Bodyweight Exercises: Side Plank

Bodyweight exercises are the most versatile types of exercises that you can do. They can be performed in any space and without the use of any tools or exercise equipment whatsoever. Even if you do have a full set of exercise equipment to use or if you have access to a gym, it’s still well worth your time to consider doing some bodyweight exercises to help evenly build up your muscular strength.

Bodyweight exercises will benefit a wide variety of different muscles. One of the best of these exercises is the side plank. This is a core strengthening exercise that also has benefits for your side muscles and your back. It is easily modified to include additional benefits, making it a highly diverse and beneficial procedure.

Side Plank Basics

Begin this exercise by lying on your stomach on a flat surface. Prop yourself up on your elbows and your toes, which can be curled forward under your feet. In order to get into the side plank position, you’ll first need to get to the plank position. To do this, push up your midsection so that you’re resting only on your two feet and on your elbows. Your hands and forearms should be extended in front of your elbows on the ground. Keep your gaze downward.

To shift to the side plank, you’ll need to rotate your body slightly to the left. As you do so, lift up your left leg and put it on top of your right leg; the side of your right foot should be resting on the ground. Shift so that only your right elbow is resting on the ground as well, with your left arm resting by your side and on top of your body. This is the side plank exercise; it’s best to hold this position for 10 to 20 seconds or for as long as you’re comfortable. Mix in the side plank with other core exercises so that you perform the hold a total of between three and five times.

Safety and Injury Prevention

The single most important thing to do while you perform the side plank is to continue to breathe. Keep your breathing even and deep if you can; this will ensure that you don’t stress your body or run the risk of passing out. As with any other exercise, stretching before and after is also important for injury prevention.

Modifications

To modify this exercise, it’s first a good idea to perform the side plank on both sides of your body so that you can get the benefits for both parts of your body. You can also do leg lifts from the side plank position; hold up your free leg for a count of 5 to 10 above your other leg. This helps to increase the effort on the part of your core and can work your leg muscles, too.

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