Weekly Exercise

Exercise Of The Week: Side Planks

Most people stick to the traditional form of planks, which we discussed last week. Side planks are a great variation to target the obliques.

Internal Obliques (Left) and External Obliques (Right)

Strengthening these muscles, and your core in general, helps stabilize your back and prevent injury.

For the side plank:

  • Start on your side with your feet stacked, one on top of the other, and one forearm directly below your shoulder.
  • Contract your core and raise your hips until your body is in a straight line from head to feet.

side plank 1

  • Hold the position without letting your hips drop. Try holding the position for twenty seconds, and slowly work your way up to one minute.
  • Repeat on the other side.
  • For added difficulty once you’ve gained strength in the traditional position, try holding yourself up with the arm closest to the floor (as opposed to resting on your forearm), and raising your free arm. You can also try raising your upper leg. This helps you build your stability, as you have to balance your body to the counterweight.

side plank 2

Image courtesy of popsugar.com
  • Hold this position for twenty seconds, and work your way up to a minute.
  • Repeat on the other side.
  • If you feel you need additional support when doing either variation, try crossing the upper leg in front of your body for stability.
side plank modified
Image courtesy of popsugar.com

Please speak to your provider before starting any new exercise regimen.

Dr. Courtney

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