The plank is a great core exercise using the this fundamental 'bracing' position. If you make a bridge (the plank position) between your elbows and feet you'll add stress to the unsupported midsection (lower back). The only way to keep your midsection strong and your spine safe is to squeeze it with your core muscles. You can actually create a chamber of pressure by compressing air into the area around your spine (bracing).
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