Side Planks


By: Devin Sarno, NSCA-CPT

Muscle Groups: Abdominals, Obliques, Deltoids

Importance: The side plank is a great exercise for helping improve balance and spinal stability. In

addition, it also builds upper-body and core strength. It is an excellent static exercise that

targets the obliques and requires no spinal flexion.

Proper Form:

  1. Lie on one side of your body with your legs fully extended and stacked on top of one another.

  2. Using your elbow and forearm, prop your body up while keeping a straight line from head to toe.

  3. Place feet so that they are stacked on top of one another

  4. Keep your hips hips elevated off of the floor and in a straight line with the rest of your body

  5. Make sure your abs stay tight throughout the exercise, and keep your elbow stacked under your shoulder

  6. Find a comfortable position for your free arm; hand on hip or arm extended above

  7. Repeat on the opposite side


  • Squeeze your glutes to help stabilize

  • Keep your neck in line with your spine

  • Do not let your hips drop toward the floor

Progression/Regression: One-knee side plank, double knee side plank, loaded side plank, side plank on

unstable surface

Sample Workout: 5 Rounds

  1. Plank Hold-45 seconds

  2. Side Plank (R)-30 seconds

  3. Side Plank (L)-30 seconds

  4. Hollow Rocks-20 reps