The tried and true side plank is a staple in many training programs across the nation, and for good reason. It’s a great movement that strengthens the shoulder girdle and the lateral core. But after some time, it’s very possible that you will need to progress your side plank in order to see continued results.
Here are 3 exercises to light up those obliques when side planks become just a bit too easy.
1/2 kneeling Pallof press
While this isn’t necessarily a progression to the side plank, it will work your obliques big time. Because the band or cable it trying to twist you, your hips and obliques will need to brace in order to keep your spine and hips in position. This looks innocent, but your obliques will be screaming after 10 reps.
Oblique hold off bench
This one requires a bit of setup, but the payoff is well worth it. Since your obliques are responsible for helping resist lateral flexion of the spine (bending sideways), this movement hits them hard. Focus on maintaining good posture as you hold out and avoid letting your shoulders dip downward.
Hold a plate with your arms fully extended to up the ante even further.
Quite possibly one of the best lateral core exercises you can do, the suitcase carry works your obliques, hips, shoulder girdle, and grip all in one. The weight will pull you into lateral flexion, so your obliques on the opposite side of the weight are gonna need to brace hard to keep you in proper position. Try not to let the weight rest on your leg as you walk and stay tall with your abs braced.
Try holding the kettlebell in the racked position for an added challenge for your upper body while still challenging your lateral core.