If Planks Make Your Shoulders Hurt, What Can You Do Instead?

Dr. Oz has the answer.

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Q: If planks make your shoulders hurt, what can you do instead?

Oz Says: There's more than one way to get a healthy core. These heel touch-downs have similar benefits, says Nick Clayton of the National Strength and Conditioning Association.

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A. Start on your back, legs bent, knees above hips. Keeping lower back glued to the floor, bring heels toward the ground.

B. When your lower back starts to come off the floor, return knees to start. As you get stronger, you'll be able to tap heels to the floor. Begin with 10; add 1 more each session.

Before you give up planks, try these position tweaks:

  1. Rest on your hands (not on your forearms), as if you're starting a push-up. "Spread your fingers and think about screwing your palms into the floor," says Clayton. It should feel like you're turning your pinkies toward your heels.
  2. Try them against a countertop. The higher the surface your hands are on, the less tension you'll put on your shoulders.

This story originally appeared in the September 2016 issue of Dr. Oz The Good Life.

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