THE MOVE YOU'RE NOT DOING- RING SUPPORTED PLANK ROW
THE BEST MOVE YOU'RE NOT DOING
11/09/2021 | Andrew Tracey
Andrew Tracey is a long time collaborator with Bulldog Gear. A coach, writer and current fitness editor of Men’s Health Magazine, he has been in and around the fitness industry for the past 16 years. Having enjoyed and endured a number of disciplines from endurance racing, to strongman, to Crossfit AT enjoys getting neck deep in the practice just as much as the theory.
When experimenting with and programming new movements it’s important to keep a close eye on the line between ingenuity and novelty. Sometimes slight tweaks in a movement can ‘feel’ as though they challenge you more, be it through an increased test of your balance, coordination or proprioception, or adjustments that mean you can use only a fraction of the weight, whilst the movement pattern remains similar.
On the surface, the ‘feeling’ of a movement being harder can seem advantageous and only a good thing, right? But if you lower the intended stimulus of the movement, or worse- lose it altogether for the sake of increasing engagement of another body part, or incorporating another stimulus (ie balance), then are you really making progress in your training, or simply moving sideways?
For me, one movement that skirts the line perfectly between making a movement more difficult in adjacent areas, but still staying loyal to the intention of the parent movement, is the ring supported plank row. An quantum upgrade on the renegade row, this variation will still allow you effectively hit your lats, but pulls no punches in frying your midline whilst also building bomb proof stability through your shoulders, challenging your entire structure, from head to toe.
Requiring an enormous amount of balance, coordination and strength from your core to your extremities- this is less of a move you’d incorporate on a weekly basis and more of a ‘fun’ move, to throw in as a challenge.
1. Set yourself up with a gymnastics ring raised around six inches from the floor and a moderate weight dumbbell.
2. Assume a plank position with one hand on the ring, the other on your dumbbell. Squeeze your glutes and quads, creating tensions from your feet, right through your trunk to your shoulders. Create a solid and unshakeable structure.
3. Actively push down on the ring whilst flexing at the opposing elbow and rowing the dumbbell towards your hip.
4. Keep your midline rigid throughout and hold the ring as still as possible. Pause at the top of the rep for accountability.
5. Lower the dumbbell back to the ground under control and repeat.
6. Switch sides after 5-10 reps, rest liberally between sets and if you find you’re struggling to maintain core stability, rest longer!