I think the side plank is one of the best exercises you’re not doing! You know they exist but maybe you forget to program them in workouts. Most trainer who make their clients do them, often get a collective “groan” because these babies are really hard!
- You will strengthen muscles that you don’t use everyday. It’s OK to focus on the big moves for the big muscles, but you have to take time to focus on these smaller muscles because if you don’t those areas weaken very quickly. – you know the expression, use it or lose it, this applies to the smaller stabilizing muscles.
- Side planks play a huge role in the improvement of your posture, joint stability and mobility
- Considered one of the BIG 3 exercises for supporting your lower back by Dr Stuart McGill, back ninja from Waterloo University is very clear that you need to stiffen your core to stabilize your spine.
- Side planks are essentially a unilateral exercise that will highlight any muscle weaknesses and this is a great way to improve the strength and endurance of those muscles.
- Not only is it a killer core exercise, but planks help tone your shoulders, obliques, and legs from heel to hip
Start with a bent knee side plank with your elbow on the ground. Over time you can progress to extending to straight legs and maybe even a straight arm. Don’t be in a hurry to get there, focus your attention on maintain great form. Here are some things to remember:
- your body should be in a straight line from shoulder to feet, don’t let your butt stick out.
- line up your elbow directly underneath your shoulder to provide protection and support.
- squeeze under your arm-pit to engage your lat and then squeeze your butt really hard.
- lift your hips off the floor for 10 secs and then lower down again. Continue to build up the time whilst maintaining tension throughout the core.
The truth is though, the pain is worth it, so worth it. Side-planks have so many benefits and are for everybody because there are so many progressions, you just have to be patient and build your way up, as with every exercise.