Health Advocate Blog

Workout of the Week: Reaching Side Planks

This week’s workout is Reaching Side Planks. As compared to the Side Plank that we featured before, Reaching Side Planks are a more advanced stability exercise that really makes you engage those tiny stabilizing muscle groups from your head to your toes, giving your body a total workout.

Here’s how to do them:

  • Start by beginning in the plank position, on the ground resting your weight on your forearms and toes, making a straight line from all the way down your back.474273631
  • Next, shift your weight to one side (left or right, whichever you prefer) and assume the side plank position: position your elbow under your shoulder, tighten your stomach muscles, and raise your hips until your body forms a straight line from your ankles to shoulders.
  • Keeping your balance, slowly reach your free arm (the arm not supporting your weight) to your side so it is perpendicular to the floor, as if you were reaching up to grab on to something. Hold this position for one or two seconds.474275837
  • Next, bring your arm back down slowly, and reassume the standard plank position.
  • Do the same steps for the opposite side. Try doing 2 sets of 10-15 Reaching Side Planks.


  • This is a controlled exercise; slowly transition into each movement to avoid injury.
  • The longer you hold these positions, the more you will work your muscle groups.
  • Throughout the entire exercise, be sure to keep your hips off the ground and make sure your body stays in a straight line from your head to your toes.
  • If you experience any pain, especially in your lower back, stop doing this exercise immediately and consult your doctor.

We hope you’ll try Reaching Side Planks over the weekend and then build this exercise into your daily routine Monday through Friday of the coming week.

Want more fitness ideas? If you’re a Health Advocate member with access to the Wellness Coaching program, reach out to your Wellness Coach for more healthy ideas to get—and stay—fit. And remember, talk to your doctor before beginning any new fitness regimen.