Want to master THE PLANK? Stop Making This Mistake!

Want to master THE PLANK? Stop Making This Mistake!

THE PLANK is an exercise that gets used a lot in fitness programs and also in Pilates, for a good reason. It’s a great exercise for total body strength, including the deep core muscles.

But it’s also a challenging exercise to “get right” and get the full benefits of not only core strength, but spine strength, flexibility and great posture!

Why is THE PLANK so hard to master? This is the biggest mistake people make when attempting this exercise.


Posture is the foundation or framework for your body and when your deep postural muscles aren’t working well, it compromises any movement that you do.

Lack of postural integrity puts your joints at risk of injury, and when attempting THE PLANK, could compromise your shoulders, wrists and lower back.

This lack of postural integrity might not cause you any immediate issues and you may be able to get in to a plank, but are you adding to the long term function of your spine and joints, or just pushing through exercises with poor posture?

The Pilates method of exercise never compromises postural integrity, just for the sake of doing an exercise. It builds the body from the inside out, recruiting muscles you never knew you had!

A perfect PILATES plank actually contributes to spine strength and develops awareness of what postural integrity is and how to get it.

The BIGGEST mistake people make with the plank is not being capable of maintaining their posture, and “locking” or “bracing” their muscles to maintain the position.

Bracing or locking your abdominal muscles and spine is counterproductive to creating great posture and results in your bigger muscles over working and your postural muscles under working.

To do an effective, perfect plank, the very first action you need to take is to understand what posture is and how to find your “neutral” spine. Basically this refers to the natural curvature of the spine.

How do you know what that is?

If you were to stand upright against a wall, your tailbone, upper back and back of the head would be on the wall and your lower back and neck would not be on the wall.

If you find this hard to do, then you may have a postural imbalance which needs some attention.

When you’re doing a plank, it’s essential to maintain these curves in your spine. Imagine that the wall is on top of you and the tailbone, upper back and back of the head would all be resting on that wall.

Developing postural integrity takes time, it’s not something you develop in 4-6 weeks. Starting with very simple PILATES exercises and progressing over time will guarantee that the benefits you get from mastering THE PLANK, will contribute to the long term strength and health of your spine and joints.

If you’re unsure of how to develop postural integrity, we’re here to help!

Here at Pilates Plus we’ve helped hundreds of men and women of all fitness and experience levels, get rid of back and joint pain and get great posture.

Book a FREE consultation and postural assessment to learn how we can help you!  

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