Side Plank Knee Raise: A Challenging Modification That Brings Results

Are you struggling to perfect your side plank knee raise? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. It takes time and practice to get it right! One of the common causes of difficulties with this move is a weak core, which can lead to poor balance and instability. But, fear not! In this blog post, we’ll walk you through step-by-step instructions on how to perform the side plank knee raise with proper form and technique, along with tips and exercises to strengthen your core for a killer side plank knee raise. By the end of this post, you’ll feel confident and ready to tackle this move like a pro.

Side Plank Knee Raise Summary

  • Primary Muscles: Obliques
  • Secondary Muscles: Adductors, Hip, Gluteus Maximus, Gluteus Medius, Gluteus Minimus, Gracilis, Iliocastalis lumborum, Iliocastalis thoracis, Latissimus dorsi, Levator Scapulae, Pectineus, Pectoralis major, Pectoralis minor, Psoas major, Quadratus lumborum, and Tensor Fasciae Latae
  • Equipment: Body Weight
  • Mechanics Type: Compound
  • Force: Push
  • Utility: Auxiliary
Graphic image of a fit woman performing alternate cable triceps extensions.

Side Plank Knee Raise Instructions

  • Get down in a laying position on your side, preferably on a mat or straight on the floor.
  • Brace your forearm on the ground under your shoulder at a right angle to your upper body.
  • Position your upper leg on top of your lower leg with your knees and body straight from head to toe.
  • Raise your upper leg with a bended knee over your body.
  • Lower your leg back down on top of your other leg and repeat.
  • Conduct 8-12 reps on one side, then switch sides and repeat.

Video Tutorial

How To Do A Side Plank | The Right Way | Well+Good

Side Plank Knee Raise Muscles

Target (Agonist)


Dynamic Stabilizers

  • None


  • Iliocastalis lumborum
  • Iliocastalis thoracis

Antagonist Stabilizers

  • None
Image of the skeletal muscular system with the muscles used in the side plank knee raise exercise highlighted in red and the rest in blue.

Benefits of Side Plank Knee Raise

The Side Plank Knee Raise is an effective exercise for strengthening the obliques, a set of muscles located on either side of the abdomen. This exercise increases stability and balance by improving core strength and stability, helping to prevent injury. Additionally, the Side Plank Knee Raise helps to tone and define the obliques, giving the abdominal muscles a more sculpted appearance. This exercise also increases flexibility and range of motion in the torso, helping to promote good posture. With regular practice, this exercise can help to improve athletic performance, reduce lower back pain, and reduce risk of injury.

Tips for Performing Side Plank Knee Raise

If you’re seeking to take your side plank knee raise to a new level, then you’re at the right place. These tips can enable you to fully benefit from this wonderful exercise and maximize its effects. You’ll be able to tone your obliques muscles, and minimize your chance of injury. Let’s get started and take a look at how these suggestions will benefit you.

  • Make sure you have the correct posture: it’s important to keep your body in a straight line with your core engaged and your shoulders back and down. This will ensure you get the most out of the exercise and reduce your risk of injury.
  • Keep your neck in line with your spine: avoid looking down or up as this can cause neck strain and reduce the effectiveness of the exercise.
  • Lift your hips evenly: it’s important to raise both legs at the same time and keep your hips level to ensure your core is engaged throughout the exercise. This will help strengthen the abdominal muscles and create a balanced workout.

Benefits and Tips Video

Side Plank Off Knees - Modern Woman's Guide to Strength Training

Frequent Mistakes To Avoid

When conducting side plank knee raise, avoiding typical errors can be the difference between a productive workout and a debilitating injury. Also, in order to maximize your benefits of the exercise, proper form is essential. Through preventing these frequent mistakes, you may improve your ability to achieve your desired results. However, take it easy, it’s not quite as difficult as it might seem. By knowing the errors to avert and taking the appropriate actions, you can execute the exercise securely and effectively. Let’s begin by staying away from these typical errors and add this exercise to your training regimen.

  • Not properly engaging the core: When performing the Side Plank Knee Raise, it is important to engage your core muscles to ensure a correct form and proper posture. Failing to do so can lead to injury, and will reduce the effectiveness of the exercise.
  • Improper arm placement: Make sure your arms are in the correct position throughout the exercise. If your arms are not parallel to the ground, it can result in instability and potential injury.
  • Not focusing on the glutes: This exercise is great for targeting the glutes, but if you don’t focus on squeezing your glutes and engaging them as you raise your leg, you will not be getting the most out of this exercise. Make sure to focus on engaging your glutes as you perform this exercise for best results.

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Variations and Complementary Exercises

The exercise Side Plank Knee Raise can be modified or replaced with several other exercises. Below are some variations, complementary, and alternative exercises that work similar muscles to the Side Plank Knee Raise.

Side Plank Hip Dip

Graphic image of Side Plank Hip Dip.

The Side Plank Hip Dip is an excellent complementary or alternative exercise to the Side Plank Knee Raise. This exercise works the same muscles as the Side Plank Knee Raise, but with a slightly different focus. The Side Plank Hip Dip targets the glutes and core, while also working the abductors and adductors. This exercise is great for strengthening the hip, knee, and ankle joints, as well as improving stability in the lower body. It can also help to increase mobility in the hips, which can benefit athletes who need to stay flexible and agile.

