Use the following four poses to safely warm up and engage your core and hips for Side Plank.
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Downward-Facing Dog Pose
Adho Mukha Svanasana
Begin to warm up the body by coming into Downward-Facing Dog. With your feet about hip-distance apart, start warming up your hamstrings by pressing one heel down and shifting the weight to that side, then moving in the same way on the other side. Press into all four corners of both palms while lifting your hips and pressing your heels down toward the ground. Begin to stabilize the pose and elongate the sides of your body by pressing the heart toward the back of the mat. Hold for 8-10 breaths. Downward-Facing Dog is a great home base for hip-focused poses, like Side Plank, or Vasisthasana. And Down Dog can be used as a transition pose between postures in this series.
See also 3 Ways to Make Downward-Facing Dog Feel Better for You.