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Week 46: Side Plank on Knees with March

Exercise: Side Plank on Knees with March

Purpose: To challenge core stability and shoulder in both the frontal and sagittal planes of movement while performing a lower leg march

What It Targets: Core Stabilizers: Obliques, Transverse Abdominis, Quadratus Lumborum, Rectus Abdominis; Hip Stabilizers: Primarily the Gluteus Medius, Minimis and Maximus; Shoulder and Scapular Stabilizers: Trapezius, Serratus Anterior, Latissimus Dorsi, Deltoids, Triceps


  1. Get into a side plank position with your knees bent and stacked on top of each other. Your bottom elbow should be directly beneath your shoulder, and your body should form a straight line from head to knees.

  2. Without letting your back arch or pelvis rotate, lift your hips off the ground. Keep your core engaged, body in a straight line and shoulder stable.

  3. Once stable, bring the knee of the top leg towards your chin. Lift up your foot and toes towards your chin as well. Pause for 2-3 seconds at the top.

  4. Bring the top leg back down to meet the bottom leg. Maintain stability at the shoulder and core.

  5. Repeat as prescribed.

  6. Repeat on the other side.

Main Cues:

  • Maintain tension in your core and your body in a straight line from head to knees

  • Focus on flexion the top hip with control, maintaining stability throughout the movement

  • Engage your glutes to help stabilize your hips.

  • Don't forget to breathe! Exhale as you lift the top leg and inhale as you lower it back down

Common Compensations/Adverse Effects: 

  • Pain in your lower back

Correction: Be sure that your core is engaged, hips tucked slightly to avoid an excessive arch in your back. If you are tucked, perhaps relax the tuck a bit to find a happier position for your low back; If still pain, regress to side plank on knees.

  • Pain in your shoulder

Correction: Keep your shoulder and scapular muscles engaged by actively driving your elbow into the ground and lifting your trunk away from your shoulder; Regress to side plank on knees for lesser holds

  • Difficulty balancing

Correction: Focus your gaze on one stationary object throughout the exercise; Move leg more slowly; Regress to side plank on knees if this exercise is too challenging

Why We Love It:

  • This variation of the side plank adds an extra challenge by incorporating balance and stability.

  • It strengthens not only your core but also your hips and glutes, which are essential for overall stability and injury prevention.

  • It's a fun way to switch up your core routine and keep things interesting!

*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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