planking

If you are aiming to strengthen your core, planking is a good exercise for you. That is if it is done correctly. Doing a plank in an incorrect manner can cause injury. But how do you know if you are planking correctly and not putting too much strain to your muscles? When is planking dangerous?Planking has become very popular over the years. More and more trainers recommend it to strengthen the core muscles and flatten the abdomen and many people practice it. It has also become a challenge for some to try to hold it longer than they should. Unfortunately, as much as people know how a plank is supposed to look, many do not execute it properly.

The Dangers of Planking

Exercising too much is just as bad as not exercising. Like many other exercises, if overdone or executed incorrectly, planking could put your health in danger.

An article published in The Daily Mail discussed that planking could cause an inflammation to the cartilage that connects a rib to a breastbone, known as costochondritis.

According to Lisa Buckworth, author of the article, when she thought she had perfected the plank, she started joining plank challenges in her Pilates class and was able to hold a plank for two minutes, which she considered a victory. She started experiencing excruciating pain in her chest and breast area a month after and was diagnosed with costochondritis. She was told that she overdid planking and it was explained to her that planking can cause strain in the intercostal muscles between the ribs as well as the pectoral muscles of the chest, which puts pressure on the costochondral joint, thus, the pain. [1]

How to Plank Correctly

Planking can also cause back pain. Or should I say, when planking causes pain in your back you are planking wrongly.

planking

Here are some steps to execute the plank properly: [2]

  1. Lie face down on the floor, assuming the push-up position. Make sure that your back is completely straight.
  2. Lift your body up, using your toes and forearms as a support. Make sure that your toes, elbows and fists are flat on the floor.
  3. Keep your body straight. Pay attention to your neck and spine being in a neutral position.
  4. Draw in your abdominal and gluteal muscles and hold the position.
  5. Make sure your body makes a straight line from your heels up to the back of your neck and hold this position.

Planking is not dangerous, as long as you do it properly. Remember not to overdo it. Do not force your body to plank longer than you could. Avoid arching your back, your butt, straining your shoulders, or bending your neck while doing it. Keep your spine straight and do not let your back sag.

Chiropractic Care for Exercise Injury

Chiropractic treatment is beneficial to anyone suffering from any type of injury, including exercise injury. Visit us at Back Doctor Chiropractic Clinic in Chester or contact us through phone or E-mail for booking. You may also find us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.

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[1] http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-3030983/The-ultra-competitive-exercise-fad-ruin-health-called-planking-suddenly-sweeping-gyms-Pilates-classes.html
[2] http://healthblog.dallasnews.com/2014/04/are-you-planking-correctly.html/

4 Thoughts on “When Is Doing the Plank Dangerous?”

  • How long do you hold that plank position I was told 90 seconds but the first time I did it I only did 35 seconds but I also did not do

    • Hold the position for as long as feels comfortable. Don’t strain yourself. Remember that if it is going to flare up your back you might not know for a few hours. If it does not flair your back you can try increasing how long you hold it for.

  • I was doing plank comfortably before for 30 seconds twice taking break.But yesterday i did it for 30 secs when i was too hungry and i immediately rushed to do some cleaning work at home when i had not relaxed after doing it.Then i had food.Suddenly my heartbeat raised and hands and feet were getting cold as well as sweating.I had severe internal cold and gastric too.After taking rest and meds for gastric and cold i got relief.But still i feel some pressure on the heart.Should i continue plank or stop.But it was beneficial for me and i had no problem earlier when i used to do at ease.

    • Hi Eliza, it sounds like you may have been hungry and stressed. Those symptoms are not likely to come just from doing the plank. It is possible that you have a heart condition. If the symptoms persist you should go and see your doctor. I would wait until you are feeling better, not too hungry etc, and just do it for 10 seconds.IF you are ok do it for 20 seconds the next day and then up to 30 again. Let me know how it goes.

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