Are you a fan of planks looking for a new challenge? Then check out the side star plank! This static core strengthening exercise is perfect for reinforcing your glutes and spine stabilizers, such as your abs and lower back muscles. The side star plank really packs a punch. Here’s what you need to know to get it right.
Static core strengthening exercises like this one are perfect for a stronger back and abdominal wall, but keeping your body in the right position is the key to avoiding injury and getting the best possible results. Here’s how to perfect the side star plank.
Starting position: Lie on the floor on your side and come up onto one hand with your arm straight. Place one foot on top of the other and lift your hips to align your head, chest, hips and thighs.
Holding position: Lift your upper leg as you keep your hips perpendicular to the floor. The goal is to hold this position for as long as the FizzUp trainer indicates. When the time’s up, switch sides.
“Keep your back completely straight”: To do this, make sure your hips and shoulders are aligned during the exercise.
“Look straight ahead”: Throughout the exercise, your neck should be aligned with your spine to keep you looking straight ahead as you stare at something far away that sits at the same height as your eyes. The biggest mistake is to look down at the floor, which leads to body misalignment and poor posture.
“Keep breathing normally”: Breathing is always critical! Keep it steady. If you can’t hold this position for the time indicated, you can try an easier variation.
Whether you’re a beginner, already have some workout experience under your belt or are a total fitness fanatic, there’s a side star plank variation for you, no matter what your level or goal. If the exercise is too hard for you, give one of these easier variations a try.
Elbow side plank: The how-to for this exercise is almost the same as the side star plank, except that you come up onto your elbow and forearm and you don’t lift your leg. This is the easiest variation. Make sure to not tilt your hips forward or backward when you hold the position. If you’re having trouble, you can place one foot in front of the other for more stability.
Straight-arm side plank: The level of difficulty with this variation is average. The position you hold is exactly the same as the side star plank, except that your legs stay together.
During the exercise, your contact with the floor is limited and because you lift your upper leg, this puts your deep muscles to work. These are the muscles that enable you to hold the position and keep your balance. Here’s a list of the muscles this exercise mainly targets:
Abs: Your transverse abs and obliques are the deepest muscles in your abdominal wall that the side star plank works.
Back muscles: This exercise works some of your back muscles, like your lower back and quadratus lumborum.
Glutes: All three of your glute muscles come into play: your gluteus minimus, gluteus medius and gluteus maximus.
Doing this core strengthening exercise or one of its variations on a regular basis offers several benefits for your body. It works both your abs and their antagonists (your lower back) to improve the balance in your hips and protect your spine, reducing your risk of lower back pain.
This exercise can also help you achieve your fitness and aesthetic goals. By working your deep abs such as your transverse abs and obliques, the side star plank effectively tightens your core, which is just the thing for sculpted abs and a flat stomach. Contracting your glutes during this exercise also tones this area of your body. Rounded, firm glutes is a cinch!
And last but not least, the isometric muscle contractions you use during this kind of core strengthening will significantly boost your muscle strength.
Start your journey to better fitness with FizzUp now! Get the side star plank, its variations and a wide range of other strengthening exercises like plank rotations and burpees to put your core to work. Open your app to start your personalized total-body strength training program designed by the FizzUp trainer!