You can combine many movements that take place in the plank position. Find out how to do pushup to side planks and what they do.
Pushup to side planks are both a pushup and a side plank variation where you do a pushup, move into a side plank position, do another pushup, and move into a side plank position on the other side.
This movement works the muscles involved in both exercises which means your chest, triceps, front deltoids (shoulders), obliques, outer thigh muscles, and abs.
Which of these muscles pushup to side planks work the hardest will depend on how long you do your side planks.
That being said, you want to know that you will typically get more results from challenging your muscles in one extended pushup set or side plank.
In simpler words, pushup to side planks can offer benefits but they are just not that good. Even compared to keeping your pushups and side planks separate.
How to do a pushup to side plank
Take the following steps to do a pushup to side plank:
- Sit on your hands and knees with your shoulders above your wrists.
- Move your feet back until your body is in a straight line from your head to your heels.
- Lower your body as far as comfortable by folding your arms in a controlled motion. Keep your upper arms at angles of 45 degrees or less to your sides.
- Slowly raise your body again by pushing yourself up until your arms are slightly less than stretched.
- Slowly rotate your upper body to one side until your upper body is completely sideways and in a high side plank position. Keep your body in more or less a straight line.
- Return to the high plank position of step 2.
- Repeat the same movement starting at step 3 but do your side plank on the other side.
You can do your first few pushup to side planks very controlled to get used to the movement. Even after that, keeping your movements slow tends to be good for working your muscles.
How long you want to stay in the side plank position depends on your training goals and preferences.
Pushup to side planks muscles worked
The main muscles worked in the pushup to side plank exercise are your chest, triceps, front deltoids (shoulders), obliques, hip abductors (outer thigh muscles), and abs.
If you hold your side planks for a relatively short amount of time, this exercise will mainly focus on your chest, triceps, and front deltoids.
You can also really hold your side planks for a long amount of time to work your obliques and hip abductors more.
That being said, to work your muscles optimally you typically want to implement sets of one exercise at a time.
In simpler words, doing your pushups and side planks separately will generally be better for growing and strengthening all the muscles above.
And even then, more dynamic side plank alternatives tend to be more effective for growing and strengthening your obliques and outer thighs.
It is worth mentioning that pushup to side planks still offer nice benefits too. More advanced individuals could potentially use a weighted vest to see more results faster.
Pushup to side planks benefits
Many people will prefer a more effective approach but you can still say pushup to side planks offer benefits. Some of the most important ones include:
- Stronger muscles: If you use enough resistance and do them enough times, pushup to side planks can still grow and strengthen the muscles mentioned.
- No equipment or location required: Many people will find pushup to side planks challenging enough. This can be a benefit in the sense that you don’t need to invest in exercise equipment or go to your local gym to work out.
- Balance & coordination: The extra turns in plank position make pushup to side planks somewhat harder in terms of balance and coordination. This could be enough to improve your skills in these areas.
- May reduce or prevent back pain: Pushup to side planks can improve endurance in a variety of core muscles. This can help you reduce or prevent back pain (1, 2).
If you like these benefits and the pushup to side plank exercise itself, you can still consider this movement for your workout plan.
Pushup to side plank alternatives
By now, you likely also want to know what some of the more effective pushup to side plank alternatives are. Some of these include:
- Regular pushups
- Side bends
- Bench presses
- Hanging sideways knee raises
- Side planks
- Ab wheel V-rolls
- Russian twists
To choose between these pushup to side plank alternatives you want to think about what muscles you want to work in what ways.
Are pushup to side planks a good exercise?
Pushup to side planks do offer benefits but you can not really say this is a good exercise.
Mainly because simply keeping your side planks and pushups separate is generally more effective than giving your muscles a break in between each repetition.
Even then, the main benefit of side planks is that some people find the static aspect more comfortable. If you don’t mind more dynamic alternatives, these tend to be more effective for training your obliques and outer thighs.
It is worth mentioning that pushup to side planks can still improve muscle endurance and potentially size and strength in a few areas.
If you really like this exercise you could still accept the suboptimal workout aspect and implement the pushup to side planks anyway.