Side Plank Leg Raise: To Take Your Core Work To The Next Level

Do you struggle to perform the side plank leg raise? You’re not alone. This exercise is one of the more difficult variations of the plank, as it requires a balance of strength and stability. Often, individuals who have weak obliques or hip flexors experience difficulty in performing this exercise. But don’t worry, there is a solution. In this blog post, we’ll walk you through step by step on how to progress to a safe and effective side plank leg raise, so you can add it to your workout routine with confidence.

Side Plank Leg 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 Leg Raise Instructions

  • Lay down on your side, preferably on a mat or straight on the floor.
  • Place your forearm on the ground beneath your shoulder at a right angle to your upper body.
  • Position your upper leg directly on top of your lower leg with your body straight from head to toe.
  • Raise your upper leg to vertical.
  • Then, lower your leg back down on top of your plant leg and repeat.
  • Conduct 8-12 reps on this side, then switch to the other side and repeat for an equal number of reps.

Video Tutorial

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

Side Plank Leg 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 leg raise exercise highlighted in red and the rest in blue.

Benefits of Side Plank Leg Raise

The Side Plank Leg Raise is an excellent exercise for targeting the obliques, which are essential for core stability and strength. This move helps to build strength in the sides of the body, improving posture and balance. Additionally, this exercise helps to improve the range of motion and flexibility in the hip joints. By engaging the obliques, the Side Plank Leg Raise can also help to reduce lower back pain and promote good posture. Finally, this exercise is great for developing overall core strength and stability, as well as developing strong abdominal muscles.

Tips for Performing Side Plank Leg Raise

If you’re looking to take the side plank leg raise to a new level, then you’ve come to the right place. These tips will help you get more from of this amazing workout, and help you receive all the benefits it has to give. You’ll be able to shape your obliques muscles, and minimize your chance of getting hurt. Let’s begin and take a look at how these tips will help you.

  • Ensure Proper Form: Keep your body in a straight line from head to toe and keep your neck in line with your spine throughout the exercise. This will help you get the most out of the exercise and prevent any strain on your lower back.
  • Start Slow: Begin with a low number of repetitions and gradually increase over time as your strength and endurance improves. This will help you avoid any injuries and help you reach your fitness goals.
  • Engage Your Core: Activate your core muscles throughout the exercise to help stabilize your body and maintain proper form. This will ensure that you’re maximizing the effectiveness of the exercise and avoiding any unnecessary strain on your lower back.

Benefits and Tips Video

Core Exercises: Side Plank With Leg Lift

Frequent Mistakes To Avoid

When conducting side plank leg raise, keeping away from typical errors is key to achieving optimal results and avoiding pain. Also, in order to maximize the benefits of the exercise, proper form is required. Through preventing these frequent mistakes, you may raise your ability to achieve the results you want. But relax, it’s not as challenging as it might appear. By knowing the errors to avert and taking the right actions, you may complete the activity securely and successfully. Thus, it is now your turn to maximize your results from this exercise and enjoy the advantages of a successful workout.

  • Not engaging the core properly: Without engaging the core during this exercise, it can limit the effectiveness of the move and put you at risk of injury.
  • Not raising the leg high enough: If you don’t raise your leg high enough when doing the side plank leg raise, you won’t get the full benefits of the exercise and won’t feel as toned and slim afterwards.
  • Not keeping the hips level: Not keeping the hips level during this exercise can cause an imbalance in your body, making it harder to balance and leading to soreness afterwards.

Find More Bodyweight Exercises Here

Variations and Complementary Exercises

The Side Plank Leg Raise is a great exercise for developing core strength, but if you’re looking to switch up your routine or target other muscle groups, there are plenty of variations, complementary, and alternative exercises that can help you reach your goals.

Side Plank Knee Tuck

Graphic image of Side Plank Knee Tuck.

Side Plank Knee Tuck is an excellent complementary exercise to the Side Plank Leg Raise. It works the core muscles, glutes, and hamstrings in an isometric contraction, while also challenging the obliques. The movement requires the body to remain balanced on one side while lifting the top leg and bringing the knee towards the chest. This exercise helps to strengthen the core, improve balance and stability, and increase flexibility. Furthermore, it can also be used as an alternative to Side Plank Leg Raise, as it targets similar muscle groups while adding a dynamic element to the workout.

Side Plank Knee Raise

Graphic image of Side Plank Knee Raise.

The Side Plank Knee Raise is a great complementary or alternative exercise to the Side Plank Leg Raise. This exercise targets the same core muscles, but works them in a different way. It involves starting in a side plank position and then bringing the knee of the top leg up towards the chest. This exercise requires more balance and coordination and also works the obliques more than the Side Plank Leg Raise. It is a great way to add more challenge to your core workouts.

