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The Most Important Plank You Aren’t Using

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I don’t THINK I have to do much to sell you on the idea of planks being good. However, I do think of two things when it comes to their use. For one, most people really don’t know why they are using the plank and that becomes an issue in where we go with the plank, how we start them, etc. The other is that most honestly don’t know how to perform a good plank. It is still common to see people hold very long plank poses without any particular rationale to why. So, let’s quickly look at these two points and show you why this plank is maybe the most important one you aren’t using!

Why Plank?

The point of a plank is to create core “stiffness” as spine expert, Dr. Stuart McGill explains. When we get the 35 muscles of the core to work synergistically at the right time, we get this very “stiff” or “braced” core. Imagine if you were going to absorb a punch to the gut, you would develop this tightness to protect yourself. Well, it is kinda like that but a bit more thoughtful.

Once you understand how to do a plank correctly you notice a few things. For one, it is definitely a lot more intense and why Dr. McGill recommends holding a plank for only up to 10 seconds at a time. You also find with that intensity and combined with having to hold the whole body up, this is really beyond a lot of people starting a fitness program. That is why we have lots of good plank regressions in our DVRT system like a dead bug…


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Great work by Ben Beeler on these dead bug demos

Or even bird dogs…

Douglas Sheppard of J & D Fitness shows how we can build a better plank foundation.

While these two drills are foundational to our plank work in DVRT there is still one that doesn’t get the respect it should as it is a drill that offers so many solutions for a lot of goals. It isn’t all that sexy, but darn it is effective! That is our Press Outs.

At first glance this drill doesn’t look like a plan, so what am I talking about? The whole point of our Press Out is to teach how to create that same core stiffness in a different environment. What we do with the Ultimate Sandbag is pull the weight apart as we create tension into the ground and the slow press out is what creates that total core stiffness.

The Press Out as DVRT Master Cory Cripe describes teaches the same core stiffness as we would get on the ground on a plank. However, we can use it for so many more ways. For some, we can have it as better starting point by having them standing where they don’t have their whole bodyweight which is great for those that are older, overweight, or working past injuries. We also have far more flexibility in scaling both the weight itself and the position we put our body in.

This stability that we build in the Press Out transcends just plank work too. The Press Out is key in teaching proper pressing mechanics (both vertical and horizontal) and teaches us how to have better core stability that gives us better hip mobility through “proximal stability” as Ben shows below.


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You see we can squat better, we can press better, and that is all because a rather simple movement (that has to be done well) offers so many solutions in core strength and stability. Oh, we can also use it for making our mobility training because not using our core in our mobility exercises is a BIG mistake! Physical therapist, Jessica Bento shows some great ways in which we can help our hips and shoulders with the Press Out in different forms.

People always claim simple is best, but understanding the body is actually best. In doing so you can quickly see how a simple looking drill performed with the right intent can be a game changer for so many people in different ways!

Save 20% ALL throughout DVRT and when you invest in ANY of our Ultimate Sandbags you will get a FREE DVRT Strong t-shirt with code “save20” HERE