We all have at some point in our lives heard of the plank and how easy it may seem but be difficult to the “core”.
Plank is the ultimate full-body workout which not only helps in strengthening of your abs but helps tone your butt, legs, back, and arms as well. All you need to work on those muscles is 1 min of your consistent time every day. Easy right? It is with the 21-day plank challenge, so let’s break it down per week and get started!
Week 1: All about the form
Week 1 of the amazing plank challenge is going to be getting the form right. The most important aspect of doing a proper plank and achieving the desired results is to make sure that your body forms a straight line; head to heels.
First, perfect your form by lying on your stomach and putting your forearms directly under the shoulders. Then, come up onto your toes and squeeze your glutes and core tight and hold that position for 5-10 seconds. Take 10-15 seconds rest between sets. The aim should be to do 3-4 sets every day with gradually increasing the duration of each set.
For the first 7 days, you should concentrate on getting the form right and being able to hold it for 20-30 seconds at a time by the end of the week.
- If it isn’t challenging enough, aim to extend the duration of each plank by 5 additional seconds.
- Consistency is the key
Week 2: All about the timing
Into the second week of your plank challenge, you should be able to maintain a plank for at least 30 seconds. But if you can’t, don’t worry, Rome wasn’t built in a day. Now that you have the form right, week 2 will work on increasing your endurance.
Note: If you feel any kind of pain, in your lower back or shoulders, stop-rest-reset.
To boost your endurance, you will hold the plank for 30 seconds, after the 30 seconds, go into the downward dog position for 5 seconds to relax and then back to the plank.
Your aim for the week will be to hold the plank consistently for 3 sets for 45 seconds each.
Most likely your entire body will hurt after the 2 sets. Take a longer rest of a minute or two. After the rest, repeat the whole process one more time.
Every plank workout this week will work towards building endurance in this manner ultimately giving you a tighter, stronger core. (Oh YEAH!)
Week 3: All about the variety. Let’s get tougher
This is the week where now that you have built endurance we start to add variety to truly start building strength. Listed below are 3 variations for you to master. Try doing them with as less rest in-between as possible eventually aiming to finish all 3 back to back!
Variation 1: The first variation will involve moving the center of your mass. Starting in a forearm plank, drop the right hip so that the right thigh touches the floor. Then, return to the previous position and drop the left hip. Repeat it again. If you are doing it on your hands, the thighs might not reach the floor.
Test your balance by extending the right arm straight in front of you and parallel to the floor while keeping the form correct. Return to an ordinary plank position and then extend the left arm. Repeat with both legs.
Variation 2: Change the levels. Start the plank on your forearms. Get yourself up on your right hand, then the left, so that you position yourself in a high plank position. Return to the right forearm, then the left. Repeat by switching the arms
Variation 3: The final variation is going to change the level in which you hold a plank. Start in a plank on your forearms. Then press up onto your right hand, then your left, making you come into a high plank. Hold this for 30 seconds, return to your forearms, and hold a normal plank for 30 more seconds.
Once you master these simple variations, you can mix it up with timing and beat your own score.
After the completion of the 21- day plank challenge you should be able to notice a change in your core strength and endurance. So, do this one for yourself, see it through and push your limits. Here’s to a new, stronger you!
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