You probably already know that planks are a great bodyweight exercise that can tone multiple muscle groups at once. But do you know there are other plank variations that work different muscles and can prevent you from reaching a fitness plateau where you get bored and stop seeing results? If you want to strengthen your core, strengthen your upper body, and improve your balance, a side plank is your new best friend. Watch this quick video as Chris Freytag demonstrates how to do a side plank to strengthen your upper body and tone your abs.
In order to perform a side plank, start by coming into a forearm plank position on one arm. Make sure your shoulder is tracking over your elbow and stack your feet one on top of the other. At this point, if you want to modify your side plank, you can drop your bottom knee to the mat. Otherwise, you’re up in that full plank with your hand on your hip or up to the sky. Lower your hips down, then lift them back up, engaging your abdominals as you do. Be sure to perform the same amount of repetitions on both sides.
A side plank is not only a fun way to mix things up, but it also really targets your oblique muscles. Your obliques run along the sides of your abdominals, and working them is one of the keys to getting a toned, lean-looking stomach. Moves like planks and side planks are some of the most effective around for getting in shape and they require just your own body! Before attempting a side plank, you can always brush up on how to do a proper plank to make sure you’ve got the most basic form covered first.