First off, as with plank, side plank can be done either straight armed or with forearm down. Straight armed side plank gives a little more work to the core, and it works the wrist. I’ve got arthritis in my right wrist, so I normally do the forearm version of side plank, which is what I’ll walk you through. If you want to dial it up a little, do everything I describe, but with a straight arm.
So, begin by lying on your side:
- Plant your forearm on the floor bones pointed straight forward, elbow directly below your shoulder
- Your body is straight, from head to hips
- Your legs are straight, both feet on the floor, positioned heel to toe, with your top leg foot in front
- With your free (top) hand, reach around your rib cage and pull it straight up
- This will help to straighten your spine
- Squeeze your butt cheeks (flex your lazy glute muscles)
- Doing this will lift your body into a straight line from head to toe
- Seriously, don’t think about lifting your body, think about squeezing your butt cheeks
- Hold for 30 seconds
- Turn over to do the other side
- Do three sets
So there you have it, basic side plank. Doing this will work your entire body, from head to toe. Pulling up on your floating ribs before engaging the core and glutes will put your spine in proper alignment. Holding the posture practices proper posture, and challenges your muscles to hold it.
And, as with plank, for those of you who think this is too easy, we’ll add a bit of challenge next time.