In this article, we are going to cover the Side Plank Hip Lift. We will detail three different variations that you can use to continue to progression with this exercise.

The exercise is commonly also referred to as the Hip Dipper or the Side Plank Lift. It is a Calisthenics and Pilates Strength Training exercise that will help you to develop strength in your core.

The Side Plank Hip Lift is a variation on the traditional Side Plank. If you have never performed side planks, you should spend a couple of weeks working on them to get your technique down.

You should be able to do a side plank for at least 30 seconds before moving to this variation.

After a couple of weeks of side planks, you will be ready to progress to the hip lift variation.

The exercise only requires your body. This allows you to perform the exercise anywhere that you have enough room to lay down.

Side Plank Hip Lift How to Guide


To make the exercise even more challenging, instead of placing your forearm onto the ground keep your arm straight with your hand on the ground. Make sure that your hand is in line with your shoulders for the variation.

Being at a higher elevation will increase the available range of motion for performing this exercise.

You can make it more difficult by balancing your forearm on a Bosu ball.

Video Demonstration

  • Level 1 Written Description Knees Variation:

  • Step 1: Lay on your side, so that your forearm and the side of your knee are touching the floor. Your elbow should be in line with your shoulder.
  • Step 2: Keep your body in a straight line from your knee to your head.
  • Step 3: Lower your hips towards the ground by bending at the hips.
  • Step 4: Repeat this movement for the desired number of repetitions and then switch sides and repeat.
  • Level 2 Written Description Regular Variation:

  • Step 1: Lay on your side with your legs on top of one another. The side of your bottom foot and your forearm should be the only parts of your body touching the ground. Again make sure that your elbow placed on the floor is in line with your shoulder.
  • Step 2: Move into the side plank position by keeping your body in a straight line from your feet to your head.
  • Step 3: Lower your hips towards the ground by bending at the hips. Pause and lift your hips, so they return to forming a straight line with your body.
  • Step 4: Repeat this movement for the desired number of repetitions and then switch sides and repeat.

Image Example

Side Plank Hip Lift how to example

Level 3 Written Description Leg Raised Variation:

You will perform the same action as outlined above. Except for this version you will have your top leg lifted so that it is not resting on the other leg. Your legs should be in the shape of a sideways V.

This variation is significantly harder especially for balancing yourself. So take your time and keep practicing until you get it.

Leg Raised Image Example

Side Plank Hip and Leg Lift how to example
  • Training Tips

  • Your hips are to move in the up and down direction not back and forth.
  • Make sure to keep a straight line from your shoulders, hips, and ankles.
  • Keep your neck in line with your spine. Do not raise or drop your head.
  • Keep your elbow on the ground in line with your shoulder. Make sure you do not place your elbow higher than your shoulder to lower the chance of a shoulder injury.
  • Tighten your core and glutes to help keep your body stay stabilized throughout the movement.

Difficulty Level

This exercise is for people at the beginner level or higher.

If you are new to working your core muscles, this is a good starting exercise for you. Especially if you use the variation where your knees are touching the ground.

Muscles Worked:

The primary muscle group this exercise works are your Obliques. The Obliques run along each side of your abdomen.

The secondary muscles worked by this exercise are the Shoulders, Triceps, Hips, Glutes, Delts, and your Core muscles.

Side Plank Hip Lift Benefits

This exercise will help you to strengthen your core and build its endurance. Core stabilization is important for good posture, it aids in protecting your spine, and reduces your chances of receiving a back injury.

Your chances of back injury get reduced because by strengthening your core there will be less pressure on the lower back. Your body will distribute the force exerted from movement more evenly through your core.

This Side Plank Hip Lift will improve your waistline by toning and framing your abdominals.

Training your obliques can contribute to improving your sports performance in tennis, racquetball, golf and any other sport that requires swinging at the torso.

It can also help in your daily activities that require rotation at your torso. These include any activities that have you bending, twisting, or carrying.

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