The side plank is a isometric core strengthening exercise that targets and works your core just like the standard plank exercise does.
The difference between the side plank and regular plank is that the regular full-body plank primarily works your rectus abdominal when the side plank exercise works the side of your abs including your oblique muscles.
Your obliques are made of two muscles: internal and external obliques.
These muscles run along the side of your torso, and together they help to stabilize your spine, rorate torso from side to side and assist in side bending motions.
The side plank exercise is a great way to strengthen those two muscles along with others that make up your core.
Because the exercise is isometric and requires you to holding your body side ways in the plank position without actually moving, it can get old and become less challenging faster than you imagine.
When you start craving for more variations or challenges, you can switch it up by performing more challenging planks or reducing your base of support to add difficulty.
That way, you can keep progressing and avoid workout plateau in your workout program.
If you are not up for an added challenge but want to spice up your side plank, you can do that without changing your body position or decreasing the base of support. Instead, you can add rows with the side plank.
This way, you get both benefits of side planking and rowing.
You will be working more muscles and forcing your core to work harder to support your bodyweight and the external load coming the cable machine, which makes it more functional.
How To Do It:
- Attach a handle to the low pulley of a cable machine and lie on your side on a Yoga mat, facing the stack. Grab the handle with your right hand.
- Brace your core and lift up yourself into a side plank:
- Legs are straight, and upper body propped up on your elbow and forearm. Pull the handle to your rib cage. Keep your hips pushed up and forward. Slowly extend your arm. Do 8 to 1 reps, switch sides and repeat. Do 2 to 3 sets.