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Side Plank

Exercise Profile

Body PartWaist
EquipmentBody weight
Primary MusclesObliques
Secondary Muscles
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Introduction to the Side Plank

The Side Plank is a core strengthening exercise that targets the obliques, lower back, and hips, promoting better balance and stability. It is suitable for individuals of all fitness levels, from beginners to advanced athletes, as it can be modified to match one's ability. People would want to do this exercise not only to enhance their core strength and stability but also to improve their overall posture and reduce the risk of back and spinal injuries.

Performing the: A Step-by-Step Tutorial Side Plank

  • Prop your body up on your elbow, making sure it is directly under your shoulder and your forearm is flat against the ground.
  • Lift your hips off the ground, creating a straight line from your head to your feet.
  • Hold this position for as long as you can, keeping your hips lifted and your body in a straight line.
  • Slowly lower yourself back down to the starting position, and then switch sides to repeat the exercise.

Tips for Performing Side Plank

  • Engage Your Core: The side plank is a core exercise and should be felt in the muscles of your core. If you are feeling the strain in your shoulder or arm, you are likely not engaging your core properly. To do so, pull your belly button in towards your spine and squeeze your glute muscles. This will help you maintain stability and balance.
  • Keep Your Neck Neutral: Avoid straining your neck by looking up or down. Instead, keep your gaze straight ahead, with your neck in a neutral position. This will help avoid unnecessary strain on your neck.
  • Start with Modifications: If you're a beginner, it's better to start with modifications such as the knee

Side Plank FAQs

Can beginners do the Side Plank?

Yes, beginners can do the Side Plank exercise. However, it may be challenging at first as it requires a certain amount of core and shoulder strength. Beginners should start with shorter periods of time and gradually increase as their strength improves. It's also important to ensure proper form to avoid injury. If it's too difficult, there are modified versions of the Side Plank that can be easier for beginners.

What are common variations of the Side Plank?

  • The Raised Leg Side Plank: While holding the side plank position, raise the top leg as high as you can, which adds an extra challenge to the obliques and the leg muscles.
  • The Side Plank with Rotation: In this version, you start in a side plank position and then rotate the body to bring the top elbow down to the bottom elbow, which works the core even more intensively.
  • The Side Plank with Hip Dips: This involves dipping your hips towards the floor and then lifting them back up again, which provides an additional workout for the obliques.
  • The Star Side Plank: This is an advanced variation where you balance on one hand and the edge of one foot while extending the other arm and leg out, forming a star shape

What are good complementing exercises for the Side Plank?

  • "Russian Twists" are another exercise that complements the Side Plank as they target the obliques, the same muscles that are worked in the Side Plank, thereby enhancing overall core strength and stability.
  • "Mountain Climbers" complement the Side Plank by promoting core stability and strength, while also incorporating a cardiovascular element that can help improve endurance, something that can be beneficial for holding the Side Plank position for longer periods.

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