Sunday, October 21, 2012

The Plank and the Push-up

Reminder: If you have not done so, please read the Initial Post and  Blog Information.  At the upper left of this page above my picture click on the button, Initial Post and  Blog Information.

The Plank

Core strength diminishes lower back pain.  Two more exercises that require core strength are the Plank and the Push-up.  Start with the Plank.

Again, as with other core exercises we have discussed, start on all fours, on knees and hands.  Drop to elbows and knees and let your abdomen sag to the floor.  Your elbows should be directly below your shoulders.

For beginners, stay on your knees and straighten your body; your butt should be off the floor, but not elevated any higher than a straight line between your shoulders and knees.  That is the Plank position.  Hold that position for 5-10 seconds then relax.  Repeat until you are able to hold the position for 20-30 seconds with 5-10 repetitions.

Intermediate exercise is the same, but off your knees and on your toes.  Hold the position for 10-20 seconds.  Repeat up to ten times, increasing the hold time to 45-60 seconds.

Advanced exercise includes lifting an arm or leg off the floor and holding the proper position, like the Bird-dog we discussed earlier.

You can check out your technique by watching these videos:

Or reading this Fox News post:

The Push-up

Once you are doing the advanced Plank with ease, it is a relatively easy transition to, or add, push-ups.

Beginner push-ups start on your knees and hands, hands directly below shoulders, trunk straight as when doing the Plank.  Bend your elbows and drop your chest within 2”-4” of the floor, maintaining a straight back.  Once you can do beginner push-ups with ease, get up on your toes for intermediate push-ups.  Keep your trunk straight.  These are harder.

There are numerous versions of push-ups, some very advanced, others extreme.  Many can be seen at this web site:

Pick the one you like.  The best exercise is one that you will do.  If an exercise is too hard or it causes you pain, it the wrong exercise to be doing.

As with most core exercises I have recommended, there is very little compression of discs or facet joints with these exercises, cutting down on irritation of those structures.  If these exercises cause you pain, then you should not be doing them.  Start slowly.  There is no rush.  If you can only add one push-up a month, you will still be doing 12 by the end of the year and 24 by the end of two years.

1 comment:

  1. I agree plank and push-up exercises are best to increase spinal cord strength. We can reduce and prevent low back pain through these physical activities.back and neck pain bergen county