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Week 40: Copenhagen Plank Variation: Modified Hip Lift

Updated: May 19

Exercise: Copenhagen Plank Variation - Modified Hip Lift

Purpose: To lift the body up in the frontal plane using primarily the hip adductors while stabilizing with the core and glutes

What It Targets: Adductors (Adductor Longus, Magnus, Gracilis), and Gluteus Medius/Minimus/Maximus; Static stabilization of the Internal Obliques, External Obliques, Transverse Abdominis


  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. With the top leg fully extended, and the bottom leg bent for stability, place your top leg on a ball or plyobox at the ankle. Be sure to keep both feet parallel to each other.

  4. Press the knee of the bottom leg into the floor. You should feel your glutes activate.

  5. Press your top foot into the ball/plyobox keeping all the above cues the same. Press as hard as you can without discomfort or movement. You should feel it primarily in the inner thigh and glutes of the top leg.

  6. Using your adductors of the top leg, lift your hips up until your legs and trunk parallel. Pause at the top of the range for 2 seconds.

  7. Slowly lower yourself back down to the floor.

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

Main Cues:

  • Keep your trunk in line with your legs

  • Lift up your whole body by initiating the contraction with your inner thighs muscles

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

Common Compensations/Adverse Effects:

  • Pain in the groin

Correction: Make sure your spine is stacked and your core is active. Exhaling helps!; Make sure your feet are parallel, if anything toes facing toward the surface you’re laying on to bias internal rotation; Decrease the level of force you are using; Decrease the height of the lift; Press your leg into a smaller object to decrease the degree of hip abduction; Contact the surface with your knee rather than your ankle to shorten the lever arm

  • Pain in bottom hip from laying directly on it

Correction: Lay on something softer like a yoga mat, or even your bed; Place a soft pillow under your hip for more cushion

Why We Love It:

  • It targets building strength and endurance with a muscle group that is often weak and underworked

  • It creates co-contraction and stabilization of all the key muscle groups in the hip and core

  • It paves the way for much more advanced/progressed exercises for this muscle group, which can relieve groin pain

*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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