These yogi variations on the basic side plank will have your core on fire

By Lauren Mazzo
January 06, 2017

If you lumped side planks in with other boring core moves like crunches and regular planks, you are seriously mistaken; they're key for torching your obliques (those side ab muscles that tone your stomach and give you major stability and strength). Plus, if you think they're too easy, there's always a way to up the ante. Enter: these yogi-fied side planks that will have your arms wobbling and your core wasted faster than you can say, "ow, my abs."

Try the moves along with badass yogi Sadie Nardini in the video above, or follow the step-by-step guide right here. Either way, you're sure to re-think the side plank for good. (Want to do more to work those obliques? Here are 10 more tough oblique exercises.)

A. Start in downward facing dog. Curl spine and lift hips up to roll body forward into high plank position. Roll heels over to the right so feet are still separated. Lift left hand up toward ceiling and balance on right arm. (To modify, step left leg in front of right straight leg for extra balance.)

B. Inhale and extend left arm overhead, biceps next to ear. Exhale and draw the left knee and left elbow toward stomach, trying to touch elbow to knee. (If in modified position, leave knee as-is, lifting the left heel if possible). Inhale to extend arm and leg, and exhale to squeeze toward center.

C. For a more advanced version, keep left arm and leg straight, and then draw them in front of body, touching fingertips to toes. Extend the arm and leg, and repeat. Repeat for 1 minute.

D. Move to tabletop position on hands and knees, and lift right arm to reach fingertips toward the ceiling, palm facing to the right. Spiral chest to the right, keeping head in a neutral position. Thread right arm under torso and lay arm flat on floor, pressing shoulder into floor, palm facing up and turning head to face the left. Release arm to come back to tabletop.

E. Repeat entire sequence on other side, then rest in child's pose.