Side plank is an excellent exercise for those newbies (in terms of development) who want to strengthen side line of the body (core dominantly) on a proper (ISO) way (stabilizing core – antilateral flexion part; strengthen glutes – abductors and stabilize working arm shoulder).
Before you try (be even able) to perform “Side plank with foam roller under an elbow” properly (check the video bellow)…
you must master the “Side plank” first, because the first one is simply the next level. Here is why…
When you perform the “Side plank” you have a pretty stable and wide base of support. This is not the case in the second exercise where you have a narrow and unstable surface bellow an elbow (foam roller). This can help to activate a shoulder stabilizers (rotator cuff muscles mostly) on the better way – because you need to maintain a good exercise technique without curving or falling on the nose or back on the ass 🙂 . Don’t use soft and therefore more stable roller, it’s better when you got the more consistent one together with the more consistent ground – not carpet (more consistent – less stable – better stabilizers work). One more thing, use leg-on-leg setting like on the video above because you will be more unstable on that way, the narrowest but comfortable base of support – which is the goal. Also, by doing this exercise you engage core stabilizers a bit more.
When I say “The good technique” I mean on squeezed abs and glutes (making a posterior pelvic tilt – even better whole body stabilization), straighten and squeezed knees, hips up in line with ankles and head, shoulders straight back, working elbow is straight below shoulder (plus wrist is directly in front of an elbow) and making a double chin. Let’s simplify, your body (except working arm and another arm if hand is on hip) has to be one straight line from feet to head no matter which looking side is used.
When it comes to load, you can use 4 sets (2 with left and 2 with right side alternately) per 10s if you are beginner (not recommended more than 6 sets of 25s for advanced exercisers). If you want to make this exercise even harder you need a perturbation by another person (this can be really challengeable), or to hold KB on a bottom up way with upper hand (on this way you work on both shoulders stabilizers), or you can put some balance pad under feet to decrease overall stability even more. Or think about moving upper leg in the air… As you can see, there is a lot of options. If an original exercise is hard, think about shortening the lever (elbow-knees ground contact – bent knees). You can put roller perpendicular toward body (along the forearm). This option is more difficult (advanced), but I don’t recommend it for people with rotator cuff pinching history because of upper arm ADD/ABD small movements (and greater chance for your forearm to slip off the roller).
So, try this exercise on your next session and feel the difference!
Thanks for reading and all the best,