Planks are a great exercise to build strength and tone your core. However, just because you can hold them for longer does not mean they will not cause pain. Why do planks hurt your back? If you are suffering from back pain or shoulder pain while doing planks, there is a good chance that you are committing one of these major plank mistakes.
Here are some tips on how to avoid these common mistakes so your workouts can be pain-free.
What Is the Planking Exercise?
The planking exercise is done in a push-up position on the ground. This exercise is meant to strengthen your back, abs, and core muscles by putting pressure on those specific areas of your body.
This exercise is recommended for individuals who are looking to tone their bodies. Still, it is also used by those who want to build strength and muscle. It can be done by anyone as long as they have the necessary equipment and basic knowledge of how to do the exercise.
You can wear the VORCY sauna vest while doing planks. This sauna vest can elevate body temperatures to boost sweating.
How Do Planks Help the Body?
Planking is a great exercise that helps strengthen the core and tone your body. With the plank, you engage your whole body, which is ideal for those who want to build strength and tone their bodies.
Planks also provide benefits to the muscles in your back, shoulders, deltoids, and abdominal muscles as they become stronger by holding a position with minimal movement.
Plank exercises are considered a full-body workout because they engage all of your major muscle groups, such as your shoulders, abs, and back.
The 6 Common Plank Mistakes
1. Failure to Warm Up Your Muscles
You need to make sure you are working out in a safe, healthy way before adding planks into your workout routine. By warming up your muscles, you can avoid injuries and soreness later on during the day. The best way to do this is by doing a light jog for about 10 minutes or spending 5 minutes on a stationary bike or rowing machine.
2. Failure to Get the Right Amount of Support
A plank can be done with little or no weight, meaning you do not need any sort of extra support. However, if you want to maximize your plank time and build strength while getting a good cardio workout, it is highly recommended that you use some type of support underneath your hands and feet.
Proper support will prevent you from injuring yourself when lifting them off the ground. You can use anything from towels to foam rollers and dumbbells as supports.
Another option is using a yoga mat under your hands and feet, which will provide additional cushioning but still allow for maximum movement in these areas.
Protecting the knees and elbows is critical, even as one works out. Check out the Top 10 Best Thick Yoga Mats for Bad Knees.
3. Improper Breathing Patterns
While holding planks, be sure not to take shallow breaths and hold them for too long without exhaling deeply enough through your nose or mouth. This will cause unnecessary strain on your neck and back muscles.
It is recommended that you take deep breaths into the belly instead of the chest area when breathing during plank exercises. In this case, you will be taking in more oxygen at a deeper level instead of just at the surface. It is also a good idea to exhale fully through the mouth or nose and then inhale immediately after. This will help get rid of all the carbon dioxide build-up in your lungs and muscles.
4. Poor Form
Be sure to maintain proper form when doing planks. Your back should be straight, shoulders down, and core engaged throughout the exercise. If you are having a hard time keeping your back straight, try resting one foot on top of the other so that you keep everything in alignment while still getting a good workout.
You can also use towels or yoga mats under your neck and lower back to provide extra support if needed. Be sure not to let your hips sag or lift off the floor, which could put strain on your lower back.
The BalanceFrom Exercise Yoga Mat and Knee Pad can come in handy to protect in this case.
5. Too Much Too Soon
Be sure to start out with a beginner plan and gradually increase your time as you get stronger by adding more repetitions and sets. Do not try to push yourself too hard too fast, or you could end up with an injury.
You should only feel a slight burn in your muscles but nothing that would require you to stop the exercise. If this is happening, try to reduce the amount of weight you are using (if any). Alternatively, decrease the number of repetitions per set so that you can continue safely doing the exercise for longer periods.
6. Poor Posture
Keep your neck aligned with your spine throughout the exercise and avoid arching or rounding it unnecessarily, which could lead to injuries. Also, keep your shoulders down and relaxed, and remember to breathe!
What to Do If You’re Experiencing Pain While Doing Planks
If you’re experiencing pain while doing planks, it may be due to one of these common mistakes.
1. You are not holding your body in a straight line
This is the most common plank mistake because when you are holding your body in a straight line, it becomes easier to hold the position for a longer period of time. If you want to avoid this mistake and make your planks more effective, remember to keep your abs engaged throughout.
2. You are putting too much weight on your elbows
The more weight you put on your elbows, the harder it is for you to maintain proper posture and form during planks. To reduce pain while doing planks, lighten up on the weight by using just one hand on each side of your body instead of both hands at once.
