Side Plank Progressions

Have you performed side planks but you felt like they were just way too hard? What’s important to recognize is there are many variations that you can do. The side plank is a wonderful exercise and it can be very challenging for many people.

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What you need to know about side planks

The important things to consider about a side plank are:

  • You want to have equal tension under the shoulder, side, and hip. It is a full-body tension exercise. Otherwise, you can put too much load on your shoulder.
  • It’s important to not drop the hips down, but rather stack your rib cage over your hips.  
  • Make sure that you are breathing diaphragmatically in your plank.
  • Rather than holding for time, use your breath as your repetition. That way you will have optimal sequencing will be able to create optimal body tension and will know exactly when you need to stop. 

Types of progressions you can do and how to perform them

As far as progressions, there are many. 

  • Hands and knees: One of the first progressions for a side plank you can do is performing this from your hand and knees. You do want to make sure that you have equal pressure and tension underneath your shoulder, side, and hip. 
  • Forearm and knees: To progress this, you can move down so you are more parallel to the ground. This requires more stability. You can extend the top leg as another alternative. 
  • Full plank staggered: Then move into a full side plank with a staggered stance, with the top leg is in front of the other. 
  • Full plank stacked: Then you can move into a stacked stance where the top leg is parallel with the bottom leg. From here you can do many variations like pulsing the hips or arm wraps. 

Although there are many variations, you do want to make sure you have a strong foundation first. 

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