Performing a typical side plank has been deemed both grueling and torturous. One minute of doing a side plank sure feels like an eternity. On the flip side, one minute of doing this exercise always pays off. Now imagine doing a side plank hip lifts exercise. It may seem like a double tragedy, but the magic is leaps and bounds beyond the typical side plank exercise. This exercise has the goods. To name but a few, it improves your core strength and gets rid of love handles. These are among the many reasons why you need to add side plank hip lifts to your workout plan already.
The biggest issue with most individuals is not choosing the proper exercise that aligns with their goals but that they end up doing them incorrectly. This often happens with the side plank hip lifts. Many people perform them due to their benefits in improving core strength and burning fat deposited around the waistline. However, due to poor execution, most end up with either no results and/or injuries.
This article will provide a comprehensive step-by-step guide on correct execution of the side plank hip lifts exercise. We will also share some safety tips to help you stay safe and prevent injuries when performing this exercise. The sooner you learn how to do this technique, the sooner you get those washboard abs and sexy waistlines. Take a look!
What Are Side Plank Hip Lifts?
The side plank hip lifts are one of the many variations of the good old plank. It is one of the exercises to consider if you want something more challenging but still aligning with the plank. It incorporates a side plank and some hip lifts.
All you need to perform this exercise is some floor space and perhaps a mat. The mat will come in handy if you have a rough floor. There is, therefore, no excuse for why you cannot try doing this exercise at home.
However, remember to consult a trainer before adding this workout to your exercise regime. It would help if you were sure that it is safe and that it will help you attain your set goals. The side plank hip lifts workout has been designed to target numerous body muscles. When they all come into play, the activation of these muscles will help you reap considerable gains. Check out the muscles activated when performing this exercise.
What Muscles Do The Side Plank Hip Lifts Work?
The side plank hip lift exercise is among the best movements to incorporate in your workout as you benefit from its static properties. The static strength training properties come into play when you are at the top of the movement with your hips lifted off the floor. At this point you have to hold the position for a few seconds.
During this time, the side plank hip lifts target the muscles along your side, better known as the obliques. It helps burn fat around this region, making it a practical love handles workout (3). The side plank hip lifts also target your abdominal muscles and may help strengthen your abs and core (2). However, this only counts if you actively engage your core during the exercise.
The following exercise also works your shoulder muscles. They are responsible for helping you maintain both balance and control during the movement. Similarly, these muscles help you support your upper body when you lift it off the floor. A side plank hip lift exercise can also work your glutes. The glutes are put to work during the hip lifts by helping you maintain stability.
The Side Plank Hip Lifts Benefits
You get to reap numerous benefits if you perform the side plank hip lifts correctly. You get an added advantage because you benefit from doing two exercises all at once. These are the side plank and hip lifts. Below are some of the many benefits of doing this exercise:
Improved Core Strength
Side planks rank among the most effective workouts in building core strength (8). Core strength can help you reduce lower back pain. Similarly, improved core strength can increase the functionality of your core muscles, leading to improved posture, stability, and balance (6).
Reduced Love Handles
The side plank hip lifts target both your internal and external obliques. By working these muscles along your sides, the exercise helps burn fat around this region, leading to reduced love handles (3).
When performing this exercise, you are required to maintain your lower spine as stable as you can. As you master how to keep this region stable, you also get to improve your stability, which helps prevent various injuries.
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Doing side planks with hip lifts can help you quickly get back in shape. They target multiple muscles groups, including your core, obliques, and glutes. They also help you burn a lot of body fat, meaning you can do them when you want to drop pounds for a better physique quickly.
How To Do The Side Plank Hip Lifts Exercise?
As the name implies, this exercise entails doing both a side plank and a hip lift simultaneously. The side plank is among the many different plank variations that people do. When you incorporate it alongside hip lifts, this exercise promises a lot of health benefits. Important to note, this happens only if done in the correct form.
