The Dynamic Side Plank is a simple movement that packs a whole lot of punch. You’ll love what it does for your obliques and overall trunk- and it’s a great lead-in for learning to do the human flag! Many of you are probably used to doing a side plank static if you practice yoga – I encourage you to give this dynamic version a shot, too, as it has different benefits and will challenge you in a new way.
In one of our previous posts, The Other Side of Abdominal Training, we explained the different muscles and movements of the trunk. In particular, we talked about the obliques’ huge role in trunk rotation, as well as in lateral flexion or side bending. Many times you’ll see someone in the gym duplicating the oblique side-bend movement by holding onto a dumbbell or plate with one arm and bending from side to side like a windshield wiper. While that isn’t necessarily a bad exercise, we can do it another way that uses just our own bodyweight while integrating more of the body. This makes the movement much more effective.
The Dynamic Side Plank works not only with the obliques, but also with something called the frontal plane stabilization system which includes the Adductors (inner thighs), Abductors (outer hip like the Glute Medius), and low back muscles like the Quadratus Lumborum and Erector Spinae. This exercise also challenges the rotator cuff and the larger muscle of the shoulder joint, the Deltoid.
Check out the video below to see how it comes together. Give it a shot and you’ll see just what I mean by packs a whole lot of punch!
For some additional great trunk exercises, check out some of my other videos here: