Top 5 Fridays! 5 Side Plank Variations | Modern Manual Therapy Blog

Top 5 Fridays! 5 Side Plank Variations


For lumbar and/or hip patients, make sure to restore sideglideing in standing to the involved side. Then check the LCAP test to check their lateral chain strength and activation.



If SGIS is symmetrical and they are pain free, and there is an assymmetry in LCAP, then time to stabilize with side planks! Thanks to Dr. Nicole Canning, DPT (follow her on instagram) for the variations video!

Side Plank Variations


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Side planks are a great way to challenge your core muscles and promote trunk, pelvis, hip, and shoulder stability.
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Here are 5 variations you can try:
1️⃣ Side Plank Thrusters - start in a side plank and lower your hips towards the ground then lift them right back up again
๐Ÿ”น You should feel this mostly on the side that is towards the ground
๐Ÿ”น Keep your shoulder strong and prevent that pinching behind your shoulder blade by continuing to push your forearm into the ground
2️⃣ Side Plank with Hip Abduction - maintaining a side plank position, lift the top leg up until your knee and ankle are in line with your hip, then slowly lower it back down again
๐Ÿ”น This exercise targets the gluteus medius
๐Ÿ”น To feel it even more in your glutes, slightly rotate your toes toward the ground and lead with your heel
3️⃣ Thread the Needle - from a side plank position, rotate the top arm down and between your body and the floor, then rotate it back up again
๐Ÿ”น This variation is great for shoulder stability as it produces a body on arm motion
๐Ÿ”น Keep your core nice and strong to control those rotations
4️⃣ Top Leg Crunch - in a side plank position with your top hand behind your head, bring your top elbow and knee towards each other and then kick back out again
๐Ÿ”น If this is too difficult, try dropping your bottom knee to the ground
๐Ÿ”น You can target your side a little more by externally rotating your top hip and performing more of a side bend than a crunch
5️⃣ Rotisserie Planks - start in a forearm plank position, rotate into a forearm plank, and then rotate to the other side
๐Ÿ”น Maintain control over your body as you rotate, keep movements slow, keep shoulders, hips, and ankles in one straight line when you rotate to the side
๐Ÿ”น Keep pushing the floor away from you throughout the entire movement
๐Ÿ”น Don't let your hips pop up or your stomach to sag towards the floor as you rotate

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⭐️ REMEMBER ⭐️
๐Ÿ”น You always want to be actively pushing the floor away from you through your forearm to avoid that pinching pain you might experience in your shoulder blade and thoracic spine
๐Ÿ”น Keep your shoulders, hips, knees, and ankles in a straight line
๐Ÿ”น If these are too difficult you can modify by putting your lower knee on the ground
๐Ÿ”น If these are too easy or if you want to add more challenging scapular/shoulder stability then raise up into a full side plank instead of a forearm side plank
๐Ÿ”น Keep your chin tucked and cervical spine in line with the rest of your spine
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Happy Planking!



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