July is Plank month at AFF! All month long, we’ll teach you how to do planks, why you should do them, and how to make them just a little less boring/painful.
This week, we’ll start with WHY.
Core strength is a crucial factor in healing and preventing back pain, correcting posture, and ensuring proper form and technique while exercising.
A strong core is more than just 6-pack abs though – in fact, you can HAVE a six-pack and still lack deep core strength. The term “core” refers to everything from hips to neck. It encompasses all the muscles that support your spine. Hips, glutes, shoulders, back, AND abdominal muscles are all part of the crowd. Deeper muscles, like your psoas, pelvic floor, and transverse abdominus all factor in as well.
Because so many of us sit most of the time (working, driving, working, driving…), our core strength has diminished significantly. Planks have been the most popular way to correct this problem, for many reasons:
- They require no equipment, no special clothing, and no setup.
- They utilize most of the major muscle groups that make up your core.
- They are infinitely versatile and modifiable – anyone at any fitness level can access this exercise, and progress is easy to see and feel.
For a quick tutorial on how to do a proper plank, I’ll defer to our superstar trainer, Ross Elliott: