I have been doing planks as part of my ab workouts for some time now, but it wasn’t until the past few months that I started to take it more seriously. Planks are a great way to strengthen your core and build up your ab muscles. I had been sticking to doing planks for 90 seconds or less, but some girls at the gym decided to do one of the plank challenges that can be frequently found on Pinterest. We built up from 30 seconds all the way to 4 minutes. I never thought a 4-minute plank would be possible, but I will share my experience so you can get there, too!
How to do a Plank
Planks are truly a full body workout. This one exercise will engage your core, back, arms, glutes, and legs. There are many varieties of planks, but the traditional plank is when you get down on your stomach and push yourself up with your forearms and on to your toes. It is important to keep your body as straight as possible (your butt should be down), parallel to the ground. Keep your elbows under your shoulders and tighten your core. If you need to, you can push up and plank on your hands, but don’t lock your elbows. You can keep your legs closed together or spread apart, whichever is easiest. Hold steady as long as you can and don’t forget to breathe.
Building up to a 4-Minute Plank
I’m not going to lie, it takes time to build up to a 4-minute plank. From my personal experience, I have built out a plan to help guide you to reach your goal. Plan on building up to a 4-minute plank over the course of 8 weeks. Week 1 starts with planking for 15 and 30 seconds. Each week you will add 30 seconds. If you can get a partner to take on the challenge with you the time will pass quicker and help to hold you accountable.
Good luck planking! I would love to hear about your planking progress.
Bonus: If you have mastered planking, how about trying pull-ups.