Similar to the isometric plank, the isometric side plank, or side bridge, is an amazing exercise that engages the entire core region. Although it does engage the entire core, it isolates, or targets, the internal and external obliques. The obliques are located on the lateral (side) and anterior (front) parts of the abdomen and are used to flex and rotate the vertebral column, as well as compress the abdominal cavity by pulling the chest downwards.
The side plank/side bridge has multiple variations to help isolate a little different part of your core, depending on which variation you choose to use. The shoulder, or deltoid, also plays an important role in this exercise because it holds up the brunt of your body weight, so if you do have a shoulder injury or experience pain during the exercise, please refrain from doing this movement and proceed to do other core exercises to help target the obliques. (more…)