Side planks are one of those love it or hate it workout moves—there is no middle ground. If you fall into the latter camp, Alex Lyons, creator and founder of The Workup, is working to change your attitude.
"Something about mentally, when you say 'side plank,' everyone just freezes," she says. "And really, this is a very supportive position." Especially compared to a full plank, she notes. But if you've been steering clear of side planks because of neck tension, this simple, why-didn't-I-think-of-that adjustment from Lyons may help. "If your neck bothers you, just gaze down to the floor. We're going to help relieve some of that tension," she says.
The tip comes from the latest episode of Trainer of the Month Club, which features an arm and back workout. But, as Lyons says, "core stability is the name of the game" (after all, your back is part of your core. So, she wants you to really focus on engaging your core throughout the movements. "The more energy you create in the center, the more focus you have on these postural muscles," she says. And the stronger your movements will be. And, of course, she throws in some side planks to help strengthen your core as well.
The entire workout clocks in at 15 minutes, and the only equipment you need is a pair of light weights. No weights? Try one of these clever substitutes that you probably have lying around the house. It's going to feel "spicy" (as Lyons is fond of saying) while you're in it, but when it's over, you'll feel stronger in your upper body as well as your core.
Ready to sweat? Press play on the workout above.
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