Planks place a strong emphasis on the core muscles. The core muscles consist of the back musculature, abdominal muscles, and hip musculature. The core is the foundation of the body. IF core stability, is not adequate, back pain can develop.
Planks with hip extension make the exercise more challenging Challenging is a good thing. The other major benefit is to help with hip hinging (see previous post). This can help you body learn to move the hips without moving the low back.
Description of Exercise
-Lay on your stomach and prop up on your toes and elbows.
-Your elbows should be directly under the shoulder joints. Use a mat of pillow for comfort.
-Tighten your core and remember to breathe.
-Your body should be completely straight. Low back and pelvis should be neutral. (The belly or pelvis should not rotate or drop down to the floor.)
-Hold that position.
-Lift up one leg to the ceiling (typically 4 to 6 inches) while maintaining the straight position. If you feel the belly drop or pelvis rotate, bring the leg down. Focus on keeping straight and not how high the leg is. -Slowly lower the leg to the ground.
-Repeat with the other leg and alternate sides.
Precautions: Avoid this exercise if you experience pain while and/or after performing it. Before starting any exercise program, consult your doctor. Consult Dr. Barrett or Dr. Zerdecki @ Complete Chiropractic 610-841-2204 if you have any questions.