Planks are one of the best core-strengthening exercises and in addition to working your core, they target your abdominal muscles. Planks are one of the easiest exercises to learn and they require no equipment, so they can be done anywhere. If you perform planks with poor form, not only will you not get the benefits from the exercise, but you can injure yourself. These are the three most common plank mistakes to avoid and how to fix them.
Sagging or Lifting the Hips
To get in plank position, form a straight line from your shoulders to your feet by engaging your core muscles. If your core muscles aren’t strong enough to support your body weight, you’ll either sag your hips towards the floor or push them toward the ceiling which can increase the risk of lower back pain.
To fix this issue, try performing planks in front of a mirror so you can see that your body is in a straight line from your shoulders to your feet. To make the exercise easier you can elevate your hands on a box, bench, or counter.
Holding Planks Too Long
Plank challenges have become super popular, but trying to hold a plank for more than one or two minutes doesn’t have many benefits. If holding planks is too easy for you, try a more challenging variation like a plank with leg lifts.
Shifting Your Weight
Shifting your weight too far forward or backward is a way that many people compensate for not being able to hold themselves up with their core. Shifting your weight can lead to shoulder or neck pain and it negates the benefits of the exercise.
Next time you get in plank position, pay attention to where your hands or elbows are relative to your shoulders and make sure you shoulders are in line with your hands or elbows.