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Advanced Side Plank Variations

The Side Plank is a great exercise for lateral stability. A good goal is to be able to hold the position for one minute, but after that, it can get pretty boring. Increase the intensity to make that minute more challenging. Your ability to hold the position may drop, but over time you will get stronger and build it back up. Here are a few variations to help you do just that.

1️⃣ Side Plank + SLOW Eccentric Lateral Raise: In your side plank position, you are going to hold a light dumbbell/weight plate in the opposite hand. Starting with your top arm straight and at your side, raise up into a side plank, and raise your arm with weight up so it is straight up to the ceiling. SLOWLY lower your arm/weight back down to your hip. Once that gets to about 45 degrees you should really feel it. Our focus here is creating tension, not how many reps you can do with your top arm. The top arm is used to make the side plank harder. So the fewer reps the better, prob 4-6 reps if holding for a minute.

2️⃣ Side Plank + Inner Leg Raise Hold: This adds inner leg strength into the equation. Using a bench, you will get set up for your side plank with your top leg on top of the bench and bottom leg on the floor through the legs of the bench. Raise up into your side plank and lift the bottom leg to make contact with the bench. To hold, try squeezing the bench with both your feet. <— This will create tension in your upper inner leg as well. If the position on your bench hurts your top knee, slide yourself down so more of your top leg is supported by the bench.

3️⃣ Side Plank + Inner Leg Raise Reps: The same setup as above, except instead of holding, you will be lifting the bottom leg up, making contact with the bench, and returning back to the floor under control.

4️⃣ Side Plank + SLOW Eccentric Lateral Raise + Inner Leg Raise Hold (or Reps): Ok throwing everything together with this one. You can do inner leg raises or hold. This is very challenging and what I found was even though my attention was a hold, that my leg was just dropping whether I wanted it to or not. So focus on fighting that leg from dropping and really slowing it down and turning it into an eccentric Inner Leg Raise. When it touches the floor, lift it back and fight another battle. That will help build strength to get you into and progressing through the other exercises.

Tell me what you think in the comments down below!


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