Fix It Friday – Better Core Work #4 Plank Variations

Fix It Friday will feature common injuries/difficulties in dancers with a few tips to improve or prevent them!

This is phase 4 of our guide to better core activation! Check out phase 1 here. Phase 2 & 3 on our social media pages.

The core plays such an important role in all of our exercises and dance movements. Too often we aren’t actually activating the way we should be, so we have 3 videos prior to this to help work your way up. Once you have the proper deep abdominal brace position, just doing the same old plank can get boring and isn’t as effective. Here we highlight 3 new dynamic stability plank variations to turn the notch up! You can use this as a tough finisher or standalone core workout, completing as many good reps of each as possible.

  • Stir the Pot: Once you can plank, then you move onto planks with arms on the ball. Next we add ball movements. For this one you slowly make circles with the ball, just be sure to alternate directions to keep it even. The larger the circle, the harder the movement is.
  • Plate Drags: Moving weights without letting your plank position or body move is also a tough challenge. Start with something light, 2.5-5 lbs and progress as you are able. You can move a single weight back & forth underneath you (on elbows or hands is fine) or stack a few on one side. Then move them all before switching to the other side. Just keep your body and hips in place!
  • Hip Rotations on Sball: Back on the stability ball. This time your shins rest on the ball and your let the ball rotate under control from side to side not letting your lower back dip down or losing control on the movement.

This is not medical advice. This is general exercises performed for this condition. Please seek professional advice for injuries or pain persisting over time. If general exercise gives you pain, you likely need more specific and direct attention. Take care of your body.
  To keep up with our videos, follow along here or on any of our social media platforms. Scott DPT #BeyondCrunchesandPilés

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Group Information and Equipment Guidelines

Review the information below to find out which track is the right one for you. You can also watch this video that walks you through the options.

Once you have chosen your track you can submit the form at the bottom of this page. Select one and only one option, please.

Play Video

Group 1:

If you have access to equipment such as free weights, any cardio equipment (rower, stairs, treadmill, bike, etc.), and other things common in a fitness center, “Group 1” is for you!

  • You could also run rather than use cardio equipment
  • Options to include steps, med balls, etc. included, but these are optional

Group 2:

If you’re primarily doing this at home, with resistance bands (though a few small weights can easily be added if you have them), but still can use stairs, bike, run, or have some cardio equipment access, select “Group 2”

Group 3:

Lastly, If you don’t like to run, and don’t have access to any cardio (no stairs, bikes, or lap pools) then the last option is for you! “Group 3”

  • You will still get cardio, but in the form of exercises, you can do in a single room. This option was made specifically for COVID and people who can’t easily get outside.

Group 4:

This program is made specifically for the demands of male dancers, taking into account some extra work for upper body to support partnering, extra stability for the lower back, etc. This option is similar to group 1 in terms of equipment need.

  • If you need a band only option, please consider the co-ed options of group 2 or 3.” If you need a band only option, please consider the co-ed options of group 2 or 3.

No track is better than the other, you will get results regardless. You can find more information about the equipment requirements for each track by scrolling down.

Equipment Guidelines

Required

Weights:

  • Medium to heavy dumbbells (anywhere from 10-50 lbs depending on experience)

Bands:

  • Strong Resistance bands that can be short loops or long for different exercises
  • Plus an anchor to hold it in place
  • Cable machine would also work

Cardio:

  • Either access to equipment (any of the following: pool, bike, treadmill, rower, stair stepper, elliptical)
  • Or space to run, actual stairs, or a bike a safe space to ride it

Recommended

Squat Rack and/or Suspension Trainer

  • Squat Rack and barbell could be used instead of suspension trainer (not just for putting the weight on your back, but also movements where you may hold on the the weight in the rack)
  • If neither available, band alternatives are provided

Misc:

  • Stability Ball
    • Sliders or a towel on smooth floor can work as well
  • Box/Step/Sturdy bench to step or jump on

Optional

Weights:

  • Medicine balls
  • Kettlebells can be used or substituted for other weights
  • Squat rack and barbell for adding increased challenge to some movements

Required

Bands:

  • Strong Resistance bands that can be short loops or long for different exercises
    • Plus an anchor to hold it in place
  • Cable machine would also work

Cardio:

  • Either access to equipment (any of the following: pool, bike, treadmill, rower, stair stepper, elliptical)
  • Or space to run, actual stairs, or a bike a safe space to ride it

Recommended

Misc:

  • Stability Ball
    • Sliders or a towel on smooth floor can work as well
  • Box/Step/Sturdy bench to step or jump on

Optional

Weights:

  • If you get dumbbells, barbells, etc. you can easily add them into this program. 
  • Medicine balls

Required

Bands:

  • Strong Resistance bands that can be short loops or long for different exercises
  • Plus an anchor to hold it in place
  • Cable machine would also work

Cardio:

  • Due to COVID-19 some people have to space to go outdoors or access to equipment. This program will take away traditional cardio work, and replace it with exercises you can do with a band or just bodyweight in any room. 
  • If you enjoy running, biking, or swimming (and have access to it regularly) we recommend group 2)

Recommended

Misc:

  • Stability Ball
    • Sliders or a towel on smooth floor can work as well
  • Box/Step/Sturdy bench to step or jump on

Optional

Weights:

  • If you get dumbbells, barbells, etc. you can easily add them into this program. 
  • This program is a better option if don’t often have access
  • Medicine balls

Group 4: NSNH Men

Required

Weights:

  • Medium to heavy dumbbells (anywhere from 10-50 lbs depending on experience)

Bands:

  • Strong Resistance bands that can be short loops or long for different exercises
  • Plus an anchor to hold it in place
  • Cable machine would also work

Cardio:

  • Either access to equipment (any of the following: pool, bike, treadmill, rower, stair stepper, elliptical)
  • Or space to run, actual stairs, or a bike a safe space to ride it

Recommended

Squat Rack and/or Suspension Trainer

  • Squat Rack and barbell could be used instead of suspension trainer (not just for putting the weight on your back, but also movements where you may hold on the the weight in the rack)
  • If neither available, band alternatives are provided

Misc:

  • Stability Ball
    • Sliders or a towel on smooth floor can work as well
  • Box/Step/Sturdy bench to step or jump on

Optional

Weights:

  • Medicine balls
  • Kettlebells can be used or substituted for other weights
  • Squat rack and barbell for adding increased challenge to some movements