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C3 Fitness: Side plank variations for a stronger core

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ST. LOUIS - A plank (or hover) is a great exercise for building stronger abs. When working on the obliques, you may want to incorporate a side plank, which is known as Vasisthasana in yoga.

Once you master the basics of side plank, you may want to try these variations on the move.

1) Side-bendy Side Plank

Begin by coming into a side plank on your right side. Bend your left knee, and lightly rest the ball of your left foot on the floor behind your right leg. Reach your left arm alongside your ear as you would in a side angle pose, spinning the pinky side of your hand down toward the floor. Gaze down, forward, or toward your left hand.

2) Rockstar With a Kick

Come into a side plank. Bring your left hand to your right shin and see if you can hug your knee a little closer to your chest. Now, keeping your bent knee in toward you, release your shin.

3) Kneeling Vasisthasana B Variation

Begin in a kneeling side plank position with your right knee down and your left leg extended. From here, bend your left knee and place your left foot on the floor in front of your right shin. Lift your left foot away from the floor and take hold of the pinky-toe side of your left foot with your left hand, drawing your left knee toward your left shoulder. Stay open across your chest and keep both shoulders rolling back. You can remain here or straighten your left leg out in front of you, as you did in Rockstar with a kick, except this time you’re holding on to the foot

4) Side Angle Hover

Begin in plank pose. Lift your right foot away from the floor, bend your right knee, bringing it as close as it can to touching your right upper arm. Keeping your right knee where it is, spin your left foot to the floor as you would do to come into a side plank on the right side, pivoting your left heel to the left. Bring your left hand to your hip, or reach your left arm up to the sky, gazing toward your bottom hand, straight ahead.

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