Battle the Muffin Top With Your New BFF Side Plank

Battle the Muffin Top With Your New BFF Side Plank

Even though Fall fashions are slowly replacing crop tops| you still need to mind your waist. While it is unfortunately true that you cannot spot reduce your muffin top| adding some side planks into your workouts can help you tone the area. Remember| the stronger your core| the longer and harder you can run| dance| ski| and ride. Check out some of our favorite variations on the side plank u2014 exercises are listed in order of increasing difficulty.

Source: POPSUGAR Photography

| Side Plank

Let’s start with the basics. Side plank is great for toning your midsection and works the obliques nicely.

  • Begin in a plank position (the top of a push-up) and roll to your left side allowing your feet to roll too| so you’re balancing on the outside of your left foot and the inside of your right. To advance this move| stack your right foot on top of your left.
  • Reach your right arm toward the ceiling and lift your waist away from the floor to make your obliques fire away. Press your left inner thigh up into your right inner thigh; this helps stabilize you even more.
  • To take pressure off of your wrist| press your left fingertips into the floor.
  • Hold for 30 seconds; work toward holding this position for a full minute. To complete a set| repeat on the other side. Do three sets.

| Side Plank Dips

This exercise is great for whittling the waist. As a bonus| it works the lat| the largest muscle in your back| too.

  • Begin in a side elbow plank on your right side with straight legs and your feet stacked.
  • Inhale and lower your pelvis to the floor| so your right hip hovers just off the floor. Exhale and press up through your right waist to lift your pelvis and return to side plank. Pull your right shoulder blade down your back to stabilize your shoulder.
  • Repeat for a total of 10 to 15 reps to complete a set| then switch sides. Do three sets.

| Star Plank

Once you’ve mastered the side plank| it’s time to challenge your core stability by lifting your top leg. Do this exercise and you will become a fitness superstar u2014 really!

  • Balance your right hand and the outside edge of your right foot. Flex both feet and lift your left arm straight in the air.
  • Keeping your spine lengthened and your abs engaged| lift your left leg up as high as you can without letting your waist sink to the ground. Then slowly lower your right leg back to the starting position.
  • Do 10 to 15 repetitions on each side| and do three sets.

| Elbow Plank With a Twist

Adding twisting motion to the side elbow plank definitely makes this exercise challenging and works obliques even more. Here’s how to add a twist to your side plank.

  • Start in side elbow plank on your right side| with your feet stacked and your right fingers reaching away from your body.
  • Place your left arm behind your head| and inhale to prepare.
  • Exhale| engage the deep abs| and rotate your left ribcage toward the floor bringing your left elbow to your right hand. Hold this a moment| and twist and deepen your abdominal connection even more by pulling your navel in toward your spine.
  • Return to starting position and repeat for a total of 10 reps| then switch sides. Do two to three sets.

| Side Plank Crunch

We love how this move targets the entire side of the body.

  • Begin in a side elbow plank with your left elbow down and your right hand behind your head.
  • Keeping your torso stable and your waist lifted| bring your right leg up toward your shoulder to lightly tap your right elbow.
  • Lengthen your right leg back to the starting position to complete one rep.
  • Do 10 reps on each side to complete a set. Do three complete sets.