Monday Move: Side Plank (+ 3 Variations)

 

Your Monday Move!  The SIDE PLANK.  Fun fact…did you know that the side plank engages your glute muscles even more than a squat?

I realize that the vast majority of you aren’t as nerdy as me. But if you are, it’s actually cool to be nerdy, and you should read this article by the Pelvic Guru.  There are all kinds of fun charts that show how exercises compare in terms of glute activation.

You know what else is cool about the side plank? It doesn’t put strain on your linea alba, the connective tissue that gets stretched like a rubber band during pregnancy.  You don’t want your organs pushing down with the force of gravity after you’ve had a baby, and especially not if you have diastasis recti (the abdominal separation common after pregnancy that leave you with a pooch and weak back!).

Let’s talk about FORM for the side plank.

  1. Be sure you are aligned, hips stacked.
  2. As you lift up, pull your belly button into spine using your breath.
  3. Maintain that tight midline (this does not mean grunting, it means pulling in and up).
  4. If you can’t maintain that tight core, then please use an easier version.

Okay, now that we’ve talked form, lets talk VARIATIONS.

  1. You have your basic side plank.
    Photo Credit: Real Simple

    2. You can lift and arm and/or a leg (don’t let ribs flare out…keep stacked).

    Photo Credit: Prehab Exercise

    3. You can add a dip.

Photo Credit: Real Simple

4. Need to work your way up? Place one leg down on the ground for added support, or you can do the side plank against a higher surface like the wall, bench, or couch.

 

You should be doing this at least 4 times a week.

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