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Plank and Shaking

Since lock down I’ve been doing planks 4 times a week.

Each session is, normal plank, rest, then side plank for each side (resting in between). I started at 20 seconds holding everything really tight and am now at 40 seconds for each move.

But I still shake massively even from the start. I have previously had a lot of lower back issues and weakness in my general core and back. Just wanted to check if this is normal. I’d assumed thar as i got stronger the shaking would stop. It’s only on the back plank that I shake though.

Any advice welcome.

Are you progressing though? Do the shakes start later in the set or can u do more overall work before the muscle endurance starts slipping?

Are you intentionally squeezing everything?

Yes I am squeezing my ‘abs’ as hard as I can for the whole set.

And then he shakes still seems to happen straight away even though I’ve progressed from 20 to 40 second holds. I’m not sagging and have good form (according to the mrs). But still seem to shake, I didn’t know of it pointed to a weakness somewhere or not.

IMO, planks are way overrated as an ab exercise. (Side planks are even worse.) Now as a general rule, folks will make better progress doing suboptimal exercises enthusiastically and regularly than they will doing optimal exercises half-heartedly and sporadically, so by all means,keep planking if you love planks and dislike other ab work. But if you don’t enjoy shaking on the floor, there’s no compelling physique-related reason to keep them in your routine, and you should consider switching to an exercise that actually and directly targets the abs.

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Not that I know of. Like @EyeDentist said, if you like planks and nothing hurts go ahead and do them, but there are probably better options available

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The only reason I really do them is because the physio said I should (after I crushed two disks in my back). I’ve always struggled with core strength and activation and often just feel ‘ab’ movement in my hip flexors.

If anyone has better recommendations I’d happily add them in to my routine but I’m just trying to strengthen my weak core.

If we’re not discussing whether planks are a good idea or not and just answering OP’s question, shaking is absolutely normal when you’re not used to doing them, and will go away as you get stronger. Getting stronger, however, may require other exercises. I’m on my second run of Deep Water and most of the workout days finish with an ab workout consisting of 3 rounds of a 1 minute plank and 20 sit-ups with no rest. It’s deceptively brutal.

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I’m happy to see other suggestions on better exercises by the way, I’m not precious, but what I will say is I’ve gone from having no ab definition to having more ab definition at the same body fat levels from adding in planks. So My core/ ab strength is a definite weakness of mine.