The 24 Hour Fitness Blog

Side Planks... With a Twist

by ScottG. on June 27, 2012

If you thought the crunch was the master of all core exercises, you've never met the plank! Seemingly simple at first, after 30 seconds of planking, your core is screaming and by 60 seconds you're toast! If the lowly plank wasn't enough, along comes the uglier cousin... the side plank and further down the pain train... the twisting side plank!

While ugly and pain are relative... the bottom line is, the exercise, the better the better your core will get! So here it is, the HOW TO for the twisting side plank!

These can be done holding yourself up on your hands or on your forearms. Obviously, using your forearm is easier.

Begin in a Side Plank position (see image), with your weight supported by your hands or forearms and your ankles stacked on top of each other. Your body should be in a straight line as you hold your upper arm above your body.

If you're doing the Side Plank only, hold this position as long as possible.  Work to increase the amount of time you can hold this position. For more challenge, support your body with your hand on the floor instead of your forearm.

Curl your upper arm down and place it between your raised torso and your supporting arm. Try to keep your feet together - the balance and movement part add to the complexity of this exercise.

Pull your arm out from under your torso and raise it overhead to the starting position.  Repeat for the desired number of reps. Switch sides and repeat.

To make it more challenging, Frank has me do this with a 5 pound dumbbell in the upper arm. We've also started in a push up position (both hands/forearms on the floor) then twist your torso as you lift your right arm overhead. Then back to the starting position and repeat with your left arm.