This video demonstrates the modified front plank. This is an excellent starting point and can build you up to being able to perform the full front plank.
What you should feel
You should feel like the muscles in your core (abdominals) are working to keep your back from sinking. Or in other words, you should feel like your core is stopping your stomach from sinking down and touching the floor. While your core is holding you up, you may start shaking and should eventually feel muscle fatigue in your abdominal muscles.
Pain is not expected with these exercises, besides any discomfort associated with working your core muscles really hard. Stop this exercise if you are unsure about what you are feeling or if it is painful in an unexpected way.
Modified Front Plank
Here are the instructions and there is a video below that explains it all:
- Start out lying on your stomach, propped up on your elbows with your forearms out in front of you (prone position).
- Go up on to your knees, so that the only contact points are your elbows, forearms and knees. The rest of your body should be suspended in the air.
- Don’t “tent” up: In other words, don’t lift your butt up too high so that your weight is shifting more onto your toes and forearms.
- Don’t hyperextend: In other words, don’t let your back bend backwards so that you have a big arc in it.
- You are trying to find “neutral spine” and feel the workout in your core…. here is the trick.
- The trick: Allow yourself to extend in your lower back just slightly (or let your back bend backwards slightly), then use your abdominal muscles (contract them) to lift yourself up to a neutral position. This not only get your spine in the correct position, but it will also activate your core so that you feel the workout in the right place.
- If you need help learning to activate your core, check out the Posterior Pelvic Tilt 1 video.
mdkPHYSIO provides specific parameters to all patients. In general, I usually tell my patients to hold this as long as possible, three times in a row.