(The Spinal Hygiene 101 newsletter series will focus on helping you protect and hold your structural corrections and improving overall spinal health)
Starting an exercise routine can sometimes be very intimidating and complex, but today we are going to talk about a simple exercise that can be done at home with no equipment and doesn’t require a lot of time.
- Hold your elbows directly under your shoulders and place your wrists in line with your elbows.
- Push your body up into your upper back and hold your chin close to your neck (like you’re holding an egg between your chin and your throat).
- In this position, brace your abdominals-contract them as if you were expecting a punch in your stomach, squeeze your gluteal (tailbone) and thigh muscles simultaneously while continuing to breathe normally.
- Hold a plank at least 20 to 30 seconds. (When using correct form, it is not necessary to hold it for longer than this amount of time.) Rest for approximately one minute and repeat three to five more times.
- Start doing the plank using your elbows and toes (feel free to drop to your knees if necessary) and progress up to a high plank when you feel you have developed the necessary strength.
- Make sure to pull in your bellybutton while you are in the Plank position!
- Reduces low back pain
- Increases spinal flexibility
- Improves balance and posture
- Don’t hold your breath while you are doing planks
- Make sure your elbows and hands are shoulder width apart
- Avoid holding the position too long (proper form is more important then length of time)