In this video I show several variations of how to do side plank exercise for the Active level in the Strengthen Your Core exercise program.
I demonstrate the side plank exercise at both a 90 and 45 degree angle. I also show how to modify your lift or change the duration of your lift.
How to Do Side Plank Exercise
Let me start with the 90 degrees because that allows me to keep talking to you straight on with the camera.
- Make sure your elbow is tucked in slightly from the shoulder.
- It’s going to feel a little bit awkward because it is going to feel like it’s a little bit tight in, but that’s going to allow you to have your humerus straight in a vertical position once you lift up.
- As you drop back, the elbow is in a little bit closer to the body, but as you lift up it’s sitting just directly underneath, and that’s going to be the most comfortable for the shoulder joint.
- In Strengthen Your Core, it shows the thigh being straight in line with the body, but if you attempt this and you’re going, “Well, that intensity is a little higher than I hoped for”, but you don’t feel like going back to the active level four, you can bring your bottom knee forward slightly, 20 or 30 degrees.
- By doing so, that’s going to reduce the intensity of this side plank.
- The other thing you can play with is the distance that your hip is lifted off from the ground.
- Lift off just a little bit is going to be less intense than if you lift off and create that straight line into the side plank.
Variation: How to Do Side Plank Exercise
Another variation that you can do, as opposed to holding the plank for the entire 20 seconds, is to lift and lower during that time.
- You want press into the floor.
- Press into the floor and engage all of the muscles around the shoulders to support you.
- If you’re going to come up, you can take this hand to give yourself a little more support at the shoulder, if that’s helpful.
- Your head is in a neutral position.
- If that’s feeling too intense, just drop down and pull back up again, and drop down and pull back up, which allows you a variation within the active level side plank, 90 degrees.
- We can take the same concepts into the 45.
- Either your leg is going to be straight with your body when you turn onto a 45 degree, or you are going to allow yourself to have a little bit more flexion at the hip.
- This little bit more flexion is going to make the intensity much less for the abdominal wall.
- Here’s the 45.
- Press in and engage the musculature around the shoulder girdle.
- If you need more support, bring it up through here.
This gives you some ideas for positioning yourself and modifying the side planks, both the 90 and 45, to work best for you.
Core Exercises Guide
Want to learn more about core exercises? Visit my Core Exercises Guide.