Do This If Planking Hurts Your Elbows

It is without question, planking is a great exercise. According to Healthline, it requires us to use our arms, legs, and stomach all at once making it an efficient full-body strengthening pose. In addition to gaining strength, planks can also help us improve our posture and flexibility. It sounds like a move we should be incorporating into our daily lives, right? Well, not if you're feeling any unnatural pain while doing them — especially if the pain is in your elbows.

According to experts at Advanced Orthopedic, constantly placing your elbows on a hard surface can result in compression of the ulnar nerve, more commonly known as the "funny bone." Repeated pressure on your funny bone can lead to persistent pain or a long-term injury. Luckily, we've discovered a few ways to get around this issue if you find you are feeling more pressure in your elbows than in your abs. So before you remove the plank position from your workout, try these simple solutions first to do away with elbow pain.

Add padding and modify your plank before giving up

First off, the hard surface on which you do your workouts could be the cause of your unnecessary elbow pain. For your next workout, consider bringing some padding along to use when you hit the floor. "This is as simple as doubling up your mat, using a towel or a small blanket," says Grace Albin, a Pilates and fitness instructor in Miami-Fort Lauderdale to LiveStrong.

You can also try planking in a standard push-up position with your hands on the floor instead of your elbows. "Doing it this way, you'll reach failure in a quicker manner but without the limitation of getting sore elbows," says Ignis Labuschagne, a fitness instructor at Miha Bodytec in South Africa.

If you have tried modifying your plank position, and you have begun to use extra padding but your elbows still hurt, then it may be the best idea to contact your doctor, suggests Advanced Orthopedic. If you're dealing with an internal muscle or nerve injury, it's best to find out about it as soon as possible and fully recover before you get back into this full-body pose.