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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 powerful exercise that primarily strengthens the obliques, but also engages the shoulders, wrists, and hips, promoting overall balance and core stability. It is suitable for individuals at all fitness levels, with modifications available for beginners and challenges for advanced exercisers. People would want to do it because it helps enhance functional fitness for everyday activities, improves performance in sports, and assists in injury prevention by promoting a strong, balanced physique.

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

  • Prop your body up on your elbow, ensuring your elbow is directly under your shoulder.
  • Tighten your core muscles and then raise your hips until your body is in a straight line from head to feet.
  • Hold this position for as long as you can, maintaining a tight core and keeping your hips lifted.
  • Slowly lower your body back down to the starting position and repeat the exercise on the other side.

Tips for Performing Side Plank

  • Engage Your Core: Engage your core muscles throughout the exercise. This not only helps maintain your balance but also ensures that the right muscles are being worked. A common mistake is to let the hips sink towards the ground, which can strain the lower back. To avoid this, actively push your hips upwards, keeping your body in a straight line from head to feet.
  • Maintain Neck Alignment: Keep your neck in line with your spine. A common mistake is to let the head drop forward or push it back, straining the neck. You can avoid this by focusing on a fixed point in front of you.
  • Breathe: Don't hold your breath while performing the side plank. It's essential to

Side Plank FAQs

Can beginners do the Side Plank?

Yes, beginners can definitely do the side plank exercise. However, it might be challenging at first as it requires core strength and balance. Beginners can start with modified versions of the side plank, such as doing it on their knees or with one foot on the ground for support. As they build strength, they can progress to the full side plank. It's important to remember to maintain proper form to avoid injury and to get the most benefits from the exercise.

What are common variations of the Side Plank?

  • Side Plank with Leg Lift: In this variation, you lift your top leg towards the ceiling while maintaining the side plank position.
  • Side Plank with a Twist: This variation adds a twist to the standard side plank by reaching your top arm underneath your body and then back up to the ceiling.
  • Side Plank with Hip Dips: This involves dipping your hips towards the floor and then lifting them back up, adding an extra challenge to your obliques.
  • Side Plank with Arm Reach: In this variation, you reach your top arm over your head, creating a line from your hand to your bottom foot, challenging your balance and stability.

What are good complementing exercises for the Side Plank?

  • The Russian Twist is another exercise that complements the Side Plank, as it targets the oblique muscles, improving rotational strength and endurance which are crucial for holding the Side Plank position.
  • The Bird Dog exercise complements the Side Plank by enhancing core stability and balance, which are fundamental for the proper execution and maintenance of the Side Plank position.

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