Many of us have a love-hate relationship plank. We know this move effectively strengthens our core and we can see and feel the benefits of planking consistently. But we often hate holding planks for more than a few seconds because, well, they’re hard!
Personally, I exercise a lot—running, indoor cycling, rowing, some strength training—but I’m not particularly disciplined about what I get in. original work with any kind of consistency.
It’s probably surprising that I’ve never been one of those people who can hold a plank for two or three minutes. Maybe I give up prematurely when my abs start shaking. But when I see people sharing social media posts that they’ve achieved a three-plus-minute plank, I’m really amazed (and sometimes even doubt if it’s even possible!) I’m also, admittedly, a little jealous.
So when I heard about 30 Day Plank Challenge That progressed from 10-second basic forearm planks on day one to 5-minute planks (yes, you read that right!) by adding just 10 seconds a day over 30 days, I decided to give it a shot.
Here is the schedule:
|Day 1||Day 2||Day 3||Day 4||Day 5||Day 6||Day 7|
|10 seconds||20 seconds||30 seconds||40 seconds||50 seconds||60 seconds||70 seconds|
|Day 8||Day 9||Day 10||Day 11||Day 12||Day 13||Day 14|
|80 seconds||90 seconds||100 seconds||1 minute, 50 seconds||2 minutes||2 minutes, 10 seconds||2 minutes, 20 seconds|
|Day 15||Day 16||Day 17||Day 18||Day 19||Day 20||Day 21|
|2 minutes, 30 seconds||2 minutes, 40 seconds||2 minutes, 50 seconds||3 minutes||3 minutes, 10 seconds||3 minutes, 20 seconds||3 minutes, 30 seconds|
|Day 22||Day 23||Day 24||Day 25||Day 26||Day 27||Day 28|
|3 minutes, 40 seconds||3 minutes, 50 seconds||4 minutes||4 minutes, 10 seconds||4 minutes, 20 seconds||4 minutes, 30 seconds||4 minutes, 40 seconds|
|Day 29||Day 30|
|4 minutes, 50 seconds||5 minutes!|
So, what was it like?
There was a challenge the way Harder, yet more satisfying than I thought. It started out easy enough. I traveled for the first few days, overwhelmed. Ten, 20, even 30 seconds? Of course, I got it.
But things ramped up quickly. Between days four and five, the challenge began to test my limits. While adding 10 seconds per day may not sound like much of a leap, I’ve definitely started to notice how difficult even a few more seconds can feel.
And they weren’t just physically tough. Once I was trying to hold the plank for more than 60 seconds, I started to get kind of bored and bored. I didn’t want my limited mind to be the reason that prevented me from completing the challenge. So I got a clever new product called PlankPad Pro ($99), which is basically a well-constructed oval board that you rest your arms on while holding a plank.
Yes, it makes the plank more challenging, your core muscles have to work harder to push the plankpad to one side or the other. But where this nifty gadget shines is the app that goes with it that lets you play interactive games. when You plank (think Fruit Ninja)
Playing games passes the time so Much faster. I was much more wobbly, and I was definitely sore at first the next day. But suddenly, I didn’t mind hanging on my arm for three minutes. I actually started looking forward to working on my plank.
Although I know that mental difficulty is also part of the Plank Challenge. So I switched days using PlankPad and planking regularly to try to better replicate the original 30-day challenge.
Believe it or not, I made it to the end: I held the plank for five minutes and three seconds on day 30. Better: I didn’t stop. It’s been three days since the official end of the challenge and I’m still adding more seconds every day. I’ve been chopping virtual fruit like a mad-smart ninja during my PlankPad Pro games—and I’ve even noticed that my posture seems a little better.
Hey, maybe I’ll get 10 minutes at the end of January!
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