Exercises You Should Be Doing: 2-Bench Plank/DB Row

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As some of you may or may not know I’ve been banged up as of late, and haven’t really been training up to my normal standards. I’m still heading to the gym everyday, of course (I work in one, so I have no excuse not to), but it’s been a bit of a downer the past few weeks knowing that I’m unable to do many of the things I’d really like to do.

Sometimes, though, we have to follow our own advice.  I’ve been quoted as saying that part of the job of a strength coach and personal trainer is to play the bad guy sometimes and force our clients into doing what they need to do, and not what they want to do.

Using myself as an example, I want more than anything else to head to the gym, load a metric shit ton on the bar, deadlift that sucker from the floor, and then get so fired up that I tear infants in half.

Okay, I got a little carried away there. Admittedly that’s a bit much………..

……..but I DO miss heading to the gym and training with some gusto and panache in my step.

Call me crazy, but performing endless repetitions of supine dying bugs is about as exciting as watching paint dry. But, unfortunately, that’s what has to be done at this point in time.

The good news: My back is feeling better. The bad news: It’s just a slow, mind-numbing process and I’m bored to tears.

Goddammit – I hate taking my own advice.  I want to lift heavy stuff!!!  You’te ruining my life Tony, I hate you!!!!!!!!

*turns around, stomps up the stairs, and slams door*

All theatrics aside, a few weeks ago I asked my good friend, Dean Somerset, if he’d be willing to help me out and write up a little sumthin sumthin for me to follow to hopefully get myself back on track sooner rather than later.

He came through with flying colors and I’ve been following his program for the past week.  I’ve often been quoted as saying you can ALWAYS train an injury, and Dean certainly concurs!

While I won’t give away all his trade secrets, I will say that he’s definitely provided a nice mix of the corrective stuff I need to be doing in conjunction with some cool stuff I’ve never done before.

Which brings us to today’s exercise you should be doing:

2-Bench DB Plank/Row

What Does It Do:  Before I get to that, I have to say that I’ve done my fair share of exercises that make me hate life – bulgarian split squats, turkish get-ups, high rep squats, Prowler pushes, etc – but as simple as this one looks, it’s about as enjoyable as setting your face on fire.

To that end, this is an excellent exercise that trains both core stability while simultaneously allowing for one to get a bit more horizontal pulling into their repertoire.

The added “row” component really pushes the envelop in terms of making this a brutal core stability exercise, though.  That’s where the true benefit lies.

Key Coaching Cues:  Again, this looks simple and I know there are going to be a lot of people who are going to scoff when they watch the video – how hard can it be Gentilcore???? – but I’m telling you when it’s performed correctly, it’s brutal.

Start with a lighter DB than you think – in the video I used a 30 lb DB, and that was plenty – and assume the starting position with your opposite forearm resting on one bench and your toes on the other.

As with any plank variation you want to make certain that the body is in a complete straight line from your head to the toes, so you’ll need to make a concerted effort to not poke your head forward or allow the hips to hike or sag.  If you do, lower the weight being used.  And, after that, if you still can’t perform the movement correctly without compensating, it’s too advanced you need to take a step back and regress as needed.

In addition, you’ll want to brace your abs, squeeze your glutes, and don’t forget to breath!

Perform 5-8 repetitions on one side, and repeat on the other.

Good luck.

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Plus, get a copy of Tony’s Pick Things Up, a quick-tip guide to everything deadlift-related. See his butt? Yeah. It’s good. You should probably listen to him if you have any hope of getting a butt that good.

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