The side plank is an excellent exercise for improving core strength and stability. It targets the obliques and deep abdominal muscles, the chest, shoulders, and glutes. The side plank can be modified for all levels of experience, so even if you don’t consider yourself particularly athletic or in shape, you can still do this exercise with proper form and reap the benefits. But first, let’s break down how to do it correctly.
The Basics of Side Plank
Start by lying on your right side with your right elbow directly beneath your shoulder. Your feet should be stacked on top of each other, with your left foot resting just above your right foot. From here, press into your right forearm to lift your hips off the ground into a high plank position.
Keep your body in a straight line from head to toe, and make sure not to let your hips drop toward the floor. Engage both sides of your core—your abs and obliques—as you hold this position for 10-30 seconds, depending on what feels comfortable.
Make sure not to let your back arch or bend, as that defeats the purpose of this exercise! Once you’ve held the side plank long enough, gently lower yourself onto the floor before repeating on the opposite side.
Modifying Your Side Plank
If you’re starting with side planks or are working around an injury, some modifications can help make this exercise more manageable and safer for you to do.
For example, if you’re having trouble keeping good form when lifting into a high plank position, try bending one knee so that just one leg is straight instead of both legs being stacked together like in traditional planks.
You can also modify this move by dropping down onto one knee instead of two feet when lifting into a high plank position; this will help take some weight off while still engaging those stabilizing muscles in the core!
Lastly, if holding a full plank position is too challenging for you (which is normal!), try doing a “prone” version which means lying flat on your stomach instead of lifting into a plank position. This option still activates those deep abdominal and oblique muscles without putting too much strain or pressure on them at once!
Conclusion on How to Master the Side Plank Exercise
The side plank is an excellent exercise for improving core strength and stability while targeting several other muscle groups in the process!
Whether you’re new to working out or have been exercising regularly for years, modifications are available that make this move accessible no matter where someone currently falls on their fitness journey.
With proper form and technique (and maybe a few modifications), anyone can learn how to master the side plank! So give it a try today and see what results you get!
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