“I really should be better at this,” I thought to myself while at a conference a few months ago.

It was a conference for personal trainers and the presenter had asked us to do the reverse plank exercise.  I was partnered with a guy who did his first.  His reverse plank looked great.

“Don’t expect much,” I told him when it was my turn.  When I did mine, he was amazed at my lack of range of motion.

I’m not so good at the reverse plank exercise.  See pic below.

Reverse Plank Exercise

This pic is actually my improved reverse plank.  I still have work to do to get my hips up higher and body in a straight line from shoulders to knees.  (You should have heard my hamstrings screaming while holding the pose!)

It’s crazy how a simple exercise like this can reveal a whole bunch of information about your body.

  • Your shoulders need to be flexible.  With your fingers facing your feet, you close the front side of your shoulder joint.
  • Your spine must extend.
  • The muscles that run along side of your spine must contract and resist gravity.
  • Your glutes and hamstrings must be strong enough to hold your body weight up.
  • Your hip flexor muscles must allow your hips to open.

Corrective Exercise for Reverse Plank

It’s been a few months since that conference.  And admittedly, I haven’t really been working on improving my reverse plank.  But I said that was my improved picture.  I decided just to try it to see if it had improved…..and it had!

The only thing I’ve been doing differently in the past couple months is my warmup.

So I’m chalking the improvement up to the 3D Mobility Matrix that I’ve been doing in my warmup.

The matrix is great for actively stretching the entire body.  It opens the front line including the hip flexors, the back line including the hamstrings, and the side muscles.  But most of all, it moves the spine in 4 directions.

My clients love how the mobility matrix feels.  It takes a little bit of practice, but effectively stretches lots of muscles and mobilizes the spine in 2 minutes time.  Shout out to the Gray Institute for teaching me that!

No More Static Stretching

With traditional stretches, you hold a stretch for 30-60 seconds and only stretch one, maybe two, muscles.  The dynamic stretching shown in the video will save you a lot of time.  Plus since you’re moving as you’re loosening up, it’s great to incorporate into your warm up.  Or you could even do it at your office if you’ve been sitting for a while.

I’m not a big fan of simply stretching just because it feels good.  (Sorry….I’m the Uncool Trainer!)  Stretching a weak muscle only makes it weaker.  Read my blogs about that here and here.

But the 3D Warmup Matrix pulls triple duty by warming up the body, actively lengthening fascial lines, and mobilizing the spine.  Lots of bang for your buck with one exercise!  And it may even improve your reverse plank exercise.