Move of the Week with Jana McDermid: Plank Row

It’s that time again… time for your favourite personal trainer and diva of demonstration Jana McDermid to teach you another Move of the Week! Each week, Jana teaches you the proper form for an important exercise. To book a session with Jana or any of our other personal trainers, call our Pickering location or fill out our online form.

The plank row is great because it challenges the abs and lower back as well as the arms and the lats. The idea is to hold a plank position while doing a one-arm row with a dumbbell.  The challenge comes in when you have to brace your body to keep from tilting, rotating or sagging as you lift the weight up and down – something that’s harder than it looks.

It helps to take the feet wide for a more stable base the first time you try this exercise. Focus on keeping the body straight, especially when pulling the weight up (you’ll be tempted to rotate, but try to keep the hips and shoulders square to the mat). This move isn’t for everyone, of course, and you should skip it if you feel any pain in the back, shoulders or anywhere else.

Do it right: Get into a plank position, on the hands and toes, keeping the core braced and the body in a straight line. Grab a moderate weight (I’m using a 12lb dumbbell here) and pull the elbow up to torso level in a rowing motion. Lower the weight, lightly touching the floor, and continue rowing while keeping the plank position. Repeat for all reps (8-16) and then switch sides.