I was recently asked about ways to navigate shoulder discomfort in side plank, and I think this is a pretty common problem so I wanted to send an email to you in case you also have this question.
So, assuming you have non-injured shoulders (that’s a different conversation and one that needs to be tailored to you), there could be a few reasons your shoulders bug you during a side plank.
#1: You’re Not Using Your Legs Enough
One reason is that you’re relying entirely too much on your upper body to hold your entire body up. Side planks are actually just as much about your lower body. What I mean by this is that you need to be driving your feet into the floor soooo much that your hips just pop right up. If you’re not doing this, your hips will lower towards the ground, which will make the entire pose feel SUPER heavy. So that’s step #1: make sure you’re driving your feet into the floor and keep your hips bumping up towards the ceiling.
#2: You’re Internally Rotating Your Shoulder
Another common mistake I see in side planks is internally rotating the shoulder of that’s supporting you in the pose. Internal rotation is a harder place to stabilize your shoulder than external rotation. You want to be externally rotating your shoulder, which will give your shoulder more strength and stability to help hold you up in the pose.
If you’re not sure of the difference between internal and external rotation, don’t worry – I got you! Check out this video below and it will show you the difference between an internally rotated shoulder side plank and an externally rotated shoulder side plank. There are subtitles if you need to turn the sound off 🙂
Give those tips a try and then let me know how your shoulders feel! And if you have any questions, chances are you’re not alone, drop me a comment and ask away!
P.S. If you want even more tips on how to perfect your side plank, click here to check out my other blog post here for even more!