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  • Writer's pictureKeep It Moving PT & Wellness

Week 53: Side Plank On Knees

Updated: Jun 24

Exercise: Side Plank On Knees

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

What It Targets: Gluteus Medius/Minimus/Maximus; Static stabilization of the Internal Obliques, External Obliques, Transverse Abdominis; Serratus Anterior, Deltoids, Latissimus Dorsi, Rotator Cuff Stabilization


  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. Bend both knees while keeping your hips straight so your thighs are in line with your trunk.

  4. Press the ground away with your palm and elbow with the intention of activating your shoulder blade muscles.

  5. Using your glutes and obliques, lift your hips up towards the ceiling like there's a fire underneath you. Pause at the top of the range for 2 seconds.

  6. Slowly lower yourself back down to the floor.

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

Main Cues:

  • Keep your trunk in line with your legs

  • Lift up your hips by initiating the contraction with your glutes (butt muscles) and obliques (under side trunk muscles)

  • Lift your hips up like there's a 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:

  • Pain in the back or hips

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;

  • Pain in bottom knee from laying directly on it

Correction: Place a soft pillow or foam pad under your knee for more cushion

Why We Love It:

  • It targets building strength and endurance with muscle groups that is often weak and underworked in the right way

  • 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 hip 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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