Tip: One Exercise for Abs, Obliques, and Glutes

Bonus: This dynamic, do-it-all core move can be done just about anywhere. Take a look.

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You know those stupid dumbbell side bends that make your spine cry? Well, side plank raises are kind of the bodyweight equivalent, but much more effective.

They’re pretty much a side plank with your elbow raised up (on a box, bench, or couch) and performed dynamically. They safely load your spine in a lateral flexion movement while also working your hip abductors.

That means a lot of bang for your buck, hitting your deep abdominals, obliques, and glutes all in one. Side plank raises are relatively simple, but easy to scale.

Side Plank Raise

How to Do It

  1. Start in a basic side plank position with your elbow elevated using a box, bench, or anything you have around your home.
  2. Keep your knees level, hips forward, and neck aligned. Keep your core and glutes engaged throughout.
  3. Allow your hip to drop towards the floor getting as much stretch as possible down the side of your torso facing the floor.
  4. Raise back up to the neutral starting point.

Try 12-15 reps each side, or mix up some iso-holds with dynamic reps for fun.

To make them even harder, try holding some weight on your top hip. You can use pretty much anything – weight plate, sandbag, bag of protein powder, small child, etc.

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Gareth Sapstead is a coach, author, and educator. Originally from the UK, Gareth currently lives in Melbourne Australia, where he trains clients both in person and online to achieve a high-performance lifestyle. Follow Gareth Sapstead on Facebook