How to Do a Side Plank

Tired of doing a front plank? Switch up your exercise routine by learning how to do the side plank.

Looking to do a quick strength training exercise without any equipment? Add the side plank to your next workout.

The side plank helps train stability throughout your entire body. According to performance enhancement specialist Jowan Ortega, the difference between the side plank and front plank is that the side plank “helps us resist side bending.”

“The main focus is placed on the lateral stabilizers, which enhances the athlete’s ability to change direction,” Ortega says.

As mentioned, this exercise does not require any equipment. However, depending on your personal preference, you can bring along a fitness mat to avoid lying directly on the floor.


Woman Doing Side Plank In Gym

To begin the side plank, start by lying on your side. For this example, lie down on your fitness mat or the floor on your left side. Your left foot, leg, hip and forearm should be touching the ground. Keep your right arm on your right side and place your right leg on top of your left. Your right foot should also be resting on your left foot.

Once you’re comfortable in this position:

  • Check the position of your left forearm, making sure that it’s directly under your shoulder.
  • Squeeze your glutes, quads and shoulder blades together.
  • Press your elbow into the floor, or fitness mat, and raise your body up. Now, only your left foot and left forearm should be in contact the floor.
  • Alternate sides and repeat.

The recommended time for holding a side plank is two minutes. However, if you need to, you can adjust the time to your own personal preference.

“The longer you can hold this position, the stronger your core will become,” Ortega says.

Looking for more strength training exercises you can do at home without any equipment? Consider adding the dead bug to your next workout to help train your core.