Side Plank Hip Dip

Graphic image of Side Plank Hip Dip.

Side Plank Hip Dip is a great complementary exercise for Side Plank Leg Raise. It works the same muscles but from a different angle, engaging the obliques and hips. To do the Side Plank Hip Dip, start in a side plank position with your left hand on the ground, legs stacked one on top of the other, and your right arm extended straight up. Slowly lower your right hip towards the ground, then lift it back up as high as you can. This exercise is a great alternative to Side Plank Leg Raise as it works the same muscle groups but in a different way.

Check Out These Top Bodyweight Exercises

Side Crunch

Graphic image of Side Crunch.

The Side Crunch is a great complement or alternative to the Side Plank Leg Raise. It targets the same oblique muscles and helps to strengthen the core. To perform this exercise, lie on your side with your legs bent and your feet stacked. Place your hands behind your head and lift your upper body towards the ceiling, crunching your rib cage towards your hip. Exhale as you do this and keep your abs tight. Then return to the starting position and repeat. This exercise is a great way to work the same muscles as the Side Plank Leg Raise in a slightly different way.

Side Bridge Twist

Graphic image of Side Bridge Twist.

Side Bridge Twist is a great complementary or alternative exercise to Side Plank Leg Raise. It strengthens the oblique muscles, which are the muscles on the sides of your abdomen, as well as your glutes and hip flexors. To do this exercise, start in a side plank position with your feet stacked and lift your top leg up and out to the side. Then twist your torso and reach your arm up towards the ceiling while keeping your hips lifted. This exercise helps to increase core stability and challenge your balance. It can also be used as a substitute for Side Plank Leg Raise if you’re looking for a new variation of the same exercise.

Side Bridge

Graphic image of Side Bridge.

Side Bridge is a great complementary or alternative exercise to Side Plank Leg Raise. It targets the same muscles as the Side Plank Leg Raise, but in a slightly different way. It works the glutes, core, and shoulders, and is an effective way to improve overall balance and stability. To do the Side Bridge, start by lying on your side with your feet together and your top leg bent at 90 degrees. Lift your hips off the ground, keeping your chest and head up and your arms extended. Hold this position for 30 seconds, then lower back down and repeat on the other side. This exercise is a great way to strengthen your core and improve your balance.

Find More Abs Exercises Here

Opposing Complementary Exercises

In order to make the most of the exercise Side Plank Leg Raise, it is important to also work the opposing muscle groups. To do this, you can add in a few complementary exercises to your routine. Below are some exercises that target the opposing muscles and help to create balance within your body.

45 Degree One Leg Hyperextension

Graphic image of 45 Degree One Leg Hyperextension.

The 45 Degree One Leg Hyperextension is a great way to complement the Side Plank Leg Raise exercise. It works the opposing muscle group of the glutes, hamstrings and lower back, helping to create balance in the body. This exercise helps to build strength and stability in the lower body, while also stretching out and strengthening the hip flexors. Additionally, it helps to build core strength, as you have to use your abdominals to keep your body in the correct position. This exercise is beneficial for those looking to improve their overall fitness level, as it works all the major muscle groups in the lower body.

45 Degree Hyperextension

Graphic image of 45 Degree Hyperextension.

The 45 Degree Hyperextension is a great exercise for strengthening the lower back muscles, which are in opposition to the core muscles used in the Side Plank Leg Raise. This exercise involves leaning forward at a 45 degree angle while lying on a hyperextension bench and extending the lower back. This exercise complements the Side Plank Leg Raise by working the opposing muscle groups, allowing for a balanced workout and improved core strength. It can be performed with or without added weight, making it an ideal exercise for both beginner and advanced fitness enthusiasts.

Straight Leg Cable Pull Through

Graphic image of Straight Leg Cable Pull Through.

Straight Leg Cable Pull Throughs are a great exercise to complement Side Plank Leg Raises as it works the opposite muscle group. The Straight Leg Cable Pull Through targets the posterior chain, which includes the hamstrings, glutes, and lower back. This exercise helps build strength in the posterior chain and encourages better hip stability. By performing Straight Leg Cable Pull Throughs after Side Plank Leg Raises, the body is able to increase hip stability and core strength while also improving balance and coordination.

Get Stronger with the Side Plank Leg Raise!

Looking to get stronger and challenge your core? Look no further than the side plank leg raise! This exercise targets not only your abs, but also your obliques and hip flexors. By stabilizing your body and lifting your leg, you’ll improve your balance and coordination while also toning and strengthening your muscles. Plus, it’s a fun and dynamic move that keeps things interesting during your workout. Give it a try and feel the burn!

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

Pin image for side plank leg 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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