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Men’s Health

Men Over 40 Can Do the Plank Row Exercise to Build Stability

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Trainer, author, and fitness model Kirk Charles, NASM-CPT CES, knows that life can get more complicated as you age. But that shouldn’t stop you from being up to date. He’ll help you answer the tough exercise questions that come with age so that you too can get fit over 40.

Basketball is the sport I grew up with the most in the 1970s. But these days when I play with a group over 40 (what I call the “belly bumper” crowd) the game becomes a lot less skill-oriented. There is a lot more pressure and nudge as a lot of older guys are just trying to get through the game without injuring themselves. To avoid injury or abuse by an old, overweight man who is leaning on you, you need core stability and strength. A big part of developing that stability and strength is doing anti-rotation exercises that can help you assert yourself. As we get older, these types of exercises are vital in order for us to be able to safely perform all kinds of sports activities and even simple movements like opening a door.

The plank position is a great way to build core strength, but it can be taken to a higher level by adding a pulling component. The elevated plank row adds the dimension of anti-rotation to the plank as your body is constantly challenged by gravity and the weight and movement of rowing a dumbbell. An imbalance forces your entire body to become activated to do the exercise in good shape.

To set it up, grab a dumbbell that’s convenient for rowing and find a bench in your gym. Get into a one-armed raised plank position using the bench as a platform with your feet slightly wider than your typical plank, about shoulder width apart. Your other arm should hang down and hold the dumbbell in your hand in a neutral position. Once in the plank position, squeeze your core and glutes together, keeping your body in a straight line. This is your starting position.

Squeeze your back to row the barbell and lift the weight up to your chest. Hold for a count, then lower your back to the starting position. This is a repetition.

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The key to increased plank row is staying balanced throughout the reps. As you row your right arm, you will feel the right side of your body being under tension as it counteracts gravity to hold your position. The tendency is to compensate for this by turning your right side up for stability. You need to combat this tendency and stay firm by continuing to contract your glutes, core and back muscles.

To add challenge and focus on anti-rotation, you can take an isometric hold at the top of the row. By increasing your time under tension, you need to combat these forces even more. The beauty of this exercise is that when your whole body is struggling for balance and stability, you get more core burn. This variant requires full concentration even with light weights.

Try this weightless exercise to get started. Simply hold the raised plank with one arm for ten seconds or more to get the feeling of locking your core and maintaining stability. Then take a light weight to row and engage in iso-hold. Once you master the technique, try the heavier weight exercise and work your way up to longer iso-holds.

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Men’s Health

Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson Explained Why He Doesn’t Have Six-Pack Abs

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Before we start, let’s agree on something: For someone who is nearly 50 years old, Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson is in incredible shape. As someone with a background in professional American football, wrestling and performing hardcore action scenes – with decades of strength training under the (weight) belt – DJ is a fitness icon for men half his age and has made a name for himself made by Hollywood’s strongest leading actors.

These physical skills are what power tens of thousands of frantic Google searches as those desperately looking for Johnson’s workouts try to find the plan that got him into such gigantic shape. But the internet has defied one mystery: Where are Johnson’s six pack abs? He’s got the core strength and low body fat required to make them pop, after all.

That was the question Johnson asked during a recent WIRED “Autocomplete” interview in which DJ answered some of the internet community’s most burning questions. The question read by his Jungle Cruise co-star, Emily Blunt, was, “What’s wrong with The Rock’s abs?”

“That sucks!” replied Johnson to the question that struck his body. “There’s nothing wrong with them, no. Here’s the thing. I think because on Instagram all these Instagram fitness models have these incredible six, eight, 12, 24 packs.”

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“I have a five and a half pack, sometimes a four and a half pack,” he continued. “But the problem was – which a lot of people don’t know – I ripped the upper part of my thigh off my pelvis in a wrestling match and it popped, in a wrestling match.

“And then it started a chain reaction and tore my abdominal wall, so I had to do emergency surgery with a triple hernia, one tear, one tear, and one tear.” [pointing to each tear].

Sounds like a tough ride – one that will definitely ruin any unwarranted keyboard comment. “Those bastards who google what’s wrong with the abs on The Rock? ‘ Well, it’s called a 45 minute wrestling match and the top of my quad popped out of my pelvis and my adductor popped out of my pelvis, “said Johnson.

“And the pain I’ve been through … I have to fix this shit. I’ll google what got over The Rock?”

Very good reason, you will agree with me.


Ed Cooper is Assistant Digital Editor at Men’s Health UK, writing and editing on anything you want to know – from tech to fitness, mental health to style, food and more.

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Men’s Health

Why Winter is The Best Season for Bulking

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With the lack of beach days forcing you to put up with it all and minimal impromptu parties popping up on the calendar, there’s relatively no need to wear a chiseled six-pack year round. Therefore, winter is the best time of year to build as much lean muscle mass as possible. For those unfamiliar with the concept, it should be made clear that bulking doesn’t translate directly to bodybuilding (aka You Won’t Walk Away Like the Michelin Man).

