Raymond Lee, DVRT Master (Uprise Training)
As many of us here may have noticed, recently there were a lot of topics related to core strength. Its not just because we wanted market that ‘Ultimate Sandbags can make you a good-looking six pack abs’ but to really send the message of the importance of core strength and how we can offer you the right solution for that.
While core training has been emphasized for a long time, most people are still reluctant to actually apply those in their own training. One of the reasons that I found was not because of the intensity but because of the lack of feedback. What does this mean? Lets take a look at the real world situation of teaching the basic plank. Cueing to squeeze the glutes, abs, quads, lats, while maintaining neutral position is not as easy as it sounds like for the trainees to perceive in the first place. And even though they can get through those cues, the same problem occurs again when we try to advance to other variations of plank based core drills. One of the drills that pops in my mind is the infamous ‘Stir the Pot’ drill.
For those who are not familiar, it is introduced by world’s leading spine expert, Dr. Stuart McGill. It is a plank done on a swiss ball while drawing a circle with the elbow. It’s a great drill that actually strengthens to resist all planes of motion. Those who have actually done it would not question the intensity. However, the problem is that it is way more difficult than it seems. Not only is it hard for general populations but even to for fitness professionals as well. Does it mean, we should throw this out of the water? Absolutely not! As a matter of fact, those who are willing to have a high performance should aim this as a goal. The question is how do we build up to that level. This is where the value of DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training system’s layers of progressions and regressions really shine.
While DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training has probably one of the largest AND the most systematic exercise library in terms of core training, one of the drills that truly develops the real stable and strong plank position is the ‘Press Out’. The long lever arm that is created when pressed out really forces the entire body to contract hard while at the same time enables us to perceive proper alignment due to the vertical body position. Imagine doing high level bodyweight drills such as front lever, dragon flag, or ab wheels. The reason it is so hard to progress to these drills is due to the body position that is directly effected by the gravity. However with the DVRT ‘Press Out’ drills, there are more progressions we can make by adjusting not just the body position but leverage, the weight of the Ultimate Sandbag, and the direction of the Ultimate Sandbag we can move.
In this article, the ‘Press Out’ drills that are shown should be performed in front of the wall
Why the wall?
By standing in front of the wall, there is no way we can cheat for the ‘Press Out’. Most beginners have a tendency to lean back whether it is during standing or kneeling position. However by standing in front the wall, there is no way he/she can execute while leaning their back against the wall. Of course some might attempt to compensate by leaning forward but that would be a rare occasion and even if they do they will only do that once. The great thing of this setup is that the trainee has only one option and that is to do it right
The ‘Press Out’
Although the movement itself may seem as a basic sagittal plane-based resistance drill, it will pay off big time even for advanced levels. You will be amazed by feeling the neglected weak links which we once thought were all resolved in the past.
Still too easy? No need to worry as we still have some other progressions left.
‘Arc Press Out’
For those who had difficulty doing ‘Stir the Pot’ but still wanted to reap the benefits of it, working on the Arc ‘Press Out’ will suit your needs. By pressing out the USB just like we do for the arc press, now we can challenge the frontal & transverse plane stability and strength. Although the trajectory may not look extreme as the name implies, the intensity is higher than it looks.
‘Press Out to Overhead’! (More than just stiff hardcore)
Once the Arc ‘Press Out’ becomes easy, it is time to ramp up the intensity again by manipulating range of motion. ‘Press Out’ to Overhead will enable us to re-establish the foundation for the proper overhead press pattern as it activates core and the shoulder stabilizers at the same time.
Staggered Stance for more Strength
Just as we advance Planks by doing with single leg, we can utilize ‘Press Out’ the same way. However jumping right from military stance to single leg stance can be too much of a leap. Applying Staggered Stance for the drills above will be the next progression.
Although it may seem like a small change, now our body has to really squeeze the hell out of it to maintain proper alignment. In case if you feel this to be easier than the military stance, please check whether one side of the pelvis is tilted. If so, focus on maintaining the alignment of both sides and try again.
Sprinter Stance Press Out
Sprinter Stance Arc Press
Staggered Press to Overhead
If you were bored of doing never-lasting yet was not strong enough to move through advanced core exercise, try these out. You will find that core training doesn’t have to be boring and frustrating at all. Best thing of all, you will find the clear reason to do as your body will know that you are finally doing the right thing on the right track.
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