In this video, I wanted to go through a modification or a tweak that you can do if you have shoulder pain when doing the side plank. The side plank can place a lot of tension and strain on the shoulder joint, which is not going to feel good if you are dealing with shoulder pain. Luckily, there are a variety of adjustments you can make to your side plank to help eliminate the shoulder pain.
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I had Donnalee demonstrate the exercise.
Regular Full-Length Side Plank
This is a full side plank, with the forearm on the ground, elbow underneath the shoulder. With this side plank, many people find that it is painful on their shoulders. Let’s go through some ways to modify the side plank to take the strain off the shoulder.
The first modification that you can do is to lie on the ground on your side and cross your arms. Initially, you can lift your legs up and then lower them back down. This is going to work your core muscles, especially your obliques, just like in a regular side plank. With this exercise, you can gain strength in your core while avoiding pain in your shoulder.
Side Plank (1st Modification)
The second modification that you can do is lift your legs up, then lift your upper body up as well, and lower back down. Again, lifting the legs and lifting the upper body up and back down. This is a progression from the first modification as you are now lifting both your lower body and upper body off the ground. As you do this exercise, make sure to keep your hips and shoulders stacked on top of each other, maintaining good alignment in the body.
Side Plank (2nd Modification)
Since you are doing a side crunch movement, you will be putting a little more stress on your lower back. If you have lower back issues, you need to be cautious of this modification. However, you are giving the shoulder a break.
There you go! If you are having shoulder pain when performing the side plank, that’s a quick modification that you can do; lying on your side, crossing your arms, lifting your legs, or even progressing to lifting your legs and upper body.
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Rick Kaselj, MS
Lastly, if you are looking for a program to help you overcome shoulder pain, then click here to check out the Shoulder Pain Solved program.