Side plank is a great strength builder. In addition to working the core it’s functionally a weight bearing exercise, thus, helpful for those concerned about bone density. I incorporate long held side side planks in my Dem Bones workshops. A side plank can be done against a wall, to focus on the bones rather than balance.
My Dem Bones workshops, in part, are based on the findings from Dr. Loren Fishman. Fishman, who spent a year studying with B.K.S. Iyenger, is perhaps the foremost authority on yoga and the spine. Dr. Fishman has extensively researched side plank as an antidote to C-curve scoliosis. When done correctly, and continually, he has found, the curvature will be minimized.
Another proponent of planks is Dr. Mercola. About side plank, he notes, “Side planking is particularly effective for training your obliques, which really helps stabilize your spine.”
There are many variations to side plank, as indicated in my photo gallery. For some, they made need to practice side plank with the back against a wall. Others may choose one knee, or one forearm, on the ground. For those with greater core strength, they can place the sole of the top foot on the calf of the bottom leg. Another variation is to lift the top leg a few inches. If that’s within comfort zone, those with loose hamstrings can raise the top leg toward the sky, trying to connect “peace fingers” to the big toe. That’s the full pose in Ashtanga and Iyengar practices.
Read more about Dr. Fishman’s findings and the Dem Bones workshops. http://thenamastecounsel.com/yoga-and-osteoporosis-dem-bones-3/
Just like with any other new diet or work out plan, consult a yoga therapist to determine what is best suited for your particular physical and emotional wellbeing.