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Building Better Core Strength Beyond Side Planks

sandbag training

Why do we speak so much about core training with our DVRT system? Is it just we are trying to get on the core workout bandwagon? Heck, what does that even mean…core? For many, it still means just abs, for others it just means endless sit-ups, leg raises, and even good drills like side planks, but is there more?

The biggest reason we talk about core training so much is because as the name reflects, so much runs through the core of the body. While most people think the goal is a six pack, the truth is that has little to do with your core strength. That part is far more about one’s body fat levels.

Core training is much more, but what? Our bodies core is the foundation is developing good movement. Just like a tall building can’t have a weak foundation, a weak core keeps the body from developing as much strength and muscle as is possible. The core must be strong to have the extremities move well and to help us develop great strength.

Cool, but how does that change how does that change what we do in our workouts? One of the first keys is to understand our body must be strong three dimensionally. That is why experts like Dr. Stuart McGill, promote three key core stability exercises. Two are about training this 3-D approach, bird dogs and side planks!

side planks

Why? Why these exercises when there are so many core exercise available? For one, the key aspect of 3-D strength is to resist movement and both of these movements are key in learning how to resist unwanted movement. When there is compensation in our movement there is both weakness and instability. Neither is good for our looks, performance,or health.

We’ve talked a great deal about side planks and in DVRT we have tons of progressions. However, is side planks where this sort of training in lateral strength stops? I bet you can tell the answer is NO!!

Using these skills in standing positions is more important because navigating gravity is a HUGE part of functional fitness. It may not sound “sexy”, but it is one of the biggest problems people have in real functional training based programs. We have shared some great foundational ideas like these, but we are going to go the NEXT level.

Learning how to stabilize and move at the same time are keys in taking the strength we build into the gym out of it too! That is one big reason we came up with these ideas with our ARES sled.

A post shared by JoshHenkin (@joshhenkindvrt) on

Adding multiple vectors of force allow us to bring the ideas of a side plank to far more real world forms of training. Sadly when we say real world people think that means replicating what we do in the real world. That’s wrong! The term means building the qualities that make up our every day movement. When you realize our glutes and core are so largely influenced by our lats and feet, you start to get that our movements need to be more integrated! Sounds good, but what we are showing you is HOW!

side planks

The point of posts are like this is to show how we build layers of movement and that we don’t see a singular exercise but a continuum. This is a new way of thinking, but we see all the time how dramatically and quickly it makes people’s training better!

In fact, the key is to make everyone benefit from the power of what functional training has to offer. If you don’t think real people can do these DVRT movements check out some of the great work DVRT Master Cory Cripe is doing with clients at Fitness Lying Down!

A post shared by Cory M. Cripe (@cmcripe) on

It is about knowing how to start and how to continue to build small wins that lead to greater ideas over and over again!

Don’t see exercises see how having systems allows us endless progression, variation, and most importantly success!

During our summer sale you can save 25% on our Ultimate Sandbags and our ARES Sled HERE with coupon code “summersale”