I have good abs so I must have a good core – WRONG!

Lots of poeple with the fabulos coveted six pack have fantastic looking abs but may have a weak core – inherently due to obver activity of training the major muscle groups at the tummy such as the abs (rectus abdominis) and doing ab curls and sit ups.

This gives the six pack look but doesn’t train the deeper core muscles which respond to more gentler types of stabilising ex’s.

When you look on line at “core exercises” and google that or look at ex forums for suggestions for core work – most will suggest planks – do planks – on hands / on forearms, side planks, the dreaded double leg lifts and although they ARE great core exercises – you need to have a core to do them well = otherwise you risk injury and damage.

Plank would be an advanced core exercise so not necessarily the best starting point for someone wanting to build up and start the process.

Take a look at what happens – we get pain so we go to our doctor or therapist – we get better and are told to go do some Pilate’s or  you need to build up your core strength/ – so most (not really  knowing where to go or what to look at) will google! we look at these great images of fit toned bodies holding a perfect plank and are under the impression that this is a great core exercise to do. so we have a go -phurt our selves and GIVE UP.

PLANKS are HARD WORK and take a long time to get to do well –

You may think  it shouldn’t be hard – we are just maintaining a straight line pose at 45 degrees off the floor – but look at the technicality behind it – you need some basic core tone and strength to be able to lift the body up and hold the position – you also need good shoulder stability to keep you upper torso strong, good arm strength, good spine alignment, good gluts and hamstrings – so its a very complex exercise that requires a lot of separate components to enable you to “plank” successfully and most importantly PAINFREE.

I general advise my clients – if you are doing an exercise and it hurts you anywhere – you are either doing it poorly – so re correct your position and then try again – if it still hurts then you are fatigued if you normally can perform it – or its too hard for you at the moment and we need to work on something else to allow you to get there and build up what”s lacking.

MOST IMPORTANT – see someone who knows what they are talking about and seek out help – pilates and core work is a specialised area of knowledge and a bad experience can put you off doing stuff you really need to!

Sign up for our newsletter at  http://www.facebook.com/#!/corefusionpilates?sk=app_141428856257  to find out more about common faults when doing plank and the exercises you need to be able to do well before you even go there!



About Saree Hewlett (135 Articles)
Saree has 20 + years as a physio, training in the UK and completing her Masters in Manual Therapy in Perth, UWA. She has integrated Pilates into her practise having trained in the Polestar method and currently owns and runs two Studios in Perth's Northern Suburbs. A previous international Artistic Skater she understands the needs of sports people and also those suffering from chronic pain and reduced function - we all want the same thing - to be the best we can be! She is married with two active young boys!

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