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September 21, 2022

3 Simple Plank Core Exercise Progressions

3 Simple Plank Core Exercise Progressions with Annie Miller

There has been a debate for years among strength coaches and personal trainers about whether or not “extra” or defined core work is necessary for both aesthetics and performance. To core, or not to core?

Today we’re discussing three variations and progressions of possibly the most used core exercise outside of sit ups. The plank.

Planks are *largely* isometric exercise targeting the core muscles (transverse and rectus abdominis as well as the obliques). I give you the:

1.) Plank pull through

Plank pull through – Core Exercise by Annie Miller

2.) Body saw

Body Saw – Core exercise by Annie Miller

3.) Plank walk outs

Plank Walkout – Core exercise by Annie Miller

Take the body saw – hello lats and increased demand on the core for stability. The body remains hollow (not breaking at the waist or dripping into lumbar extension). The scapulas stay protracted – looking at you serratus anterior (my third fav muscle in the body).

I used to preach “you don’t need core work if you’re doing heavy compound movements.” Years of experience has led me to change that belief.

I now include core work in all of my Built by Annie programming. It is helpful for not only strengthening your core muscles (they need to be trained like any other muscle), but also for building awareness. I ask the question – if we train every other area of the body specifically? Why not train the core specifically as well. Yes, during large compound movements, the core is engaged, absolutely. But the core has more than one purpose.

In most compound movements, the core is stabilizing in an isolated position. That’s one of many core functions. We still have flexion and extension, lateral flexion, rotation etc. The core should allow all these things to happen under control. And there is benefit to training it in such a manner.

Which all has positive carry over into those big lifts and beyond (or *can*).

Today we covered anti-rotation and flexion, but that’s just one piece of the puzzle. 🙂

Clients: Do you do designated core work?

Trainers: Do you program core work? No shame if you don’t!

P.S. videos are all on YouTube, organized by playlists for your use.

Original Instagram post below:

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I'm an adventurous introvert from Vancouver, Washington who lives on sleep + "me time." I'm a lover of lifting weights, dinosaurs, real talk and traveling with my husband. I am here to help you move better, lift more, bust the myths of the fitness industry, and inspire you to love the process.

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