This video demonstrates the full side plank. If this is too difficult for you, the modified side plank is a very good way to build your strength and coordination in order to do this version.
What you should feel
You should feel like the muscles in your back, core and shoulder engage and eventually fatigue, but only on the side that is closest to the ground.
Pain is not expected with these exercises, besides any discomfort associated with working your core muscles really hard. Stop this exercise if you are unsure about what you are feeling or if it is painful in an unexpected way.
People with shoulder issues may find the side plank difficult. If you are experiencing difficulties with your shoulder while performing this exercise, wait until you see me in the clinic and we can go over it again to make sure it is right for you.
Here are the instructions and there is a video below that explains it all:
- Start out lying on your side, in a straight line (legs straight).
- You can stack your feet, or you can have your top foot resting in front of the bottom foot (so that your legs are slightly crossed).
- Make sure your elbow is underneath your shoulder to start.
- Drive through the elbow and lift up through your core / lower back muscles, on the side of the body that is closest to the ground.
- Try to lift yourself as high as possible.
- Make sure you don’t lean forward (keep your chest flat by pretending there is a wall beside you).
- As you fatigue, your trunk will start to sink down: Try to fight it by using your core!
mdkPHYSIO provides specific parameters to all patients. In general, I usually tell my patients to hold this as long as possible, three times in a row. All three repetitions should be performed all at once on one side before switching to the other side. In certain circumstances I recommend only performing this on one side!