What’s a Plank?
If you don’t know what the plank is, chances are you’ve been living under a rock. The plank is an exercise that has become incredibly popular in the past 4-5 years. Originally gaining popularity as a fad in the early 2010s, the plank was later included in numerous exercise programs due to its efficiency in burning fat and strengthening the core muscles.
The Benefits of Planking
Ask anyone who’s ever tried planking and they’ll tell you the same – it’s a full-body exercise. Contrary to popular belief, the plank isn’t just good for the core and abs. It works on the hips, buttocks, thighs, neck, back, and even the legs and feet. According to experts, when done right the plank burns more calories than crunches as it engages numerous major and minor muscle groups.
Planking for a few minutes every day will improve your posture and strengthen your core. Additionally, it will improve your balance and flexibility and treat your back, shoulder, joint, and neck pain. But, as we already said, you need to learn how to do it right.
How to Do a Plank the Right Way
The most important thing when it comes to the plank is keeping your back parallel to the ground and straight. Your feet should be at hip width apart, while your palms should be near your chest. The whole body weight needs to rest on your forearms and toes, and you need to squeeze your core and abs as well.
Don’t let your shoulders or head drop down. It’s a common mistake beginners mistake as it makes the plank easier. However, it’s just not that effective that way. You also need to avoid keeping your hands close or holding your breath. Just breathe normally during the exercise and you will be fine.
Now that we’ve set up some ground rules, here’s a plank challenge we dare you to try:
Days 1 and 2 – 30 seconds
Days 3 and 4 – half a minute
Day 5 – 40 seconds
Day 6 – rest
Days 7 and 8 – 45 seconds
Days 9, 10, and 11 – 60 seconds
Day 12 – 90 seconds
Day 13 – rest
Days 14 and 15 – 90 seconds
Days 16 and 17 – 2 minutes
Day 18 – 150 seconds
Day 19 – rest
Days 20 and 21 – 150 seconds
Days 22 and 23 – 3 minutes
Day 24 – 210 seconds
Day 25 – rest
Day 26 – 210 seconds
Day 27 – 4 minutes
Final day – as long as you can
The challenge is much harder than you think but will transform your body in less than a month. Of course, only if paired with regular exercise and a healthy diet. Try the plank yourself and you’ll see – it’s more powerful than any other exercise.
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