We all love a good plank challenge but for some of us it's perhaps not the best choice of exercise especially if you are a new mum, here's why.
Planking increase intra-abdominal pressure. This pressure creates a great force on the abdominal wall and your pelvic floor. As these are the muscles most likely weakened during pregnancy they are not going to thank you for it as they struggle to cope and you may cause yourself more harm than good particularly if you have an abdominal separation (Diastasis Recti where the two sides of the abdominal muscles move away from each other on the right and left side of the body) or a weak pelvic floor.
Your body is ready to begin planks when:
1. Your tummy separation is no longer an issue and adequate tension/strength has been achieved e.g. see point no. 2!
2. When planking your tummy IS NOT pushing outwards (towards the floor) meaning your core muscles can cope with the pressure otherwise the force put upon the abdominal wall may cause more issues for any separated abdominals!
3. Your pelvic floor is reasonably strong (no leaking when sneezing/coughing etc)
4. Planking DOES NOT cause you back pain.
If all above is fine:
1. Begin with a plank on the knees (straight line from shoulders to knees)
2. Start with short holds (e.g 10 seconds, rest & repeat and build up)
3. NEVER hold your breath but DO engage your pelvic floor and abdominal muscles!
4. Remember press ups can use a plank position too so be cautious here too!
Why do you want to plank anyhow? If it is to lose tummy weight the most effective way is to focus on your diet (by that I don't mean go on a diet), enough protein and good fats but reducing sugar/refined carbs and combine with resistance training (building muscle will not only increase metabolism but will help you do all your daily mummy tasks better too!)
A great phase - "You can't out train a bad diet" No matter how much exercise you do if the diet isn't right your tummy won't shift!
P.S Find a class near you in Liverpool or Wirral here:https://bookwhen.com/misfitmamas or find us here: https://www.facebook.com/misfitmamas1/