Move of the Week

Strengthen Your Plank

July 13, 2017 • By

You’ve seen it before. Those annoying fitness people who post that they can do 5 minute plank holds. Like really??? Well, let me share a secret with you. It’s not as hard as you think. (Insert roll of your eyes at me, sure). But seriously. I used to do 5 minute plank holds all the time. Then I got lazy with abs, and in January a 2 minute plank hold was tough. No lie. My core was not in the same kind of shape and I was like eek, how do I get it back. Let me teach you a little trick that got me back in plank shape in no time (it’s not rocket science)….

First off for success:

DON’T try to hold a plank for 5 min (or whatever duration) the same way the whole time.

DON’T sink your stomach or lift your booty because you aren’t working your core (you’re only wasting your time and hurting your back).

DON’T sink obliques when in side plank.

DO squeeze an invisible penny between your butt cheeks THE ENTIRE TIME (don’t worry about how it looks and your glutes will thank you later).

DO think about pressing your upper abs into your lower abs like a layer cake the entire time and your lower abs into your toes so that everything is contracted as tightly as possible the whole time (it feels different that when you are in a plank relaxed).

DO switch from center forearm plank to raised plank (straight arms) if necessary while still maintaining form when in center plank.

Okay, now let’s get started!!! WITHOUT ANY REST IN BETWEEN, perform all planks like I’ve shown. Video is on time lapse so you don’t have to watch 5 minutes of video. Pick whichever level fits your fitness level right now. As you grow stronger, move up. The whole point of varying the planks is so that you can get a stronger core. Eventually you will be able to hold a center plank for the entire duration of the mixup plank segment you’ve conquered!!!

Beginner: 

15 second center plank

15 second left side plank

15 second center plank

15 second right side plank

15 second center plank

Total plank hold: 1 minute 15 seconds

Do 1 time or additional 1-2 times if able (with 1 minute break in between)

Intermediate:

30 second center plank

30 second left side plank

30 second center plank

30 second right side plank

30 second center plank

Total plank time: 2 minutes 30 seconds

Do 1 time or additional 1-2 times if able (with 1 minute break in between)

Advanced:

1 minute center plank

1 minute left side plank

1 minute center plank

1 minute right side plank

1 minute center plank

Total plank time: 5 minutes

Do 1 time or additional 1-2 times if able (with 1 minute break in between)

Excited for you to give it a try and let me know what you think! I’m up to doing two sets of the advanced plank every other day (so that it’s a challenge and I can’t an worj back up to holding my center plank for 5 minutes). I know some of you can probably handle 3 sets! Are you reading to get a sore core?

XOXO,

Jess

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