The exercise is pretty challenging, so not beat yourself up if you cannot nail it in the first two or so trials. Continue practising as correct practice always makes perfect. Below are instructions on how to perform the side plank hip lifts (7):
- Lie on your right side and prop yourself up on the right elbow. Make sure it is placed directly underneath your shoulder.
- Straighten your body and let your feet be stacked on top of each other.
- Engage your core, obliques, and glutes and slowly raise your hips off the floor. Try to push through your feet and right elbow.
- Maintain your body in a straight line and make sure that it is perpendicular to the floor. Place your left arm on your left hip and remember to face forward.
- Remember also to actively engage your core and glutes throughout the exercise. Do not pop out your behind or arch your back but instead let your body form a straight line from head to toe. This marks your starting position.
- Start to lower your hips towards the floor slowly. You want to do this slowly as it will help you control your movements. The slower you go, the less the chances are for you to mess up your form.
- Lower your hips until they slightly tap the floor. They should not rest on the ground. Pause in this position for some seconds, and then push your hips to the starting position.
- Repeat to complete your reps before switching sides.
How Many Side Plank Hip Lifts Should I Do?
Performing the side plank hip lifts exercise can be difficult at first. Your body may quit on you after trying only one rep of this exercise. Knowing this, it is no surprise that most people have a hard time figuring out the recommended reps of this exercise.
The idea is not to concentrate on how many side plank hip lifts you can do but instead on how to master the correct technique. So, avoid limiting yourself to doing 30 side plank hip lifts every day. Such a limit only stresses and pressures you.
You might be so focused on finishing these 30 reps that you forget the proper form. Similarly, you might get tired in-between your reps and end up increasing your pace, especially when doing the hip lifts. The result of such a pace is an incorrect form leading to injuries.
Is It Safe To Do Modified Plank Exercises?
If you have already mastered the side plank hip lifts technique, you may be feeling confident to try other modified plank versions. There are a couple of these to try. Some of them include the climbing plank, plank with hip twists, plank jacks, plank with alternating side leg, and so forth (1).
The best thing to do is consult with a professional. Although you may desire trying out various plank variations, some may not align with your fitness goals. Similarly, incorporating too many variations may end up being strenuous and dangerous.
However, if you can incorporate some of these plank exercises, make sure you do not bite off more than you can chew. Focus on a few of them so that you have enough time to focus on the proper form of each exercise. Chances are, you will disregard the form when you have numerous activities to complete in your workout plan.
Remember to update your trainer on your progress continually. Likewise, remember to seek medical attention if you experience any pain or muscle or joint injuries (1).
Safety Tips When Doing The Side Plank Hip Lifts
As you may have noticed, this exercise incorporates two different movements. These are the side plank and the hip lifts. You may encounter problems mastering how to do both in the correct form and the simultaneous movement.
Maintaining the proper form is vital as it helps you avoid getting injured and activates the named muscles above. With that said, here are some safety tips to help you reap the most from doing this exercise:
It is always a good idea to consult with a doctor and trainer before incorporating such an exercise into your workout plan. They are better suited in advising you if it is the best regime to meet your fitness goals (2).
Again, they will tell you what to look out for or when to stop doing such an exercise. For instance, they might ask you to stop doing the side plank hip lifts if you experience sharp or persistent pain in your pain or arm.
Maintain The Proper Form
We have heard it many times, but it cannot be emphasized enough: maintain proper form when doing any exercise. It helps avoid common mistakes that mostly lead to injuries. The most common mistakes you can make when doing the side plank hip lift exercise include:
- Poorly positioning your torso. Your torso should always be perpendicular to the ground during this movement.
- Leaning forward and pushing your bum out. If you lean forward and push your bum out, you will be somewhat arching your back. This happens, especially if you have been holding the plank hip lift for an extended duration. Your back should always be straight and never arched, as this may result in back pain and injuries.
- Poorly placing your elbows. Remember that you will be lifting your upper body off the floor using your elbow. Make sure that it is directly underneath your shoulders (4).
