How to Do Side Plank Exercise for Active Level


I’m going to show you some variations to the
active level side plank, both at 45 degrees and 90. So, let me start with
the 90 degrees because that allows me to keep talking to you straight
on with the camera. Your elbow, you want to make sure is tucked in slightly
from the shoulder. It’s going to feel a little bit awkward, it’s going to
feel like it’s a little bit tight in, but that’s going to allow you to
have your humerus straight in a vertical position once you lift up. As I drop
back, the elbow is in a little bit closer to the body, but as I lift
up it’s sitting just directly underneath, and that’s going to be the most
comfortable for the shoulder joint. Now, in the book, it shows the thigh being
straight in line with the body, but if you attempt this and you’re going,
“Well, that intensity is a little higher than I hoped for”, but you don’t feel
like going back to the active level four, you can bring your bottom knee
forward slightly, 20 or 30 degrees. By doing so, that’s going to reduce
the intensity of this side plank. The other thing you can play with is
the distance that your hip is lifted off from the ground. So, lifting off
just a little bit is going to be less intense than if you lift off and create
that straight line into the side plank. Another variation that you can do as opposed
to holding the plank for the entire 20 seconds or time that you have built
up for, you can lift and lower during that time. As I mentioned in
the beginner, you want to not just resting on the floor, but rather pressing
into the floor. So, let’s press into the floor so that you’re engaging
all of the muscles around the shoulders to support you, and if you’re going
to come up you can take this hand to give yourself a little more support
at the shoulder, if that’s helpful. Your head is in a neutral position.
If that’s feeling too intense, just drop down and pull back up again, and
drop down and pull back up, which allows you a variation within the active
level side plank, 90 degrees. We can take the same concepts into the 45,
so again, either my leg is going to be straight with my body when I turn onto
a 45 degree, or I’m going to allow myself to have a little bit more flexion
at the hip. So, this little bit more flexion is going to make the intensity
much less for the abdominal wall. Here’s the 45, and again, I’m pressing
in, engaging the musculature around the shoulder girdle. If I need more
support, I can bring it up through here. So, hopefully that gives you
some ideas for positioning yourself and modifying the side planks, both
the 90 and 45, to work best for you.

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