Exercise! - Side Plank help

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09-02-2006, 11:11 AM
I have been consistently doing cardio and strength training for the last 6 weeks, yet have still not been able to improve my core strength much. Specifically, I can not do the side plank at all, even though I have lost pounds and gained much more muscle.

Does anyone have any suggestions on exercises I could do to strengthen this area, thus allowing me to do the side plank?

Thanks for your help.

09-02-2006, 11:30 AM
Pilates is perfect for strengthening your core muscles.

09-02-2006, 09:35 PM
Unfortunately every Pilates video I've tried assumes I have muscles I don't. So, it doesn't strengthen my core muscles because I can't do the exercises. I'm hoping someone has suggestions, similiar to leg lifts, different versions of sit-ups, etc., that will strengthen these muscles so that I can actually do the Pilates and strength training movements.

09-03-2006, 11:25 AM
The only way to get better at doing exercises is to actually do them and watch yourself progressing. I take a yoga/pilates class to strengthen my core. It's a laugh. The instructor keeps thinking I will fall down, and I certainly can't do the exercises as well as others. BUT I noticed after the last round of classes, that they do work, and gave me spin-off benefits such as better posture. You can only go to the extent that you can for that day and reach for more the next.

Leg lifts and sit-ups work your ab muscles, but your core is made up of many more, and you need exercises to work all around your core. Look for exercises that work your abs, obliques, erector spinae, hips, glutes for an all-round core workout.

09-03-2006, 11:43 AM
I love pilates. I also adore fitball. The very unrefined, three year old part of my brain thinks that doing stuff on a huge inflatable beach ball is fun rather than exercise, and it's the one thing I keep sticking at.

There are lots of threads and tips on using the fitball here at 3FC, and my core strength has improved a lot in a year.

09-03-2006, 02:52 PM
Try this:

Do a side plank with your weight on your knees (i.e. knees bent 45 degree angle) do them that way for awhile...when that gets easy, do them with your top leg fully extended, and your bottom knee still bent...when that is easy...voila...you are ready for regular side planks.