Did you know around age 30, your bones stop growing? And for most women during menopause and men between ages 65 and 70, we actually start to lose bone mass. This leads to conditions like osteopenia, which is weak bones, and osteoporosis, where bones are brittle and break easily.
In order to prevent that, Point Performance’s personal trainer Renee Metzger-Butler explains that good nutrition and exercise are necessary. Medications can also play a role.
In this video, Renee explains how the side plank can strengthen your core and help fight bone mass loss as you age. By strengthening your abdominal muscles, you provide more support to your spine. She demonstrates three modification of the side plank, which should be done on each side.
For the easiest modification, begin by lying on your right side with your right elbow under your shoulder. Leave your right knee bent and on the ground, and push into an elevated position using your abdominal muscles and straightened left leg. You should engage your oblique muscles, upper back and trapezius muscles. Hold this position for 5 to 10 seconds, working up to a full minute. Repeat on left side.
For the second modification, you would begin in a similar position, but with the left leg in front of the right with your knee in the air and foot on the ground. Push off the right foot and right elbow to an elevated position. This will be a little more challenging. You will work to hold for 5 to 10 seconds, and work up until you can hold for a full minute. Repeat on left side.
For the last, and most difficult, modification stack both legs and elevate into a plank. Hold for as long as comfortable, working up to 60 seconds. Repeat on other side.