Do This Core Exercise Instead of That Core Exercise

Do the plank versus a crunch.

Doing a ton of crunches is a sure fire way to enhance already bad posture and increase muscle balances and tightness in the anterior of your body. Not to say that crunches are all that bad, they have their place. But the crunch is overrated.

The plank, on the other hand, will help you build postural strength. This will lower your chance of lower back pain and also help contribute to more muscle balance throughout your body.

The video will show a correct way to do a crunch as well as a plank. Now start adding the plank to your workout and start eliminating the number of crunches you're doing.

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Barbara R October 13, 2011 at 04:38 PM
Great tip...I have couple of questions: How long should you work up to holding your plank? How long should you rest in between planks How may reps should you work toward?
Matthew Gagliano October 13, 2011 at 05:32 PM
Hi Barbara, Great questions. There is no set time on holding your plank. This will differ depending on the individual and their repsective goals. But I would set a goal of say :30 and see how you do, then progress from there. You will probably feel a dull ache in the lower back which is fine as long as it's not a sharp pain. As far as resting between exercises, a good sound exercise program will give you little time between exercises because you should be doing different exercises sequentially. For example, a core routine could look something like this: Planks (body weight x :30) Lower back Pointers (BW x 10/10) Core Band Rotations (#2 band x 20/20) You would then simply repeat that tri-set 2 or 3 times depending on your routine. Your last question I believes pertain to sets not repetitions. So once again i typically advise my clients on 2 sets depending on their goals and phase of their routine. For a healthy exercise program 2 sets should be fine as there is good research that the results from going from 2 to 3 sets is minimal. But going from 1 set to 2 is rather significant. I hope that helps, if not feel free to call 289-2330


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