3. You are not breathing properly
This is another common plank mistake because when you are holding your breath, it becomes harder for you to maintain proper form and posture. If this happens during your planks, make sure that you breathe in and out slowly and deeply so that your core remains engaged throughout the exercise.
4. You are holding the position for too long
If you are holding your plank for too long, it may be a sign that you are putting more pressure on your neck and shoulders. To avoid this plank mistake, make sure that you are not overdoing things by trying to hold the position for more than a minute.
What to Do If Your Body Is Too Tight
The first thing you should do if you are feeling pain while doing planks is to loosen up. This can be achieved by opening your shoulders, hips, and knees so they are not locked in place.
If that does not work or loosening them is not an option, you could use a foam roller to massage your muscles. The idea is to work out the fascia (the connective tissue) and deep muscles that may be causing the pain.
If these tips don’t work for you, you may want to consider modifying your plank and find other exercises that fit your body better. There are plenty of alternatives to planks that don’t hurt your back and shoulder; some examples include push-ups, squats, lunges, plank variations like single-leg planks or forearm planks, and more.
What to Do If You Have a Bad Back
If you have a bad back and are struggling with planks, you should stretch before and after every plank. The best stretches to use are ones that focus on the lower back.
One of the best stretches is the cat/cow stretch, which involves sitting up on all fours, then arching your back, pushing away from the floor with your hands and feet, and pulling your stomach in towards your spine.
This will help reduce pressure on the spine by opening up the low back and stretching it further. You can also do other stretches like this one for hamstrings or hip flexors as well.
What to Do If You Have Shoulder Pain
If you are having pain in your shoulders while doing planks, try doing the exercises on the floor. When you do planks on the ground, it is easier to adjust your position if you need to. If that does not work, try elevating your arms, or you can use a towel to raise them up.
In addition, make sure that your back is straight and not arched while you are planking. This will help with proper alignment and prevent any strain on your lower back.
Another helpful tip is to do planks on your elbows instead of on your hands. This variation is easier for those with smaller hands and will not cause any strain on your muscles and joints.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a plank?
A plank or push-up is a bodyweight exercise that involves raising and lowering the body up and down. It can be done on the ground or with your palms planted on a surface.
Why do planks hurt your back?
There are many reasons why planks hurt your back, but one common mistake people make is lifting their feet too high. This will cause you to bend your knees, which in turn puts pressure on your spine and causes pain. Another mistake people make is arching their backs while doing planks, which also puts pressure on their spine and causes pain. Finally, not enough core strength can lead to pain caused by poor posture while pushing down with the hands during planks.
Is there a difference between a push-up and a plank?
Push-ups are usually done with your hands on the ground. In contrast, planks involve holding the body in an upright position. While both push-ups and planks can be done using the same floor exercises, they are different in terms of the number of repetitions to be done and the amount of time to be spent on each. A push-up is typically done with 3 sets of 10 to 15 reps, while a plank is usually done with 3 sets of 30 seconds to one minute.
What muscles do doing planks work?
Planks work the entire core muscles, including the rectus abdominis, internal and external obliques, gluteus Maximus, quadriceps, and hamstrings. They also work the lower back muscles, such as the lower and middle fibers of the erector spinae. When you do planks in your workout routine, try to incorporate them into your exercises at least 3 times a week. Doing planks regularly can help you build up strength in your core muscles and improve your posture. Doing planks on a regular basis can also help you improve your balance and flexibility in your hips, knees, and ankles.
What can I do to avoid pain while doing planks?
If you are doing planks as part of your workout routine, try to avoid doing them on the same day that you do push-ups or crunches. This is because when you do push-ups and crunches, your muscles are already stretched out and in a weakened condition. By doing planks on the same day, you may cause more harm than good. If you are doing planks as a warm-up, try to do them slowly. Move at a slow pace that prevents your body from shaking and preventing you from losing control of your muscles.
Planks are an exercise that you can use to work out the muscles of your core. They can also be the source of a lot of pain for people. Many people think that this is because they are not doing it right, and there is no way to avoid injury when you are doing planking exercises. But, this is not true.
There are many common mistakes that people make when they do planking exercises. These mistakes can lead to injury and other issues like pain in their back. By knowing these mistakes, you can avoid them and get the full benefits from planking without pain or injury.
Here are some tips on how to avoid these common mistakes so your workouts can be pain-free:
- Start with your elbow directly under your shoulder in a straight line.
- Keep your elbows locked together, and make sure they do not move up or down.
- Look straight ahead instead of at the floor or ceiling.
- Do not allow your neck to hyperextend or tilt forward. Keep it neutral and level in case you feel any tension in it.