This is one of my favorite core strength exercises to perform. The Raised Side Plank is a core strength hold exercise that specifically targets your obliques, but really strengthens your entire core region (obliques, abs, lower back).
To perform this exercise:
1. Find something to rest your feet on that is about a foot or two off the ground (I usually use a workout bench).
2. Rest one foot on top of the other and rest your elbow and forearm on the ground.
3. Lift your hips, core, and upper body off the ground so that they are parallel to the floor. Your upper arm to your shoulder should be perpendicular with the floor.
4. Hold this position for 1 minute (or for beginners, start with 30 seconds and increase your time once your core becomes stronger).
5. Repeat this exercise on the other side.
1. Make sure the side of your body (obliques) is facing the floor and the front of your body is facing forward.
2. Tighten you core, your obliques specifically, during the entire exercise
3. Lift your hips up and keep them parallel to the floor. It is very easy to start drooping your hips to the floor. If they start to fall slightly, really squeeze your stomach muscles to try and raise them back up to maintain the straight body position.
4. Form is more important than time! You will get better results from holding the correct position for 30 seconds than letting your body concave and turn incorrectly, holding the incorrect position for a longer time.
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One rep until exhaustion?
I usually hold for about 1 minute on each side! And I usually do about 3 sets (3 one minute holds on the right and 3one minute holds on the left). If I feel ambitious and have the time, I do about 5 sets on each side. Remember though, Holds can be time consuming. Doing 3 sets on each side adds up to 6 minutes and that is not including rest in between. I usually do holds on days where I can dedicate a little more time than usual at the gym.
Where in an ab routine would you do these? In the beginning? End?
Because core holds can sometimes be very hard to do, especially after a good ab workout, I tend to start with my core strength holds. I have been noticing though that these side planks are becoming easier and even after doing it for a minute, I am not feeling the burn like I used to, so I may put these a little further in my workout when my core is a little more exhausted.
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