Back | Down ‘n Dirty with the Valslide Bodysaw
Just wanted to introduce you quickly to my friend Ryan who has something really fun to share with you today. On top of being Director of Valslide Internet Shenanigans, he knows a thing or two about fitness…
Down ‘n Dirty with the Valslide Bodysaw by Ryan Orrico.
In terms of sheer “bang for your buck,” no-BS effectiveness, it’s hard to beat the Valslide Bodysaw.
In fact, if I could only include one “core”-focused exercise in a workout, this would be it.
And in a very subtle movement, you get a surprising anount of action in your abs.
Whether you’re an athlete who needs power and strength for sport, a hottie-in-training, or just someone who uses exercises to stay semi-sane and out of jail. (like me!).. the Valslide Bodysaw delivers.
Besides just being a phenomenal core exercise, it’s got a lot of other cool things happening.
The “hardcore plank” position we’re about to discuss creates the ideal relationship between the hips and rib cage…
By squeezing your butt as hard as you can and using your abs to brace your trunk, you set your pelvis into its “battle” position. Which just so happens to be the position it’s supposed to be in all of the time…
You’re also forcing yourself to maintain the integrity and position of the muscles responsible for good posture…. while under a significant amount of stress/tension. Which is great because, then, when you’re just living your life – good posture becomes that much closer to second-nature.
All good things.
You’re practicing creating freakish amounts of tension across your entire body – which is so much more applicable to situations in life where you need to use your body to move something. Unless you’re an endurance athlete, it’s likely that most of the things you do “IRL” (nerd-speak for “in real life”) require short bursts of energy and strength…
As opposed to just hanging out in a position for an overly extended period – ala – a normal plank.
Before we get into the Bodysaw, let’s first make sure you can hold the “Hardcore Plank.”
If you don’t know what a “Hardcore Plank” is, as I didn’t until I googled the technique and found Simon Bolteur had written about it at EliteFTS.. it goes like this:
A hardcore plank is like a regular plank, but instead of just holding [on] for time / dearlife, you’re now going to flex everything as hard as possible… but for wayyyy less time than normal “planks” are often prescribed.
You flex your quads as hard as possible, “zip” your inner thighs and squeeze your butt like nobodys business… extending and pushing “through” the heels will help with this.
From here, brace your abs by squeezing your belly-button in and “up,” which in combination with that freakish butt squeeze, tilts your pelvis into position creating a perfectly lovely shape in the spine.
Your upperback and rear shoulders should be pulled backwards and “packed” down towards your hips. You should be looking straight down to keep the neck in a neutral position.
This should not be easy. If it is, you need to crank that shit up. Make it hard.
Now your one and only goal is to not let anything move. No change in the shape/curve of your spine – and no raising or lowering the hips. Everything remains.
You hold this until you can’t. It’s as simple as that… an optimal time is around 10-20 seconds (but not because you just “stopped,” you should HAVE TO stop because you’re flexing that hard.)
This is the “Hardcore Plank” position. If it sounds like a regular Plank… good, because it kind of is.
The main difference is intensity…
Here’s how to Bodysaw
Which, really, now that you’ve got the Hardcore Plank, is the “easy part.” (cue evil laughter.. muahahahaha)
The “Saw” is essentially a very small gliding movement you create with the shoulder…
You probably won’t be able move more than a couple of inches backwards before your abs cry out in defiance…
Pushing back “through” the elbows, use the abs & hips to maintain position of your upperback, lowerback and pelvis.
It won’t take much… so take it easy on yourself. You will absolutely know if you’re doing it right. And you’ll know right away.
It hurts so good.
The lever gets longer as your shoulders get further back “behind” your elbows… and that’s what challenges the abs. They have to work over-time to prevent the lowerback from arching.
Go slow. Inch by inch.
Like a gentleman.
Then reverse. Slide forward and the same rules apply: NOTHING MOVES.
Here’s a video from Valslide Superstar, Ben Bruno:
It sounds like a lot to think about.
If it was easy, everyone would be doing it. And they’re not.
So. if you DO, you can defeat them in battle.
Do you need more reasons? Because I have them.
You get way more out of any exercise, but I’d venture to say even more so on The Valslide Bodysaw, when you focus on the quality of movement… and not some arbitrary amount of reps.
Sloppy Bodysaws are so not Ninja. Let’s not do that.
I’d recommend starting with just a few reps to “figure it out” (3-5 at a time with as little rest as you need to keep solid form) – then as you get better, step it up and try sets of 8-10.
You can also do them for time during a circuit, but I hesitate to recommend this for any one but Super Ninjas because it’s easy to let the clock fool your ego into thinking ugly is OK. It’s not.
Put a ‘lil STANK on that PLANK.
Give this a shot tonight. It’s definitely ninja certified..
Jazz Hands are optional. I would actually prefer that I left them open, but if I’m being honest… I chose these 2 photos because my arms look better in these than the others.
And obviously we can’t have that.
If you really want to get jiggy with it, check out these insane variations by legitimate Valslide Boss-Hawg Gangster, Ben Bruno.