Tip: The Core Row

What beats a plank? This back exercise. Check out the details here.


Core Work For Injury Prevention

You might think planks would reign supreme here. And while they CAN help develop spinal and pelvic stability and endurance, doing so with a plank is like trying to cut your rare steak with one of those plastic knives they give you on an airplane.

Sure, it'll do something. Studies would show you achieved your goal of eating a steak. But we all know there are faster and more efficient ways to do it. Fortunately, you have the choice to use any tool you want.

Exercises like bird-dogs and dead-bugs are excellent choices. Both can help offset excessive anterior pelvic tilt and challenge both extension and rotary stability.

Here's an advanced bird-dog row variation I learned from Eric Cressey:

How to Do It

  1. You'll be limited by your core strength rather than your ability to row. Pick a weight a little lighter than your regular dumbbell or kettlebell row.
  2. Set up on a bench with your body positioned at a slight angle. This should allow your hand to set directly below your shoulder and knee under your hip. Using a bench allows for the extra range of motion as the weight drops below.
  3. Your opposite leg to your rowing arm should be lifted and long. Glutes should be engaged.
  4. Resist going into an excessive anterior tilt of your pelvis and lumbar extension. Don't be Donald Duck.
  5. Brace hard, row, and breathe! Nothing should move apart from your rowing arm.
  6. You can do these for timed or slow tempo sets, or just row as heavy as you can while trying not to pass out.
Gareth Sapstead is a leading strength and physique coach from the UK. He specializes in problem solving and breakthrough training techniques.

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