If you are scouting for a plank exercise targeting upper and lower body muscles, side planks dips are the answer.
Unlike many other plank variations, this one targets more muscles on the upper and lower body. It is more challenging to pull off nonetheless but not impossible.
You fire up your core by working the obliques among the core muscles you need for a solid midline.
All you need is an exercise mat and a guide on the proper form, which this article details.
Therefore, how do you perform the side plank dips correctly?
- Start in the standard side plank stance.
- Lift one of your arms straight above your head.
- Rest the other hand on the hip.
- Return to the starting posture after lowering your hips to the ground. This is the dip.
- After 10 to 15 reps, switch sides and repeat the exercise on the opposite side.
- Start with one set per side and work your way up to three sets per side as the exercise becomes more manageable.
WHAT MUSCLES DO SIDE PLANK DIPS WORK?
Side plank dips are all-around. It works these muscles from the top to the bottom of your body.
The latissimus dorsi muscle is synonymous with its triangular shape, the most significant lower back muscle.
It helps to keep your spine in a neutral position while allowing your shoulders to expand during the dip. It also enables your breathing during pull-ups.
Your three gluteal muscles – gluteal medius, gluteal maximus, and gluteus minimus – help move the hip joint and stabilise the pelvis to maintain posture and balance.
The muscles of the obliques, both external and internal, play essential roles in the body’s core. They stretch from your lower half to your pelvis and back along the outside of your abdomen.
You can bend to one side with the external obliques and stabilise your core by rotating your trunk.
Internal obliques, on the other hand, flex and bend the trunk during the side plank.
Each shoulder has roughly eight muscles that link to each of its three major bones. Ideally, planks capitalise on the joint movement of the shoulders.
SIDE PLANK DIPS BENEFITS
Side plank dips are an excellent way to strengthen and stabilise your core through bodyweight training. As an isometric training, it has strengthened your muscles.
Besides this, they also have the following benefits.
As much as you build massive muscle strength, your burn more calories. As earlier stated, pulling off this exercise is challenging and requires more effort.
The effort translates to more energy generated by burning calories to fuel the body for exercise.
GOOD FOR THE ABS
Most of the exercise’s activity rests on your midline, which chisels it until your abs are visible.
EXERCISES LESS WORKED MUSCLES
Subsequently, you improve your oblique muscle strength with the Side Plank dips. The obliques are often isolated in most exercises. However, this workout works them and also works the hips, thighs and back.
ALTERNATIVES TO SIDE PLANK DIPS
Are you getting enough of a challenge with side plank dips? Try these variations.
TREE SIDE PLANK
Using tree side plank positions is a more sophisticated version of the balancing pose. Here is how you do it.
- Take a high side plank position, with elbows under shoulders.
- Ensure the legs are straight and stacked.
- As you rise into the side plank position, bend your top leg and rest your foot flat on the inside of your upper thighs.
- Open your top knee upwards and clench your butt while driving your foot into your leg and keeping your bottom hip up.
- Hold this position for as long as possible, then switch to the left side and do the same thing again.
SIDE PLANK WITH HIP ABDUCTION
Try the side plank hip abduction if you’re looking to work on your obliques and outer thighs.
When your hip abductors lift your legs away from your torso and rotate them, they help keep your knee and hip joints in place.
They end up targeting the obliques and thighs.
How to do it:
- Place your elbow behind your shoulder as you lie on your right side.
- Let your legs lie on top of each other on the ground.
- Your free hand should be placed on your hip.
- Straighten your torso and your limbs.
- Your toes and hips should be flat on the floor when you touch the ground.
- Maintain a forearm-and-foot balance.
- Align your body in a diagonal line as you lift your hips off the floor.
- Lift your right leg by at least six inches.
- Lower your hips to the floor as you bring your feet back together.
- Repeat the process on your left side as well.
DVRT LEG THREADING
This variation to the side plank strengthens the core, improves hip mobility, and stabilises the shoulders.
How to do it:
- Place your right heel on the floor and bend your right knee.
- Make a 45-degree angle with the left leg.
- Place a Power Ultimate Sandbag (USB) on your right shoulder and hold it in place.
- Make sure your torso is erect and straight.
- Press the heels into the ground and raise your hips in a bridge position.
- Return to a plank position by extending the left leg.
- Return to the starting position by sliding the leg back below.
- Keep your shoulders tight throughout the exercise to maintain control.
- Make a second pass down and ensure there are significant asymmetries on either side.
SIDE PLANK DIPS MISTAKES TO AVOID
Avoid the following mistakes when performing side plank dips.
- Your hips and shoulders should not droop or rotate; instead, maintain an upright posture.
- Your upper body should remain steady by keeping your core strong and keeping your top leg straight.
- Failing to hold the outer thigh in a fist as you exhale and raise your top leg.
The dips in this side plank are challenging but are a fantastic bodyweight exercise. Besides, they have an added benefit: they burn calories while strengthening the upper and lower body muscles. The next time you look for a challenging isometric exercise, this is the way to go.