There’s no question that core strength can help you run faster and with less injury, but what happens when you’re butchering the routine? Athletes brag about holding planks for minutes on end, thinking that there’s some added benefit (there’s not). In fact, most athletes can’t hold a plank properly for longer than 10 seconds. If you’re too weak to perform a movement your body will compensate. It’s that simple. Eventually these compensations are learned movements, plaguing your ability not only to compete, but to live pain-free.
Our body is tricky. What you perceive and what’s actually happening are often two different things. You’ll think you’re good–strong. You’re holding the planks, bear crawls, and side planks without issue (notice how I didn’t say sit-ups), but in the game of core strength compensations aren’t felt. Cheating through a core routine is automatic. You won’t even feel or perceive the compensations. All of our movement is hardwired and eventually automatic. Our movements turn into habits, which in turn is perceived as normal. Since you can’t perceive yourself cheating, it’s important to throw a mirror down, reverse your iPad camera, and get to work. Getting feedback can help you correct your course and build stronger, more functional movements.
Here are Three Ways You’re Planking Wrong:
There’s no glory in sticking it out and functioning above your capability. Compensations are built into movement and it’s fairly simple: if you’re not strong enough you’ll compensate. Your compensations will be automatic habits and routine. Your brain will perceive your compensations as “normal” and build them into sport. With every poor movement your compensations will be further engrained into your movement. The habit builds a feeling of “what’s normal” and around and around we go.