Side Planks – Ab Attack Series

Side Planks

Side Planks

Today we are going to talk about Side planks (with side dips and leg lifts) – Ab Attack Series

The plank is an isometric exercise that works your core, your shoulders, and your outer thighs. We add some movement to also work your waist.

Side Planks

Side planks can be done while holding yourself up on your hand or on your forearm.  We show you both ways, beginning with up on your hand with a straight arm.

  1. Lay on your side in a straight line with your arm directly underneath your shoulder, hand palm down on the floor and our top foot stacked on top of your bottom foot.  The outside of your bottom foot and ankle are resting on the mat.   Push yourself up and lift your top arm up so you look like cross resting sideways on the mat. (photo 1)  For isometric only, just hold this position for at least 30 seconds, but try and hold for one minute.

    Julie Side Plank Photo #1

    Julie Side Plank Photo #1

  2. Progression: While you are in this position, keep your arms and legs straight.  Drop your hips and waist straight down toward the floor and then lift them back up to the starting position.
    Julie Side Plank Photo #2

    Julie Side Plank Photo #2

    (photo 2)  For even more of a challenge, while you are in the plank position, lift your top leg straight up.  It works your outer thighs and your glutes and requires more strength and balance.

    Julie Side Plank Photo #3 (Progression)

    Julie Side Plank Photo #3 (Progression)

    Work your way from 1 or 2 to 8 or 10. Flip over and do the other side.  You want to be even.

Side Planks

Side planks on your forearm.

  1. This time, lift yourself up on your forearm.  If you have hard time balancing with your top foot resting on your bottom foot, rest the top foot on the floor directly in front of your bottom foot.  Lift your top arm straight out.  Now you look like a sideways cross with one side bent. (photo 1)

    Julie Side Plank Forearm Photo #1

    Julie Side Plank Forearm Photo #1

  2. Progression.  All of the same moves from the previous photos apply here as well. (photos 2 & 3)
    Julie Side Plank Forearm Photo #2

    Julie Side Plank Forearm Photo #2

    Julie Side Plank Forearm Photo #3

    Julie Side Plank Forearm Photo #3

    Thanks for looking at my post on Side Planks.

About The Author

Julie Dean

Julie Dean - I am a Certified Fitness instructor, Certified Aqua Instructor and personal trainer. I've been teaching fitness going on four years now. I've played sports and worked out my whole life - but really understanding Fitness is a whole different ball game. My goal is to help you understand fitness and help get you FIIT. It's also to make you laugh and to get you thinking. Fitness is 80% mental.

2 Comments

  • Walter Adamson

    March 15, 2009

    Hi Charles, a good clear illustration.

    I have one question – is the arm version regarded as a more advanced version than the forearm version in terms of muscle exercise and strength requirements. That is, is doing say 10 reps on the forearm the same effort as doing 10 reps on the arms?

    Thanks,
    Walter http://twitter.com/@dawnweslept

  • Charles Lloyd

    March 15, 2009

    Hey Walter, That pretty much depends on the person, for some the forearm is harder than the straight arm and vice versa…but in general the straight arms is harder because of the leverage involved. You could even do a variation with your legs on a flat bench and or add some ankle weights…endless almost.

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