When it comes to ab exercises, some are most definitely more difficult than others, with the side plank crunch up there with one of the toughest. Want to get to grips with it? Vitality Home Fitness Coach, Jenny Francis, provides this step-by-step masterclass so that you can build up your core to master it for yourself…


What do I need?

All you need is an exercise mat or towel.

How does it work?

Jenny will take you through 6 different plank progression exercises to help you build up your core strength as we work towards a side plank crunch together.

Because each of the moves is progressively more challenging than the previous, the idea with this masterclass is that you only move on to the next exercise in the series once you have mastered the one before it.

You will know when you are ready to move on when you can comfortably hold the exercise you are working on for 40-50 seconds with good form and no shaking or aches.

Please be aware that if you are still developing your abdominal strength and technique, it may be that you have to repeat one move in the progression every day over the course of a few days or even weeks until you fully master it.

What are the different moves?

There are six different exercises that each help you build core strength up to the side plank crunch. These get progressively more challenging and include 7 steps…

1: Kneeling side plank

2: High plank

3: Elbow side plank

4: Side plank pulses

5: Side plank with leg lift

6: Kneeling side plank

7: The master move: Side plank crunch

Things to remember

Whenever you perform any of these exercises, make sure you focus on form rather than speed and if you feel any aches and pains – particularly in your neck – stop doing what you’re doing.

For an even workout, repeat each exercise on your opposite side.

If you liked this, then you’ll love Jenny Francis’ advanced full body chair work out.