How To Do Body Saw Exercise Properly

The body saw exercise is a clever variation of planks, designed to work your abdominals, back muscles and calves.

This exercise is among the best considered when you want to spice up your workout sessions.

It is a great core exercise that can also bring in other muscle groups into play other than helping with the flexibility of your calves. You can perform it as part of a warm-up, a filler training routine to a more intensive workout or an any place, anywhere kind of exercise.

WHAT EXACTLY IS THE BODY SAW EXERCISE?

The body saw, just like the plank, is an isometric, anti-extension core exercise. This means that you won’t be moving much while performing it. However, you will still have to work hard in order to maintain your position.

However, unlike the plank, where you remain totally motionless, with the body saw exercise, you will purposely move your body. This means you’ll have to work twice as hard to keep your body properly aligned, making it much tougher on your abs.

HOW TO DO BODY SAW EXERCISE PROPERLY

On a smooth surface like floor, get down and into the plank position. Keep your body straight with your weight resting on your toes and forearms.

Place your feet on a small towel so that they can slide, or use any small sliding pads. You can also choose to use specially designed glider pads, which will cost you some money.

Alternatively, just take your shoes off and work out in your socks as this will slide through the smooth floor.

Bracing your abs, glutes, quads, shoulders, and arms, ensure that your entire body feels tense. Avoid holding your breath but take shallow, diaphragmatic breaths.

Maintaining tension throughout your body, move your elbows forward and back, so that your feet slide out and in. Ensure that your movement resembles the sawing motion, which gives this exercise its name.

Keep the movements slow, smooth, and deliberate to maintain constant tension on your abs.

The further you extend your arms out in front of you, the harder this exercise will become, simply adjust your range of motion accordingly.

Keep going until your hips start to drop and you have to stop. Also consider resting after a couple of reps before proceeding.

BODY SAW EXERCISE TIPS TO CONSIDER

Whenever you feel any pain in your lower back, stop your set immediately. Back pain could mean you have not adequately braced your core, either because of muscle weakness, over-extension, or improper exercise technique.

Determine the cause of the pain before trying again. If you still feel pain during this exercise, you should stick to planks for a bit longer or see a physician to see if they could help with a few more suggestions.

Be sure to breathe through your diaphragm and match your breaths to your movements. Inhale as you move your feet away and exhale as you return to the starting position.

WHAT MUSCLES DO BODY SAW EXERCISE WORK?

As mentioned before, the body saw exercise is a more fun variation of normal planks. It works almost every muscle in your core- which is basically your entire mid- section.

Additionally, it works other muscles highlighted below.

RECTUS ABDOMINIS

This muscle is located at the front end of your abdomen and creates the famously known six packs. In addition to flexing your spine, it also plays an important role in lateral extension.

TRANSVERSE ABDOMINIS

This is a deep core muscle which encircles your internal organs. It functions more or less like a corset. It supports your spine by increasing intra- abdominal tension (IAP).

OBLIQUES

Essentially your waist muscles, the obliques are responsible for the rotation and lateral flexion of your spine.

PELVIC FLOOR

This figure-eight-shaped muscle is located at the bottom of your core cylinder. It supports your internal pelvic organs and also plays a crucial role in maintaining IAP.

DIAPHRAM

Your diaphragm is your primary breathing muscle and also makes up the top of your core cylinder. Working with your transverse abdominus, the diaphragm helps to create the intra-abdominal pressure that keeps your spine stable.

BENEFITS OF BODY SAW EXERCISE

INCREADED CHALLENGE

Body saws are harder than planks, and that means you won’t have to do them for as long. This will save you time and make your workouts more productive.

SUBJECT TO MODIFICATION

If you find this exercise too hard, simply bend your legs and drop to your knees. This makes the body saw much less demanding.

ALTERNATIVES TO BODY SAW EXERCISE

Push up body saw- Since your arms are straight in this alternative, you will work even harder to maintain your body’s stability.

TRX body saw- This alternative will add in an element of instability to make the exercise more challenging. Also, it involves your feet swinging instead of sliding which will prompt you to work harder.

Stability ball body saw- This alternative uses stability balls to make the saw movement more challenging.

COMMON BODY SAW EXERCISE MISTAKES TO AVOID

AVOID SAWING TOO FAR

If you saw too far, you may find yourself unable to maintain your straight body position. If this happens, your hips will drop out of alignment, putting a lot of stress on your lumbar spine. This might cause very serious injury.

AVOID HOLDING YOUR BREATH

Holding your breath during body saws will rob your muscles of the oxygen they need to function correctly and will additionally increase your blood pressure.

CONCLUSION

When it comes to abs training, it is quite easy to fall into the same old routine of endless sets of sit ups and planks. While these exercises are effective and are often featured in fitness content, they are not exactly cutting edge like the body saw exercise.

If you are used to holding a plank for a couple of minutes at a time, this exercise will be a rude awakening for your abs because it will trigger new muscle growth and increased levels of strength.