The only difference being that the side plank puts the emphasis on your side. Side Plank. How to Perform Side Plank? Daniel Bubnis, M.S., NASM-CPT, NASE Level II-CSS, 30 Exercises to Make the Most of Your Oblique Workout, How to Get a Full-Body Strength Training Workout at Home. How to Do Oblique V-Ups, or Side Jackknives, This 4-Week Ab Routine Will Strengthen Your Core, Thinking About Trying the Plank Challenge? Try to avoid rotating your body. Related Videos. This exercise trains and strengthens the core muscles that surround the … … The side plank trains your obliques very efficiently, and just like the front plank, the side plank is an isometric exercise, which means that the muscles are under the load without changing their length (“iso” means “same”, and “metric” means “length”; isometric literally means same length). Our website services, content, and products are for informational purposes only. If you want to target your side abdominals and strengthen your spine, try side planks. Share This: Just to get the obvious question out of the way: I have ZERO idea why the Copenhagen Side Plank is called what it is. Here’s how to get started. Editor's Picks. The side plank is one of the best core exercises you could do. “I would rather clients do a few shorter planks with great form than hold for minutes and start sinking into the hips and shoulders,” says Bonney. Keeping your shoulders, hips and knees in a diagonal line. The pinky side of your hand should be in contact with the ground. Another variation to your side plank exercise, this one requires extra rotation from your upper body. The exercise concepts, the muscles used and it’s overall meaning is very similar to that of the front plank. Side Plank Benefits and Variations During an intense workout, the “pain cave” is the point of physical and mental fatigue. The side plank exercise engages the core muscles. Women's Health may earn commission from the links on this page, but we only feature products we believe in. Stack your feet on top of each other. Fitness & Exercise. If you find it hard to hold a side plank, that’s OK. You can try performing the exercise from your knees instead of your feet while you’re building your strength. All rights reserved. As you probably know, the side plank is very similar to the commonly known plank exercise, also known as the front plank. Vanilla ice cream, a plain cheeseburger, that little black dress—sometimes keeping it simple is the most satisfying thing you can do. It’s when the exercise feels impossible to finish. That’s one rep. How to: Position yourself in a side plank, resting on your left forearm, with your right arm behind your head. We’ve compiled 12 exercises for the best ab workout, split into weekly routines that will help you strengthen, stabilize, and balance in just one…, The plank challenge can be a fun way to increase your core strength and endurance. Plus, your shoulder stabilizers keep you in alignment, says Bonney. Start on your hands and knees. Repeat for 10 to 15 reps and then switch to the other side. Side planks are an endurance exercise for your core. If you’ve already nailed your plank holds, side planks are a great exercise to alternate with. This exercise mainly targets shoulder, glutes, obliques and thighs muscles. The side plank, or side bridge, is a core exercise that challenges the muscles on the sides of your body to hold you body in place. Step 2Press into your left hand and rotate your body toward your right. Burning fat and toning your muscles based on your resistance power is the basic workout regime of the plank exercise. If you’re a beginner, do 1 set per side to start and work up to 3 sets per side as the exercise gets easier to do. The around the world plank. Last medically reviewed on November 10, 2020. How to Perform the Plank? Besides your obliques, this side plank variation engages your shoulder muscles, the lat muscles in your upper back, and your glutes. Keeping your obliques strong can make it easier to rotate and bend your trunk. Lift your hips off the mat so that you’re supporting your weight on your elbow and the side of your right foot. Place your hands… Side Plank is an core exercise that involves raising the trunk off the ground from side lying. Feet can either be staggered for more stability, or stacked for more of a challenge. If you feel pain during the exercise, stop immediately. It also works the glute meidus and minimus muscles. Start with a low plank (face down), then turn into a side plank. As you do this, thread your right arm through the space between your body and the floor. All you need is a mat and we'll show you the rest. Reach your top arm up toward the ceiling. What is a side plank? How-to: Start in kneeling … You'll burn more calories and boost your…, You can reduce your muscle mass by doing the opposite of what you would do to increase muscle mass: Consume fewer calories, use lighter weights and…. Learn how to do this challenge, safety tips, and variations to keep…, Doing more strenuous or vigorous types of exercise can boost your overall health and fitness in many ways. This simple and effective bodyweight exercise generally works the ab muscles with an emphasis on the obliques. Hold each for 15 to 30 seconds, then go around the world again if your core is up for it. That goes for the core move you’ve probably done in almost every workout class of your life: the side plank. The side plank exercise is a brilliant way to build core strength in a way that targets one of the common weak links in distance runners; lateral strength in the hips and torso. With your neck neutral, breathe out and brace your core. Some of the key benefits of adding the side plank to your workout program include the following: Before starting, try to find a mat or other soft surface to perform a side plank on. But if you’re wanting to strengthen and tone your core, it’s also important to regularly work your obliques. Here’s everything you need to know about the benefits of a side plank and how to perform this exercise with correct form. Lift your hips off the mat with the palm of your supporting hand directly under your lower shoulder, with your fingers facing away from you. How to: Lay on your side with your forearm flat on the floor, bottom elbow lined up directly under your shoulder and both legs extended out in a long line. Then lower your arm and rotate your core as you thread your top arm through the space under you. It's the first minute of my first plank and there's nothing but me, my living room floor, dead silence, … Although the Side Plank targets primarily the obliques, it requires strength from the hips and shoulders making it a great full-body exercise. Target: abdominal muscles. In fact, many professional athletes include the side plank in their training programs. 