Here are some Pilates training tips and preparatory exercises to help keep your shoulders safe and develop strong core support for a successful side plank in an advanced Pilates mat workout.

Because this exercise involves balancing the body laterally on one arm and one leg, the side plank exercise is an upper-intermediate or advanced level exercise, so sufficient preparation should be made before attempting this exercise to ensure successful execution. and avoid the risk of injury. in his book back to life, Joseph Pilates called this exercise “Side Bend”. There are many challenging variations, but before doing them, it’s important to be able to hold your body in a basic plank position.

The Side Plank / Side Bend is an excellent exercise for building strength in the arms, shoulders, lats, lower back, hips, and legs. Offers a real challenge, to balance the body supported on one hand and one foot, the pelvic floor, inner thighs, core and outer hips must be strong and active enough to help maintain balance and body control.

As with all the other Pilates exercises you do, training and organizing your body for efficient movement is crucial to getting you in and out of the side plank exercise safely. This is a great exercise for building arm and shoulder strength if done correctly, but it can lead to shoulder pain, problems, or injury if done poorly.

If you want to add the Plank exercise to your Pilates workout routine, make sure you’ve taken enough training time to prepare by doing other strengthening exercises for your arms, shoulders, hips, and core.

The preparatory training exercises you do for weeks, months, or even years before adding the side plank to your workouts should also continue to be done as “warm-up” exercises when you add the side plank to your program, so your body is ready. to do this challenging advanced Pilates Mat exercise and not hurt yourself.

Pilates Matwork exercises to prepare for side bending:

Push-ups, front planks, forward leg pulls, backward leg pulls, hip circles, and hand weights are important prerequisites for doing a good side plank exercise.

Additionally, the Reformer, Chair, Cadillac, and Barrel exercises that focus on upper body strength and proper shoulder mechanics will also be of great help to you as you progress through the Side Plank exercise.

Exercises with Pilates equipment to strengthen the upper body and prepare for the side plank:

  • Reform: Long stretch, pull up, long back stretch, knees out, short box side bend
  • cadillac: Arm Springs – Circles, Combo, Triceps, Push-up Mermaid, Open Eagle, Rolling Bar Exercises: Standing/Kneeling – Chest Expansion, 1-Arm Lateral Pull, Salute-Garage Door Combo, Arms long back stretch
  • Meat: Push-ups, 1-arm Press, Pike, Side Pike, 1-Arm Pike, Mermaid, Kneeling Mermaid
  • Spine corrector: Mermaid, Rainbow Painting, and Other Shoulder Mechanics Exercises
  • Ladder barrel: Side Bends (from the Reformer Short Box series and Full Side Bend laterally on the barrel)

Fletcher Towelwork┬« exercises are also great for improving upper body strength and shoulder mechanics, as well as working on lateral body movement. Occasionally, I like to incorporate some of the Reformer’s seated Fletcher Towelwork┬« exercises, or other seated lateral flexion exercises, after the seated twist at the end of the tummy tuck set.

It is also very helpful to practice standing lateral flexion exercises, as it is similar to the plank/lateral flexion position on the advanced mat. Keep your arms extended overhead with the resistance to spread a towel (Fletcher Towelwork®) or hold a cane and maintain good shoulder mechanics as you bend your body.


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