Today we are going to cover a Yoga Isometric exercise known as the Side Plank Leg Lift.

The focus of this Yoga exercise is to help develop your strength and Power.

We are going to cover two different variations of this exercise. The first is for people new to fitness and looking for a beginner level core exercise.

The second version is the traditional Side Plank Leg Lift. It is for individuals who find the kneeling version is not challenging enough.

The traditional version has a rating of intermediate. If you find it is too difficult for you to perform, you should spend some time practicing the easier kneeling variation.

Then in a few weeks try the traditional version again.

If you find that both of these versions are too difficult for you, then you should begin with the side plank or kneeling side plank exercise.

The side plank exercise is a lot easier since both of your feet will be on the floor. Having both of your feet on the floor will reduce the amount core strength needed for the exercise.

This article will detail how you are to perform both variations of this exercise. It will include video, image and written examples on how you carry out the movements.

The equipment required for this exercise, the different muscles that you will work when performing it and training tips to help make sure you do the exercise correctly.

Version One Kneeling Side Plank Leg Lift

Video Demonstration

Image Example

woman showing example on how to perform the kneeling side plank leg lift
  • Written Description

  • Step 1: Put your knees onto the floor shoulder width apart. Put one of your hands on your hip. Extend your other arm and place your hand on the floor alongside your knee.
  • Step 2: When you lower your hand move your upper body weight onto your fully extended arm. Fully extend your opposite leg and lift the leg to keep your knee and foot off of the floor. Allow your weight to rest onto the knee still on the floor.
  • You are now in the starting position.
  • Step 3: In a slow and controlled movement lower your extended leg. Allow the toe on your extended leg to touch the floor.
  • Step 4: Raise your extended leg while keeping your torso stable. Make sure not to bend your knee when performing the lift and to squeeze your thigh as you are lifting your leg.

Version Two Traditional Side Plank Leg Lift

Video Demonstration

Image Example

woman showing example on how to perform the side plank leg lift
  • Written Description

  • Step 1: Lay your body on the floor on your side with you legs stacked on top of one another. Place your forearm on the floor and place your elbow directly under your shoulder. Keep your body in a straight line from your feet to your head.
  • Step 2: Engage your core and lift your hips off of the floor. Have your body's weight equally balanced between your elbow and feet.
  • You are now in the starting position for this exercise.
  • Step 3: Lift your top leg up to hip height without bending your knee and hold your leg in this position.
  • Step 4: Lower your leg and switch the side of your body that is on the floor and repeat.


To increase the difficulty of this version place your hand on the ground with your arm extended.

The increased height will increase the necessary core strength and make balancing yourself harder. You also have to raise your leg higher to get it in line with your thigh.

Complete the movement in a slow and controlled motion.

Keep your hips in line with your body do not allow your hips to sag.

Equipment Required

Th Side Plank Leg Lift is a calisthenic exercise.

Calisthenic exercises only require your body to perform them. If you are looking for some equipment to make it harder weighted clothing is a great option.

Muscles Worked

The muscles used when performing this exercise are your Hip Abductors, Obliques, Glutes, Shoulder, and the Abdominals.

The primary muscle focus of this movement is on your Obliques.


Both versions of this side plank will help your to develop greater core strength

The exercises will help you to increase your balance.

Since no equipment is required, you can do this exercise anywhere. This makes the exercises useful to use when you cannot get to the gym or if you workout at home.

Training Tips

Make sure not to lock out your elbow or sink into your shoulder.

You need to engage not only your core muscles but also your legs. Especially your bottom leg that you use to support your body.

Do not let your body move from side to side when you are raising your leg.

You may also like

The Crab Walk Exercise Guide
Isometric Ab Exercises
Side Plank Hip Lifts
The Bench Sprints Exercise

Looking to gain more strength or lose some weight? We offer free fitness tools to help you reach your fitness goals. Register for free while we are in beta and get free lifetime access to our fitness tools that include an easy to use Calorie Counter, High-Intensity Interval Timer, Multiple Fitness Calculators and our Exercise Logger.