Tone up your waistline with this awesome move! The side plank is a great way to strengthen and tone the curves of your body. Doing side planks will tone your obliques (muscle around your waist), glutes, thighs, back and shoulders. Sounds like a great way to get more bang for your buck, right? Let’s get started on this fantastic body sculpting move!
Lay on your right side with your elbow underneath your shoulder. Stack your feet so that your left foot is directly on top of your right foot. Your body should be long and straight so everything from your head to your feet is in one straight line. Keeping your head in line with your spine, lift your hips and outer right thigh off the ground by squeezing your obliques and glutes to raise your hips up. You should be balancing on your right elbow and forearm and the outer edge of your right foot. Do not allow your body to “sink” into your right shoulder. Try to actively lift away from the shoulder so as not to put too much pressure onto that joint! Hold this position for 30 seconds. Switch sides and hold for 30 seconds. Repeat 3 – 5 times on each side.
*Speak to your doctor before performing this exercise if you have shoulder problems.
Modifications: If you cannot hold this position for 30 seconds, try bending both knees so that your body is in an “L” shape (knees bent, feet behind knees). Lift your hips up and hold for the amount of time that you can. Work your way up to 30 seconds or more and then try doing the side plank with your feet stacked!
If this is not challenging enough for you, while holding your hips up, lift your left leg so that it is parallel to the ground and not touching your right foot. This ought to give you a good challenge!
As always, do what you can as long as your form is correct! Challenge yourself to get better and stronger each and every day!
In fitness and health,
Robin Ishibashi Jones
Robin Ishibashi Jones has been a fitness trainer and strength and conditioning coach for over 10 years. A graduate of Whittier College and owner of Stonebridge HomeFit, Robin is a health and fitness enthusiast who makes training easily accessible to people of all levels.
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