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If you’re familiar with the plank exercise, you know how good it is for overall core strength and stability. The normal plank is done on both elbows, in the prone position. The side plank is used to target the muscles of the side abdominal wall (duh) and it’s an excellent one, too.

Now we’re going to extend the concept and add some resistance to that side plank and really challenge your core.

It’s a simple solution – you’ll just rest a dumbell on the top as you maintain the plank position.

It sounds simple, sure, but when you start adding some decent weight to the exercise, it becomes VERY challenging VERY fast, as you’ll see in the video demo. This is the first time I had done the exercise and used a 65 lb dumbell. The first part was great…then I switched sides and only lasted a few seconds before everything went south.

Luckily, since you’re like 3 inches off the ground…no big deal :) Just set the dumbell on the floor and you’re done.

Here’s what it looks like…

First, sit on the floor and grab your dumbell.

Bring it up to your thigh/hip then start to lay down on your side, propping yourself up on your forearm.

Get the dumbell situated right on your top hip and make sure it’s well balanced.

Now get yourself into the plank position and hold it for as long as you can.

That’s it!

This dumbell version introduces some instability to the exercise as well…balancing that dumbell on your hip will increase the demands on your core musculature.

I would HIGHLY recommend doing one side, then taking a rest, then doing the other. I went right to working the other side and only lasted a few seconds. You’ll get better training by taking a rest, because even though you’re primarily working one side, BOTH sides are going to get SOME work.

So same deal on the other side.

Not too complicated of an exercise but the most effective ones often are not!

This is a great way to really push yourself on the plank exercise.

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About

Nick Nilsson, a.k.a. the "Mad Scientist of Exercise", is the author of 9 training books, such as "The Best Exercises You've Never Heard Of" series, and "Metabolic Surge - Rapid Fat Loss", which you can find at his site: http://www.fitness-ebooks.com

 

Nick has been in the fitness and bodybuilding industry more than 18 years, and  has degrees in Physical Education and Psychology, covering advanced biomechanics, kinesiology, physiology, anatomy and sports psychology, and has written for magazines such as Muscle & Fitness, Mens Fitness, Mens Health, Reps, along with numerous bodybuilding websites.

 

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