Let’s see, burpees, squat jumps, push-ups, lunges, and planks! Those are typically the “go to” bodyweight home workout exercises that most people use. That is also why most home workouts burn out pretty fast. After doing these drills a few times, people get bored and in all honesty, training doesn’t end up being all that productive. However, that doesn’t mean there isn’t great value in some of these drills, especially planks.
Yea, I know, no one wants to sit there and hold planks all day. Not only is that incredibly boring, but it isn’t what we need from planks either. As spine specialist, Dr. Stuart McGill has explained, because of the full body tension that the plank actually requires, we only need to hold them for interval of 10 seconds. No, that isn’t one set of 10 seconds, but doing intermittent reps of 10 second holds (for like 6 reps with 5 seconds of rest in between).
This excerpt from our L.I.F.T. certification explains how most people miss the point of planks completely!
What do we do then, once we are able to plank for 6 reps of 10 seconds, do we just keeping doing more reps? Not really, in fact, many scientists have said planks aren’t all that functional! Studies like THESE highlight what core training is REALLY about and how we often miss the boat completely!
“Currently, plank exercises are considered an adequate method of training the core for athletes to improve core strength and stability. This is a problem because it puts the athletes in a nonfunctional static position that is very rarely replicated in the demands of sport-related activities. The core is the center of most kinetic chains in the body and should be trained accordingly”
That is why in DVRT when we understand and have trained foundational qualities of the plank we look to teach the core to work as it does in life. When a lot of us think of building core strength we also think about core stability. As performance expert, Dr. Brandon Marcello has pointed out, stability training isn’t so much about violently shaking as we do exercises, but more about…
What does all that mean?! Feed forward is slower movements that serve as our foundation to more complex planks and core training. Static obviously means not moving so that would include drills like our bird dogs and lateral drags where we are trying NOT to have our body move.
View this post on Instagram
Say core stability to most people and a host of “ab exercises” come into mind. However, ab training and core exercises aren’t necessarily the same thing. As world renown spinal expert, Dr. Stuart McGill writes, “the spine is a flexible rod yet it must be able to bear compressive loads. It will buckle without a very robust guy wire system formed by the many muscles. Furthermore, when all muscles contract together they create a “superstiffness” that is higher than the sum of the stiffnesses of the individual muscles. Consider the architecture of the abdominal wall. Stability comes from a symmetric stiffness developed by the muscles around the spine. Activating just one abdominal muscle would create just one source of stiffness but would also result in an interruption of the force linkage.” ___________ Our Ultimate Sandbag drags are a great example of creating the linkage and “stiffness” Dr. McGill refers to in the quote above. Most people think the act is JUST dragging a weight back and forth, that isn’t the goal. How we connect the lats to the core and the friction the Ultimate Sandbag creates makes it a very unique and effective drill. Our awesome #DVRT coaches of physical therapist @jessbento_physiotherapist , @thestrongdna , @joelgun10 , @corymcripe, and fitness expert @rachcosgrove show some great foundations and progressions of these movements. There is some important technique involved too! __________ ➡️That is why today’s post is devoted to understanding the why and how of these core stability drills. Check out our blog so you can see the power of understanding what core training is really suppose to be about, read it by going to our BIO for the 🔗
You can scroll through all these great drag progressions and see how it is ALWYAS about going slow, grabbing the right handle to make better connections in our body, and engaging the ground correctly.
This also goes for side planks as well! While the front plank tends to get all the press, experts like Dr. McGill actually have the side plank as part of his core stability “Big 3” because a BIG part of our core is to resist unwanted movement especially lateral movement.
DVRT Master, Cory Cripe breaks down why side planks are so important and common mistakes people make in their performance!
Spending time with the DVRT progressions Cory demonstrates is so key in building up to better core training. In fact, most fitness pros that are use to doing legs straight and all these really advanced side planks are shocked that when we teach them the right intent how they come back to bending the knees and more foundational levels. That isn’t a bad thing because they are getting MORE out of side plank now!
Once we establish these foundations we can get to the two points that Dr. Marcello discusses but most absolutely miss upon. That is making our planks more dynamic and multi-planar. What does that all mean? Let’s look at some examples.
View this post on Instagram
What The Feet 👣 & Core Have To Do With The Shoulders!? 💡So many people still think of the body as isolated body parts. However research shows that our body is designed to work as one unit. So, when it comes to #shoulder health, it really depends on what the rest of the body is doing. Particularly the core (including the grip and its connection to the lats), the hips and the feet. 💡That’s why these exercises could look nothing like shoulder exercises. Where in fact, they accomplish the integration of the whole body through its natural chains. Pulling the sandbag apart with both hands helps to engage the core through the grip and lats where pushing the feet deliberately into the ground does the same thing from the bottom up. 💡 The body needs to fight against lateral motion as the sandbag goes from one side to the other. The above mentioned actions with the hands and feet provide the #stability and #mobility for strong and healthy shoulders. 💡 Following these 4 progressions make sure that we can keep adding more layers to fine tune our movement strength and build strong foundations from the ground up. #shoulderworkout #shouldermobility #barefoot #gluteworkout #ultimatesandbag #dvrt #functionaltraining #functionalfitness #rehab #prehab #performbetter #coretraining #stabilitytraining #correctiveexercise #functionalmovement #totalbodyworkout #conditioning #movementismedicine #ukfitness #ukfitspo #londonfitness #movegb
DVRT UK Master, Greg Perlaki shows 4 progressions of our half kneeling Arc Presses. One of my personal favorite drills because if you perform the Arc Press with the right intent (as Cory describes again below) it is amazing drill to build pressing strength, but also the lats, core stability, and hip mobility!
