PTD1115_LeadYou don’t need to be a pirate to engage in plank exercise. In a plank exercise, you move your entire body into a certain position and hold it for a given length of time—a duration that increases the more experienced you become. An excellent way to strengthen your core (trunk-stabilizing) muscles, plank exercises help prevent or ease lower back pain and, as a bonus—especially if you want to enhance your appearance—help flatten your abdominal muscles.

Plank exercises help prevent injuries that may occur when you engage in sports or other strenuous activities. Instead of “rehab,” as in rehabilitation, think of plank exercises as “prehab”—as in prehabilitation. The goal is to become as fit as possible so you can withstand future impacts, twists and missteps that might otherwise cause lingering physical problems.

You can benefit from many varieties of plank exercises. There are, for instance, a number of different kinds of side planks, which you perform on your right and left sides. For some planks, you lie on your back, while others are performed facedown, supporting yourself on your hands or arms and feet or knees. The benefit from these exercises comes from using not only your limbs and extremities for support but also your internal core muscles, which become stronger as you perform the planks. Some planks, called dynamic planks, involve motions such as small leg lifts carried out from a front or side plank position.

Whether the planks are dynamic or not, knowing the right body form—down to the last inch—is essential to avoid injury and ensure the greatest benefit from your hard work. We can devise a regimen that includes the best plank exercises for your body, your current fitness level and your fitness goals. By integrating plank exercises into your overall fitness program, you will be well on your way to a level of core strength you never imagined.

November PTEDigest Includes:

Walking the Plank for Core Strength
Lose Your Balance, Gain Your Balance
Put Your Finger on Flexor Tendon Recovery
Metatarsal Fracture: Putting Your Foot in It
Using Physical Therapy to Treat Multiple Sclerosis

Download PTEDigest November