Last month we did a squat challenge – I know it was super tough! I was right there with you. I had a hard time and even had to take more rest days than it asked for – but that’s okay! You can still be a part of the challenge, even if you need to rest more than the calendar allows. I would not want you to hurt yourself doing our challenge. I want you to succeed!
Now, if this seems tough, don’t worry. You will become stronger and you will be able to do at least a minute plank by the end of the month if you stick with it and push yourself. You will be surprised at how strong you will get and it will amaze you. You can do this!
You could do them anywhere. On the grass or on your carpet. But, personally I find it best to use a good yoga mat. I have gotten actual rug burns on my elbows from doing planks, that’s why I recommend it. A good mat that I recommend is the Gaiam Yoga Mat.
And if you’ve never done a plank you might think this is easy, but let me assure you its pretty hard at first. But I can also assure you that you can and will get better if you practice them regularly.
See the images for guidelines as to how your form should be in the regular plank and the side plank. Just follow the calendar as best as you can. It doesn’t matter if you start at the beginning of the month or not, just start!
Here are some of the benefits of planks:
1. Doing both regular plank and side planks tones all your abs including obliques, your arm muscles, your quads and your back.
2. They can be done anywhere! A yoga mat would be great for this challenge since you are going to be balancing on your elbows for quite some time. I have actually gotten rug burns from doing this on the carpet so much. A good mat that I recommend is the Gaiam Yoga Mat. It’s thick and its free of the toxic phthalates that some mats will have. It’s great for your body and the planet.
3. Helps with balance and stability.
4. Strengthens your core and spine.
How to do a plank:
1. Get on the floor resting face down on your forearms and your knees.
2. Switch your weight onto your toes lifting up off your knees, but still on your forearms.
3. Make sure your toes are shoulder width apart.
4. Straighten your body out as flat as you can – flat as a board. Squeeze your core and hold.
5. You could also do a plan on your hands rather than your forearms for another variation.
Print this out (printer friendly version), download it or bookmark this post for everyday reference! When the month is over feel free to continue with challenging yourself to plank even longer! Some people plank up to 7 or 8 minutes at a time!! Amazing, right? Good luck ladies!