Planking for Back Pain: Strengthen Your Core

Back pain is a common ailment that affects millions of people worldwide. Whether it’s caused by poor posture, muscle imbalances, or sedentary lifestyles, finding effective ways to alleviate discomfort and improve core strength is crucial. One exercise that has gained popularity in recent years is planking. In this article, we will explore how planking can help relieve back pain and provide step-by-step instructions on performing planks correctly.

 Understanding Back Pain

Before delving into the benefits of planking, it’s essential to understand the underlying causes of back pain. Poor posture, weak core muscles, and excessive sitting or lifting can contribute to the development of back pain. Additionally, conditions such as herniated discs, muscle strains, and spinal misalignments can also lead to chronic discomfort. By addressing these root causes, we can effectively manage and even prevent back pain.

The Benefits of Planking

Planking is a highly effective exercise for strengthening the core muscles, including the abdominals, back muscles, and glutes. By engaging these muscle groups, planking helps stabilize the spine, improve posture, and reduce pressure on the vertebral discs. Moreover, planking enhances overall body strength and endurance, leading to improved athletic performance and reduced risk of injury.

Proper Plank Technique

To perform a basic plank, follow these steps:

  1. Start by assuming a push-up position, with your hands directly under your shoulders and your toes firmly planted on the ground.
  2. Engage your core muscles by pulling your belly button towards your spine. Maintain a neutral spine, avoiding any sagging or arching.
  3. Keep your body in a straight line from head to heels. Avoid lifting your hips too high or dropping them too low.
  4. Hold this position for 20-30 seconds, gradually increasing the duration as your strength improves.
  5. Remember to breathe steadily throughout the exercise.

back pain

 Variations of Planks

To add variety and challenge to your plank routine, consider trying these variations:

  1. Side Plank:                                                                                                                          Shift your weight onto one hand and rotate your body sideways, balancing on the outer edge of one foot. Lift your other arm towards the ceiling, creating a diagonal line with your body.
  2. Reverse Plank:                                                                                                                  Start by sitting on the ground with your legs extended in front of you. Place your hands slightly behind your hips, fingers pointing towards your feet. Lift your hips off the ground, creating a straight line from head to heels.
  3. Stability Ball Plank:                                                                                                       Position your forearms on a stability ball, keeping your body parallel to the ground. Maintain balance and stability by engaging your core and leg muscles.

 Incorporating Planks into Your Routine

To reap the maximum benefits from planking, incorporate it into your regular exercise routine. Aim for at least three sessions per week, gradually increasing the duration and difficulty level. Remember to listen to your body and modify or progress the exercises as needed. Consistency is key to achieving long-term results.

 Strengthening Your Core for Long-Term Relief

In addition to planking, there are other exercises that can help strengthen your core and provide long-term relief from back pain. Incorporate exercises such as bridges, bird dogs, and supermans into your routine to target specific muscle groups and improve overall core stability. Always consult with a healthcare professional or a qualified trainer before starting a new exercise program.

 Maintaining Good Posture

Practicing good posture throughout the day is essential for preventing and managing back pain. Be mindful of your sitting and standing positions, ensuring that your spine is properly aligned. Invest in an ergonomic chair or use lumbar support to maintain the natural curvature of your spine. Regularly take breaks to stretch and move around, avoiding prolonged periods of sitting or standing.

 Stretching and Flexibility Exercises

Flexibility exercises can help alleviate muscle tension and improve range of motion, contributing to back pain relief. Incorporate gentle stretches for your back, hamstrings, and hips into your routine. Yoga, Pilates, and tai chi are also excellent activities that promote flexibility, balance, and relaxation.

 Additional Tips for Back Pain Relief

Here are a few additional tips to help manage back pain:

  • Apply heat or cold packs to the affected area to reduce inflammation and ease muscle tension.
  • Maintain a healthy weight to reduce strain on your back muscles and joints.
  • Practice stress management techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, or mindfulness exercises.
  • Avoid high-impact activities that may worsen your symptoms and opt for low-impact exercises like swimming or cycling.
  • Consider seeking professional help from a physical therapist or chiropractor for a personalized treatment plan.


Planking is a versatile and effective exercise for strengthening the core muscles, improving posture, and relieving back pain. By incorporating planks into your exercise routine along with other core-strengthening exercises, maintaining good posture, and adopting a holistic approach to back pain management, you can experience long-term relief and enhance your overall well-being. Remember to start gradually and progress at your own pace, listening to your body’s cues. Seek guidance from healthcare professionals or qualified trainers if needed. Take proactive steps towards a stronger core and a healthier back, and enjoy the benefits of a pain-free life.


1.Do planks improve back muscles?

Yes, planks can help improve back muscles. When you perform planks correctly, they engage and strengthen various muscle groups, including the back muscles.

2.Can I do plank with herniated disc?

If you have a herniated disc, it is important to consult with a healthcare professional before attempting any exercises, including planks. The appropriateness of doing planks will depend on the severity of your condition and the specific recommendations provided by your healthcare provider.

3.Is 1 minute plank a day enough?

Doing a one-minute plank every day can be a good starting point for building core strength and endurance. It is a manageable duration for most individuals, especially beginners, and can provide some benefits.

4.What exercises to avoid with L4 L5?

Heavy weightlifting  Exercises that involve heavy weights and place a significant load on the lower back, such as deadlifts and squats, may put excessive stress on the L4-L5 area and potentially worsen the condition. It’s important to use caution and seek professional guidance to ensure proper form and technique if performing these exercises.

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