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The side plank may be utilised to strengthen the oblique muscles that make up the side of the abdomen whilst also engaging the lateral pelvic stabilisers. There are three variations based on degree of difficulty which may be utilised.  Your Physiotherapist will determine which variation is most appropriate.

Kneeling Side Plank

  • Come into a side lying position with the elbow stacked directly underneath the shoulder resting on the outside aspect of your arm
  • Bend the knees so the heels are in line with the buttocks
  • Place the hand onto the hip or extend the arm to the roof
  • With the weight in the knees and the elbow, lift the hips towards the roof
  • Ensure the buttocks moves forwards and doesn’t arch out from the lower back

Full Side Plank (Legs Extended)

  • Extend the elbow underneath the shoulder so the wrist is directly underneath.
  • With the pelvis stacked, straighten the knees.
  • In the staggered foot position, you are weight bearing through the inner border of one foot and the lateral border of the opposing leg.
  • To challenge this, stack both feet on top of each other and extend the arm directly above the shoulder.


  • Ensure that the shoulder remains strong without collapsing through the chest.
  • Avoid rolling through the torso towards the ground.
  • Maintain a strong position through the pelvis.