What’s the plank challenge?
The Plank Challenge is a 30-day program to strengthen the core and build endurance. Each day of the challenge, you will gradually increase the time you hold a board. By day 12 of the program, the goal is to be able to hold a board for 2 minutes. At the end of the 30 days, the goal is to hold one for up to 5 minutes at a time.
Read on to learn more about the benefits of the plank challenge, as well as safety tips and how to get started.
How to do the plank challenge
To get started, you first need to make sure you can do a plank correctly. You can follow the steps below to try a high or straight board, with the arm:
Get into pushup position. For a high board, the arms should be fully extended. If you are a beginner, you can start by doing a plank on your knees. If you are more advanced, you can try one on the forearms for more of a challenge.Keep your palms and toes planted firmly on the ground, your back straight and your body tight.
Make sure your body is in a straight line while in the plank position. Don’t let your back or head sag.Hold the board for the predetermined amount of time. If the module starts to go at any time, get on your knees or stop until you are ready to return to the plank position.
Board Challenge Calendar
- To do the challenge, hold the board for the time corresponding to the day of the challenge. The time increases by 10 seconds each day, starting with 10 seconds for the first day.
- 1st day: 10 seconds 2nd day: 20 seconds 3rd day: 30 seconds 4th day: 40 seconds 5th day: 50 seconds
- 6th day 1 minute! (60 seconds) 7th day: 70 seconds 8th day: 80 seconds 9th day: 90 seconds 10th day: 100 seconds
- 11th day: 110 seconds 12th day 2 minutes! (120 seconds) Day 13: 130 seconds Day 14: 140 seconds Day 15: 150 seconds
- Day 16: 160 seconds Day 17: 170 seconds Day 18 3 minutes! (180 seconds) Day 19: 190 seconds Day 20: 200 seconds
- 21st day: 210 seconds 22nd day: 220 seconds 23rd day: 230 seconds 24th day 4 minutes! (240 seconds) Day 25: 250 seconds
- Day 26: 260 seconds Day 27: 270 seconds Day 28: 280 seconds Day 29: 290 seconds Day 30 Five minutes! (300 seconds)
Get more from the plank challenge
Performing the same exercise over and over can cause your body to plateau, or not get the same benefits, after a long time.
While you can continue to challenge yourself by increasing the time each day, you may find that high aces are too easy for you. Or you might get bored doing the same move every day.
If so, you can try making different plank variations each day for the time you have set aside for the plank challenge.
What are the advantages of the boards?
Plates are considered to be one of the most effective exercises for strengthening the core. Here’s a look at the benefits of the boards.
Strengthen all your core muscles, plus your back
Unlike crunches, plank and plank variations activate all of the core muscles. This includes the rectus abdominis, the transverse abdomen, and the obliques. These exercises also activate the muscles of the hips, back and shoulders.
A small 2013 study of 20 participants found that core exercises involving the distal trunk muscle, such as axes, were most effective for activating and strengthening the abdominal muscles.
They were also more effective than crunches for improving endurance, balance and maintaining mobility.
A strong and stable core is important for everyday movements such as bending over to pick something up.Athletes rely on a stable core to perform movements such as swinging a baseball bat or hitting a golf ball on the green.Slats can not only help tone the core, but can also improve stability and balance.