Side Plank – Exercise of the Week
It is important to incorporate some bodyweight exercises into your fitness routine in order to get used to supporting your own bodyweight as well as challenging it to move and work in different ways. A bodyweight exercise is one that can be completed without needing any machines or equipment and just relying on your bodyweight alone. For our exercise of the week this week, we take a look at the popular and effective side plank bodyweight exercise.
To begin, lie down flat on the floor on your back – use a mat if you would understandably like this to be a bit more comfortable. While lying down, shift onto one side and then lift your hips off the ground and point them up towards the ceiling. Support your bodyweight by keeping your elbow and forearm rooted to the ground. Your other hand should shoot up towards the ceiling and you may need to slightly swing / sway your body to get into this outstretched position. See the image below of the side plank in action and how your form should look. In terms of the position of your feet, you can either keep them staggered on the floor as seen in the image below; or stack them one on top of the other for a more challenging exercise. Complete this exercise on both sides to fully target your core.
When in position and holding the correct form and posture, it is very important that you brace your core at all times. To brace your core, imagine you are about to be punched in the stomach and you tense it to brace for the impact. By doing this as your body balances while holding the side plank position, your core is forced to work much harder to support you. This results in a stronger and more stable core over time and develops the abdominal muscles to assist in them being visible (a healthy balanced diet is often essential to get the abdominal muscles to show).
When it comes to any exercise, please ask any our gym staff for a demonstration and to help you complete exercises correctly – they are always happy to help!
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