Simple Core Strengthening Exercises - Part 2: Front and Side Planks.
Last post we talked about the deadbug exercise and how important it is to be able to resist lumbar extension when needed to create a stable and healthy core structure.
Today we follow up on that same concept, but this time using a two very important core exercises: the Front Plank and the Side Plank.
1. Anti Extension Core Exercises
A. Standard Front Plank
Begin lying on your front, propped up on your elbows.
Engage your abdominal muscles and lift your hips and legs up into a plank position, keeping your elbows directly under your shoulders. Hold this position.
Make sure to keep your back straight and maintain a gentle chin tuck during the exercise.
B. Plank with Hip Extension
In this variation we ask the spine to resist extension and rotation at the same time and it’s a great exercise to start challenging even more the core stability.
Begin on all fours.
Move your body forward into a plank position, with your elbows on the ground. Maintaining this position, lift one foot straight backward off the floor ( just a bit !!!, you don’t need to lift high) , then lower it back down and repeat with your other foot.
Make sure to keep your back straight and core engaged. Do not let your hips rotate to either side as you lift your legs.
2. Anti Lateral Flexion Core Exercises
A. Side Plank on Knees
Now we place emphasis on the side pillars of the core musculature. Again, it is very important to feel stable in all planes and the side plank series will help you get stronger resisting Lateral flexion.
Begin lying on your side with your knees bent, propped up on your forearm. Your elbow should be directly under your shoulder.
Engage your abdominal muscles and raise your hips up into a side plank position, keeping your knees on the ground. Hold this position, then return to the starting position and repeat.
Make sure to keep your core engaged during the exercise. Do not hold your breath or let your hips roll forward, backward, or drop towards the floor.
B. Modified Side Plank with Hip Abduction
Today we show you another good entry level exercise for this Side Plank Series.
In this variation there is more challenge to the side chain of muscles because of the added length in the movement.
Begin lying on your side, resting on your forearm with your bottom leg bent at a 90 degree angle and your top leg straight.
Tighten your abdominals and lift your hips up off of the floor. Then raise your heel so it is at the same level as your hip. Hold briefly, then relax and repeat.
Make sure that your head, hips, and leg are in a straight line and your shoulder is directly over your elbow. Do not let your hips roll backward or forward during the exercise.
C. Standard Side Plank
Begin lying on your side with your feet stacked, resting on your elbow.
Lift your hips off the floor so your body is in a straight line and your hips and shoulders are facing forward. Hold this position.
Make sure to keep your head in line with your trunk, do not let your hips drop toward the floor, and do not roll forward or backward during the exercise.
D. Side Plank with hip Abduction
Side Plank with Hip Abduction one by one.
Side Plank with Hip Abduction continuous.
One of the most challenging exercises is the Side Plank on Elbow with Hip Abduction.
It looks easy but most of my clients with back or lower extremities issues cannot do this variation of the side plank. In my experience, I noticed that people that cannot do 10 repetitions in a row of this exercise without losing form will experience some type of pain or dysfunction while practicing sports.
Begin lying on your side with your feet stacked, resting on your elbow. Lift your hips off the floor into a side plank position.
Hold this position and lift your upper leg, then lower it back down and repeat.
Make sure not to let your hips drop toward the floor, or roll forward or backward during the exercise.
Lionel Pannunzio is a Physical Therapist Certified in Sports Injuries.
With more than 20 years of experience helping athletes return to their sports after an injury.
He is the Owner of White Bay Sports Physical Therapy and Fitness, conveniently located in the beautiful City of Weston, where he treats Soccer Player, Runners and Athletes of all ages
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