Side Bridge Exercise Tutorial

How to do the Side Bridge Exercisehow to do the side bridge exercise

An excellent way to strengthen your core and spine at the same time, the side bridge is a great modifiable exercise that can be adjusted to your preferred difficulty level.

Make it Tougher

To make it even tougher, elevate your feet on an unstable surface, like a Bosu ball. You can also lift your leg and arm at the same time, add a pulse, lift a weight with your free arm, or do a side plank crunch.

Make it Easier

To make it easier as you’re starting out, you can keep your knees and elbow on the ground while focusing on building that core strength. Hold the pose for only as long as you can keep your abdominals rigid and hips lifted. Increase the holding time gradually.

Also Known As

Side Plank


Beginner to Advanced. The difficulty depends on your posture, modifications and how long you can hold position.


Upper and lower back and those tricky-to-target obliques. Builds stability in hips, core, back and pelvis.

Step by Step Instructions

  1. Start on your side, feet together and forearm below your shoulder
  2. Squeeze your core, raise your hips and raise up onto the elbow (easier) or hand (tougher) to form a side plank
  3. Hold the position for as long as you can without letting your hips sag
  4. Switch sides and repeat

Tips / Common Mistakes

  • Balance on the side of your foot rather than the sole of your foot. This provides proper balance
  • Keep your core engaged the whole time
  • Keep your eyes on a spot on the wall to keep your head and neck straight
  • Keep your arm or elbow directly under your shoulder


[Transcript] Oftentimes we forget when we work out our abdominal or our core muscles that our abdominal is like a cylinder. We don’t just want to focus on the front of our abs. We want to focus on the sides as well, and not to mention our back. But this video we’ll be working on something called our obliques. So to do this exercise, it’s called a side bridge, you’re going to want to get onto your side. Prop onto your elbow, leg straight out in front of you. In this case, if I’m lying on my right side, I want my right foot in front of my left foot, and then I’m going to raise up and try to keep a nice neutral spine so that I’m not tipping my head forward. I’m just looking straight ahead. You can put your hands on your hips or rested on your opposite shoulder, and you’re going to hold here. Start with a few seconds, but hold as long as you possibly can while maintaining really good form. If your form starts to break, if you start dipping down at all, that means that you need to stop doing side bridge immediately and work on your other side. That’s the side bridge exercise.