- Poor feet placement. During this exercise, you must stack your feet together. Avoid placing them otherwise, as it may interfere with your stability and make you tip over.
- Poorly positioning your entire body. You must maintain your body in a straight line from your ankles to your head. This means your back should be straight, and your bum should not be popping out. You should seek help from your fitness coach when doing the side plank hip lifts. They may demonstrate or guide you on maintaining the proper form, thus helping you avoid injuries associated with these grave mistakes.
Breathe Normally And Deeply
Do not hold your breath while performing the side plank hip lifts. Instead it is recommended that you inhale and exhale normally and/or deeply.
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Engage Your Core And Glutes
You must engage your core and glutes throughout this movement. It is pretty easy to forget to activate or engage your core, especially when performing the side plank. If you do not engage the core, your abdominal muscles are not targeted (5).
Consequently, you do not get to work on your abs or burn fat around this region. Again, you need to engage your core and glutes to do the side plank hip lifts properly. If they are disregarded, you will end up doing the incorrect form.
Start With An Easier Variation
It is of particular importance to note that this side plank variation is not for everybody. It is primarily not recommended for beginners or individuals who have yet to master how to do the side plank properly.
If you start by doing side plank hip lifts, the chances of getting injured are pretty high. You end up wobbling around or in the wrong form. Pave your way to doing these exercises by starting with the basic side plank.
When you are good at it, progress to various side plank variations, such as the side plank hip lifts. Remember to also start slow with this variation. Take time to learn the correct technique and practice with countable reps. With time, and as you get good at the side plank hip lifts, you can increase your reps and sets.
Listen To Your Body
Your body will tell you a lot whenever you are doing the side plank hip lifts exercise. It will signal you when it is tired, indicating that it is time to rest or end the workout. For example, you may feel dizzy all of a sudden.
Feeling dizzy when working out is common, and it indicates dehydration (9). However, if it persists and is accompanied by nausea, lightheadedness, and shortness of breath, it shows overexertion (9). This means that you must put an end to your workout.
As mentioned earlier, you do not have to do this exercise daily. Remember that you also need to rest no matter the type of exercise you are performing. According to Medical News Today, resting helps you in the following ways (10):
- Repair and build muscles. When exercising, you get to sustain various microscopic tears in your muscles. Resting allows your body to repair and build these muscle tissues.
- Alleviate muscle pain and soreness. When you rest, your body gets to remove excess lactate from the muscles. This helps alleviate pain and muscle soreness.
- Replenish your energy store. When you exercise, you tend to deplete your glycogen levels leading to muscle fatigue. Resting helps your body replenish its glycogen stores and reduce muscle fatigue. This way, you end up being prepared for your next workout.
- Relaxing your mind. Doing too many side plank hip lifts can tire both your body and mind. When you are tired, you are most vulnerable to doing this exercise in the wrong form. The wrong form will always result in injury. So, always have some rest days to allow your mind to relax as well.
- Prevent injury. If you do not have any off days, you will end up over-exercising. Over-exercising stresses your body muscles, increasing your risk of injury. Remember always to incorporate some rest days in your workout schedule to reduce your injury risk.
This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on for decision-making. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!
- 12 Types of Plank Exercises (2021, medicinenet.com)
- Best Exercises for Abs (General) (2020, webmd.com)
- Best Exercises for love Handles (2020, webmd.com)
- Simple Fitness How-Tos (2020, webmd.com)
- Slide show: Exercises to increase your core strength (2020, mayoclinic.org)
- The 8 best core exercises for gym and home training, from beginner to advanced (2021, medicalnewstoday.com)
- Variations on the Plank: Popular Exercise for Your Core (2019, medicinenet.com)
- What are the best exercises for overall health and fitness? (2020, medicalnewstoday.com)
- What causes dizziness after a workout? (2019, medicalnewstoday.com)
- When and how to spend a rest day (2021, medicalnewstoday.com)