Focused muscle: Oblique abdominals
Type of training: Own body weight exercises
The side plank is a version of the front plank that is very effective for the oblique abdominal muscles. But also the abductors of both legs receive a very good workout with this exercise.
The side plank
We start in lateral position supported by our lower forearm. Either lay your feet one above or one in front of each other depending on what’s more comfortable for you. Keep your head in extension to your spine looking sideways like the rest of your body. Before we go in side plank position make sure all muscles are tensed to give your body a solid base. From that position lift your body from the ground so that just your lower forearm and your feet remain in contact with the floor.
The side plank – variations
The side plank becomes more intense by lifting up the upper leg or/and stretching the upper arm above the head. The side plank becomes easier by supporting your body with the upper arm to the front or/and by performing the exercise on your lower legs.
It is also possible to transform the static side plank to a dynamic exercise by moving the hips up and down or, just when we are on our lower leg, by moving the upper elbow and knee towards each other.
Never go in side plank position in fast or sudden movements but controlled and smoothly. Avoid press breathing (exhalation against closed airways). Please notice that the knee of the lower leg gets a lot of pressure in side plank position. Especially the outer knee ligament is stressed a lot. If you have knee problems solely perform this exercise on your lower leg.
Antagonist: Lower back muscles
Stretching: Abdominal stretches
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