Side Plank

Your core in my opinion is the most important area to train as it will help prevent back problems, improve balance and posture, as well as increase strength and agility for all other areas of your body.  Part of your core muscles are the obliques which are your side abs that allow you to twist and turn your body.  For the Home Exercise of the Week I want to show you the Side Plank which is an isometric abdominal exercise that will effectively target those important oblique muscles.

There are a few different versions of the Side Plank that you can do depending on your fitness level.  The most difficult version is the Side Plank supported by a fully extended arm.  To regress that to a slightly less difficult version is to support your body on your forearm which is what is shown in the video.  To regress that even further, you can support yourself on your forearm then bend one knee and let it rest on the floor which will support more of your body weight.

To properly perform the Side Plank shown in the video, follow the steps outlined below.

  • start by laying on your side with your feet stacked on top of eachother
  • prop yourself up on your forearm and make sure it is directly underneath your shoulder
  • lift your hips off the floor until your body is perfectly straight
  • keep your abs tight and hold this position for 30 seconds (you can hold longer if you’re feeling extra strong!)
  • repeat on the other side

So there you have the Side Plank.  You can increase the difficulty by adding a leg raise, knee crunch, or leg swing.  Demonstrations of these versions will be coming in the future but until then, happy planking!

Alternating One Arm Side Balance Plank

The Alternating One Arm Side Balance Plank is a great exercise that will work on your abdominals (particularly the transverse abdominus which are the deep muscles of your core) as well as your obliques, shoulders, and back.  This exercise will also work on your balance and coordination.  For an extra challenge, try adding a pushup in the middle position before moving on to the other side!