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  • Writer's pictureKeep It Moving PT & Wellness

Week 36: Side Plank on Feet



Exercise: Side Plank on Feet


Purpose: To keep the spine stable in a frontal plane bias using the core musculature isometrically


What It Targets: Static stabilization of the Core Musculature: Internal Obliques, External Obliques, Transverse Abdominis; Periscapular and Shoulder Musculature: Serratus Anterior, Middle/Lower Trapezius, Pectoralis Major/Minor, Middle/Posterior Deltoid


Procedure:

  1. Lay on your side with your spine in a straight, stacked alignment with legs and trunk aligned.

  2. Bend your elbow and place your palm face down on the floor with your elbow directly below your shoulder.

  3. Place your feet on the floor with the top foot slightly in front of the back foot for added stability.

  4. Lift your hips and pelvis towards the ceiling keeping all the above cues the same. You should feel it primarily in the downside core just above your hip/pelvis.

  5. Hold for as long as prescribed.

  6. Repeat as prescribed, and repeat on the other side.


Main Cues:

  • Keep your trunk in line with your legs

  • Lift your hips up as if there is a hot fire underneath you

  • Keep your elbow directly below your shoulder and press your forearm/elbow into the floor using your shoulder blade muscles

Common Compensations/Adverse Effects:


  • Arching and/or pain in the low back

Correction: Tuck your pelvis into a posterior tilt, using your glutes; Produce and maintain tension throughout your entire core. A full exhale helps; Decrease the time spent in the plank; Regress to performing the plank on your knees


  • Sagging of the hips

Correction: Lift your hips as if there is a fire underneath you. You should feel a solid oblique burn in the underside of your core!


  • Pain in the shoulder

Correction: Press the floor away with your whole arm with emphasis on shoulder blade activation; Be mindful to not let your shoulders hike up towards your ears; Decrease the time spent in the plank; Regress to performing the plank on your knees


  • Pain in neck

Correction: Keep your head in line with the rest of your spine, do not let it hang down towards the floor or flex forward toward your chest


Why We Love It:

  • It’s a functional whole body exercise that challenges the core muscles in the frontal plane

  • It’s great for building scapular and shoulder endurance

  • It requires no equipment!

*Disclaimer: Not all exercises are suitable for everyone, and participation in novel activities may increase the risk of adverse effects such as pain, soreness, or injury. Please consult with your Physician or a local Physical Therapist prior to attempting any exercise you feel uncomfortable performing. If adverse reactions occur, discontinue performance of the exercise and consult your physician or trusted clinician for evaluation.

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