How do i start?

The most important thing is that to build muscle you need to eat a lot more. The reverse formula for what it takes to lose weight, bulking, requires you to expend more energy than the body needs while at the same time giving some of that energy, e.g. Through regular and strenuous physical activity to build muscle mass.

The amount of food you need to eat varies from person to person and takes into account your current physique and fitness goals, which is why I recommend that you always seek advice from your doctor. For some, it might mean adding an extra can of yogurt to your morning cereal, others need to include a different meal each day, but you want your wellness journey to be tailored just for you.

Wait … am I not getting fat?

While it may be a cause for concern for some, fat gain is part of the mass building process. However, you don’t want to fall into the pattern of simply eating more for profit, it’s all about quality and informed food choices.

Start increasing your calories in small increments, prioritizing more full fat dairy, whole grains, and lean meats to underpin each meal. Other high-calorie foods that should appear on your radar include avocado, sweet potato, and nuts.

Hot Tip: Swapping Vegemite for Peanut Butter on Toast will increase your energy and protein intake without increasing the bread amount, making you less likely to feel too full.

So am I doubling the protein requirement?

Contrary to popular belief, bulking requires more than just protein (so stop knocking down those shakes). The best sources of protein to include in your diet today should be: eggs, nuts and seeds, beans, legumes, lean meats, and seafood. Again, so many factors play a role in how much you need, including your gender, height, and exercise program.

If you are feeling fit and ready to reshape your body but are lacking inspiration in the kitchen department, I recommend investing in one of the many food delivery programs available across Austria that will support your fitness goals. Company like MACROS For example, provide plans called Sculpt, Perform, and Gain, all of which have been pre-portioned and dietitian-approved to suit your lifestyle. The best part? It ships right to your door, which means more time training and less effort preparing meals.

Forget everything you’ve heard about gobbling up whole pizzas, gallons of milk, and tons of cheeseburgers, bulking is far less scary than it sounds and can indeed be a welcome change from your usual fitness regimen.

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Men’s Health

Review finds women’s NCAA Tournament got less than men’s

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From the first practice session to the final four, the bells and whistles for this year’s NCAA women’s tournament lagged far behind those of the men’s tournament.

The inequalities were brought back to the fore on Tuesday in a damning review by Kaplan Hecker & Fink LLP, a law firm hired to review gender equality issues at NCAA championship events. Page by page, the review deals with the big and small differences. The women’s teams in San Antonio were getting less of several things – including amenities, transportation, and even food – than the men in Indianapolis last March.

From the beginning, when the organizers of the men’s tournament announced plans for an event with 68 teams in one central location due to the coronavirus last November, it took another month before the organizers of the women’s tournament were able to publish their plan.

At almost every step thereafter, the report said, the men’s tournament was in full swing with well-equipped weight rooms, spacious lounge areas in its hotels and tournament venues, while the organizers of the women’s tournament did not have similar resources.

“These gender inequalities were built into the structure of the tournaments and how the tournaments were viewed by the NCAA,” the report said.

The issues were publicized on social media, most notably by Oregon gamer Sedona Prince, whose first tweet on the subject has now been viewed more than 18 million times.

The company’s deep dive also revealed that the COVID-19 testing procedures were different on the two tournament bladders: men were given rapid polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests daily, while women only had to do one PCR test per week along with daily antigen tests.

An athlete who participated in the review said the NCAA’s various testing protocols “really said about how they felt to us as humans, like we weren’t important enough to have good tests on (COVID-19) anything is life-threatening “.

The company’s report found that the inequality in tests did not put the health of people at either site at risk. “Nevertheless,” the report says, “antigen tests have a lower specificity than PCR tests and thus increase the likelihood of false positive or inconclusive results.”

The report found many other cases where women got less than men:

– Ways to escape from hotel life. The NCAA set up a park at a minor league ballpark in Indianapolis where teams could relax outside while women in San Antonio opened up opportunities through May 16.

– Meal. Men ate from a buffet layout in hotels, while women limited themselves to prepackaged meals until the inequality became known.

– Player gifts. The report found that the NCAA spent $ 125.55 per player on gifts and memorabilia distributed at the men’s tournament; it spent less than half ($ 60.42) on women in the first and second rounds.

The company found that the Texas women’s event had less signage and advertising than the Indianapolis men, and the March Madness brand was not used in women’s games. The NCAA later said the women’s tournament would use March Madness in the future.

Kaplan noted that the problems with the weight room and other inequalities between the two events were mainly due to a lack of staffing at the women’s tournament and coordination between the organizers of the two events.

“As these issues were exacerbated by the unique challenge of planning and conducting a championship amid a global pandemic,” the report said, “it became the world’s attention.”

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