Side plank crunches work your whole body by combining all the core action you get from a traditional plank with some extra love for your shoulders and hips.
Start in a side forearm plank: Support yourself on one forearm with your legs outstretched, feet stacked, and hips lifted. Hold your top arm behind your head.
Bend top leg and raise it to meet the same elbow while keeping your body stable in a straight line. Bring leg and arm back to the starting position in a steady, controlled motion.
Try doing 3 sets of 5–10 reps. And don’t forget to even yourself out! Roll to the other side to complete a matching set of side plank crunches.
If you’ve fallen out of love with your love handles, side plank crunches can help you work your obliques and hips. Bonus: Strengthening these muscles helps improve your posture and protects your back!
This core-challenging move is a great option for a full-body workout that you can do at home or at the gym with no equipment needed — just you, yourself, and some sweat.
Focus on these three key parts of this exercise to prevent injuries:
- Shoulders: Make sure your shoulder is stacked right above your elbow.
- Feet: Keep your feet stacked or place one foot directly in front of the other, with the heel of your front foot touching the toe of your back foot.
- Core: Engage your core to keep your torso straight and your spine neutral throughout the move. This isn’t the time to show off your curves! (You can do that later.)
You can modify this move if you’re on the struggle bus or if you’re not struggling enough.
Make it easier
We all need somebody to lean on, and keeping your bottom knee and hand on the floor during this move will give you more support.
Make it harder
Ready to kick your workout up a notch? Add some weight! Grab a dumbbell (or a bottle of coconut water) to give yourself an extra challenge.