When it comes to core exercises that you can feel working, planks are at the top of the list. The second you start that hold, your whole body is instantly on fire. But trust me—you haven’t felt the burn until you try the side plank variation that lets you march your way to a stronger lateral chain.
According to Korey Rowe, trainer at Dogpound in New York City, the side plank march is a dynamic movement that is nothing short of a full-body challenge—one that specifically targets your oblique muscles, which are often neglected and underdeveloped. Because of the marching motions involved, it makes a regular side plank feel like child’s play.
“The added movement of driving the legs toward the chest in an alternating fashion gives the marching side plank a dynamic edge over the more static traditional side plank,” he says. “Switching between legs requires constant response for the glutes, legs, and oblique muscles to maintain trunk stability. This significantly ramps up the difficultly level.”
At first, getting the motions down in this side plank variation can be tricky, but once you do, you’ll be busting out sets of side plank marches like a champ. Here’s exactly how to do the exercise at home.
How to do the side plank march variation
- Begin in a side plank position starting on your right arm with your legs in a scissors stance. Your left leg should be in the front with weight on the bottom of the foot, and the right leg should be in the back with weight on the outer edge of the foot.
- Lift the right knee toward the chest and release back down. Lift the left knee toward the chest and release back down. Repeat this pattern in a rhythmic fashion for 10 reps.
- Return to your starting position and release to the ground to rest. Repeat 10 reps on the opposite side. Increase the reps as you get stronger.
Get a quick refresher on the right way to do a plank:
Here are eight other great exercises for working out your obliques, according to trainers. Then try the Pilates ring workout that targets both your obliques and your booty.
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