What You Need to Do Before Trying the Plank Challenge

The 30-day plank challenge aims to strengthen the core and improve endurance. You’ll progressively increase the time you hold a plank every day.  The great thing about the challenge is you can do this at home, in your office, or even in a gym. In the gym I go to – American Top Team – I see lots of people doing this challenge.

To get started, you must first know how to do a plank correctly. Here’s what you should do:

1. Get into pushup position.

2. Keep your toes and palm planted firmly on the ground.

Your core should be engaged and your back straight.

3. Your body should be in straight line.

4. Hold for 10 seconds.

The “hold time” will increase an additional 10 seconds per day but you will start with 10 seconds.

  • Day 1: 10 seconds      
  • Day 2: 20 seconds      
  • Day 3: 30 seconds      
  • Day 4: 40 seconds      
  • Day 5: 50 seconds
  • Day 6: 60 seconds      
  • Day 7: 70 seconds      
  • Day 8: 80 seconds      
  • Day 9: 90 seconds      
  • Day 10: 100 seconds
  • Day 11: 110 seconds  
  • Day 12: 120 seconds
  • Day 13: 130 seconds  
  • Day 14: 140 seconds  
  • Day 15: 150 seconds
  • Day 16: 160 seconds  
  • Day 17: 170 seconds  
  • Day 18: 180 seconds  
  • Day 19: 190 seconds  
  • Day 20: 200 seconds
  • Day 21: 210 seconds  
  • Day 22: 220 seconds
  • Day 23: 230 seconds  
  • Day 24: 240 seconds
  • Day 25: 250 seconds
  • Day 26: 260 seconds  
  • Day 27: 270 seconds
  • Day 28: 280 seconds
  • Day 29: 290 seconds  
  • Day 30: 300 seconds (5 minutes!)

Benefits of Planking

Planks are among the most effective exercises for making the core stronger. But it does more than that.

1. It strengthens your back.

Unlike crunches, plank activates all the muscles in your core including the rectus abdominis, obliques and transverse abdominis. But in addition to this, plank exercises also activate the back and shoulder muscles as well as hip muscles.

2. It improves stability.

A strong core is vital for everyday movements. Everytime you bend down to pick up something, you’re using your core. When carrying heavy items, you’re using your core.

3. It reduces back pain.

Strengthening your core prevents pain in the lower back. It can also help with proper spinal alignment.

4. It increases endurance.

As you increase the time you’re doing plank, your body also builds up endurance.

How to Do the Plank Challenge Safely

Planks are generally considered a safe workout for anyone. But if you have an injury or are pregnant, you shouldn’t be doing planks. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • When doing planks, you need to keep your core engaged so that it won’t put a lot of pressure on your back.
  • Your body should be in a straight line, with your butt down (not lowered or piking upward) and your back flat.

Is the Plank Challenge Right for You?

This challenge may be a good fit for you if your goal is to have a stronger core. If you’re someone who gets bored easily doing the same exercise, or have difficulty sticking to a routine, this may not be right for you. You likely won’t get rock-hard abs after 30 days of doing the plank challenge so if that’s what you’re hoping to achieve then be sure to add more ab workouts to your routine and eat healthy foods rich in protein, fiber and healthy fats.

Here’s how you correctly do a plank:

Planks for Beginners

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