Side Crunch

Graphic image of Side Crunch.

The Side Crunch is an excellent complementary exercise to the Side Plank Knee Raise. It targets the obliques, which are the muscles on the sides of the torso. The Side Crunch helps to strengthen and tone these muscles, increasing overall core stability and strength. It also works the hip flexors, which are important for stability and balance. To perform a Side Crunch, you lie on your side with your feet together and your knees bent. You then lift your top leg up and crunch your upper body towards the knee of the bottom leg. This exercise can be done in place of or in addition to the Side Plank Knee Raise to get a full core workout.

Side Bridge Twist

Graphic image of Side Bridge Twist.

Side Bridge Twist is a great complementary or alternative exercise for Side Plank Knee Raise. It targets the same areas of the core, but with a different approach. To do this exercise, you start in a side plank position with your forearm on the ground and your legs stacked one on top of the other. Then, keeping your abs tight and your hips lifted, reach your top arm up and across your body, twisting your torso as you go. This twist engages the muscles of the obliques and helps to build strength in the core while toning the abdomen.

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Side Bridge

Graphic image of Side Bridge.

The Side Bridge is a great alternative or complementary exercise to the Side Plank Knee Raise. It works similar muscles as the Side Plank Knee Raise, such as the obliques and the core, but adds in the extra challenge of lifting your hips off the floor. It also increases the range of motion in the shoulder and hip joints, helping to improve strength and flexibility. In addition, it can be done with a variety of variations, such as lifting one leg at a time, using a weight, or even using a medicine ball for added resistance.

Oblique Crunch

Graphic image of Oblique Crunch.

The oblique crunch is a great alternative or complementary exercise to the side plank knee raise. This exercise targets the obliques, which are important for providing stability to the spine and torso, and is an effective way to tone and strengthen the sides of the body. It also helps to improve core strength and endurance, making it a great all-round abdominal exercise. To perform an oblique crunch, lie on your back on the floor and lift your legs off the ground with your knees bent. Then, using your oblique muscles, bring your right elbow to your left knee, and then repeat on the other side. This motion should be repeated for a set amount of repetitions for maximum benefit.

Legs Up Twist Crunch

Graphic image of Legs Up Twist Crunch.

Legs Up Twist Crunch is an excellent alternative to the Side Plank Knee Raise, as it is a low-impact exercise that still works the core muscles. It involves lying on your back with your legs lifted at a 45-degree angle and then twisting your legs to one side while crunching the opposite side of your torso. This exercise targets the obliques, transverse abdominis, and other core muscles, making it a great complementary exercise for Side Plank Knee Raise. Additionally, it can be modified to suit any fitness level, so it’s an accessible exercise for all.

Find More Abs Exercises Here

Opposing Complementary Exercises

In addition to the Side Plank Knee Raise, there are a variety of exercises that can be used to strengthen opposing muscle groups and enhance the overall effectiveness of the exercise. Here are some examples of exercises that can be used in conjunction with Side Plank Knee Raise to create a balanced workout:

45 Degree Hyperextension

Graphic image of 45 Degree Hyperextension.

The 45 Degree Hyperextension is an excellent exercise to complement the Side Plank Knee Raise. This exercise works the opposing muscle group, the lower back and glutes, and helps to increase overall core strength and stability. By working the opposing muscle group, this exercise helps to promote better balance and stability throughout the body. The 45 Degree Hyperextension also helps to improve posture and reduce back pain. In addition, it can be used as a warm up exercise before performing more strenuous exercises such as the Side Plank Knee Raise.

Straight Leg Cable Pull Through

Graphic image of Straight Leg Cable Pull Through.

The Straight Leg Cable Pull Through is a great complement to the Side Plank Knee Raise exercise. This exercise is great for strengthening the posterior chain and works the muscles in the back of the body, such as the glutes, hamstrings, and lower back. Working these muscles with the Straight Leg Cable Pull Through helps to balance out the muscles worked during the Side Plank Knee Raise exercise, which primarily focuses on the abdominal muscles and hip flexors. This helps to create an overall balanced strength training routine and can help prevent injury.

Bird Dog Plank

Graphic image of Bird Dog Plank.

Bird Dog Plank is a great complement to Side Plank Knee Raise. It targets the same core muscles, but works them in an opposing way. While Side Plank Knee Raise focuses on the obliques, Bird Dog Plank targets the lower back and glutes. It also works the arms, shoulders, and chest, making it a great full-body exercise. By pairing these two exercises together, you can build strength and stability throughout your entire core.

Improve Your Core Strength with the Side Plank Knee Raise

Improving your core strength is crucial for overall fitness and stability. One exercise that can help with this is the Side Plank Knee Raise. This move targets the obliques, which are important muscles for trunk rotation and stability. To perform this exercise, start in a side plank position with your forearm on the ground and your feet stacked on top of each other. Lift your top leg and bring your knee towards your elbow, then extend back out. Repeat for several reps before switching sides. Adding this move to your workout routine can help to strengthen your core and improve overall stability.

References: Wikipedia | | | Comprehensive List of Abs Bodyweight Exercises

Pin image for side plank knee raise post. With an image of a woman performing the exercise on Top and a graphic of the exercise on the Bottom.

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