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Treating folks, like you, who move for a living and love to move


Author: Richard Symister

How to Build A Better Side Plank

The side plank is an excellent movement for core stability. But it has so many other benefits, such as shoulder, hip, and thigh strengthening. You even get some great lateral ankle stability challenges.

During our head-to-toe exams, we also rely on the side plank to assess readiness to return to play and sport.

The side plank is quite challenging, and there are many levels. Want to build a better side plank? Keep these tips in mind to get the most efficient and effective plank workout. Try this:

  • Extend your hips. Act as if you were keeping your heels behind your butt, but pushing your belly button forward. In other words, line up your hip bone with your knee with your ankle heel.
  • Breathe, breathe, breathe. Match your movement with your breath. If performing the isometric plank, try to maintain relaxed, tempo box breathing.
  • Know pain, no gain” is bullsh#t! If you experience shoulder or lower back pain, STOP the movement and seek out a specialist who absolutely loves treating backs and shoulders.
  • Maintain neck neutral. If you need support like a bolster, there’s no shame in this game. But keep your head and neck tall and aligned. Don’t allow your head to dip towards the floor while up in your side plank.
  • Master of the basics.  Start with the easier movements, focusing on your ABCs, before moving on to the more complex side planks.

Heal. Move. Plank. Evolve.

Lower back pain is common, but not normal! Don’t gamble on generic Physical Therapy to treat your lower back pain. Come to the therapists who absolutely love treating backs and spines.