I did planks every day for a month

Me, no the love panels. There I said that. Isometric exercises (or holding one posture) aren’t a thing. I prefer the other types of core exercises (hi dead insectsAnd the bicycle crunchesworms, or V-ups!) on a plank any day.

The thing is, I like to move. And maybe I wasn’t giving a good stationary board enough credit until this point. Planks are generally one of the best core (and total-body) exercises you can do, so I was excited and nervous to start the 30 day plank challenge.

“The plank is one of the best exercises you can do for your core because it activates your entire core, including the pelvic floor muscles, obliques, straight abdomen, transverse abdomen, and spine,” Amanda Edela NASM and ACSM Certified Online Personal Trainer and Holistic Health Coach.

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I accepted the plank challenge – one plank exercise every day for a month – to see how it would make me feel and perform. It was a fun fitness goal to add to my regular run. Here are the exact workouts I did and what happened to my stomach and brain over the course of the 30 days.

Workout Challenge: Complete a plank every day

My goal with this challenge was to start slowly, refine my form, and progress over the course of the month. I looked at these Tips to improve your plank To start my journey and get back to basics to gauge my plank abilities. The optimal shingle installation time is exactly 60 seconds. (Yes really!)

exercise plan

Days 1-5: High plank – run 10sec, rest 10sec, for 6 sets

Days 6-7: High plank – 45 seconds on planks, 45 seconds rest, for 3 sets

8-12 days:
High Plank – 60 seconds on the plank, 60 seconds rest, for 3 sets

13 – 15 days:
Plank variations (mountain climbers, push-ups, and side planks) – 20 seconds to run, 10 seconds to rest, for 2 sets

Day 16-30:
Advanced variations on shingle (sideboards, shoulder taps, and top-down shingles)

You should hold the plank only for as long as you can maintain tension while maintaining alignment. Says Kevin Dennen, CEO of Personal Fitness Structure in New York City. “Ideally, do three sets of more tension and less time.”

The first week: I felt the daily plank in the lower abdominal muscles And the arms.

It started with a simple set of high planks in the evening after a hard day’s work. I focused on really engaging my muscles. As a workout enthusiast, I didn’t find it too challenging, but it definitely felt like it. I like that it was quick and easy and I didn’t have to break a sweat to make it fit.

Plank every day review challenge

Amanda Mactas

The first week of the plank challenge wasn’t easy. I faced some struggles. Suddenly, I felt extra pressure on my shoulder and wrist. With no rest days, it was increasingly challenging on my upper body. (Wood panels are much more than base panels.)

Franchises appeared early on, too. By day five, I really started feeling the burning in my lower abdomen, which I usually find more difficult to target. Also my tolerance improved quickly. By the end of the first week, my workout included three 45-second sets of planks, with an equal amount of rest time in between. (BTW, that’s twice the total plank time you started on day one!)

Week 2: I stayed consistent and saw real progress.

It didn’t take long before I hit the optimal high plank hold time of 60 seconds. My shoulder and wrist were almost in line with my newfound endurance. I focused on maintaining form and fell to the forearm plank to finish some sets.

Plank every day review challenge

Amanda Mactas

By the end of the second week, I started incorporating more Advanced board variations in my routine. I tried mountain climbers (shown below) and plank saws. I was shocked at how quickly two weeks went and wanted to continue improving my core strength and overall strength.

So impressed, I extended what was originally a two-week plank challenge to a full month of planks. Who is this pro-Blanker?

Week Three: Plank workouts become more mentally challenging.

Unfortunately, my enthusiasm did not last long. The panels become dull after two weeks. (I mean truly Boring.) There is a special kind of mental challenge that begins after doing the same static exercise every day for three weeks. The boredom factor was more stressful than the physical challenge.

So, I switched things up as often as I could with more difficult variations with shorter lead times. One round involved two mountaineers followed by a 20-second knee press, with a 10-second rest in between for two sets. Next, I did two sets of side planks for 20 seconds on each side, with a 10-second rest in between.

Week 4: Focusing on the differences in shape and plank helped me complete the challenge.

What a slight optimism I started in the third week was definitely waning. No matter what I did, the planks were completely boring. To push through the end, I added more variations of the plank routine. I did side planks, planks with shoulder clicks, and even some top-down planks. How long you kept them wasn’t as important as just completing the challenge. I was too close to a shingle-free life.

I finished my last day by going back to basics. You do three sets of high planks, holding for 30 seconds, with 30 seconds of rest in between.

Plank every day review challenge

Amanda Mactas

Biggest takeaway

It takes two full weeks to notice the change in core strength.

For the plank challenge, 15 days is the place to be. At this point, I saw and felt progress, but I wasn’t bored. I think like any type of exercise, if you really enjoy it, you’ll stick with it.

I’ll be honest, by the end of the month, I dreaded working out just because I knew I had to do more planks. I need more variety to keep me motivated to sweat, and planks were just the opposite. I could do it physically, but the monotony was boring.

I am very proud of myself for completing the fitness challenge through all the hardships. It’s been a long time since I’ve done any kind of physical challenge and achieving a goal has been more fun.

Plank every day review challenge

Amanda Mactas

It’s okay to have days off.

Without giving my body time to rest and recover, some days were more difficult than others. I’ve learned that this is a good thing and have found ways to adapt instead of throwing in the towel.

With the coach’s advice echoing in my head, I finished my sets on my forearm. I’d rather adjust my looks than sacrifice it and potentially get injured. “Remember that the most important thing is to keep the shape. So, if you feel your form falling apart, cut it short,” Edel reminds us.

Blanks helped me improve on *other* core businesses as well.

I felt noticeably stronger when I went back to my regular abdominal exercises. My new core strength helped me rock advanced moves that I previously found difficult. When I did the Pilates V-Hold a few days later, I wasn’t sweating.

I still don’t like planks but I will keep them in my routine with a full range of other abdominal muscle movements. “Bags, planters, or racked suspenders are a great way to increase weight-bearing exercises and teach tension without excessive complexity or shoulder or wrist anxiety,” says Dineen. I’m excited to incorporate these and other core exercises into my routine.

I realized the importance of proper form and saw a huge boost in my work.

In the middle of the challenge, I really focused on my level. One of the main benefits of doing the same movement on repetitions was getting in touch with the right technique. I had time to think and pay attention to what all my muscles (abs, shoulders, butt, and more) were doing.

I also noticed when my level faltered and needed to step back. I let my body tell me what I needed, like the rest of my shoulders and wrists.

minimum: I learned that I can accomplish anything I set my mind to – and so can you! I also realized that it is important to do exercises that I enjoy. If that doesn’t bring joy, it’s time to switch it up and find something to do.

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