In my previous post I shared a step-by-step tutorial on how to do side plank. While a tutorial gives you the how-to, putting things into practice is sometimes challenging. To that end, I created a 20-minute side plank yoga sequence to help build on what you learned in the tutorial.
Not only will this core yoga routine build upper body and core strength, but it will stretch out the muscles used afterwards. Side plank is a tough pose so that is definitely needed after a few repetitions. These shorter classes are great to use “as-is” or in combination with other classes to create your own class.
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Side plank yoga sequence
This side plank yoga sequence begins with some cat-cow on all fours. This primes the upper body and wrists for the work to come. For more preparation, come into downward facing dog and regular high plank pose.
From plank, drop to all fours. Extend the right leg back and rotate into kneeling side plank. This modification is again gives the upper body and wrists some more. Notice here, where is the weight in the hand, knee and foot? From here, return to all fours and rest before repeating on the other side.
The second time through this side plank yoga sequence, you have the choice to repeat the kneeling side plank. Or, try extending the bottom leg. Staggering the feet by placing the left foot behind the right foot. This allows a more stable base of support.
After repeating on the other side, come to rest for a few breaths before coming back to all fours for a wrist and forearm stretch. Turn the right hand so the back of the hand is on the floor and the fingers point to the knees. This may already be enough of a stretch. But, you could also lean back a little to increase the sensation of stretch or release. Repeat on the left side.
After the arm and wrist stretch come to sit crossed-legged, and take a side stretch for the obliques. The side waist gets a lot of work in this class so stay here for a few breaths.
Repeat the side stretch on the other side. Finally, come into resting. Settle here and take in the residue of the work you’ve completed. Your 20-minute side plank yoga sequence is almost done. you get to choose to stop and take a long savasana, or like in the video simply ending with three deep cleansing breaths.
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If you enjoyed this tutorial then good news! This is prep for a 60-minute class on Patreon. We explore side plank fully from warm-up to variations in this core flow. Join me on Patreon. For $10 a month you’ll get 2 new videos a month, plus all the previous videos in the Zen Den vault. As always free videos are available on YouTube. I also have a free 7-day yoga challenge to build a home yoga practice in just 15-20 minutes a day. So many ways to stay connected, and grow your practice!
- Do you include side plank in your yoga or core routines?
- What is your favorite variation of side plank?
- Are you taking time to stretch after working your core?
Indya | The Small Adventurer
Any yoga movement that involves the word “plank” is HARD! I give them a try, but man, do I go down fast I don’t have much arm OR core strength anymore and it really shows when I give planks a go. One day I’ll stay up for 30 seconds – hopefully!
Start with the breath, Hold for one inhale/exhale. Then work from there, adding another breath each time
Planks were my favorite. They really help. Side planks are easy once you are accustomed to them. I miss doing them!
Yes, my favorite too!
Crickette, The Things I Have to Say
I hate all kinds of planks. Hehe. I have no patience for carrying my own weight. I have very bad upper body strength.
That’s why we do them, to build that strength. Start with the knee down and work up!
Building your upper core is so very important and has many long-term benefits. Treat your body good today so that it will take care of you tomorrow.
Great quote, love that one and so true!
Your tutorials are always so easy to follow. So, I’ve signed up for the 7 day yoga challenge. As a plus size person, I am pretty nervous. Wish me luck 🙂
That’s awesome! Plenty of different yoga styles in that challenge so choose what works for you!
Ivan M. Jose
Your post is very timely because I’m looking for exercises that will target my upper body and obliques. I skipped working out for a long time so I need some low impact options for now.
Oh yes, side plank will definitely help target both those areas!
These days I’m doing lots of mat exercises and the side plank is an interesting one to practise. I enjoyed your photo demonstration.
Thank you. I’ve been doing lots of mat exercises too, what’s your favorite?
Right, well this is me all sorted for the weekend haha. I may give the side plank a go, but my upper body strength is terrible
That’s why we do side plank, to improve our strength!