The Side Plank: Build Endurance in Your Core and Lower Back

by On Jun 30, 2014
The Side Plank: Build Endurance in Your Core and Lower Back

The lower back area is commonly ignored in running and strength training. Stretching exercises can help prevent pain and injury in the lower back.

The Side Plank is a lower back exercise that can be useful for a runner. Not only does this exercise build strength and endurance in the core, keeping a person's lower back stable and protected during activities that require movement in the back and hips.


  • Lie on the right side in a straight line resting on the forearm. A person's elbow should be directly under their shoulder.
  • With their abdominals contracted gently, lift the hips off the floor while maintaining the line.
  • Keep the hips square and the neck in line with the spine.
  • Hold for 20 to 40 seconds and lower.

Recommended Number of Sets:

Repeat 2 to 3 times while alternating the sides. To make the exercise more challenging while holding the basic position, try lifting and lowering the top leg. Gradually work towards holding the upper leg for 5 to 10 counts. Another advanced option is supporting the body with the palm on the floor and under the shoulder with the elbow straight.

Common Mistakes and Important Notes:

One of the common mistakes that occur when doing this exercise is folding at the hips. This makes the body bent, and should be avoided. Some people also sag the hips down so their body slumps.

Another common mistake is twisting the body so both of the shoulders and the supporting elbow are not in a vertical line. If you feel that this exercise is challenging, start with your knees bent instead.

Remember, it is best to seek advice from a health care provider before starting any lower back exercises.

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