Movement Bank: StongFirst Plank

A better deadlift, kettlebell swing and overhead press all start with a solid lockout. The StrongFirst Plank, shown above, takes this traditional “core” move and amplifies it. The tension you create will carry over to many other exercises and makes you plain old strong. Here’s what you do.

1… Start in your belly, with your elbows on the floor and feet shoulder width apart. 

2… Pick your knees off the floor to find the traditional plank position.

3… Ramp up the tension by squeezing your butt, quads and fists as hard as you can.

4… Drive your elbows into the floor and try to drag them to your toes. Pull your toes to your elbows.

5… With each breath, get tighter until your body feels like stone. Hold, then relax.

This movement should be brutal. The "2 minute plank" is a thing of the past. Get more benefit in much less time by trying the StrongFirst Plank. You shouldn’t be able to hold it longer than 15 seconds. If you can, you aren't building enough tension. Turn it up a notch!