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Side Plank Exercises

Rujuta Borkar Aug 24, 2020
Side plank exercises help in strengthening your core muscles and thus lend to overall strength and fitness. In the following story, we will look through the several variations of the side plank exercise form that can be undertaken.
Varied exercises are devised to help develop and strengthen the varied muscles of our bodies. Of these, side plank exercises target the core muscle group and benefit all the muscles that are a part of it.
These involve the obliques (the side of the torso), the abdominal muscles and the back. Along with that, they will also benefit the pelvis, shoulders and the arms.
While there are several exercises that target each of these muscle groups individually, the side plank exercise will target all these groups at the same time and is therefore a great exercise form to include in your routine.
There are several side plank exercise benefits. These are observed in the way that these exercises not only lead to the strengthening of the abs, back and the obliques, but also lead to developing a strong balance. With a strong core, all the basic functions of bending, lifting and stretching become easier. And while all these are the recorded benefits of this exercise form, the main advantage is that these exercises do not lead to any injury. Which is one of the main possibilities in other exercise forms.

Side Plank Exercise Variations

These exercises are some of the most difficult exercises to undertake because they require one to balance on their sides. The difficulty level rises because of this fact, but it is the exact reason why the core strength develops with unparalleled zeal. The core muscles are made to work with intensity and therefore they produce great results. In this following section we will concentrate on some of these exercises and show you how to undertake them.
The Basic Side Plank
  • Sit on your right side on an exercise mat, with your legs on the side and bent at the knees.
  • The feet should be placed heel to toe, with the left foot in front of the right foot (Not over).
  • Place the right hand flat on the ground and slightly beyond the shoulder.
  • Make sure that you're sitting completely on the side with the left hip falling over the right one.
  • Lower yourself to the ground and support yourself with the forearm that will be bent at a 90 degree angle at the side.
  • Suck in your abs, drop your shoulders and try to lengthen the spine.
  • Inhale deeply, press into the right arm and push yourself up. This will automatically lift the pelvis into the air.
  • The hips and shoulders should be in a straight line, one on top of the other. Try to maintain a straight line from the head to the knees to the feet and keep your body stiff.
  • Lift the top arm or keep it at the side, as is comfortable for you.
  • Hold for a count of 10 to begin with (slowly increase to 16 in one set).
  • Then bring your pelvis down to touch the hip to the floor in a controlled manner and repeat the same on the left side.
Side Plank with Leg Lift
  • Get into a side plank by pushing yourself off the ground with the help of your arm.
  •  Unlike the earlier exercise where the supporting arm was fully extended, this time, let the supporting arm be bent at the elbow at a 90 degree angle, perpendicular to the body.
  • Instead of keeping the feet in a heel to toe position, keep them one on top of the other.
  • With the pelvis off the ground and the weight supported equally by the forearm and the legs, lift the upper leg and balance yourself.
  • Breathe evenly and place your hand on your hips.
  • Count till 10 and then lower yourself down, bringing the foot, then the pelvis and then releasing the arm.
  • The other variation to this exercise is to place the feet one on top of the other either on a chair or a medicine ball. This intensifies the exercise.
Side Plank Knee Pull
  • Start out with a side plank position by maintaining a stiff body and supporting yourself with a bent forearm, perpendicular to the body, and legs one on top of the other.
  • As you're set in this position, slowly lift the upper foot into the air and keep it up for a second or two before bringing it down.
• Continue to breathe evenly through this.
• This is a difficult variation of the side plank and will require you to have mastered the side plank exercise as well as have developed the core strength to do the same.
• Do 10 repetitions of the same. Then release the plank position.
• As your core strength increases, increase the number to 16 repetitions and try to bring 3 sets into order.
• Then shift to the other side and repeat the same.
Side Plank Thigh Raise
  • Get into a side plank with the support of your forearm bent at a 90 degree angle, perpendicular to your body and the feet, placed one on top of the other.
  • Continue breathing deeply as you bend your upper foot and raise it to your chest.
  • This is one of the best side plank exercises for abs.
  • Do 10 repetitions before coming out of the plank position.
  • Slowly increase the number to 16 repetitions in sets of 3.
  • Then shift to the other side and repeat in exactly the same manner.
These are some of the side plank exercise variations that you can include in your exercise routine. These will lead to a strong core and you'll notice the overall agility and strength that runs through in all the other exercises that you undertake because of the same.