Side Bridging/Side Plank

Starting Position
  • This side bridging exercise requires you to lie on your side with your forearm on the floor under your shoulder, and your feet stacked together
  • Lift your hip off the floor, creating a straight line from heel to shoulder and keeping your head in line with your spine.
Prime Movers
  • Side trunk muscles are emphasized in this exercise - hip abductors, quadratus lumborum, etc.
  • Abdominal obliques, latissimus dorsi are also very active.
Physio Tips
  • Side bridges improve the stability of all the muscles surrounding your spine and stomach.
  • Researchers have found that men who can perform the side bridge effectively are less likely to encounter back troubles.
  • If you find this difficult try the easier exercise below: Side Bridge on Knees
  • Be sure to keep your arm vertical, elbow under your shoulder. An elbow too far forward will put too much strain on your shoulder
Progression This exercise works well in any beginner workout. If you are finding it difficult try side bridging on your knees. This is a much more elementary exercise we often use in the clinic for those recovering from back injuries. If you have a history of back problems or have pain seek the advice of your physical therapist prior to trying any of these exercises. With a history of back pain you may need to start with an even easier exercise.

Side Bridging on your Knees

  • Lie on your side on the floor with your forearm under your shoulder and knees bent stacked on one another.
  • Hips should remain straight. Don't flex your hips.
  • Lift your pelvis up off the floor so that you form a straight line from your knees to your head. Your weight should been distributed between your knees and your forearm.
  • Concentrate on breathing normally and keeping your abdominals tight, maintaining neutral position.
  • Hold this until you are no longer able to stay straight, feel yourself sag, or start to shake.
  • Rest for a minute or two.
  • Repeat this two more times.
  • Perform this daily until you can hold this exercise for 30 seconds
  • Once you are able to hold this side plank on your knees for 30 seconds with little effort you are ready to attempt it on your feet.

1ballsHold this position for 5 seconds and repeat 10 times.

2ballsHold this position for 10 seconds and repeat 10 times.

3ballsHold this position for 45 seconds and repeat 5 times.