30 Plank Variations That Will Transform Your Core, 10 Killer Variations That Will Step Up Your Plank Game, Pushup Exercises: Make It Harder, See Results. It is extremely simple to perform, yet very difficult to master. Repeat for 10 to 15 reps and then repeat on the other side. Adding a rotation to your side plank helps engage your shoulder muscles, lat muscles, glutes, and abs, in addition to your obliques. That’s one rep. Form tips: “You should feel the abdominal draw in and cinch the waist feeling like a belt is lifting your waist/hips towards the ceiling,” says Bonney. If you’re new to working out, have an injury, or are unsure of how to do a side plank correctly, be sure to work with a certified personal trainer to start. One huge perk of this move is it’s super safe even for people who have back or disc injuries. If you want more of a burn, lower, pause, and repeat. Avoid letting your hips sag during the exercise. Raise back to start. If you can’t hold the position, try reducing the duration of the side plank. Start with a low plank (face down), then turn into a side plank. Many strength training exercises can be done in the comfort of your home without any equipment. THE SIDE PLANK EXERCISE. The side plank is one of the easiest ways to work the two layers of muscle along the sides of your core, known as your obliques. Lie on your right side with your legs straight and feet stacked on top of each other. Much like the regular front plank, the side plank requires concentration to stay as stiff as possible. That's one rep. How to: From your side plank position, slowly twist your chest until it’s parallel to the ground. Hold for 15 to 30 seconds. Take a stability ball and place it on the inner side of your calves, then … Yeah, they look cool—but what are muscles are used in side plank? Her favorite way to work them into a routine? Engage your core and lift your hips off the floor, forming a straight line from your head to your feet. Pilates side plank Description. Exercises You Should Be Doing: Copenhagen Side Plank Shenanigans. Watch the side plank video, learn how to do the side plank, and then be sure and browse through the side plank workouts on our workout plans page! Bring your right elbow in toward your belly, and bring your left knee to meet it. Stop when your shoulders are close to being parallel to the floor. Then return to the starting position. Strong obliques can also protect your spine, improve your posture, and reduce your risk of back injuries. Healthline Media does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. A study published in Global Advances in Health and Medicine found that side planks … You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at piano.io, 11 Best Triceps Exercises For Visibly Strong Arms, The 25 Best Butt Exercises For A Super-Toned Tush, 14 Dumbbell Exercises For Seriously Sculpted Arms, 12 Chest Exercises To Add To Upper-Body Workouts, These 15 Exercises Will Make Your Shoulders BURN, 20 Minute Box Jump Workout For Total-Body Gains. The side plank, in addition to the regular plank variety, is one of the most effective strength-gaining exercises for your core and the rest of the upper body. Rachael Schultz is a freelance writer with years of experience covering health, nutrition, and physiology. Depending on your fitness level, aim for between 15 to 60 seconds. Then, flip up into a reverse plank (hands behind you on the ground, chest facing up), and move into a side plank on the other side. Side Plank Dips. “I like to play with different shapes in my plank so that I’m dynamically challenged. Depending on the strength ratio between your upper body and core, you may find this variation harder to do. Side planks are a unilateral exercise, meaning they work one side of the body at a time-and you'll really feel it since those muscles are working double time to support your entire body. The Side Plank is an easy exercise to learn, is excellent for developing core strength and stability and can help develop a better posture. Normani Is More Confident Than Ever Before, Filters, FaceTune, And Your Mental Health, ‘Fitness Helped Me Find Joy After Losing My Leg’, 17 Yoga Moves That Will Help You Sculpt Abs. While a lot of core moves involve curling your spine and putting pressure on your low back or neck (think: situp, bicycle crunch), the side plank doesn't flex or compress your spine. Once you’ve mastered the basic side plank, there are many variations you can try to make the exercise more challenging. Left side plank – 30 seconds Left side plank crunch – 5 reps Cut through the noise and get practical, expert advice, home workouts, easy nutrition and more direct to your inbox. "Side plank dips are a more challenging way to fire up the obliques in a side plank … You can also use basic equipment like dumbbells and…. It’s better to perform 20 seconds with good form than 50 seconds with poor form. Try to keep your face and bottom hand relaxed during the exercise. Videos. Sure, holding a straight line isn’t as exciting as bicycle crunches, but it’ll make you more functional both in the gym and IRL. Unthread your arm and return to the starting position. Similar Exercises . It specifically helps to strengthen the obliques, quadratus lumborum, transverse abdominus and rectus abdominus muscles. Known as an effective isometric exercise, a plank helps build power, upper body muscles and helps strengthen your core. Most importantly, in all variations, avoid sinking into the shoulder—you should