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Core Stability: Side Plank Progressions

The side plank is an often-overlooked exercise when it comes to building core strength and stability. Building muscular strength and endurance in the trunk not only helps you move better, but also reduces low back pain. 

Check out these side plank progressions that take you from beginner to advanced. If you are new to this exercise, start with the kneeling side plank. Try 2-3 sets for a 10-20 second hold twice per week. As you grow stronger and develop better stability, you can progress to more advanced movements. 

 

Reverse Side Plank

Lie on your left side with left hand behind head and right hand on the ground for support. 

Exhale, contracting the core. Raise both legs a few inches off the ground, keeping full extension.

Hold for 10-20 seconds. Repeat on the other side. 

 

Reverse Side Plank with Abduction

Lie on your left side with left hand behind head and right hand on the ground for support. 

Exhale, contracting the core. Raise the left leg a few inches off the ground and the right leg into an abducted position. 

Hold for 10-20 seconds. Repeat on the other side. 

Kneeling Side Plank

Lie on your left side with left elbow bent beneat the shoulder and the right hand on the hip. Bend both knees to 90-degrees, keeping the hips aligned with the ribs. . 

Exhale, contracting the core. Raise both hips off the floor into a full hip extension. 

Hold for 10-20 seconds. Repeat on the other side. 

Kneeling Side Plank with Abduction

Lie on your left side with left elbow bent beneat the shoulder and the right hand on the hip. Bend both knees to 90-degrees, keeping the hips aligned with the ribs. . 

Exhale, contracting the core. Raise both hips off the floor into a full hip extension. Raise the right knee away from the left knee into a hip abduction. 

Hold for 10-20 seconds. Repeat on the other side. 

Kneeling Side Plank with Straight Leg Abduction

Lie on your left side with left elbow bent beneat the shoulder and the right hand on the hip. Bend the left knee to 90-degrees and extend the right leg. Keep the hips aligned with the ribs. . 

Exhale, contracting the core. Raise both hips off the floor into a full hip extension. Raise the right knee away from the left knee into a hip abduction. 

Hold for 10-20 seconds. Repeat on the other side. 

 

Side Plank

Lie on your left side with left elbow bent beneat the shoulder and the right hand on the hip. Straighten both legs so heels are pointing to the wall. Keep the hips aligned with the ribs. . 

Exhale, contracting the core. Raise both hips off the floor into a full hip extension.  

Hold for 10-20 seconds. Repeat on the other side. 

Side Plank with Hip Abduction

Lie on your left side with left elbow bent beneat the shoulder and the right hand on the hip. Straighten both legs so heels are pointing to the wall. Keep the hips aligned with the ribs. . 

Exhale, contracting the core. Raise both hips off the floor into a full hip extension. Raise the right leg away from the leg, abducting the hip.. 

Hold for 10-20 seconds. Repeat on the other side. 

Side Plank with Hip and Shoulder Abduction

Lie on your left side with left elbow bent beneat the shoulder and the right hand on the hip. Straighten both legs so heels are pointing to the wall. Keep the hips aligned with the ribs. . 

Exhale, contracting the core. Raise both hips off the floor into a full hip extension. Raise the right leg away from the leg, abducting the hip while reaching the right arm toward the celing.. 

Hold for 10-20 seconds. Repeat on the other side. 

 

Click the graphic below to download a free copy of these side plank progressions.

Core Stability side plank progressions

 

 

 



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