Side Plank

  • Alternative Names: Right/left side plank
  • Type: Strength
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Equipment: None
  • Muscles Targeted: Abs, shoulders, obliques
  • Mechanics: Compound
  • Average Number of Sets: 3-4 with 8-10 reps per set on each side
  • Variations: Hip lifts, crunch, rotation, leg lift, row and side plank
  • Alternative: Modified side plank with a knee on the floor

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. It has numerous benefits, including emphasizing your abdominal obliques, improving the spinal stability, as well as increasing your muscle endurance and balance. Working the right and left side separately also help identify any issues in your muscles and bones. Doctors often recommend side plank exercise to improve spine curvature in scoliosis patients.

Side Plank Exercise Information

  • Alternative Names: Right/left side plank
  • Type: Strength
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Equipment: None
  • Muscles Targeted: Abs, shoulders, obliques
  • Mechanics: Compound
  • Average Number of Sets: 3-4 with 8-10 reps per set on each side
  • Variations: Hip lifts, crunch, rotation, leg lift, row and side plank
  • Alternative: Modified side plank with a knee on the floor

How to do a Side Plank

Start the exercise by lying on your side, positioning one forearm below the shoulder while keeping your feet stacked together. Keep your abs tight and then raise your body upward by using your forearm and lower elbow. Hold this plank position and do not let your hips drop throughout the movement.

Side Plank

Abs Side Planks Tips

  • Make sure that you keep your neck and head straight so that they are in line with the spine.
  • Try to hold the plank position more than one minute. Anything over two minutes is excellent.
  • You can make the exercise slightly more difficult by straightening your supporting arm so that the palm is flat on the floor.
  • You can engage your core and upper-body muscles a bit more and progress into an advanced side plank version by keeping a Bosu ball or stability ball underneath your flanks.

Variations

  1. Side Plank Hip Lifts: Performed by positioning your body in a plank position and then lowering your hip.
  2. Side Plank Crunch: Done by bringing the top elbow up and knee down so that they tap each other.
  3. Side Plank with Rotation: You need to be in a side plank position and then twist your torso so that your top arm is placed under the body.
  4. Side Plank Leg Lift: A variation in which you raise the top leg from a side plank position.
  5. Side Plank Row: Performed by lying in the side plank position and then pulling a low-pulley handle attached to a cable station.

Alternative Exercise

Modified Side Plank with Knee on Floor

Stay Connected

Get access to the latest health and fitness insights, tools and special offers to keep your career moving.