Do a Side Plank the Right Way

Raise the hips, tighten the core, and feel the burn.

January 16, 2016
side plank
Rodale Wellness

Who needs to trek to the gym when you can get your workout done inside with no equipment required? The plank is a foundational move for a plethora of workouts, and although they look simple, they're a total core shredder. Translation? The isometric exercise (that means an exercise that does not involve the joint angle or muscle length changing during contraction) strengthens the entire body, including your lower back, core, and also builds shoulder strength.

More: 20 Plank Variations for a Stronger Core


The side plank can be done from the forearm or with a full arm extension, as long as there's no limitation due to wrist injury. Here's how to get it done:

1. Turn onto your side with your legs extended. Place your right elbow directly under your shoulder. 

2. If you choose to keep this as a forearm plank, you'll hoist your bodyweight up here, keeping the core engaged, stacking the feet, and ultimately raising your opposite arm straight above the body. 

3. If you choose to extend into a full plank, push off of the hand, maintaining the shoulder position above the wrist, lifting opposite arm into the air. Hold for 30 seconds and gradually work up to one minute. Rest for equal intervals, repeat three times, then roll onto other side, and repeat. 

side plank