#PlankADay challenge is still on

3 minutes and 4 seconds! #plankaday

A few weeks ago I told you all I’d be taking on the challenge of doing a plank every day. So far, I’ve maintained the challenge and done up to five variations of planks EVERY DAY! I’ve definitely noticed results and I have some clear definition on my abs now which is pretty exciting.

Planks are such an easy and beneficial exercise. They really get at your inner abs as opposed to crunches which really just work your surface muscles. Also, having a stronger core helps with running in terms of alignment and balance.

I have a few variations of planks that I do regularly.

  • Standard planks- this is a typical plank where you get on your elbows and hold. I usually hold for at least one minute but lately I’ve been trying to see how long I can last. The longest one so far was just over three minutes!
  • Side planks- for a side plank you want to lay on your side, stack your legs and lift up using your obliques and elbow for support. Which ever arm is free you can either put your hand on your hip and hold it behind your head. I usually hold these for 30 secs on each side.
  • Alternating leg planks- for this variation, get into a standard plank pose, hold for 10 secs then lift your right foot about a foot off the ground, hold here for 10 secs, place your foot back down and lift your left foot off the ground and hold for 10 secs. Then, place your left foot back on the ground and hold the plank for 30 more second. Feel the burn!
  • Knee to elbow- for this plank, you want to get in standard plank position and bring your right knee to your right elbow and then place your foot back on the ground. Then bring your left knee to your left elbow and put your foot back on the ground. It feels silly but can really work your obliques. Naturally your butt is going to pop up a bit while doing this but do your best to keep it down.
  • Elbow to floor side planks- this is a toughy but SO great! First get into standard side plank position and place your free hand behind your head, like you would for a crunch. Make sure you are stabilized and then try to reach the elbow of your free arm to the floor. You don’t have to touch the floor with your elbow but if you can, that’s even better!

After each plank I like to stretch out my core by doing a simple yoga child’s pose stretch. As always, with planks you want to stay stiff as a board and don’t let your bum pop up! Are you doing the #plankaday challenge or do you have any other plank variations? If so, let me know in the comment section or tweet to me @FitHappyGirl.