Exercises You Should Be Doing: Push-Up Plank Hold w/ DB Row

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I need to go crush some front squats in a few, so this one is going to be short and sweet today. Meaning, no long-winded introduction that no one reads or cute cat references.1


I’d like to preface today’s post with a well-timed quote from strength coach, Dr. Joel Seedman:

“When a strength coach says an exercise is “deceptive,” he really means “looks sort of easy but will make you cry.”

I can’t think of any better way to introduce today’s Exercise You Should Be Doing.

Push-Up Plank Hold w/ DB Row


Who Did I Steal It From: Dean Somerset had me doing these a few years ago when he was helping me work through some lower back shenanigans. He was an asshole.

What Does It Do: At first glance it looks like a nice little row variation, and it is. However, the real nuts and bolts of this exercise is the insane core stability that’s involved. There aren’t many exercises that light up my mid-section (RA, obliques, etc) than this one. Too, I feel it in other places: glutes, upper back, eyebrows, you name it.

But for real: this is an excellent core exercise and a lot more challenging than it looks.

Key Coaching Cues: Don’t be a hero. The objective here isn’t to sling around 80-90 lb DBs to try impress the other bros standing around. Trust me, they won’t care. The name of the game her is OWNING body position. Holding a strict 3-point plank will be challenging enough for some people. When you add an oscillatory element with the row, however, it makes the exercise even more challenging as the body has to resist movement during each repetition.

Abs and glutes should be engaged, quads flexed, and foot placement will depend on how bad-ass you are (wider = easier, narrow = Wolverine). With the row component, chest should be up and I prefer to cue people to think of the motion as an “arc” rather than straight up and down. To that end think about “rowing” your elbow towards your hip.

8-10 reps per side and you should hate life.

Did what you just read make your day? Ruin it? Either way, you should share it with your friends and/or comment below.

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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.

I don’t share email information. Ever. Because I’m not a jerk.
  1. Except this one – BAM.

Comments for This Entry

  • Alejandra Miranda Erazo

    Great exercise! Stealing the rowing cue given at the end

    January 5, 2017 at 2:56 pm | Reply to this comment

    • Michael

      Aren't you that trainer that got blasted all over Vancouver craigslist for sleeping with and giving your client genital herpes? The picture seems familiar.

      May 12, 2017 at 10:36 am | Reply to this comment

      • Alex Miller

        This probably isn't the best place to be talking about it man. So what if she slept with her clients? That's her moral decision. I get it. It's definitely frowned upon in our industry, but it's her life choice and if she did give him an STI, that's up to them to deal her and her future partners to deal with.

        May 12, 2017 at 7:19 pm | Reply to this comment

      • Stacey Shielder

        @Alejandramirandaerazo Don't let this bug you. You do what you need to do to be happy. Whether it's your clients, co-workers, or anyone, it's your life and you can sleep with whoever you want. It's not this guy's place to judge you. Keep on keepin' on girl.

        May 13, 2017 at 9:51 am | Reply to this comment

  • AstraHealth

    Amazing. A real core strengthening exercise

    January 6, 2017 at 2:46 am | Reply to this comment

  • james Bix

    Thanks for sharing, interesting variation of the row

    January 9, 2017 at 2:38 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Gillian C

    OMG. I know the girl you're talking about! That's so funny...and sad. She used to be so pretentious when I knew her. We went to school together at UBC back in the day. She was always so uptight and judgemental. I can't say I feel bad. She was an bitch to everyone except her group of friends back then. I wonder if that's changed. Ew. I didn't know she had genital herpes. I can't say I'm surprised though. She slept around a lot after her boyfriend broke up with her. Based on reading this, not much has changed. You know when you're looking on Facebook or reading up about old classmates and you find out something hilarious about their lives? This is that. I'm so glad I had such a long break today! She's only like the 5th person I've googled so far haha

    May 18, 2017 at 6:31 pm | Reply to this comment

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