Basketball is the one sport I used to play growing up back in the 70s. But now, whenever I walk onto the court with a 40-and-older player or players (what I label the “belly-bumper” folks) the game turns into a much less skill-oriented thing.
There is a lot more shoving and pushing as some older dudes are just attempting to get through it without getting injured.
To stop possible injuries or prevent getting manhandled by an older guy leaning onto you, you must have core strength and stability.
A huge part of getting these two things is working on anti-rotation which allows you to stand your ground. As you get older, those sorts of exercises are crucial for safely doing all types of athletic movements and even simple ones such as opening a door.
The plank is the perfect way to gain core strength, but you can also take it up a notch by adding a pulling alteration.
The elevated plank row gives you the benefit of anti-rotation because your body is being challenged by the weight and gravity. Being unbalanced means your whole body is forced to get activated to perform the exercise using the correct form.
To start, get a dumbbell you can comfortably use and find a bench. Go into an elevated single-arm plank position using your bench like a platform, with feet just a bit wider than your usual plank at around shoulder-width apart. Your arm with the weight should hang down with the dumbbell in a neutral way. Once you are in the plank, activate (squeeze) your core and butt and hold your body straight. This is the starting point.
Now squeeze your back to bring the dumbbell up, bringing the weight to your ribs. Hold, then allow the weight to go down to the starting point. This is one rep.
Try this exercise with no weights at first. Just hold your elevated plank position with one arm for ten seconds or longer to get a feel for locking your core and keeping stability. Then start using light weights to row and activate the iso hold. Once you can do the technique without problems, try the exercise using heavy weights and work on doing longer holds.
Author: Scott Dowdy