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I have been running every third day for six months now. About a month ago I added a simple, full-body resistance training workout each day before running:

  1. BW Squats progression
  2. Inverted Row progression
  3. Push-Up progression
  4. Front Plank
  5. Bridge progression (only the easiest steps)
  6. Lying Leg Curl (in order to ensure a correct thighs/hamstrings strength ratio to avoid running injuries, see for instance here)

But I have spent nearly 24 h pretty scared since I pushed too much doing the Front Plank and I felt something weird in the lower abdomen the day before. Now, only 48 hours have past and it is gone, everything is normal and it seems clear it was merely DOMs, only I had never felt it in that part of my body.

Nevertheless the last 48 hours have made me wonder whether it is OK that I simply avoid exercises 4 and 5 and trust in the ability of pushups, inverted rows and squat progressions to gently strengthen my core. Bearing in mind that a front plank it is merely a push-ups position but hold for a while isometrically, it does not seem a wrong idea.

Do I need exercises 4 and 5 or can I forget about them? (I am not competing in any sport, I just want a safe and slow progression towards a general increase in strength and muscle mass).

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    Your #6 makes no sense. I haven't heard of an imbalance between thighs and calves being a cause of injury. Where is your reference on that? As far as 4/5, theoretically your activity should work your muscles enough to sustain your activity. DOMS can occur in any muscle, I wouldn't avoid planks just for that reason. Just do a progression rather than holding it until you scream. :) – JohnP Nov 19 '14 at 15:39
  • @JohnP, sorry, it is thighs/hamstrings (the names of the muscles are confusing for a non-native speaker, yeap). – Mephisto Nov 19 '14 at 15:41
  • Even so, unless you have a preexisting condition or imbalance, your activity should work them together enough that you needn't worry. – JohnP Nov 19 '14 at 15:43
  • @JohnP Ha ha ha, you are right, I held it nearly till I could have screamed. (+1). – Mephisto Nov 19 '14 at 15:43
  • @JohnP You mean, I can avoid 4/5 for the moment, right? My idea is introducing them again after I have past the Full PushUps and Inverted Row w/ elevated feet stage. I really want to stay away from injury, I don't mind it is at the cost of slowing down the progress. – Mephisto Nov 19 '14 at 15:47
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Mephisto,

I think the front plank and the bridge are great core stability exercises. What I would do is use them as a 'warm up' before you train the compound lifts in your routine. Even though the other exercises you are performing use those muscles, I wouldn't eliminate them from your plan. They still have value. I would add a side plank in there as well. It activates more muscle than the front plank does.

Hope that helps,

Mike

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