How To Do A Side Plank With Leg Lift, For A Bonus Core Challenge

mbg Spirituality & Relationships Writer By Sarah Regan
mbg Spirituality & Relationships Writer
Sarah Regan is a Spirituality & Relationships Writer, and a registered yoga instructor. She received her bachelor's in broadcasting and mass communication from SUNY Oswego, and lives in Buffalo, New York.
A Spicy Side-Plank Variation To Put Your Core & Obliques To The Test

Planks, and all their variations, will challenge your body from head to toe. One fun version to add to your fitness toolbox: side plank with a leg lift. This variation on classic side plank is a great move to incorporate into yoga flows and bodyweight workouts, with an extra kick (pun intended). Here's how to do this advanced yoga pose, as demonstrated by certified yoga instructor Pilin Anice.

How to do side plank variation with leg lift:

  1. Come into plank pose, or a high pushup, with legs extended straight back, and shoulders, elbows, and wrists in a straight line.
  2. Draw your belly up and in toward your spine. Feel the point where your hamstring meets your glutes, keeping legs active.
  3. Begin shifting weight into your right arm. Release the left arm and bring it up as you tilt your body, so hips and shoulders are stacked over each other, and arms form one straight line.
  4. From here, rest left foot on top of the right. Keep pushing the hips up, avoiding sinking into the bottom hip. Engage the obliques. Gaze up past your left fingertips.
  5. Bend your left leg toward your torso, and grab your left big toe with your left index and middle finger. Extend the knee and send your left leg up.
  6. Hold for 30 seconds and release by coming back into plank. Repeat on the opposite side.
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To modify:

  • If you find your bottom hip is continuously sinking, drop the bottom knee to a 90-degree angle, and focus on engaging the core and arms.
  • If you can't fully extend the top leg, keep your top hand on your waist and work on raising the top leg so it's hovering about a foot off the ground.

What are the benefits?

Planks are great for working your core, arms, legs, chest, and shoulders. This particular variation is also great for strengthening the obliques. You'll work your joints, too—mainly the hips and wrists.

Just keep in mind, fully extending your leg does require a decent amount of flexibility, so if you're not quite there yet, keep working at it! Your hips and hamstrings will be feeling more mobile in no time.

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