How To Do Side Plank Pose

By: Chris Freytag, CPT

Chloe Freytag demonstrating Side Plank Pose in a black tank top and yoga pants

Side Plank Pose strengthens your obliques and entire core. It is a pose of strength. Side plank pose not only builds strength in your shoulder and arm, but deep contraction in your oblique muscle and hip. If you need a great new core strength move, skip the crunches and learn how to do Side Plank Pose.

Many poses in yoga focus on flexibility and are designed to open your muscles and connective tissue. However, many are also designed to help you build strength and power. Side Plank Pose is one of those. This pose is an isometric hold that builds strength in your shoulder girdle, arm obliques and hip. In addition, plank poses work on strength of the mind and will. They are challenging and provide an opportunity for you to measure, in a very concrete way, how strong you are getting. The first time you hold Side Plank Pose you might be shaking after just a few seconds. Over time, however, you will see first- hand how strong you are becoming as you notice how the amount of time you are able to hold the position without letting go is extended.

Side Plank Pose also offers you a chance to rely on true yoga breathing. When you are challenged to higher difficulties in yoga, and yet are not moving, you truly notice each and every part of your body that is working. Concentrating on your slow, steady breath helps you move your mind to a different place and shift your thinking to go beyond outside circumstances alone.

Side Plank Pose is very challenging, but you can begin with the modified version of Kneeling Side Plank Pose. Over time you will be able to start in the full Side Plank Pose and place your knee down only when needed. If you have any shoulder injuries

1) Begin in a full plank with hands under shoulders and feet and thighs touching.

2) Squeeze abdominals tightly and open right arm straight into the air turning body to the side so right foot rests on left foot.

3) Lift body through waistline and hold for 30 seconds.

4) Return to plank and switch sides.

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