We are half way done with the Ultimate Plank Challenge! If you’re just catching up, I’m hosting a 31 day plank challenge in celebration of my new book, Ultimate Plank Fitness. It’s a compilation of 101 different plank exercises for the ultimate in core training…and a total body workout! It’s available for sale at many national retailers. The retail price is only about $15 and it’s a high quality, beautiful book with full color photography. There are photos and written explanations for every single plank variation.
The way this challenge works is that every day I post a short (less than 5 minute) plank workout assignment on Instagram. The challenge moves through a variety of different planks and related exercises from full plank to side plank to reverse plank and more. The idea is at the end of 31 days of consistently planking you will see a big improvement in your core strength and overall strength.
Check out week one in this post.
And here is the week two recap!
DAY 8: FOREARM PLANK
Dropping your plank down to forearms increases the difficulty a bit as your center of gravity gets closer to the ground. Three 45 second holds with 15 seconds rest in between.
– shoulders stacked over elbows
– straight body position from head to heels
– fire through legs to help support the core
– gaze right in front of fingertips to keep neck long
DAY 9: DOLPHIN PUSH UPS
Note, this is one of the hardest variations you will do in the challenge. You can hold in this position for 5 sets of 5 breaths with breaks in between or take the dolphin push ups for more challenge, 5 sets of 5 push ups with rest between sets.
– begin in forearm plank
– walk the feet up towards the elbows…this will lift hips up and over shoulders for one of the only times in the challenge
– for the push ups shift your weight forward like you were coming back into forearm plank and shift forehead past fingertips
DAY 10: FOREARM PLANK HIP DROPS
Forearm plank with side to side hip drops to work the obliques. Your assignment is five sets of 10 (each dip counts as 1 so right 1, left 2, right 3, left 4 etc.).
– straight line from heels while holding plank on forearms
– rotate hips from side to side while keeping shoulders square to the floor
DAY 11: FOREARM PLANK KNEE TAPS
This is the last forearm plank before we move to side planks! In this variation you will feel lots of targeting in the low belly along with a burn in the quads as you bend and straighten the legs. Perform 5 rounds of 30 seconds on, 15-30 seconds rest (as much as you need).
– straight line from head to heels with shoulders stacked over elbows
– feet together to touch
– bend knees and tap to floor and then squeeze quads to straighten legs keep neck long and take gaze to hands in front of you
DAY 12: SIDE PLANK
We are finally done with full and forearm plank variations and it’s time to have some fun! Today you’ll just be holding a static side plank. 3 sets of 20 second holds on each side for a total of 1 minute on each side. I’m showing three levels of modifications in the photo.
Here are your form notes:
– stack the shoulder directly over the wrist and press into the palm firmly
– lift hips up to prevent excess weight in the shoulder and a sag in the side body
– straight line from head to heels with ankles, knees, hips and shoulders stacked
– modification is to split feet for more support or to drop to a knee
– if you have wrist issues, drop to side plank on the forearm
DAY 13: SIDE PLANK WITH LEG LIFT
This variation requires a lot of body awareness and core control. This video shows full and modified variation on the knee. You will feel this everywhere! Try holding this for 10-15 seconds on each leg and do three sets.
– come into side plank first…follow day 12 instructions
– once you feel stable in side plank lift the top leg up
– keep pressing into the palm and lifting your hips as you lift the leg
– if you feel good here maybe try to take your gaze up towards lifted fingertips
– modified variation on the knee and is still hard!
DAY 14: SIDE PLANK CRUNCHES
This one burns! This video shows form and modification.
– start in side plank with leg lift, see day 13 for instructions
– extend the top arm overhead and draw knee into chest and crunch elbow to knee
– note the video is sped up for time but you need to take your time! don’t speed through these…really feel the crunch
– modified variation on the knee
Let me know if you have any questions and happy planking!