Many of us have a love-hate relationship with plank. We know this move strengthens our core effectively and we can see and feel the benefits of plank training consistently. But we often hate actually holding the boards for longer than a few seconds because they are so hard!
Personally, I exercise a lot—running, indoor cycling, rowing, strength training—but I’m not particularly disciplined in my workouts. Core work with any kind of consistency.
It’s perhaps no surprise that I’ve never been one of those people who could hold a plank for two or three minutes. Maybe I gave up early when my abs started to shake. But when I see people sharing social media posts that they’ve conquered a plank that lasts more than three minutes, I’m in awe (and sometimes in doubt as to whether it’s even possible). !). I’m also, admittedly, a little jealous.
So when I heard about 30 day plank challenge progressing from a basic 10-second forearm plank on day one to a 5-minute plank (yes, you read that right!) on day 30 by just adding 10 seconds a day, I decided to give it a try.
Here is the schedule:
|1 day||Day 2||Day 3||4th||day 5||6th||7th|
|10 seconds||20 seconds||30 seconds||40 seconds||50 seconds||60 seconds||70 seconds|
|8th day||9th||10th||Day 11||12nd||13th||Day 14|
|80 seconds||90 seconds||100 seconds||1 minute 50 seconds||2 Minutes||2 minutes, 10 seconds||2 minutes, 20 seconds|
|15th||The 16th||Day 17||18th||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|
|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|
|4 minutes, 50 seconds||5 minutes!|
So how is it?
the challenge is Street harder, but more satisfying than I thought. It starts easy enough. I skimmed through the first few days, overwhelmed. Ten, 20, even 30 seconds? Sure, I got this.
But things quickly sped up. By day four and five, the challenge began to test my limits. While adding 10 seconds a day doesn’t sound like a huge leap, I’ve definitely started to notice how hard it feels to even add a few more seconds.
And they’re not just physically tough. When I was trying to hold the plank for longer than 60 seconds, I started to get bored and jittery. I don’t want my mind to be the limiting factor that keeps me from completing the challenge. So I’ve got an ingenious new product called skateboard PRO ($99), is basically a well-made wobbling board that you rest your forearms on while holding the board.
Yes, it makes the plank more difficult, requiring your core muscles to work even harder to keep the Plankpad from tipping to one side or the other. But what this nifty gadget shines through is the app that comes with it that lets you play interactive games when you do the plank (think fruit ninja).
Play the game that makes time pass So much faster. I was shaking a lot more, and I was definitely in a lot of pain the next day. But suddenly, I don’t mind hovering on my forearm for three minutes. I’m starting to really look forward to doing my plank.
Although I know that mental hardship is also part of the plank challenge. So I alternated my Plankpad days and just did my regular plank 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. Even better: I haven’t stopped. It’s been three days since the challenge officially ended and I’m still adding seconds every day. I’m slicing virtual fruit like a madly expert ninja in my Plankpad PRO games—and I’ve even noticed that my posture looks a little better.
Hey, maybe I’ll get 10 minutes by the end of January!
Our editors independently select these products. Purchases through our links can earn Good+Good commissions.