Side plank: feautures and technique

side plank

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A slender figure, beautiful hands, tightened legs, cubes of the press – many can get it with help of a side plank. But, not all of us are ready every day to put our best in the gym at the maximum of opportunities. Some athletes, lovers of yoga and passive training have discovered static exercises, during which you need to keep the muscles in suspense for a while. The most popular of them is the bar. Everyone has heard about this kind of exercise, and many have tried to do it. In addition to the usual bar, there is a back and side bar. The last will be discussed in this article.

The essence of the exercise

The lateral form is a complicated variation of the usual version of the exercise. The difficulty lies in balancing on two, at most three points of support. From the first attempt this method can not be done and it is difficult to stay in this position. If it turns out, after a couple of weeks you can see a tightened figure and a decrease in “stocks” of fat.

Side plank

The essence of the side bar – alternately balancing each side above the floor, leaning on the palm of your hand or the elbow and the outside of the foot. This hovering activates and trains more muscles than the normal bar. As a result, there is a more intense burning of calories and muscle training.

Benefit and harm

If this exercise were not effective, it would not be used so often. Consider the benefits of a side bar for athletes.


  • training of a large number of muscles – shoulders, arms, back, abdomen, buttocks, legs;
  • strengthening the muscles of the bark;
  • the development of endurance and stability;
  • Balancing, having two points of support with a small area;
  • getting rid of back stoop;
  • burning of excess fat in all places – stomach, buttocks, legs, hands.

This exercise is considered passive, but when it is performed, much more muscles are involved than when running or weight training. The effect is the same – strengthening the muscles, burning calories, a beautiful figure. Since the side bar on the elbow is the simplest form of doing this exercise, it is easy for newcomers to cope with.

side plank
Side plank


With proper performance of the exercise, it is impossible to harm the body. But, there are a number of contraindications, ignoring which, you can cripple or harm yourself:

  • recent fractures of bones;
  • injuries and joint diseases;
  • injuries and serious back problems;
  • recent operations;
  • very weak vestibular apparatus;
  • high pressure;
  • acute phase of various diseases;
  • too large a stomach;
  • pregnancy, the first weeks and the last months;

To avoid deterioration of health, having any of these indicators, it is better to refrain from such physical exertion.

What muscles work

Before starting to perform the exercise for the first time, many people ask themselves: what muscles work during the side bar? If briefly, all that is needed for movement and retention of the hull. Complicated? Explain in order.

  1. Hands and shoulders. Delta, triceps, biceps, shoulder.
  2. Chest. The whole group of pectoral muscles.
  3. Back. Trapezium, rhomboid, widest, straightening spine, crenate, square lumbar muscles.
  4. Stomach. Straight and oblique muscles of the press.
  5. Buttocks. Large and medium gluteus muscles.
  6. Legs. Iliac-tibial tract, semitendinous, semimembranous, gastrocnemius.

The most important participants in the exercise are the deltoid and gastrocnemius muscles, the muscles of the cortex (back, stomach, buttocks) that make up the “corset” of the internal organs.

side plank
Side plank at home

Technique of execution

Before performing the exercise, you need to take care of comfort. Comfortable sportswear and necessary sneakers. You can try to do without the latter, but your legs will quickly tire of sliding off each other. This will make it more difficult to maintain a balance. In addition, a litter is needed. You can use a mat, carpet or other mat, which will slightly soften the hardness of the floor or asphalt, if the training takes place on an outdoor sports ground.

They were trained, dressed in comfortable things, and bedded with a litter. Now you can start the technique of making a side bar.

  1. Lie on your side on the rug, straighten your legs to make it comfortable.
  2. For greater comfort, place an elbow under the shoulder and place the palm perpendicular to the body. Raise yourself on your elbow, make sure that you are comfortable and your shoulder with your elbow is a straight vertical line. The elbow set aside does not fit. This must be done to make you feel stable.
  3. Legs are stretched in a straight line and lie on top of each other. Now lift your feet forward.
  4. The second hand that is on top, you can put on your side, rest against the waist, put it behind your head or lift it up.
  5. Tear your eyes from your feet and look straight ahead. You can not lower your head, it will be difficult to breathe and perform the exercise.
  6. Breathe in your belly, slowly and deeply.
  7. On the next breath, tear off the buttocks from the rug. Keep balance on the elbow and the side of the foot. To do this, you need to strain the muscles of the body, buttocks and legs.
  8. In order not to loosen the body, the muscles must be kept tight and imagine that from the heels to the head is a stick (rope, string, wire) and you need your body to keep it smoothly.
  9. During the execution of the bar, you must feel the tension of the body. “Suspension” of the body is not due to the raising of some buttocks. It is necessary to strain the muscles, lift and hold the body on two points of support.
  10. If it is difficult to perform an exercise on straight legs that lie on top of each other, you can move one leg slightly forward or bend the lower leg in the knee.
  11. Be sure to breathe evenly and deeply. Entry into the bar occurs on inspiration.
  12. Be sure to check the time spent in a static position. The minimum time that can be considered as training is 15 seconds, the maximum is 90. If desired, the time of staying in this position can be increased.

