Planking exercises help to build up core strength and stability. They allow you to test your endurance as well, since you can hold a plank for as long as you like.
The plank is such a popular exercise these days because of how versatile it is. There are tons of different modifications you can try, including the side plank leg raise.
What Is a Side Plank Leg Raise?
This is a variation that you do while on your side. You will be moving one leg up and down for this exercise, holding yourself in place and straining your body a bit to develop better strength and endurance.
If you are bored of regular planks and are looking for something different that might challenge you or work some other muscles, then the side plan leg raise could be worth adding to your workout regimen.
How to Do a Side Plank Leg Raise
We will walk you through this exercise step by step so you can feel confident trying it for yourself.
If you still aren’t sure about how to pull it off after you read our guide, then we suggest searching up a video on the exercise so that you have a better idea of how it is supposed to be done.
- Start by lying down on the floor, preferably on a mat for your comfort.
- Then, prop yourself up on your elbow. Let’s start with the left elbow for this example.
- In this position, you want to lift your hips and extend your legs out fully, forming a straight line from your shoulders to your toes.
- Place either your right or left elbow on the floor, lift your hips, and extend both legs. The hard part comes next, as you will need to balance on your bottom foot (the left one here) and raise your right leg. The leg should be raised a bit higher than the level of your hip.
- Hold that for a moment and then let your leg come back down slowly.
- You can then turn over and prop yourself up on your right elbow and repeat the exercise for that side, raising your left leg.
Typically, you would do 15 to 20 lifts for each leg for a single rep. You can hold the lift for longer to extend the plank and work on your balance and strengthening.
How to Do Side Plank with Arm Raise
You can do a variation of this exercise by raising your arm as you do it. So, if you are propping yourself up with your left elbow and arm, then you can raise the right arm high into the air as you left your leg.
It’s best to keep the arm raised the entire time you are doing the leg lifts. Otherwise, you could easily lose your balance. Your raised arm should be as straight and as fully extended as you can make it, with your fingers splayed.
Keeping the arm raised like this will actually improve your balance, and you are less likely to fall over as you do the side plank leg raises.
What Muscles Do Side Plank Leg Raises Work?
This is a great strengthening exercise that improves both balance and endurance. It works a wide range of muscles and can help to build strong support in key areas so that you are less prone to injury when working out or doing a wide range of tasks.
The plank is designed to work your core muscles, particularly the abs, and they are some of the best ab strengthening exercises you can find.
They do more than just build your abs, though, as the side plank leg raise strengthens your back, quadriceps, glutes, hamstrings and even the shoulders.
You will need to use your upper body for support and stability, so this leg plank works that part of the body as well. The further you stretch your leg as you raise it, the more of a workout your hamstrings are going to get. You can choose the level of benefit this exercise provides.
Just be careful about overdoing it at first. You need to ease into new exercises, as you could easily pull a muscle or otherwise injure yourself.
What are the Side Plank with Leg Raise Benefits
If you add this exercise to your workout regimen regularly, you should notice an improvement in your overall body strength. It can strengthen your upper and lower body, building up a strong core that can handle a wide range of intense exercises.
This move also tones your body, burning fat and developing muscles for a strong, lean look.
Because of the balance required to hold yourself in place for any kind of plank, these exercises are definitely good for improving balance.
If you have trouble standing on one foot, being coordinated, or holding a plank, then the side plank leg raise exercise can boost your skill and improve your ability to stabilize yourself and keep your balance.
The benefit of plank with arm raise are even better. This exercise helps you to become more limber and to improve overall endurance. The side plank with arm raise works best when you keep your legs flexed.
If you do several reps of this type of plank, you will feel your core activate and the muscles there will really get a workout. Side planks can set your obliques on fire, pushing those muscles farther than they have been before and giving you incredible gains.
If you are hoping to get a sculpted, strong-looking core, then the side plank arm and leg raise will get you there quickly.
Pilates Side Plank with Leg Raise
You can incorporate this exercise into your Pilates routine as well. The core strength exercises of Pilates are a natural fit for the side plank leg raise.
Make sure you limber up first and stretch before you get into your routine, but feel free to make these plank modifications a regular part of your Pilates workout.
You can use Pilates for weight loss and see results that are every bit as impressive as if you were doing straight cardio.
Exercises like the side plank are important for working muscles all over your body and improving your body’s ability to support powerful muscle growth and handle intense workout sessions.