This 30 day abs and arms challenge uses 4 exercises that work abs and arms at the same time. It’s a split challenge, with the 2 plank exercises alternating with push ups and mountain climbers. If you’re a complete beginner, you may find these exercises quite hard, in which case try the push ups challenge for beginners and the elbow plank challenge first.
Notes on this workout
Please read these safety guidelines before you do the workout. Also please note that these exercises involve holding muscles in a static contraction, which can cause an increase in blood pressure. The workout is therefore not advisable for anyone who suffers from high blood pressure.
You’ll be more comfortable with cushioning for your knees when doing the push ups. If you don’t have an exercise mat, use a folded towel or blanket under your knees.
30 day abs and arms challenge – the exercises
# 1 Plank
- Kneel on the floor
- Lean forwards and put your hands on the floor, making sure your shoulders are directly above your elbows
- Straighten one leg out behind you, with the toes on the floor
- Engage your core strongly and extend the other leg behind
- Your body should be making a straight line
- Now hold this position for the given time
- Then lower the knees to the floor and rest
#2 Rotating plank
- From the plank position, lift one arm and reach it up as you rotate your body to the side.
- Stop when your whole body is facing sideways and your arm is vertical. (If you find it more comfortable, put the foot of your top leg in front of the other foot, rather than stacked as in the picture above.)
- Now reverse the movement to come back into the starting position.
- Repeat the movement to the other side.
- Keep swapping sides for the given number of reps.
#3 Mountain climbers
- The starting position is similar to the plank above, but this time instead of straightening your body right out, leave your back slightly curved.
- Now bring one knee at a time in towards your arms and keep going for the given number of reps.
#4 Push ups
- Start by getting into an all 4s position on the floor, with your hands below your shoulders.
- Now walk your hands away from your legs, at the same time as you lift your feet into the air. You are aiming for a position in which your body and upper legs form a straight line and the top part of your knee is in contact with the floor.
- Bend your arms at the elbows so that your head and upper body lower towards the floor. Look down at the floor so that your head stays in line with your body.
- When your chin is an inch from the floor, reverse the movement and come back up to your starting position.
30 day abs and arms challenge reps chart
Get the challenge PDF printable
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Related to 30 day abs and arms challenge
The first day of the challenge should feel like it needs a bit of effort, but not too much. If you really struggle with day 1, then you probably won’t get through the challenge. The idea with the challenges on this site is that the first few days get you used to the exercises and the daily habit. Usually about halfway through the challenge the effort levels start to increase more quickly.
Avoid challenges that increase effort levels very quickly – they’re simply not realistic. It’s unlikely that, for example, you would be able to increase how many squats you are able to do by 10 a day for 30 days, or increase your plank hold time by 10 seconds a day for 30 days.
In general, allowing muscles 48 hours between workouts is good because it gives our bodies time to recover and adapt. Challenges are generally short workouts and for a limited period of time (usually 30 days), so not having many rest days won’t be a problem. With challenges that alternate exercises each day, it’s not an issue, because you’re using different muscles.
Fitness improvements don’t always happen in a predictable way. Sometimes we’re just not as strong or energetic for no apparent reason, or we hit a plateau. If you get to a point where you’re struggling to complete the day’s challenge, you can try one of the following:
- Take a couple of days off and start again where you left off
- Do the challenge on alternate days rather than every day
- Instead of increasing the effort every day, stay at the same level for 2 or 3 days and then go onto the next day of the challenge
Obviously these solutions mean the challenge will last longer, but you’ll still benefit from doing it.