Seems that side plank exercise has surpassed the regular plank routine in popularity but is it really the best exercise for slimming the waist and getting a sexier figure? The truth is not all side planks are created equal and while some are excellent for slimming your waist and burning ab fat, other side plank moves will bulk up your core faster than a weekly pizza or chocolate cake cheat! Here's what you need to know...
The idea that side planks whittle your waist is as outdated as the notion that all carbs including bananas are bad for you. As you can see in the instagram post here, side planks target a variety of muscles from deep core and back muscles that support the spine plus work the glutes, legs, arms, and shoulders. Side plank exercise also builds oblique ab muscle strength and size which means that if you work side planks excessively you CAN and WILL bulk your core. This is an even bigger issue for ruler and cone body types who struggle with little to no waist curves.
The truth about side planks is that like healthy carbs they can be part of a balanced workout routine and can assist with burning fat, slimming waist, and flattening your abs. The trick is to focus on planks that don't directly target your oblique muscles. I've already written an article on the absolute worst type of plank routine you can do if your goal is to have a lean toned sexy body but it's worth mentioning again here that the infamous side plank dip that you see "gurus" all over youtube doing is by far one of the absolute worst options for 80% of women.
The reason being is they isolate your oblique with all your weight and act like a bodybuilding exercise that increase both strength and size. This is probably NOT what you want if you're here on this site.
All the best side plank exercise moves DO NOT involve any type of holding or dipping of the hip to the floor. In fact the best side planks target other areas of your body heavily while targeting your obliques just enough for functional strength. Below are some of my favorites that helped me slim down from a 29" to a 25" waist years ago.
This plank is featured in YBFF plan as well as Corset Core & Bodycon plans because it burns tons of fat and targets the legs, arms, shoulders, chest, entire back plus cardio too. Of all the side planks this is my favorite for slim waist and flat abs.
This killer Pilates exercise primarily targets the glutes and back and cinches the waist by reinforcing the corset effect of the deep abdominals. If you struggle with core and glute activation for waist slimming this is a great options for you.
Any time you can involve the legs and glutes in side planking the calorie and fat burning increases as does the targeting or multiple body parts which eliminates the core bulking issue. The shinbox getup revolving side plank here is a perfect example of that.
Finally for those who are advanced and looking for a side plank challenge burns tons of calories and demands waist cinching the flying warrior is a great option. This move is not for beginners or even intermediates and feels like a twist, arm balance, splits and cardio workout rolled into one move!