Reduce Back Pain: 5 quick and easy exercises to reduce back pain

Exercise for Back Pain: Side Plank

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Chris Dounis

Chris is an accredited exercise physiologist with over 15 years professional experience working with a wide range of clients.
Learn more about Chris here.

This article is part of our 6 part series on back pain. Download the complete eBook for FREE here.

The Side Plank is a beginner-friendly exercise that enhances core strength, particularly in the obliques, and contributes to back pain relief by promoting stability.

Benefits of the Side Plank:

  • The Side Plank strengthens the oblique muscles, gluteus medius and quadratus lumborum and enhances core stability, reducing the risk of back pain.
  • It encourages proper posture and spinal alignment by strengthening the lateral muscles of the torso.

How to perform the Side Plank – Instructions:

Step 1: Starting Position

  • Lie on your side with your legs straight, feet stacked on top of each
  • Place your elbow directly beneath your shoulder.
  • Keep your body in a straight line from head to heels.

How to do the side plank: starting position

Step 2: Engage Your Core

  • Tighten your core muscles and focus on maintaining a straight, stable body position.

Step 3: Perform the Exercise

  • Lift your hips off the ground, keeping your body in a straight line.
  • Hold this position with your weight supported by your elbow and the side of your bottom foot.
  • Focus on balance and stability.

How to do the side plank

Side Plank Sets & Reps

  • For beginners, start with 2 sets of 15-20 seconds on each side.
  • Gradually increase the duration of your holds as your strength improves.

Tips & Form

  • Maintain a straight line from your head to your heels. Avoid letting your hips sag or pushing them too high.
  • Keep your core engaged throughout the exercise.
  • Breathe steadily and focus on balance and control.


This series does not serve as specific medical advice, and should be viewed as educational ONLY. Chronic pain is an individual and complex experience, and as such, any treatment needs to be tailored to the individual. Always seek advice from a relevant medical professional before undertaking any treatment or exercise program.


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