Side Plank on a Roller

Side Plank on a Roller

Level: Advanced

Side Plank is an advanced core exercise that has increased complexity with the addition of a foam roller. Use a mat or carpeted floor to help cushion the forearm and prevent slipping. It is harder than it looks!

Set Up:

  • in side lying,
  • roller placed perpendicular to the body, at ankle level, so that heel of one foot touches toes of the other foot,
  • forearm is on the floor, parallel to the roller,  with elbow located directly under the shoulder joint,
  • ear in line with shoulder joint, hip joint and where feet meet.


  1. inhale then exhale and gently tighten deep tummy and shoulder blade muscles and push into forearm and lift torso from floor so that nose aligns with sternum and belly button,
  2. raise upper arm vertically over shoulder,
  3. maintain low level tummy contraction and lower shoulder blade contraction,
  4. hold for 30 -60 seconds,
  5. lower slowly to the floor, repeat on the other side.


  • don’t hold your breath; breathe normally throughout the exercise,
  • make sure pelvis does not rotate anteriorly,
  • if you experience shoulder or neck pain, stop, lower to the floor, reposition your elbow beneath the shoulder joint. Then engage the shoulder blade muscles and start again. If you are still feeling pain, stop and try an easier, front plank version (on the knees) for a shorter length of time.
  • similarly, if you experience back pain, stop, check your hip/ pelvis alignment and start again or limit to 10-20 second holds. If you still feel back pain, stop and go to an easier front plank version (on the knees), of this exercise before trialling this exercise again.

Make It Harder: