How to Plank for Posture
Planking is one of the more popular Pilates exercises that develops the strength of your core. Your core contains many of the muscles that support your spine, such as the abdominals, obliques, and rotators. As mentioned in an earlier post, while Pilates exercises are an excellent way to improve your posture, they can cause damage when poorly done. Planking is an easy workout to set up and get started, the trick of it is to take on the correct form. To help improve your posture, this is how to do a proper plank.
If you have not done any upper body exercise in a while, you may want to start with a modified version of the plank. A typical plank pose looks like a raised push-up. Put your knees and hands on the floor, with your fingers pointing ahead. While your arms should be straight, your elbows should not be locked. Keep your chest open while making sure not to constrict the space between your arms.
Once in position, slowly lean your weight onto your hands, keeping your shoulders aligned over your wrists. If you feel wrist pain after shifting your weight, use a wedge to lift your hand’s heel enough to prevent carpal tunnel. You should get used to this position first before moving forward.
When you are ready, take your knees off the floor. Stretch both of your legs back with your toes curled against the floor. Your feet should stick together. This position keeps your back straight without forcing you to curve your spine. You may feel your stomach turn tight; this is your core getting the workout, which improves your posture. Hold the position for five to ten breaths before taking a rest.
Your body should maintain a straight line while doing a plank. No arches should be on your back anywhere from the ears to the heels. Your abdominal muscles – the muscles between the ribs and the pelvis – should stay off the floor. If you start shaking, don’t be afraid to let the pose go and take a breath.
Exercising with the plank pose is an excellent way to challenge your core and stabilize your muscles. Doing so may not only improve your posture but your overall health as well. If your back pain is too intense that exercises like planking are too difficult, it may be time to look into treatment methods. The Spine Institute specializes in back pain diagnosis and treatment, contact us today to set an appointment at one of our New Jersey locations.