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5 Horrible Side Plank Errors That Can Be Avoided

The Side Plank is a perfect core exercise-until you make these mistakes. Side planks usually aren't at the top of people 's favorite exercises list.

5 Horrible Side Plank Errors That Can Be Avoided

The Side Plank is a perfect core exercise-until you make these mistakes. Side planks usually aren't at the top of people 's favorite exercises list. But if you've already committed time, effort, and willpower to add it to your workout, you 're going to want to make sure you 're doing it right.

Unfortunately, some fairly common errors can make the exercise less efficient and ultimately a waste of your time. So if you try a plank challenge or incorporate side planks into your regular workout routine, get the move right and avoid these five mistakes.

How To Perform A Side Plank?

  1. Start lying on your side, backed up on your forearm underneath. To avoid putting too much pressure on the joint your elbow should be directly under your shoulder. The legs should be stretched straight out with your feet stacked on top of each other.
  2. Lift your hips away from the ground. Make sure your hips are pushed forward so your ass doesn't stick out behind you. The goal is to be as straight from heels to hips to head as possible.
  3. Hold this position with good form for as long as you can.

1. Allowing To Drop Your Hips

As with a standard board, while holding a sideboard, you should avoid sagging your hips towards the ground. The main benefit of doing planks is to reinforce your core, but when you don't keep your hips elevated you are missing out on the full potential of the move.

And you want to target your obliques specifically with a side plank. By concentrating on those muscles on the sides of your torso and thinking about actively raising your hips, you are making the move much more successful.

Quick Fix 

"Think of keeping the bottom hip high off the ground," says Sam Becourtney, physical therapist at New York's Bespoke Treatments. "Sometimes using a foam roller or yoga block under the bottom hip can give an external cue so you have a goal of keeping the bottom leg at least that high so it's elevated off the roller / block"

2. Do Not Hold The Head And Neck In Alignment

You may start jutting your head forward, dropping it down to the ground, or turning it to look up at the ceiling as you start fatigue while holding a side plank.

Unfortunately, these small deviations in form can cause some big problems. According to Becourtney, letting your head and neck come out of alignment with the rest of your body can cause neck strain or irritation to surrounding muscles including your trapezoid. This can cause discomfort in the region over time — or even contribute to injury.

Quick Fix

Think of your spine as one long piece of rope from your tailbone to the base of your skull as you hold your side plank, says Becourtney. The goal is to keep teaching this rope, which will involve bringing up your head and neck or even tucking the chin to restore proper alignment.

3. Putting Too Much Pressure on Your Bottom Foot

If you do the right side plank, your feet will be raised, resting on the outer portion of your underfoot. While a good deal of your weight will balance on your bottom foot's outer edge, you don't want to add too much pressure as that can cause foot and ankle pain, says Becourtney.

But what exactly would qualify as excessive pressure? If you feel your outer foot digging into the ground or struggling to keep the lower leg up, you are likely putting too much weight into the outer foot.

Quick Fix

When you're working on your side plank wear shoes. Think of pushing your lower foot's sole towards the ground so that your shoe's corner digs into the ground instead of your foot.

4. Arching Your Lower Back

You want to have your body in one straight line, as mentioned above. But it's common to start arching the lower back as you start to grow tired or shaky. This can strain the muscles of your back and ultimately lead to pain.

Plus, overarching or rounding your back takes away from the exercise's core-reinforcing ability, as it moves the job from your abdominals to your lower back.

Quick Fix

Stack your ribcage over your pelvis. As Becourtney says, think about pulling your belly button towards your spine. "Keeping these thoughts in your mind holds the balance."

5. Placing Elbow Too Far From Your Body

Another common error Becourtney sees is the improper placement of the elbows. People often place the elbow too far from the body in an effort to get more balance in a pose. Or, if you do a high sideboard, you could position your hand too far away from the edge.

This places unnecessary stress on your elbow (or hand and wrist) and shoulder. You are therefore dependent on your arm to support and keep the body, rather than your obliques.

Quick Fix

Take time to make sure you place your hand or elbow directly below your shoulder before lifting up into your side plank. "Think of pushing the ground away to make use of some of the bigger , stronger shoulder muscles," says Becourtney. Seek to alternate between a side board on the elbows and hand to prevent undue stress on either joint.

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YourFitnessRink - Fitness and Health Matters: 5 Horrible Side Plank Errors That Can Be Avoided
5 Horrible Side Plank Errors That Can Be Avoided
The Side Plank is a perfect core exercise-until you make these mistakes. Side planks usually aren't at the top of people 's favorite exercises list.
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