So a simple side bar is performed. If in time you want to make a variety in its implementation, you can try some of its kinds. For a more intense load, you can add a weighting agent to the upper arm or take a dumbbell into it.

side plank
Side plank


If someone considers this kind of exercise to be a boring move, they are deeply mistaken. Not everything is as simple as it seems. Such a bar has several varieties, which are side bar exercises.

The table lists the most popular and techniques for their implementation.

Variety Technique of execution Load on the body
Simple Focus on the arm, bent at the elbow and the outside of the foot. The upper leg lies on the bottom. Moderate
Lazy Focus on the bent arm and legs. The lower leg is bent at the knee and serves as an additional support point, the upper leg is extended and stands on the inside of the foot. Also, the feet can rest on their knees. Low
On an outstretched hand The emphasis is on the palm of the hand. The legs lie on top of each other, resting on the lateral part of the lower foot. Increased
With crossed legs Focus on a straight or bent arm. The upper leg lies slightly in front of the lower one. Three points of support are obtained. Moderate
Lowering the housing Focus on the bent arm and legs, lying on top of each other or the top in front of the bottom. Lower the pelvis downward, not touching the floor or litter, and raise it to its original position. Increased
“Star” Focus on the straight arm and foot of one foot. The upper arm and leg are raised. The pose of the “star” is obtained. High
Twisting Focus on your right arm and legs. They can lie on each other or be crossed. The upper arm is raised. Turning your chest, you lower it down, “hug” yourself. Go back to the starting position. High
Advanced twisting Focus on the straight arm, the upper arm is raised up and bent at the elbow. The lower leg is bent at the knee or lies behind the upper one. Then there is twisting, as in the press, during which the elbow of the free hand needs to reach the knee of the lower leg forward. The opposite limbs are active.Another option is to hold the balance on the lower arm and leg, and the upper ones need to touch the body. High
Lifting and removal of feet Focus on the straight arm. Legs crossed. First, pull the lower leg to the stomach, then return to its original position. Then lift the upper leg up as far as possible, return to its original position. High

As you can see from the table, you can stand in the bar, especially without loading the body, but you can practice your endurance and stability, adding movements to the body and limbs.

side plank
Side plank

Errors of newbies

Most often, those who do not correctly execute the side bar can not stand in a pose. Let’s consider, the most widespread errors of beginning sportsmen which happen and at professionals:

  1. Bent, saggy back. In this position it is difficult to maintain balance, the back starts to hurt quickly and it is difficult to breathe.
  2. Wrong position of hands. If the hand is left behind at a different angle than necessary, there will be a risk of injury to the joints of the hand, the inability to perform the exercise, an incorrect load on the body.
  3. The pelvic sagging during fixation. If the buttocks are not strained, you will not be able to perform the movement, since these muscles are the main ones to perform the bar.
  4. Head down. The chin lowered to the chest complicates breathing and creates unnecessary strain on the muscles of the neck.
  5. Relaxed or half-bent knees. Because of this position of the legs, the correct execution of the exercise will be impossible.
side plank
Right side plank

Helpful Tips

Let us share some more tips on how to learn to make a side bar.

  1. Do not be afraid. Injury is impossible, if there are no contraindications to the bar.
  2. For the bar, you do not need to attend sports or fitness facilities. It can be done at home, on a sports ground, even at work, if there is room.
  3. Performing the exercise, every 3-4 days, it is necessary to increase the balancing time on the side for 5 seconds.
  4. There is no time limit for the side bar. If there is time and desire, it can be done several times a day.

After daily sessions of the side bar for more than 21 days in a row, this exercise becomes a useful habit, thanks to which any person can quickly become slim and healthy.