Straight as a Board: Variation to the High Plank

I was getting tired of just holding the high front plank, so I thought about challenging my core by simply lifting my leg. I know that sounds easy, but trust me, it isn't as easy as it seems. I got my sister initially to place a water bottle on my back, but I was barely able to keep it from falling off.  I then got her to switch the water bottle with a half foam roller. The half foam roller was a bit easier and it allowed me to see how much sway and hip hike I had while performing the task. 

Why is Stability Important?

I find this exercise a great way to gauge whether or not your back/pelvis/hips are stabilized during a simple leg lift from the ground.  I often find that there is a breakdown in the core or the stabilizing system while we attempt to dissociate arm/leg movement. It is this failure in our core that doesn't allow us to transfer power from one part of our body to another. 

Keys points:

  • There should be very limited movement when transitioning between sides
  • Take your time while completing the exercise
  • Avoid holding your breath. It's easy to gain stability via intra-abdominal pressure but you don't want to pass out from doing this exercise either!


If you can do this exercise with a bottle or jug of water on your back with minimal movement, I want to see! Post your linked video to the comments section.


Jessie Wong, Physiotherapist from the Physio Room


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