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Old 10-06-2014, 04:27 PM   #21
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+1 on core exercises to reduce back pain. I went to the doc in my mid-20's with debilitating back pain and it turns out to be lifestyle. A life of being sedentary and home to office to home in a car and never exercising causes muscle atrophy (who knew, right?). He gave me a sheet of stretches and said do those and work your way up to more exercises. The physical exam and x-ray showed there were no medical issues with any bones or tissue.

After a while the back pain went away. I ended up progressing to push ups and sit ups and some more simple core exercises and can't recall having back pain in the last several years.
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Old 10-06-2014, 04:41 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by razztazz View Post
May I ask the Plankers how long do you hold each position?
In my TRX class, we hold plank + the 2 side planks for 40 seconds each. 3 reps as part of a group of approx. 6 exercises to strengthen the core.
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Old 10-06-2014, 05:13 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by donheff View Post
I thought I was wussing out too until I read Body by Science which fed right into my laziness bias. They argue (with lots of supporting data) that we need a handful of core exercises done one set each, once a week to muscle failure.
I'm also a BBS believer--maybe you are the one who turned me on to it.

Here are two comments.

First, we should be clear that in this case, when you say "core exercises" that you are talking about a core set (the big five) and not exercises for the core.

Second, I'm a big believer in the once-per-week idea for strength training (see this). That's why I started out doing my planks only once per week. However, now I think that perhaps core muscles are different from others (biceps, etc). They certainly have a different function (holding the body in one position and supporting the backbone). So I'm not confident that once per week is enough. It's apples and oranges.

I do my big five bowflex routines once per week, because twice per week would not double the benefit. That is, I'd be getting diminishing returns. However, I see the benefit from planks to be so important, that I'm willing to have some wasted effort. IOW, even if I'm doing twice as many but only getting 1.5 times as much back pain prevention, it's worth it.
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Old 10-06-2014, 05:17 PM   #24
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And ... when I started doing them more often, they seemed a little easier. That suggests that the muscles are stronger when doing them more often than once per week.
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