Weight Lifting, Weight Training, Bench Press & Bodybuilding
October 31, 2014

The Next Level of Core Training - Dynamic Planks
by Jim Smith

The Next Level of Core Training - Dynamic Planks

When you think about the most basic abdominal exercise, the first one that pops into your head is probably planks.

Planks are where a person lays out into a push-up position but instead of being on their outstretched hands, they rest on their forearms. In this position, the athlete or lifter will remain for a specific length of time. If the time exceeds one and a half minutes that is considered pretty good.

The benefits of planks include rehabilitating a back injury, glute activation, developing proficiency for bracing the torso with intra-abdominal pressure and an isometric contraction of the abdominals and developing muscular endurance of the muscles that stabilize, support and engage movements of the torso.

But in accordance with the Principle of Overload and the Laws of Chaos, there is a progression for all resistance training means. Progression of an exercise will increase the difficulty, which increases the demand and work capacity of the lifter and in turn, provides more adaptation and benefits.

The Next Level of Core Training - Dynamic Planks

So what is the next training progression for planks? Here are some of the most common modifications :

  • Raising one foot off the ground (ensure the lifter doesn’t shift to the side to compensate by forcibly firing the glutes and bracing harder

  • Add a weighted vest or back pack

Further unique adaptations can be obtained if we are relentless in our pursuit of our ultimate goal – real world strength. It is this real world strength that is developed not only with fixed, patterned strength training movements, but with random, rapidly adjusted reactive means. This is truer to real life and everyday movements.

This variation is much more difficult to stabilize because as the lifter adjusts, so does the base of support (the trampoline) they are resting on! We can of course increase the difficulty by externally loading the lifter or having them lift one leg, but we want to make this exercise really difficult. By having the lifter raise up onto their hands, more vibration can be achieved.

Now hit a plyometric push-up with the goal of restabilizing and restoring a static posture as quickly as possible. This creates a full body tremor that improves the integrity of the elbows, shoulders and hips.

The Next Level of Core Training - Dynamic Planks Now, let's perform a one arm plank on this setup. This requires a greater glute and opposite oblique contraction to counterbalance the movement. The goal is to minimize the hips shifting and remain rigid. This movement can be held for time and increased in difficulty by a partner-assisted agitation.

For a more advanced movement a plyometric push-up can once again be engaged, but this time we will land on one arm.

Not only does this have amazing implications in a rehabilitative setting, but decelerative properties for the torso, back and shoulders as well. Sports that require ballistic upper body expressions (which is essentially all sports) or sports with high incidences of shoulder or hip injuries can benefit from this vibrational environment. The more vibration we can introduce, the more rapid the contractions, primary and antagonistic, of the engaged muscular and the greater stability of the kinetic chain. This creates a balance and teaches the athlete how to stabilize in opposition to random stimuli.


Jim Smith's Combat Core

Combat Core Advanced Torso Training For Explosive Strength and PowerCombat Core

Advanced Torso Training for Explosive Strength and Power

The #8 ranked fitness book on the internet, as ranked by Clickbank, Combat Core, the renowned torso training protocol, has been utilized by athletes and fitness enthusiasts all over the world.

If you want to build insane levels of abdominal strength, lose lower back pain and improve your performance in the weight room or on the field, check out Combat Core.

 

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