Hello and welcome everyone to another edition of Fey Fitness! Today I am teaching you how to do a beginner level total body exercise called the Side Plank Toe Tap. You will need a soft surface to place your elbow on (like carpet or a yoga mat) and something to lightly tap your foot against, but other than those two items this exercise is very simple to perform!
In the following video I will demonstrate several variations you can use to make this exercise easier or harder depending on your fitness level and goals. However, if you have additional questions please feel free to reach out to me and I would be happy to further customize this workout for you!
Also, this exercise is perfect for those of us with Atrial Fibrillation, as it will not spike our heart rate during the movements. Just be careful getting down onto the ground and back up again if you have severe AFib, or problems with your blood pressure. Remember, slow and steady wins the fitness race!
Why Do a Side Plank Toe Tap?
- The toe tap portion of this exercise really works the gluteus medius. This is the abductor muscle that forms the outside edge of your booty and outside of your hip. So by working and strengthening this muscle you are increasing the functionality of your hips and lower body, and also developing a more rounded booty- to me that’s a win-win!
- Your glutes (booty) are responsible for moving your hips and thighs, so these muscles need to be strong and healthy enough to provide functional and sport mobility. For example, climbing up and down stairs, getting in and out of chairs, or playing basketball.
- Also the gluteus maximus, a prime muscle for hip extension, gets a good workout from this movement. The gluteus maximus is the largest muscle in the body, and the one most people are looking to shape and strengthen with the squat and deadlift. So just remember, strong glutes equal a shapely booty!
- And the IT Band, which is composed of elastic connective tissue called fascia, runs along the outside of the thigh from above the hip to below the knee. This tissue is very important because it allows the IT band to act like a giant spring to assist in walking, jumping or climbing.
- Improve your balance. You all know by now that I love exercises that increase balance, because it is so useful in our everyday lives. From simple tasks like getting out of bed in the morning, to walking down stairs, better balance means a better quality of life.
- Side planks are wonderful for the quadratus lumborum, a core muscle that comprises part of the posterior abdominal wall and has an important role in averting back pain.
- In addition, the rest of your core muscles get a great workout from being in a side plank as they have to work harder to keep you stabilized and balanced than when in a traditional face down plank position.
- Lastly, side planks on either your hands or elbows mean that you need to balance on one arm. Which is a fabulous pose for strengthening your shoulders and arms.
How to Perform a Side Plank Toe Tap:
- Begin on the floor laying on your side with your hips, legs and feet stacked on top of one another. Come up onto your left elbow and bring your upper body and hips off the ground. Keep a straight line from the top of your head down your spine to your feet.
- Raise your right leg up and forward to lightly tap it on the ground (for a beginner) or on the top of a medicine ball (for more advanced users).
- Return the right leg to its starting position on top of the left leg.
- That is one repetition.
- Repeat this motion for 15-20 reps, then roll over and perform this movement on the other leg.
- Repeat this motion on the other side for 15-20 reps, and for 3 sets per leg.
My goal is to empower you to feel confident and informed so you can get the most satisfying workout possible. So please let me know how I can better help you achieve that goal. As always, please like and subscribe to this channel to stay up to date on new content, and head on over to Instagram (@fey_fitness) to give me a follow or to YouTube at Fey Fitness.
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