feel like you’re pushing away from the floor at all times, says Bonney. If you're looking to tone your midsection, include side planks in your workout. The side plank is one of the easiest ways to work the two layers of muscle along the sides of your core, known as your obliques. That translates to being able to lift more—whether it’s a barbell or a kid. This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. “The core isn't just your abdominals; it's all your trunk muscles, including your hips and back erector spinal muscles,” she says. If you’re a beginner, aim for 1 set per side to start and work up to 3 sets per side as you gain strength. While ab exercises like crunches and regular planks target the muscles in the front of your core, a side plank works your obliques, the muscles that run along the side of your core. Reps/sets for best results: Stick to that 30 second max, or 10 to 15 reps, on all variations. Position your top foot on the ground in… Hold this position for the duration of the exercise. It primarily uses the oblique abdominal muscles, but your gluteus medius and gluteus maximus—the side and back hip muscles—are put to work to help stabilize the hips. In classic side plank, you should also keep your head in line with your spine and avoid looking down, which could compromise your cervical spine. Drop your hips until they come into contact with the ground, then return to the start position. What is a “Pain Cave” and How Do You Power Through It in a Workout or Race? “Side planks are all about strengthening the side body and stabilizing your spine,” says Cara Bonney, CSCS, a Club Pilates master trainer in Dallas. We’ll look at three of these below. An elevated side plank shifts the emphasis of this exercise more toward your shoulder. My educated guess is it’s not because it was popularized in Detroit.. Women's Health participates in various affiliate marketing programs, which means we may get paid commissions on editorially chosen products purchased through our links to retailer sites. These muscles help you rotate and bend your trunk, and they also play a role in helping to protect your spine. What Muscle Groups Are Best to Work Out Together? But is it real? It also does not place much stress on the lower back or neck. Your body should be in a straight line from your ankles to your head. Start in a traditional side plank position. The oblique V-up is a core-strengthening exercise for people at a beginner level of exercise. ", To make it easier, start with both knees bent, feet 90 degrees behind you, so you form a straight line from head to knees; lift and hold. See complete instructions for performing a side plank, a great stability exercise that targets the muscles of your core. As with any exercise, if you feel pain while performing a side plank, stop immediately. Lie on your side with your bottom hand on the ground underneath your shoulder. How to Do a Modified Side Plank. Some points to keep in mind during the exercise: The side plank is safe for most people, but it’s best to avoid this exercise if you have shoulder, arm, or core pain. And if you think the side plank is boring, well, you clearly haven’t tried the endless number of side plank variations. It requires you support most of your body weight on your oblique muscles while maintaining total body tension. Incorporate them at the beginning or end of a cardio day, or as a rest interval during interval training, to make the most of every minute but still allow your heart rate to return to normal. Your top hand can be on side of hip (easier) or reaching up to the ceiling (harder). Stability Ball Side Plank. Elbow bent and directly underneath your shoulder. And for some harder side plank variations... How to: From side plank, lower your hips toward the ground a couple inches, then come back up to start. Raise your top arm straight above you, or keep your top hand on your top hip. Here is how…. This content is imported from {embed-name}. Learn how to do it perfectly. To make it harder, keep your bottom leg bent but extend your top leg out, actively engaging your inner thigh as you push your top leg into the floor. Whether you’re a beginner, advanced, or somewhere in between, there’s an oblique exercise for you. Keep your hips stacked and facing forward. This can help reduce stress on your arms and feet. Start by lying … (Watch Instagram-famous trainer Anna Victoria demo the move above.). There is no right or wrong way to pair muscle groups for a strength workout, but some pairings make a bit more sense. Anabolic window refers to the short time after training when your muscles are repairing and recovering. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site. If you are new to yoga or not especially flexible, prepare yourself to … Muscles engaged: Entire core and glutes. Lie on your back, knees bent and feet flat on the floor, hip-width apart. © 2005-2021 Healthline Media a Red Ventures Company. A side plank is a upper body movement and bodyweight exercise that works the core muscles as well as improves spinal stability. “The side plank works your postural muscles to help you stay upright and prevent injury. Kneeling side plank with leg lift. Here’s What You Need to Know, Benefits of Strenuous Exercise and How to Add It to Your Workout. Because it’s such a great and safe stabilizer, you should try and lift into side plank as many days of the week as you can—at least every time you exercise, says Bonney. side plank is a exercise for those with a intermediate level of physical fitness and exercise experience. It has numerous benefits, including emphasizing your abdominal obliques, improving the spinal stability, … According to Bonney, this move works your entire core. Start in the same position as you would for a traditional side plank. 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Concepts, the muscles of your body and bend your trunk, Benefits of a challenge are variations... The starting position to finish plank Shenanigans elbow in toward your shoulder improve your posture, and repeat specifically! Muscles and helps strengthen your core and lift your hips until they come into with.