Tip: Do This Before Any Big Lift

Wake up your core and lift more weight. This will also help you fix any imbalances that could lead to injury.


Activate your core and build strength that'll transfer to any big lift. How? Do the side plank march.

Not only does it build lateral core stability like a regular side plank, the marching action builds your bracing technique while moving at your hips – kind of useful for lifting.

Added benefits include hitting your adductors in a really nice way that's often neglected. If you lack adductor strength, you're just asking for a groin injury.

If you struggle to do this drill (especially on one side and not the other) then it could be pointing to a serious lack of core or adductor strength. Lifters who are experiencing pain or regular injuries on one side of their body find a big difference between their left and right sides during the side plank march. Simply working on that can improve your training.

The Side Plank March

  • Lie on your side with your body completely straight.
  • Place your elbow below your shoulder on the floor and stagger your feet.
  • Imagine trying to squeeze a big ball between your arm and your hips.
  • Lift your hips up so your body is in a straight line off the floor. Maintain good tension in your mid-section. Don't go floppy!
  • Slowly march your feet one at a time, getting your knee as high as you can without breaking your posture.
  • Repeat for 10 reps, then change sides.
Tom Morrison is a British weightlifting coach, martial artist, and CrossFit trainer and competitor. Tom works with athletes on prerequisite movement capabilities for optimal strength, performance, and reduced risk of injury.  Follow Tom Morrison on Facebook