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Old 10-30-2008, 05:59 PM   #1
Fenthis Glusos
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Default I don't understand the plank exercise

I execute the exact way I read about but I don't feel anything in my abdomens -- seems more like an arm and back work out than one for the stomach core.

What is wrong, any idea?
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Old 10-30-2008, 07:16 PM   #2
Steven Low
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MAKE SURE YOU ARE STRETCHING YOUR HIP FLEXORS SO THEY ARE NOT GETTING INVOLVED TOO MUCH. "lower back" work for ab exercises generally indicates this is the case.

Also, focus on activating the abs by squeezing them like you're doing a situp while in the plank position. You do want to be slightly hollowed or round backed for this exercise.

At a certain point, the exercise will become too easy and you should do something else (hanging leg raises/knee to elbows/etc.). You are probably not at this point yet though so... do it right!
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Old 10-31-2008, 06:22 AM   #3
Darryl Shaw
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Fenthis, it could be that your abs are already too strong for the plank to be of any use to you. If this is the case try making the exercise more difficult by placing your feet on a swiss ball or try bracing yourself with your hands on a medicine ball. If they still feel too easy try balancing on a swiss ball and a medicine ball at the same time. Also it might help if you pre-exhaust your rectus abdominus by doing a few sets of crunches first.
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Old 10-31-2008, 09:22 AM   #4
Steven Low
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darryl Shaw View Post
Fenthis, it could be that your abs are already too strong for the plank to be of any use to you. If this is the case try making the exercise more difficult by placing your feet on a swiss ball or try bracing yourself with your hands on a medicine ball. If they still feel too easy try balancing on a swiss ball and a medicine ball at the same time. Also it might help if you pre-exhaust your rectus abdominus by doing a few sets of crunches first.
I strongly doubted this because he said he was feeling it as a back workout.. which it should NEVER be even if your abs were strong enough.

What happens with something like ab wheel rollouts where if you're not strong enough to do them is that when you get out far enough your abs fail to sustain your body above the ground. What happens then is that you start to lose the hollow shape and go to straight to slightly arched which starts putting pressure/working on your lower back. Failure to keep the abs contracted in hollow position for any exercise this happens.

This is why so many people complain of back pain when doing situps... they're doing it wrong. Abs are not getting involved, and the hip flexors are being used which exerts pressure on their origin which is the lumbar spine. Recipe for lower back pain.
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Old 10-31-2008, 09:56 AM   #5
Garrett Smith
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Make sure your shoulders are directly over your hands, so that your arm bones are "stacked" nicely.

Your isometric strength in your shoulders/back may not be up to the level of your isometric "core" strength, thus they are tiring out first.

Make sure your body is really flat, get someone else to check it for you. No sagging or piking up the hips. Squeeze your glutes and abs to hold that position once you know where it is.

Do them after your other core exercises.
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Old 10-31-2008, 11:04 AM   #6
Mike ODonnell
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Do them with rings and move your extended arms further and further out in front till your abs start to cry.....
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Old 11-01-2008, 02:30 PM   #7
Neal Winkler
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After it's easy to do on your elbows, go up on you hands. Then start to move your hands farther out in front of you. Like what Mike said, only without the rings.
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Old 11-03-2008, 11:02 AM   #8
Thomas Bailly
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your butt is probably in the air or sagging....or you are one of the strongest people in the universe.... in which case if you are doing a perfect plank...have someone add a 35# plate to your back.
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Old 11-03-2008, 04:36 PM   #9
Peter Dell'Orto
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Originally Posted by Neal Winkler View Post
After it's easy to do on your elbows, go up on you hands. Then start to move your hands farther out in front of you. Like what Mike said, only without the rings.
That's strange. I found it much easier on my hands (full pushup style) than on my elbows. Unless you mean staying below full lockout?
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