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  • Kris

5 Amazing Benefits of Side Planks

Updated: Mar 25, 2023

The side plank is an incredibly effective exercise for strengthening your core and improving your balance and posture. It also works your arms, shoulders, and legs. It is a very effective way to strengthen 3 muscle groups at once. Yo keep stability in the the side plank position, the muscles in the shoulders, hips, and side of the core (obliques) have to fire and work together. Side planks also work the deep spinal stabilizing muscle, the quadrates lumborum, which can reduce the risk of back injury. It also does not put the same pressure on the low back as doing crunches or sit-ups. Side planks are a great exercise to help increase muscular endurance in the spinal stabilizing muscles. Some other benefits of the side plank include



1. Strengthening your core: By engaging your abs, obliques, and deep core muscles, the side plank helps strengthen your core and improve your stability.



2. Improving your balance: The side plank requires you to balance on one leg, which can help improve your overall balance.



3. Strengthening your arms and shoulders: By holding your body up on one arm, the side plank can help strengthen your arms and shoulders.



4. Improving your posture: By engaging your core and shoulder muscles, the side plank can help improve your overall posture.



5. Improving your flexibility: By stretching the muscles in your hips, the side plank can help improve your flexibility.


Here are some side plank variations that you can try:


1. Standard Side Plank: Begin in a plank position and then rotate 90 degrees so your feet are stacked. Lift your hips off the ground and hold for 30 seconds.



2. Supported Side Plank: Begin in a plank position and then rotate 90 degrees so your feet are stacked. Place your forearm on a bench and lift your hips off the ground and hold for 30 seconds. Or modify the side plank by having the bottom knee bent as pictured in the video below:





3. Knee-to-Elbow Side Plank: Begin in a plank position and then rotate 90 degrees so your feet are stacked. Lift your top knee to your elbow and hold for 30 seconds.



4. Leg Lift Side Plank: Begin in a plank position and then rotate 90 degrees so your feet are stacked. Lift your top leg off the ground and hold for 30 seconds.



5. Oblique Side Plank: Begin in a plank position and then rotate 45 degrees so your feet are staggered. Lift your hips off the ground and hold for 30 seconds.









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