What if we told you there was a better way to do a plank row? One that will elevate the difficulty level of an already challenging move, as well as elevate your back and core gains.
The elevated plank row is not only going to help widen your lats and build your mid back, it also works your core to the max, forcing you to remain steady while you attempt to fight off hiking up your hips and hold a solid, supportive position on the bench.
As Men’s Health fitness director Ebenezer Samuel, CSCS, and fitness editor Brett Williams, NASM, explain in the latest Form Check, the elevated plank row is all about anti-rotation.
“The move is simple, ”Samuel says of the elevated plank row, which requires nothing more than a dumbbell and bench (or can even substitute a chair or ottoman if training at home). “All we’re doing is rowing up, but you just have to hold that tension.”
Squeeze Your Core and Glutes
The main mistake people often make with the elevated plank row, Samuel says, is remaining in a tabletop position with a completely flat back. For this move, he says the goal is to create a longer shoulder-to-toe anti-rotational challenge. This is done by not only squeezing your abs but also tightening your glutes as well.
“If you go into the standard tabletop position, the only part of your body that really has to fight anti rotation is your torso,” Samuel explains. “With your hips neutralized, you’re now in a straight line from shoulders to ankles, keeping a straighter line over a longer lever.”
Another common error is the placement of your leaning arm. Instead of internally rotating it parallel to the bench, which can cause shoulder aches, keep it out in a safer externally rotated position.
Do the Elevated Plank Row Right
To do this move, pick up a dumbbell, making sure you keep your body equalized. When you’re in the plank, think about tightening the glutes and obliques on the side of the weight to keep yourself steady. Maintaining lots of tension is paramount.
Row until your arm is parallel to your torso, then pause. This will create quite the anti-rotational challenge — far from an easy move. “This is a position of work for the entire elevated plank row — from the moment you start a set until the very end is a position of work,” Samuel says. “And that’s what you want it to be. This is a great way to finish off any back workout. ”
Incorporate the elevated plank row as an accessory move to your workouts (so later in your sessions). Go for about three sets of 10 to 12 reps. Make it more intense by eliminating rest between sets, your leaning is arm is getting rest.
“So work back and forth with those three sets without rest your abs will be on fire and you’re back will love it,” Samuel says.
Want to master even more moves? Check out our entire Form Check series.
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