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The Best Plank MOST Misunderstand

sandbag training

Jessica Bento, Physical Therapist (Creator of DVRT Restoration, DVRT Pelvic Control, and DVRT Shoulder Courses)

I have a very unique perspective of what DVRT is all about. You might think being Josh’s wife I just do DVRT because that is what he does and that is what a “good wife” does right? Anyone that has met me knows that I don’t work that way, I only do what I think is genuinely the BEST thing. 

In reality, I would be working in a clinic or hospital if I didn’t think that DVRT was as powerful as we constantly talk about. Not only do I think the exercises are game changing, but it is the “little things” that made me change how I even see treating patients. Of course this isn’t just about patients or clients. DVRT is about how we live and what we do for to better ourselves each and every day. 

You hear Josh and I write about our own challenges a lot, that’s because we aren’t the gifted, we aren’t the amazing, in fact, there is very little physically about ourselves that is very special at all. However, that is what allowed us to create something very special at the same time. 


Seeing people thinking that pain is for life, those that are lost because they feel the body they have isn’t there own anymore because they can’t move or live like they want is heart breaking. It is what made me get into physical therapy, it was the loss of my dream that was so close of being an Olympic swimmer. Not just loss of the dream, but feeling as though there wasn’t much to do to heal my body. THAT is why I wanted to go into physical therapy, THAT is why I am passionate about helping people with DVRT. 

When you realize you aren’t alone that can be powerful. They say that 77% of people with chronic pain are depressed, I believe it. They say that 51% of people with chronic pain feel hopeless, I believe it. I can say that because that was me. 

My motivation to become a physical therapist was to give people hope. The hope they could get better, the hope they could regain their lives. You can imagine how disappointed I was when I started actually being a therapist I wasn’t able to deliver on this hope. Years of schooling, studying, working odd jobs, to gain the knowledge to make a difference with people all seemed like I couldn’t do all that much to really help people. 

If you ask me why I work with DVRT, why I use it for my own workouts, it is because it was the toolbox that gave me the opportunity to really make a difference! Yet, the power doesn’t come from the Ultimate Sandbag. Yes, that gives us an opportunity, but it is the system of DVRT that gives us the true power to achieve our goals of making that difference. 

sandbag training

That is why it truly saddens me when people don’t learn the real purpose and spend time on those details that make the “magic” of DVRT. A great example is how people completely misunderstand our side plank rows. 

A simple exercise right? Go side plank and then row, sounds like a cool variation. The thing is that is NOT what the exercise is at all! We know that the side plank taps into our lateral core, our glutes, heck, even the lats (of that down arm if done right). The row isn’t a row to build your back, it is done for a COMPLETELY different reason. 

side plank

The reason is connection, or as spine expert, Dr. Stuart McGill calls “linkage”. What are you trying to connect? We know that all the chains of our body are active on every motion, some can be more dominant depending upon the action and position of the body. Yet, if we understand these chains then we start to see in order to optimize the side plank we need to connect more of our body. 

Looking at the hip of the down side being active we realize that we have an opportunity. We can increase the effectiveness of the core and hip work if we do one simple thing…..connect that opposing lat! 

Josh has written many times about these chains but I am speaking specifically about that posterior oblique system (POS). That connection of glute to core to opposite lat, yes, opposite. Our body works in these cross patterns naturally, just watch how people walk and run with their opposite arm and leg working together to create motion. Yet, when it comes to exercise, we rarely think about how our body actually moves in life. 

That is how our body is programmed though and this is how our body would like to work. These chains are how our body connects certain muscles to make us more better, more efficiently, and yes, stronger! One of the easiest chains to think about is the POS and it should impact how we create exercises as well as progress them. 

In reality, the “row” of the Ultimate Sandbag isn’t about building a strong back (we don’t lift enough load in the position to do so), rather, it is about making this connection to get a better result with these exercises. A result that will impact how our knees, low back, and even shoulders feel and perform. 

Making that difference to people can open up a whole world to fall in love with movement and empower them to see that there is hope to achieve the quality of life that most are really striving for in their fitness programs. 

Check out why this plank and “row” can be transformative not only to your core, but also the smarter way to build shoulder stability and strength! Don’t miss the chance to save 30% on our DVRT educational programs with coupon code “father” HERE