In this installment of personal trainer techniques, Matt and Elise demonstrate two advanced plank variations: the body saw and the body saw curl. This movement requires slider pads that reduce friction from the ground. If you don’t have furniture sliders, you can use suspension trainer like a TRX. However, furniture sliders can be found easy online or a local hardware store or walmart.
To be adequately prepared for these movements, you must be able to handle the crunch plank with complete control.
The Body Saw
This movement creates a longer lever arm through the torso, and the core must be braced much harder to prevent hyper extension of the lumbar spine (low back). With a strong co-contraction of the glutes and abs, this position can be stabilized successfully. The further back your body slides, by your arms pushing you backward, this movement rapidly becomes more challenging. Start conservatively!
The Body Saw Curl
The next level of progression from the body saw, the body saw curl, adds knee, hip and spinal flexion/extension to the movement. The added range of motion by flexing the hips up vertically, and curling the knees to elbows, adds a large challenge to the movement. No you are working the hips and abs dynamically, with an eccentric and concentric contraction.
Make sure you are establishing strong hip extension, with posterior tilt of the pelvis, by “tucking your tail” and “squeezing your (butt) cheeks”. Mastering this movement so you can “glute lock” on demand is critical for movement proficiency and hip stability.