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Ultimate Plank Challenge: Week Four Recap + Finale

The Ultimate Plank Challenge is over! I hosted a 31 day plank challenge in May in celebration of my new book, Ultimate Plank Fitness.

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My book features 101 plank exercises that strengthen the core and the entire body. The plank exercises in the book use everything from bodyweight to external props such as BOSU trainers, gliders, stability balls, weights and more. There are side planks, forearm planks, reverse planks, ploymetric planks, stretching planks…ALL THE PLANKS!

You can buy a copy online from a variety of national retailers such as Amazon, Target, Barnes & Noble and more. And if you’ve bought the book, please leave a review of Ultimate Plank Fitness on Amazon!

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For the challenge I featured 31 bodyweight planks from my book along with daily instructions on how long to hold them or how many reps and sets of each exercise to perform. You can catch up with the weekly breakdowns:

Challenge Intro
Week One Recap
Week Two Recap
Week Three Recap

The challenge was a HUGE success! There were well over 1,000 challenge posts using the hashtag #UltimatePlankChallenge on Facebook and Instagram! It was so much fun to see them all come in every day and to get everyone’s feedback on the various exercises. I’ve had several people start the challenge this month who missed it last month. Feel free to take it on at anytime and do it on your own! One friend is even repeating it again this month because she saw such great results from it.

The success of the challenge was measured by testing max hold time in a full plank on day 1 and 31. All of the participants who completed all 31 days saw an improvement with some being a minute plus additional time held.

plankchallengewinnersI picked a group of winners to receive signed copies of the book and one grand prize winner won a prize pack from the challenge sponsor, Premier Protein.

Here’s the day-by-day recap of week four!

DAY 22: FOREARM REVERSE PLANK

This variation is pretty challenging so don’t give up on me! Same instructions and form notes as day 21 but drop down to the forearms. Three sets of as long as you can hold with good form…10-20 seconds.

DAY 23: TABLE PLANK KICKS

 

3 sets of 10 on each leg, alternating. Press into the palms and keep your hips lifted while you kick up.

DAY 24: TABLE PLANK WITH OBLIQUE CRUNCH

Perform 3 sets of 10 on each leg. Try to keep the hips lifted as you do the crunches. Look forward towards the knees. It’s tricky to find the balance point so take it slow at first.

DAY 25: BRIDGE

 

Today’s assignment is four sets of 30 second holds in bridge. Bridge is such a wonderful exercise with so many therapeutic benefits. I use it in every yoga class I teach and with my PT clients.

DAY 26: PLOYMETRIC FROG HOPS

These frog jumps will help you develop explosive strength while also driving your heart rate up! You’ll also get some hip flexor strengthening and hip stretching. Three sets of 10. Form notes: – begin in full plank – look between the hands and jump the feet to the outside of the hands – jump both feet back to high plank – modification is to step up and back

DAY 27: PLYOMETRIC SKIER JUMP

 

Start in high plank and step or jump your feet to the outside of the hands, alternating sides. Three sets of 10 skiers.

DAY 28: MODIFIED SIDE PLANK

We are winding up the #UltimatePlankChallenge with stretching planks. You’ve done 27 days of hard work so it’s time to relax and unwind. Today is modified side plank with a side body stretch. This is one of my favorites and I love to use it during the warm up of my yoga classes. To find this plank variation, start in high plank and drop your right knee down to the floor. Roll over to the right side with right palm aligned with right shoulder and extend your left leg back behind you. Reach your left hand overhead with bicep over ear. Stretch as long as you can from blade of the left foot through the fingertips. Hold for 20-30 seconds on each side.

DAY 29: MODIFIED SIDE PLANK WITH A BIND

 

This is modified side plank with a bind. It can be a heart opening backbend if you kick the foot away from you or a quad stretch if you pull the heel close to your butt. Have fun and make it pretty!

DAY 30: REVOLVED SIDE PLANK

Day 30 of the #UltimatePlankChallenge is our last stretching plank before we retest our full plank hold for the challenge finale! This stretch feels so amazing and it’s really beautiful! Start in high plank and thread your right foot under your left arm. Shift weight to the right hand and reach the left hand overhead. I’m showing two options here of how big you can take this variation. Do what you can and trust yourself to open and expand!

DAY 31: RE-TEST MAX FULL PLANK HOLD

 

Today is a retest of your max hold in full plank that we did on day 1!

And that wraps it up! Thank you so much to everyone who supported the challenge…whether you planked one day or all 31! Let me know if you have any questions or feedback.

Happy Planking!

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