Planks challenge your abdominals to resist movement which transfers well to functional strength. In order to complete a heavy barbell squat our core must be strong enough maintain a neutral spine. If an individual’s core isn’t strong enough, the lifter will resort to an anterior pelvic tilt during the lift. An an anterior pelvic tilt is when the natural “C” shape of our low back becomes excessive and hyperextends.
This faulty movement pattern may lead to injury and ineffective force production.
To prevent anterior pelvic tilt during heavy squats, we must strengthen our abdominals. Most people will incorporating planks to strengthen their mid section and this is a great place to start.
However, most people fail to see results because they fail to apply progressive overload. Progressive overload is the gradual increase in difficulty of an exercise. If you don’t apply more difficulty to an exercise or program – your body will fail to adapt because you are not expose to a more challenging stimulus.
There are many ways to apply progressive overload to the front plank. One way is too slowly walk your hands in front of your body. This creates a longer moment arm and demands more of our core to hold our spine in a neutral postion.