18 Apr 2016

Who wants to walk the plank?

0 Comment

A recent newspaper article has questioned the benefit of an exercise currently enjoying Peter Pan like popularity! The “plank” involves propping yourself up on your forearms and balls of your feet, then holding the position for as long as possible. Keeping the body like this requires strong core and abdomen muscles. It also works the “six pack”- transverse abdominus muscles and the muscles in the hips and back. Recently, medical professionals are questioning whether the plank strains the back without improving all the muscle groups listed above.

Alan Nevies and his colleagues at northlondonosteopaths would recommend the following approach to the question of whether to do the plank or not. It is very important to warm up properly before doing any form of exercise. Different groups of muscles need to be stretched in their own specific way depending on what you want to achieve. It is also relevant to remember that each person’s strengths and weaknesses may be unique and the exercise plan should take this into account. Rule of thumb is to stretch a muscle until you get to the end of a range and then ease up and then return to the stretch going a little bit more till again you reach your limit.

At Alan Nevies and associates we will show you specific exercises that are good for you. The plank may be a good way to strengthen many muscle groups at once, after care has been taken to hold the position properly and not let the strain go into the back. It is then for you to decide whether it is worth your while walking the plank or leaving it to Captain Hook.