Plank to Build Strength and Avoid Low Back Pain

Proper Plank Technique

Video by Dr. Anthony Vasile

The Plank

The plank is an excellent exercise that can be done anywhere. Building core strength is important for balance and the stabilization of the spine. The plank is a great overall indicator of health and muscle function. It is something that we test every patient with that comes through the door unless the patient is in too much pain to perform the exercise. The goal is 2 minutes. 2 minutes is a great goal but it is important to note the potential the human body can perform. The world record for holding a plank is 4 hours and 20 minutes for women and 9 hours 31 minutes for men.

Core exercises have many health benefits for not only healthy individuals but also individuals suffering from non-specific chronic low back pain (NSCLBP) like this research shows. I am sharing a few quotes that sums up this article.

“With exception of the lateral plank, 8 out of the 9 exercises can be implemented in NSCLBP participants to progress in muscle activity. Specialists must take into account the non-tolerability provided by the lateral plank and should consider the knee variation as the first option of this exercise until proper physical conditioning and exercise technique will be achieved.”

“The front plank with brace, front plank and modified curl-up can be considered the most effective exercises in activating the rectus abdominis. The front plank with brace can be considered the most effective exercise in activating the external oblique, whereas the squat and bird-dog exercises are especially effective in activating the lumbar erector spinae. Specialists can choose from a variety of dynamic and isometric exercises, where muscle activity values and tolerability can be used as guide to design evidence-based exercise programs for outpatients with NSCLBP.”

Exercising and resistance training is one of the 3 factors that keep us healthy and in a state of homeostasis. Doing an exercise like the plank is a good example of how thinking well has its part too. A plank is not only physical, but it is a test of mental fortitude. It is also key to incorporate the 3rd factor to health and that is a balanced diet. Remember to keep the spine healthy too with regular chiropractic adjustments.


Calatayud, J., Escriche-Escuder, A., Cruz-Montecinos, C., Andersen, L. L., Pérez-Alenda, S., Aiguadé, R., & Casaña, J. (2019). Tolerability and Muscle Activity of Core Muscle Exercises in Chronic Low-back Pain. International journal of environmental research and public health, 16(19), 3509.

Our Message

We know how important it is to find a Chiropractor near you that you can trust. The Chiropractic Care team in McKinney, near the corner of Eldorado Pkwy. and Ridge Rd., not only relieve back pain, neck pain and headaches, but also teach how reducing stress has been shown to support good health in the research literature. We want to help you know how to be healthy by making good choices on diet, movement and mental health.