when I am finished. I feel stronger.
Thanks for the encouragement.
good use of your time!
I started planking and find it effective.
However, now I can easily plank for more than two minutes and I am not feeling any effectiveness.
What is the total time one should plank everyday.
There is no correct time. The problem is the misconception that planking is an excercise in the first place. It is not, it’s static and I strongly recommend doing some real exercise instead. Even if you only do a variety of push-up hand positions you are still planking at tge same time, but at least you are elevating your pulse rate too instead of just wasting your time.
A trainer reminded me that you must really engage your core and one way to do that is to draw your feet and elbows towards each other. Don’t move them, but apply pressure and you will find that this creates more engagement in the plank.
If forearm planks with leg lifts In proper form become too easy, how do you increase the challenge further, other than extending the hold time, which you indicated should be up to only 2 minutes.
Elevate your feet (using a bench or chair). Can also rock back and forth using your toes as a pivot point and this seems to engage the core muscles more effectively
Very informative. Didn’t know about not going beyond 2 min. Do you recommend one 2 min set which I do now or several shorter duration sets back to back?
Which is better: forearm plank or push up position? I always thought the push up position was ‘harder’, but you seem to imply the opposite.
I like this core exercises to prevent my back pain from coming back. When doing my yoga practice, I do boat pose, straight arm plank, side planks and back plank, 15 breaths each.
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