Push-up to side plank is a true full-body exercise.
This move takes the push-up, already a crazy-effective full-body strength move on its own, and combines it with a challenging side plank core exercise for added strength and stability benefits.
“By transitioning from a traditional plank at the top of your push-up to a side plank, the load is shifted from the front to the sides of the body,” says Chelsea Aguirre, NCSF-CPT, founder of Athaya Fitness in New York. “It works both the core and shoulders through a fluid motion. forced to stabilize in two different positions.”
And since people need to be able to move efficiently in all directions, multidimensional movements like push-ups to side planks can help you stay strong at all points of the axis.
Here’s how to nail this exercise for full-body benefits.
Push-up to side plank: step-by-step instructions
- Start in a push-up position with your hands in line with your shoulders and slightly wider, your feet together and your body from head to heels. Squeeze your glutes and close your core to lock your body into position.
- Keeping your elbows tucked (not flaring), core engaged and head in line with your spine, bend your elbows and retract your shoulder blades, lowering your torso as far as possible while maintaining a straight body position.
- Pause, and then return to the starting position.
- Once you return to the starting position, shift your weight to your left arm, stack your right leg over the left, tuck your right hip back and extend your right arm toward the ceiling (the only parts of your body on the floor) with your left arm and your left leg. will be the outer edge). Keep your body straight during the movement.
- Return your right arm and leg to the floor and repeat the sequence, switching to side plank. Continue alternating sides of each rep.
Muscles targeted by side plank push-ups
Side plank push-ups engage multiple muscle groups, building muscle strength and joint stability in a single rep. Here are the main muscles you’ll work during side plank push-ups.
- Chest: Push-ups call upon your pectoral muscles, which pull your upper arms toward the midline of your body. They are involved in the raising and lowering phase of push-ups.
- Shoulder: Your deltoids won’t get much of a break during this move. Provides major support for both phases of each push-up, and shoulder Side planks load even more when isolated.
- Triceps: Much like your shoulders, your upper arms will get a lot of work in compound movements. These will help lower and raise your body in push-ups and keep your body up in side plank.
- Original: The push-up will stress your rectus abdominis (aka six-pack) muscles and the transverse abdominis underneath, while the side plank will attack the obliques of both structures. They all work together to keep your trunk rigid as you roll between your front and side.
- Glutes: Your hip muscles contribute to varying degrees, moving from the core stability of a push-up in side plank to isometric abduction (pushing your leg to the left or right).
Other push-ups and plank variations
Whether you’ve already mastered the push-up to side plank and are looking for a further challenge, or you’re just looking to work up to it, try these other variations along the way.
Isometric movement that forms the basis of side plank push-ups.
This is the top of the push-up which, once mastered, will ease the transition between the two moves and train proper spinal alignment.
2. Push ups
Work not only on proper form, but also the muscular endurance needed to perform 10 or more reps before adding side planks.
3. Side planks
The final component of the push-up to side plank requires strength and stability. Start with your arms if full arm extension proves too challenging.
4. Side plank with hip lift
This move focuses only on the side plank, adding a weighted hip raise to further challenge strength and stability.
5. Incline push ups
If you need to work up to a full push-up, you may want to start by moving your hands on an elevated surface.
6. Reject push-ups
If you’re looking for more of a challenge from your push-ups, perform them with your feet on an elevated surface.
7. Plyo push-ups
If you get really windy in this strength-building variation, you can add a clap after each explosive push off the floor.
Also be sure to check out these challenging push-up variations, as well as these next-level side plank exercises.