Why does my back hurt while planking?

Planks are a fitness activity that strengthens the core and are great for the overall body given you do them right. They might be causing you back pain, and we will tell you why in this article.

Significant causes of back pain during a plank

Here are the three primary reasons you are experiencing back pain during planks.

  1. The wrong technique of plank

It is vital to keep a good form of your body while planking, not just for getting better results but also for preventing back pain. One of the significant causes of back pain while holding a plank is poor form.

To appropriately target the abs muscles, you must keep your focus and pressure on the core. Otherwise, the stress will wall on your back, neck, and shoulders.

  1. Lack of strength

Another reason you are experiencing back problems while performing planks is your lack of strength. If your body is not strong enough to hold a plank, you will not be able to do it for more than a few seconds, even with the correct form.

To prevent this from happening, you can experiment with your technique. Instead of a traditional plank, you can try a variation or a modified form until your body is strong enough to perform a regular plank.

  1. Duration of plank

The duration of your plank can be why you are experiencing pain. Even if you are successful in keeping a proper form, as time passes, the position of your plank can shift to an inappropriate posture.

It is especially true when you hold your plank for too long. Giving yourself time to recover is very important and prevents the muscle from fatiguing.

Ways to prevent and fix back pain during planks

Here are some ways to fix the issues mentioned above that cause back pain during a plank.

  1. Correct positioning of the upper body

To maintain a good form, make sure you follow these steps to perform a proper plank. Fix your hands to the ground to activate the shoulders, which should be directly over the wrists.

Keep the shoulders drawn down, and do not push them together at your back. Keep your arms perpendicular to the floor.

  1. Tightening up the lower body

If your legs are relaxed and not tight enough, the support from the core becomes challenging to attain, resulting in back pain. For a proper plank, keep your legs and feet touching together closely. You must flex your glutes to achieve tightness in the lower body.

  1. Prevent sagging of hips and stomach

Sagging of the upper body equally impacts the effectiveness of your plank as the lower body. The key is to focus on abdominal muscles rather than the back.

With the abs relaxed, the pressure shifts to your back muscles to hold you up from the ground. Keep engaging your abs muscles throughout the plank and prevent your stomach from sagging.

  1. Avoid piking of hips

Lifting your stomach away from the ground does not mean you have to raise your body. If you do that, your hips will elevate, affecting your plank. Squeeze your glutes and engage the abs to keep a proper spine alignment.

  1. Proper position of the head

Neutral positioning of the head is also a critical factor in a plank. If you bend your head down towards the floor, it will cause your upper back to become round.

Whereas looking upwards will put pressure on your neck. You should be able to keep a straight line from head to heels by looking down in front of you.

  1. Break it up into segments

Instead of wearing out your body by pushing too far, try shorter segments of planks with proper form. It may not be best if you do a minute-long plank with your body sagging halfway through.

  1. Do not hold your breath

To get the best results and prevent pressure on your back, breathe normally. Your muscles need oxygen, and you will be able to focus better by steady breathing.

Variations of the traditional plank to practice strength

Here are some alternative options apart from a conventional plank to practice your strength.

  1. Kneeling Plank

A plank with the knees will help you attain more stability to build strength for a regular plank. It is performed by keeping your knees on the ground for support instead of your toes. It will make your abs and core a little less stressed than the regular plank.

  1. Incline Plank

If you struggle with maintaining a straight alignment of your body during a plank, practice with incline planks. In this, you have the support of an object in front of you to hold on to. It is done in a standing position rather than lying down on the floor.

Summing it up

Planks are great for abs and core. However, the most crucial aspect of planks is to do them right to prevent back pain. This article will help you control the issues causing back pain due to planks.