Combining the techniques that Cory teaches with the progressions Greg uses and we are building more dynamic and multi-planar training which means we are making our planks way more powerful. We are also integrating so many muscles during these exercises that we are accomplishing more fitness goals at once, pretty cool right?! However, these ideas we are discussing come in many forms with our planks. Cory shows the correlation to our side planks and our shoulder movements like a shoulder lunge.
View this post on Instagram
I used to think #sideplanks were stupid and a waste of quality training time. And I would argue that there continues to be a disconnect between the intent and task of this core exercise. When we can complete this plank exercise by adding an Ultimate #Sandbag then we can successfully discover the purpose of such an #abworkout and know how we will benefit from it outside the four walls of our training environment! . . . But the side #plank wasn’t meant to be limited to the ground, either. We have to build that #corestrength where life finds us the majority of the time – on our feet! So taking an exercise like the #reverselunges and placing the load on the side of the working leg (ipsilateral) will offer the ability to experience that same side plank in a more dynamic environment! Broken ankles on 3! 1…2…3…
Most people have big “ah-ha” moments when we show these connections of movements. Pretty much everything we do in DVRT has a relationship with planks. For example, DVRT coach, Lina Midla shows different DVRT drills that have unique demands on our planks.
View this post on Instagram
#WorkoutWednesday Bags & Bells Edition . . If you’re a member of my FREE private FB Group, Fit to Flourish (link in bio to join!), you’d know that yesterday I had “a day.” But in all honesty, it’s been a couple of days for me. Week 1 of stay-at-home life was pretty good. I poured myself into the role of full-time mom, working on my business, taking care of my amazing clients on the periphery. As we entered Week 2 all of the novelty, and back-up energy I’d stored was gone. I allowed myself to fall into feelings of frustration, anger, annoyance. I yelled at my kids more than I’d like to admit, I was really settling into feeling sorry for myself. I allowed feelings of hopelessness, fear, and sadness take over. . . Why am I telling you this? Because today is a new day. A new opportunity to do better and be better. And in the past 9 days, I’d neglected my own training (for the most part). This workout I’m sharing with you today, saved me today. I put in my ear buds, I got down to business, I used fitness as a tool to work through what I’m working through inside. And because I finally carved out some time for myself (thanks to @smidla03 for forcing the issue), I’m now ready to go back upstairs and give a much better version of myself to my amazing kiddos. . . This shizz is hard guys. There is so much uncertainty. Crisis brings out the worst and the best in people. . . I’m posting today because I’m not better than you. I don’t have it all figured out. I sometimes want to lay on the couch and do nothing too. . . But I know with every fiber of my being, that when I DO make time for my physical strength. When I force myself to just start moving, I feel so much more ready to meet all of the other challenges and opportunities of the day. . . Let your daily movement build you up. Take the time to build your strength, stamina, endurance, GRIT. Take the time to connect your heart to your body. Breathe. Sweat. Move – DAILY . . If you’ve got questions on training at home. If you’ve got questions about these specific exercises. If you just want to connect with another human being in a positive, loving, and supportive way – Please reach out. I’d love to chat.
-Tornado: works more reflexive core training which is MUCH higher level because we aren’t tense the whole time, we have to have tension at the RIGHT time. Combining it with a lunge that puts us in a less stable environment means we are combining higher level core training concepts (physical therapist, Jessica Bento will break this down in more detail soon!)
-Front Loaded Cleans: the power of this movement is ALL predicated upon holding our plank (by pulling the handles apart and engaging the feet). If we lose our front plank, we load our low back and lose power in the movement.
-Shucking: the name came from our good friend Strength Coach, Troy Anderson. It references a wrestling move, but you see how we combine the need to hold a front plank, side plank, and resist rotation. A very effective exercise for not only building a strong upper body, but total body strength!
-Half Kneeling Kettlebell Press: The whole goal of this exercise is to combine elements of front and side planks. So, we do NOT want to see much movement of the torso and if we do that means the weight is either too heavy or we lost our hands and feet!
-Sit Throughs: a great bodyweight drill that done with the right intent takes our core training through all 3 planes of motion and the connection of our hand to the ground and our hips is so essential. That is what makes is a good core exercise and how we see planks reflected again!
The point of this post was to make sure we own the foundations of good movement, but having an idea of where we go in our training. That and appreciating what we are trying to accomplish by doing such familiar exercises like planks. When you see greater value in a movement it is interesting how much more important it can become. Try the workout that Jessica broke down that truly utilizes all these concepts of good planks! Minimal equipment but maximal results!!
Don’t forget all our functional training tools like our best selling Ultimate Sandbags (both sand and water systems), our Online CEU approved education, and DVRT workout programs are 30% off with code “save30” HERE. Don’t miss out the FREE workouts we also are giving away HERE.
View this post on Instagram
I have to admit, I feel pretty lucky to live in Vegas 🌵 where our weather is awesome 😎 and getting outside with just a few pieces of equipment not only to train but decompress all the stress away is just what I need. I know that not everyone around the country is spoiled with such great weather, but you can do this workout literally ANYWHERE. Two Ultimate Sandbags and two kettlebells allowed me to do a pretty awesome total body workout! The kind we are giving away for FREE so make sure➡️Check the link in my BIO for the workouts! Save 30percent off the entire site with code “save30” 👍🏻