Thinking about partaking in one of the internet’s various fitness challenges? The Plank Challenge might be a great place to start!
Though there are a few different variations of the plank challenge, the most popular is a 30-day program designed to build core strength and stability while improving endurance.
Planks are usually thought of as an abdominal-focused exercise, a safer alternative to sit ups or crunches since they place less pressure on the spine and neck- but planks are so much more than that ! Planks also work to strengthen the shoulders and back as well as the glutes and hamstrings!
Do you want to know more about planking? Keep reading!
What is planking?
Performing a variety of core-strengthening exercises, including planks, is essential when it comes to your body’s overall stability, balance, injury prevention, posture, mobility, and more.
These words might sound like just some fitness terms thrown around with no meaning behind them, but core strength and all of the benefits that come with it mean leading a truly healthy and mobile daily existence- not just in the gym but in every activity you perform throughout the day.
If you give the 30 Day Plank Challenge a try, you’ll soon realize just how powerful core conditioning can be when it comes to building strength and endurance that translates beautifully to daily mobility, posture and balance.
How does the 30 days Plank Challenge work?
The plank challenge is an excellent way to challenge yourself, foster endurance and build up core strength, which is nothing short of essential in everyday life. But it is important to keep in mind that the plank challenge alone will not deliver you a flat stomach or six-pack abs.
Combine the plank challenge with cardio activities that you enjoy , like walking, running, swimming or group fitness classes, along with strength training to build muscle and focusing on a healthy diet made up of whole foods and plenty of water.
As mentioned above, there are a few different ways to do a plank challenge, but for most the premise is the same: to hold a plank everyday for a given amount of time. The differing factors include the starting time, the type of plank, etc, and you can even change these up yourself depending upon your personal starting point.
Some of the challenges will increase the amount of time each day, usually by 10 seconds; while others gradually increase the time you hold your plank every few days. The goal at the end of the challenge is to hold the plank from anywhere from 2-5 minutes.
By committing to hold a plank every day for 30 days and increasing the time each day, you will be effectively building up your endurance to this particular task as well as strengthening all of the muscles of your core.
But First, Let’s Start with the Proper Plank Form
To make the most of the plank challenge, you’ll definitely want to make sure you are performing a plank correctly. Poor form not only won’t deliver you the results you’re looking for but it also places you at a higher risk for injury.
How do you know if you’re doing a plank correctly? To get started, get down onto all fours and get yourself into a pushup position by pressing your hands to lift up your hips. For a high plank, arms are fully extended directly under your shoulders, with palms pressing into the ground. Press your toes firmly into the ground as well and focus on keeping your back straight (don’t arch or sag), pelvis in a neutral position and core braced and engaged.
[caption id=“attachment_13548” align=“aligncenter” width=“686”] Designed by yanalya / Freepik[/caption]
Your body should form a straight line. If you are a beginner, you can perform a high plank from the knees until you gain a bit more strength. During the 30-days challenge you will need to progress the move; to do so you can perform a plank on your forearms for an added challenge.
If at any point your form begins to suffer, even if you haven’t reached the predetermined amount of time for that day, come down to your knees or stop the plank until you are ready to begin again. It is better to stop and reset than it is to continue your plank with poor form.