2 important points about Planks… 1) you know you should do them but 2) that can be the longest minute ever!
Agreed on all fronts – so let’s make it a little more manageable. Starting with a 15 second plank and building up to 4:00 minutes takes some time, focus, and some really good distractions.
There are so many ways you can do a plank but this challenge is about simplicity and just doing them – not getting fancy. Here’s a basic plank (photo taken in my home, with socks on – bad idea for planks! – with my little old iPhone SE. Truly a judgement free zone here!)
Ready to go?
When you can hold a plank for 15 seconds then start this challenge. Not quite up to a 15 second plank – scroll down to the Plank Challenge Prep.
Already doing 60-second planks? This challenge is good for you too. It’s ok that the first few days are easy. It will get harder, promise!
Reward yourself along the way!
The colored squares on the chart are your REWARD days! Read my post about rewarding yourself… Positive reinforcement works better for me than a negative consequence. If only it were that easy with my 6-year-old 😂
Need to Prep for the Plank Challenge?
Think you can do that? I know you can! Do it one time and see if you can hold it for 10 seconds. If you can, then you are ready for this challenge. If you can’t hold it for 10 seconds then work up to it like for a week and then start this challenge.
Pre-Challenge Day 1: 5 seconds
Pre-Challenge Day 2: 5 seconds
Pre-Challenge Day 3: 7 seconds
Pre-Challenge Day 4: 7 seconds
Pre-Challenge Day 5: 10 seconds
Pre-Challenge Day 6: 10 seconds
Pre-Challenge Day 7: 15 seconds
Update: When I did this challenge I was great until about the 2:30 mark – then it got really hard. My solutions? I set my timer for 45 seconds and would do 3 sets of 45 seconds with a single down-dog type stretch in the middle. Once I got to 3:00 it was much harder and I will admit – I did have to drop a single knee for about 2-seconds. Do what you have to do – remember, you are doing this for YOU! No one is going to scold you, but then again you aren’t running around bragging about your planking strength. Because seriously, normal people just don’t do that. I am reminded of my favorite phrase “no one cares how much you know, until they know how much you care”.
Coming back for more or just want to make it MORE challenging?
On day 1, do a basic plank for 15 seconds then a high plank for 15 seconds. Every day repeat the time interval on the tracking sheet for both types of planks – low then high (high is harder).
Still need more? Ok – on day 1 do 15s low plank, 15s high plank, 15s low side plank on the left, and 15s low side plank on the right. That’s 1 minute of planking on day 1 and 18 minutes of planks on day 31.
My disclaimer: I am not a coach or personal trainer but I have been doing competitive athletics my entire life and endurance events since 1998. I had some amazing coaches in my life (Coach Knight, Coach Pechersky, Coach Wallace, Coach Duvall – thank you all so much!) and I love to encourage, motivate, and educate. Always recognize the difference between discomfort and pain. Discomfort is your body pushing, growing, and changing. Pain is your body telling you to stop. Listen to your body when you feel true pain. Learn the difference and listen.