Today, I wanted to explain what you can do if you are having shoulder pain when performing the side plank. The side plank is a great exercise that works on strengthening your core, especially your obliques. Unfortunately, the side plank position can be uncomfortable or even painful in the shoulder. A lot of weight is placed on the shoulder in this position, as you are supporting a lot of your body weight with your arm. This exercise is going to work on building your shoulder strength from a position that puts less force on your shoulder, allowing you to build strength without pain or injury. Eventually, you will have built up enough strength and stability in your shoulder that you will be able to perform the side plank exercise without pain.
In this video, I wanted to give you an alternative exercise. If you do a Side Plank and it is painful, you can do this exercise called the Farmer’s Carry.
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I will get Sonya to demonstrate it.
Grab a weight – a dumbbell works well. Hold it in one arm and then take the weight for a walk. As you walk, make sure to “pack” your shoulders. This means keep your shoulder blades pulling together and your shoulders down from your ears. You want to strengthen the shoulder from a place of proper alignment.
You can start using something lightweight, but you want to work up to a weight that’s heavy. When you are doing a side plank, you are pretty much holding your weight up. When you are doing it from your knees, you are doing it with three-quarters of your body weight.
At the start, you might go light but then you really want to crank it up to keep those shoulders and those hips parallel to the floor. The dumbbells are trying to pull you down and you are fighting it the opposite way. So it’s almost like you are doing a side plank but without all that pressure on your forearm, elbow and shoulder.
If you are having shoulder pain when doing the side plank on the floor, then give the Farmer’s Carry exercise a go. Increasing the weight once you are stronger and have perfected the form is important for strengthening the shoulder. Make sure you have perfect technique because you don’t want to put unnecessary stress on your back.
Make sure to swing by ExercisesForInjuries.com. Enter your injury or pain into the search bar on the top right hand of the screen. There’s a good chance of an article, an interview, or a video that will help you overcome your injury or pain.
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Rick Kaselj, MS
If you are looking for a program to help you overcome shoulder pain for good, then click here to check out the Shoulder Pain Solved program.