Side Plank Crunch: Muscles Worked, Benefits, Tips

The Side plank crunch also known as Elbow to knee side plank crunch is a great exercise that helps you build strength and stability in your core.

It’s an excellent upgrade on the traditional plank, for targeting hard-to-reach core muscles specifically, the external obliques and serratus anterior,

In this article, you will learn everything you need to know about:

What Is a Side Plank Crunch?

It combines your standard crunches with side plank exercise into one move that will challenge your balance, tone up your waist, and strengthen your core.

Side plank crunch works your whole body by combining all the core actions you get from a traditional plank with some extra love for your shoulders and hips. Your obliques get hit doubly hard in this exercise.

The side closest to the ground has to stay engaged the whole time to keep the body stable, while the side you’re crunching contracts and relaxes over and over again.

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Side Plank Crunch Muscles Worked

The Side plank crunch position makes an effective component for your workout, as it engages a wide range of major muscle groups.

The primary muscles worked during elbow to knee side plan crunches are the obliques, abs and back muscles including the erector spinae and the transverse abdominus.

In addition, the position uses the Serratus Anterior, lateral deltoids, and Trapezius of the upper body, as well as the gluteus maximus and Hip Flexors of the lower body.

Benefits of Side Plank Crunch Exercise

Side Plank crunches emphasize the sides of your abdominal to help you build lean, strong muscles. When done correctly, this type of exercise can be an effective way to tighten your side abs.

  1. When you do side plank crunch exercises, you work all the muscles in your core. The upper and lower body muscles are strengthened.
  2. The side plank helps prevent muscle imbalances. When muscles are evenly developed on both sides of the body, the result is better posture, increased spinal support, and reduced lower-back pain.
  3. It helps improve functional movement, which is essential for living a full life. Things such as squatting, bending, running, lifting, jumping, and throwing are all functional movements initiated in the core.
  4. Elbow to knee side plank crunch is a combination of strength and cardiovascular exercise. These plank variations can help you burn calories and regulate your weight. 

How to do Elbow To Knee Side Plank Crunch

Forearm Side Plank Crunch
  1. Get in a side plank position by lying on your right side on the floor with your left foot resting on top of the inner side of your right foot and your left arm resting on top of your left side.
  2. Raise your body by placing your right forearm flat on the floor so that it’s perpendicular to your torso.
  3. Lift your torso until your right upper arm is straight underneath you, with your elbow bent 90 degrees and your forearm flat on the floor. Extend your left arm over your head.
  4. Lift your left leg and drive your knee toward your torso. At the same time, bring your left arm in toward your knee in a crunch movement.
  5. Continue for a set amount of time, and then repeat on the other side.

Note: The exercise starts with 10 repetitions and can be increased to 20 repetitions or more as needed.

Know More: 18 Abs Exercises You Can Do at Home Without Equipment

Tips and Technique

Just like with any exercise, there are certain safety precautions that should be followed when performing this exercise.

  • If you want to do this exercise without the risk of injury, make sure you have enough space to do it.
  • Make sure you do this exercise on a flat surface so that it doesn’t hurt your knees or back.
  • Don’t let your hips drop or rotate—the movement should come just from your core.
  • Avoid letting your hips sag during the exercise.
  • Squeeze your abs and glutes throughout the movement for stability.

How to Modify side plank crunches

If you have not done the plank crunch on your own before, take it slow and follow the experts tips below–and remember, perfecting any exercise, especially one that requires strength and full-body balance, takes some time.

Make it easier

If you are new to performing an elbow to knee side plank crunch, you may want to apply a few modifications to make the exercise easier. One way to solve this problem is to improve the side plank.

Make it harder

If you are looking for a more advanced variation to stimulate different muscle fibers in the core, then try weight side plank crunches. But focus on form while doing the same.

Best Alternate of Side Plank Crunch

I will explain side plank crunch alternatives that are better at working your waist and keeping your core tight.

1. Bicycle Crunch

Bicycle crunch exercise is the best alternate of side plank crunch to develop the core muscles.

In a 2001 study by ACE, it was found that in compared to the standard crunch, the bicycle crunch produces 148% more mean activity in the abs and 190% more mean activity in the obliques.

2. Side Plank With Hip Abduction

If you are searching for an alternative to elbow to knee side plank crunch that you can easily do at home, then it is the best option for you.

The side plank hip abduction is an advanced variation of the side plank exercise that you can do to target the obliques and outer thighs.


The Side Plank Crunch is a good beginning core exercise that can also help you strengthen your back muscles and improve your posture.

It tones up muscles located all along your torso, thighs, hips, arms, and spine – all for a few minutes of work.

Do These Exercises 3 Times Per Week To Lose Side Fat

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