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Look, Feel, & Perform Better Doing Planks, Push-ups, & Ab Wheel Rollouts

Look, Feel, & Perform Better Doing Planks, Push-ups, & Ab Wheel Rollouts

Here’s one way I help clients look, feel, and perform better during plank, push-up, and ab rollout/fallout exercises.

Note: The following information applies to all anti-extension core movements.

Intro: Some people, sometimes, no matter what cues you give them (internal, external, kinesthetic, etc.) just can’t understand, perform, or feel the positions/things you want them too.

By following the three bullet points below, you may help yourself (or others) struggling to execute good plank positions, do so in seconds.

Especially if you’re current training, demonstrating, and coaching methods aren’t working as you feel they should be.

Here’s How:

  1. Over exaggerate and feel the position you DON’T want to be in.
  2. Overemphasize and feel the position you DO want to be in.
  3. FREEZE. Stay here and perform the rest of the movement.

P.S. Steps one and two may need to be repeated a couple times for it to click.

Shown in video: Step 1: Extended lumbar spine (stress on low back/ignoring muscles you want to target). Step 2: Neutral spine/posterior tilted pelvis (targeting anterior core). Step 3: Freezing the position and performing anti-ext ab exercises.

Important notes:

1. I never have clients over dramatize a position I don’t want them to be in at high levels of exertion.

For example, I won’t have a client extend their lower back on purpose, at the end range of an ab-wheel rollout.

2. If you can achieve and feel the “right” position in an unloaded or low stress environment, but can’t maintain it while performing a more challenging exercise, you may need to regress or change the movement.

For example, if you can get into a proper plank position on your elbows, but when you do an ab wheel rollout your form deviates/low back extends (no matter how hard you try to not let it), you may need to back off and execute a less difficult exercise like a stability ball rollout.

3. Any questions comment below or email me at where I’ll answer you personally.

About Justin Rivelli

Justin Rivelli has been training clients online and in-person at his private gym in Berkshire County, Massachusetts for over 15 years. He specializes in helping 35 to 65 year old adults improve their body composition with well-rounded fitness plans that suit their needs, wants, and lifestyle. You can find out more about him at


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