The 21-Day Bodyweight Fitness Plan: Side Plank Series

Tim DiFrancesco
by Tim DiFrancesco
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The 21-Day Bodyweight Fitness Plan: Side Plank Series

Welcome back to the 21-Day Bodyweight Fitness Plan, your spark that will ignite a fitness habit. No equipment is needed, and there’s no guess work about what you should do on a given day. Just follow the plan outlined below for each day of the week for 21 consecutive days, and enjoy the progress as you discover the edge you’ve been looking for and your fitness habit grows.

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Benefits: This side plank progression series will help you to strengthen and build endurance in both your hips and core.

How to modify: If knocking out this side plank progression series with perfect form or without pain serves to be an issue, chances are you need to strengthen your lateral glute/hip musculature. One option is to stand with your back to the wall and your heels touching right up against the wall. Your hands are slightly out away from the body with your palms gripping the wall. Now slowly slide the heel of one of your legs away from the body while keeping contact with the wall. Slowly return to start position and repeat.

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How to:

  1. Start on your side, resting on your forearm and the outside of your bottom knee
  2. Bend the bottom knee and straighten the top knee
  3. Hips should be bent in the down position
  4. Lift your hips up and forward so that there is a straight line from your ear to your shoulder to your hips
  5. Slowly lower down and back to start position. Repeat 8 times.
  6. Complete 2 more sets.

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How to:

  1. Start on your side, resting on your forearm and the outside of your bottom knee
  2. Bend the bottom knee and straighten the top knee
  3. Hips should be bent in the down position
  4. Lift your hips up and forward so that there is a straight line from your ear to your shoulder to your hips, and hold for 12 seconds
  5. Complete 2 more sets.

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How to:

  1. Start on your side, resting on your forearm and the side of your bottom knee
  2. Bend the bottom knee and straighten the top knee
  3. Hips should be bent in the down position
  4. Lift your hips up and forward so that there is a straight line from your ear to your shoulder to your hips, and hold
  5. While holding in the side plank position, draw a square with your foot on the top leg side. Repeat 4 more times
  6. Complete 2 more sets.

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Complete this support move between each set of side planks.

How to:

  1. Take a large lunge step behind and away from your other leg
  2. Place both hands on the ground just to the inside of the lead leg
  3. Raise the outside hand in a waiving motion from out in front of you to all the way behind you
  4. Follow your hand through that motion with your eyes. Repeat 9 more times.

I love this exercise because as you are stretching commonly stiff hip flexors, you are working on improving tight shoulders and back.

About the Author

Tim DiFrancesco
Tim DiFrancesco

Tim DiFrancesco, PT, DPT, ATC, CSCS spent six seasons as the Head Strength & Conditioning Coach with the Los Angeles Lakers and is the founder of TD Athletes Edge. He is nationally renowned for his evidence-based and scientific approach to fitness, training, nutrition and recovery for athletes and fitness enthusiasts. For training and nutrition advice, follow us on:

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