Wherever I turn these days, I’m bombarded with the latest trends about diet and exercise. It can be overwhelming at times, but I try to remind myself that whatever I do, my body needs nutritious food, regular exercise, and plenty of sleep. Those are the keys to every healthy lifestyle. Some people argue that some ways of getting in shape are better or faster than others. They say that there are magical exercises that can transform your body. And while that’s not 100 percent true, one exercise comes close. In a just few minutes a day, you can build body strength and endurance with a single exercise: the plank.
The exercise is called a plank because you need to be as straight as a board during the entire exercise. For a while now, the plank challenge has circulated in different variations and these sets have already been tested by many people. And I think it’s well worth a try—the plank is a great exercise.
You’d think that the plank is primarily a stomach exercise. And sure, it strengthens the core, but it also improves posture, balance, and flexibility. It only works, however, with the right technique. According to “Women Daily Magazine,” planks burn fat and strengthen the muscles of the back, abdomen, buttocks, arms, and legs.
So what’s the challenge? It starts gently by holding a plank for 20 seconds on the first day, and it becomes increasingly difficult by the day according to the schedule below. The challenge lasts 28 days, which isn’t long, so don’t cheat!
Day 1 and 2: 20 seconds.
Days 3 and 4: 30 seconds.
Day 5: 40 seconds.
Day 6: Rest.
Day 7 and 8: 45 seconds.
Day 9, 10, and 11: 60 seconds.
Day 12: 90 seconds.
Day 13: Rest.
Day 14 and 15: 90 seconds.
Day 16 and 17: 120 seconds.
Day 18: 150 seconds.
Day 19: Rest.
Day 20 and 21: 150 seconds.
Day 22 and 23: 180 seconds.
Day 24: 210 seconds.
Day 25: Rest.
Day 26: 210 seconds.
Day 27: 240 seconds.
Day 28: As long as you can handle.
Congratulations! Now you’re ready for the plank challenge. But you should of course continue training after the initial 28 days, and also include it in balanced workouts that involve the whole body. You can also vary the plank by doing the positions below.
The plank shouldn’t do more harm than good, so it’s important to have proper technique.
- Keep your elbows directly under your shoulders, so that your weight is distributed properly.
- Keep your spine straight. Don’t arch your back.
- Tighten your stomach! Your body should be in a straight line.
- Keep your legs and feet a bit apart. You shouldn’t feel any pressure around your hips during the exercise.
- Breathe in a calm and relaxed manner.
Learn more about the technique here:
Many have written about the benefits of the plank and the plank challenge, including the website Remedy Daily. So yes, the challenge is worth a try!
Please share this on Facebook and challenge your friends. Or do it together, maybe at work. Good luck!
Published by Newsner, please like