Can you plank without pain?

The plank is great exercise to help improve your core strength and shoulder stability however it is very commonly performed incorrectly. When you perform this exercise incorrectly you are putting your shoulders at risk for injury and it won’t be as effective in helping to build your core strength.

This exercise will help:

  • Improve core stability so you can perform complex movements more efficiently
  • Improve shoulder stability to be able to perform overhead activities with better scapular positioning

How to perform correctly:

If you are having trouble performing the plank properly up on your toes you can modify this exercise by dropping down to your knees. Below you find the correct way to perform this modification and also a common incorrect way to perform it.

Top 3 cues:

  • Keep your elbows under your shoulders
  • Don’t clasp your hands together
  • Keep your pelvis tucked underneath you

If you are performing this exercise incorrectly you may experiencing the following symptoms:

  • Shoulder pain
  • Hip pain
  • Low back pain

To ensure you are performing this exercise correctly:

Perform the following drills to improve your mechanics and prime your body for the movement.


The plank can be used to help improve your core and shoulder stability which will in turn will help improve some of your more complex lifts that require this stability. Just as with any exercise our body will find ways to make it easier for us to perform. However sometimes these changes can cause injury to our bodies. Try these drills and use the cues to help improve your movement patterns and decrease your risk for injury. If you are still have trouble or experiencing pain call us for a free discovery consultation.

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