Core Progressions–Part 1
Side Plank on Bench
At Fenton Fitness, we love training the core to be a strong, stiff stabilizer. The stronger and more stable the core becomes, the lower the risk of injury to the spine, and the more strength and power the rest of the body can display. Over the next few weeks, we will present five unique core progressions we’ve been using at Fenton Fitness over the last year that we’ve really been enjoying. Check them out, give them a try, and let us know what you think. All progressions will be posted on our website.
Side Plank on Bench– This Side Plank progression is an anti-lateral flexion exercise like all side planks/hovers. The goal here is to keep your spinal column perfectly straight, avoiding any bending or twisting. The problem with traditional side plank variations is that aside from adding time, they can only be progressed so far, and are difficult to load significantly. This variation allows you to incorporate the shoulder girdle and to add an anti-rotation component.
Set Up: Lay with the side of your hip on the end of a flat bench. Take your top leg and hook your toe under the bend behind you. Take your bottom leg and hook your heel under the bench in front of you. From there, lower your torso until you are in a straight line—do not twist. Hold that position for up to 30 seconds for 2-3 sets. Once you can successfully hold for 30 seconds on both sides, you can add a load by holding a small dumbbell, sandbag, or weight plate to your chest.
You can further progress this exercise by pressing the weight straight out in front of your chest which adds an anti-rotation component to the exercise or by reaching overhead with the exercise which challenges shoulder mobility and stability and places greater demand on the obliques.
View video demonstration here
Jeff Tirrell, CSCS, CSFC, Pn1