Hands down, planking is one of the best exercises for posture, especially if you have a weak core. If you have lower back problems, planking can also resolve some of those issues.
One exercise a lot of people tend to miss in trying to strengthen their core, however, is the side plank. We tend to work the front with planks, crunches, and situps, and work the back with back extensions, but we forget to work the side obliques and the deep stabilizing muscles in your core. Remember—your core wraps all the way around your body, so if all four sides aren’t strong, you’ll have a weaker core and be more prone to injury.
In the video above, we’ve demonstrated a proper side plank to show you how you can build a strong core and a set of ripped abs.
Your basic position should start with you on your side with your feet together and one elbow set on the ground beneath your shoulder. Your entire body should line up straight, meaning your hips are tight and engaged instead of sagging toward the ground. If this position is too hard for you, you can switch to a modified position by bending your knees and letting them touch the ground. Everything else about your posture should remain the same.
Once you’ve mastered either of these positions, you can move onto the next one in which you stagger your feet. If you’re feeling strong, you can also kick it up a notch by raising your top leg and holding it in the air. This is the hardest position of them all. Your goal in doing a side plank should be to hold the position for two minutes on each side of your body. The same goes for a front plank.
Most exercise movements require you to have a good core, so strengthen yours by doing both front and side planks. If you have any questions about this exercise or other ways you can hack your health, don’t hesitate to give us a shout. We’d be happy to talk to you.