Plank Challenge Round One

How Long and Can you Hold Plank?

One of my boot campers asked me this question last week during class so I decided to find out.  Over the Halloween weekend I went to Zion National Park and did some amazing hikes.  On the first day I hiked up Angels Landing with a friend and at the top I held plank for as long as I could.

As the video shows I made it to 3:19 for my first round.  I'm looking forward to beating my time in the second and third round this month and I hope you will all join me to beat your personal best with each round.

Need Inspiration?  71 year old Betty Lou Sweeney broke the Guinness World Record for holding the abdominal plank with a time of 36 minutes and 58 seconds.  The previous world record was held by Paul Drinan for 33 minutes and 40 seconds at age 68 when he accomplished this task on May 11, 2011.

 How to Hold Abdominal Plank

1. Start on your forearms and knees.  Draw your belly button in and align your shoulders, hips, and head.  Be sure to keep your shoulders away from your ears and keep your shoulder blades broad through the back.

2. Next lift off the knees.  Lifting up from the hips, straighten your legs and tuck your toes so they are in a flexed position pointing towards your shins.

3. Once you are up keep your body in alignment.  Use a mirror to spot or ask a friend to make sure that your form stays strong.  No valleys (hips dipping low) and no mountains (hips peaking up high).  Stay straight, solid and strong.

4. Hit the timer, breathe, and see how long you can hold it!

Plank is my Favorite Exercise

As most of my clients know I love plank exercises.  Not a training session goes by without me taking my class through some variation of a plank exercise.  Why?  Because it's a functional core exercise that works many different muscle groups all at once.

The abdominal plank is an isometric core strength exercise:

Primary Muscle Groups used: 

Erector Spinae (muscles and tendons along the vertebrae) | Rectus Abdominus (six pack look) | Transverse Abdominus (deepest muscle in your abdominal cavity that keeps the belly flat)

Secondary Muscle Groups used:

Trapezius and Rhomboids (back) | Rotator Cuff and Deltoids (shoulders) | Pectorals andSerratus Anterior (chest and along the rib cage | Gluteus (butt) | Quadriceps (front of the legs) | Gastrocnemius (calf).

All that in one exercise!!! Heck yeah!