Pilates Move Of The Week: Muffin Tops Be Gone With The Side Plank

Pilates Move Of The Week: Muffin Tops Be Gone With The Side Plank
Aaron Smith

Pilates Expert

Nov 04, 2021

You know exactly what we’re talking about, that little bit extra that makes it’s way over the top of your gym tights. By advancing our everyday plank into a side plank, this aids in targeting this notoriously hard to reach hot spot, seriously toning your midsection and challenging the stability and control over your entire body.

Starting position:

Lay on your side facing forward with your supporting arm flat (elbow under shoulder) and free arm resting on your hips. Legs either stacked on top of each other, or one leg in front of the other whilst engaging neutral spine. Focus on the positioning of your body and prepare to lift yourself off the ground leading from your hips.

Exercise Execution:

  1. Engage your supporting arm and obliques as you position your neutral spine, stabilising your upper and lower body.
  2. Without rotating your ribcage, lift yourself off the ground leading from your hips, and elevate your top arm and leg (optional) towards the ceiling.
  3. Keeping your ribcage and shoulders stacked and vertical, add a twist at your hips slightly towards the ground until the muscles around your hips start to contract.
  4. Maintain this position to failure, and repeat this movement on your opposite side.


  1. Inhale to prepare. As you engage your stabilising arm and obliques, force an exhalation through pursed lips to contract and control your upper body and abdominal muscles to elevate your hips off the ground.
  2. Holding in this position, lift your top arm and leg into the air, continuing a long steady series of inhales and exhales.
  3. Maintain this position to failure, and repeat on the other side to balance out the sequence.


Start out with 2-3 sets of 12-15 repetitions to failure and increase if desired.


Whilst your top leg is elevated into the air, wave your leg up and down, backward and forwards in a slow controlled movement to deepen the activation in your glutes, whilst further challenging your shoulder and obliques in a less stable position.

KX Tip: 

To add KX intensity to the exercise, twist your torso and further rotate through your hips to squeeze and strengthen your entire midsection. Rotating your top shoulder towards the floor, thread your top arm underneath and under your chest until your entire ribcage faces the ground, lifting your hips slightly for a deeper effect. We call this “threading the needle”. Add 12-15 rotation on each side for that real burn in your belly!

Aaron Smith is the CEO & Founder – KX Group. KX is a boutique fitness company with 17 studios across Melbourne and Sydney, offering dynamic pilates, barre and yoga. KX also run international retreats to Vanuatu and Bali.

Model: Pia Muehlenbeck




By Aaron Smith

Pilates Expert

Aaron Smith is The Carousel’s resident pilates expert and Founder/Owner of Australia’s first high performance pilates group, KX Pilates. In 2009 he returned from living abroad with a vision to bring a new way of fitness training to Australia. “I loved the style and concept behind dynamic pilates, but I could see some areas for improvement, where I could add my own touch. I returned to Australia in 2009 and opened my first studio, in Melbourne, in 2010″, Smith said. Smith is now an award winning entrepreneur and franchisor, with 17 KX studios across Melbourne and Sydney, re-branding as the ‘KX Group’ and expanding the service offer to include; high performance pilates, assisted yoga, barre and international fitness retreats. Smith holds a Bachelor of Science (double major in exercise physiology/pharmacology), trained in advanced STOTT reformer pilates and is a KX Pilates Master Trainer.



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