Why perform this movement? This week we will start to go over progressions of the side plank that we looked at last week. The first variation we will look at is the adductor side plank. Like the standard side plank, the adductor side plank is a great exercise that focuses on the lateral musculature of the core and promotes shoulder stability and can hit the muscles of the lateral hip. The side plank is one of the main anti-lateral flexion exercises in our repertoire. The adductor side plank adds a strong adductor bias and incorporates an often neglected muscle group (the adductors).

When to perform: Just as the standard side plank the adductor side plank works pretty much anywhere during your workout. Try adductor side planks during your warm-up to promote proper bracing and get those adductors use to handling load. This could be particularly useful before a lift that heavily calls on the adductor muscle group such as the sumo deadlift or wide stance squats. Side planks should be prevalent in your every day programming to help build a strong and solid core.

How to Perform? To perform an adductor side plank, you will need a bench. When you first start you will want to start with both legs bent at 90 degrees. You will then lay on your side with one leg placed on top of the bench and the other on the floor directly underneath. From here you will want to put as much weight as you can handle on your top leg while propping yourself up on your elbow like the standard side plank. You should now be is a side plank with one leg on top of a bench and one leg on the floor. All the same cues as a standard side plank apply here. You will want to think about pushing the floor away from you with your down arm and driving your hips up to keep your body as high off the ground as possible. While doing this you will want to be sure to maintain a straight line from your knee to your hips to your shoulder by maintaining a posterior pelvic tilt and keeping your shoulder stacked. You will want to make sure your hips are stable and in line with your ribs. Once you have mastered this position you are ready to move on.

The first thing you can do to progress this side plank is to start to lift your bottom leg up to the bench and then lower it back down to the ground. Try working up to 10 reps per side. Once you master this you are ready to try an isometric hold. Pull your bottom leg up off the ground and hold it there. Once you can hold for 30 seconds you are ready to progress once again.

After you have mastered all the leg bent variations it is time to try it with your legs straight. Straightening your legs will greatly increase the length of your lever and the difficulty of this exercise. Try running through the same progressions as you did with your legs bent but now with your legs straight.

Now go out there and build some adductors of steel!

Written By: Paul Milano