Do you want to build stronger abs? Then you should add this side plank variation to your workout routine.
The side plank with rotation exercise develops lateral core strength & stability, shoulder strength & stability, and may even help improve spinal mobility. To optimize these benefits, make sure that you’re doing this exercise with perfect form.
Grab your mat, and follow these instructions to master the side plank with rotation.
Side Plank with Rotation Instructions
- Start in a side plank position with your right forearm on the ground. Make sure your shoulder is directly over your elbow, stack your feet, and lift your hips up off the ground.
- Reach your left arm straight up to the ceiling and get long through your body from head to toe.
- As you exhale, reach your left arm underneath your torso. You’ll feel your obliques engage to help you rotate.
- Then, inhale and unwind your body to reach your left arm back up to the sky.
- Keep your core tight and your glutes engaged to help you maintain stability as you rotate in this side plank exercise.
3 Common Mistakes
While a side plank looks pretty straightforward, there are still some common mistakes you want to avoid.
1. Dropping Your Hips
In a side plank, you want to create a straight line from your head, to your hips, to your feet. When your hips drop below the plane of your shoulders, you’re not getting the oblique and glute strengthening benefits of this core exercise.
If you find that you’re having trouble keeping your hips up throughout the exercise as you rotate, then focus on getting strong in the basic side plank instead. When you can hold a solid side plank for at least 45 seconds, then add in the rotation.
2. Dropping Your Head
Keeping your spine in alignment during the side plank is key. When you drop your head, you lose some of your core engagement and put unnecessary strain on your neck.
To avoid potential neck pain and injury, keep your head in line with your spine. Only your gaze should rotate as you reach your arm underneath you.
3. Pushing Your Butt Back
A lot of the challenge and the benefits of the side plank come from keeping your whole body in a straight line from head to heels, but also from front to back. What do I mean by that? It’s not uncommon for people to push their butts back when holding side planks.
Pushing your butt back makes holding a side plank easier. To correct this, squeeze your glutes and your abs to stabilize your hips in alignment with your shoulders. Keep that total body tension as you reach underneath your body and back up again.
Add this as your core exercise to your next workout, and let us know how it goes in the comments below.