The plank exercise works the deep core muscles – the ones that pull the abdominal area in flat. They have to work hard to stabilise the body and hold it in a straight line when you do the plank. Holding the position correctly is hard work, which is why challenges are popular to gradually build strength. Unfortunately, a lot of the challenges you see have very long holds that are completely unrealistic for anyone who doesn’t already have a strong core. It’s also debatable whether spending several minutes in one static position is the most productive use of anyone’s workout time. The idea of this 7 day plank challenge is to split up 5 minutes of planking into 20 x 15 second planks over the course of one week.
Fit your 15 second planks into your day whenever you have a chance. You need to do an average of 3 a day, but you might want to do more some days than others, or maybe have a rest day. You can spread them out through the day, alternatively, you could do several together with a few seconds rest in between. Use the printable tracker to keep a record of how many you have done.
7 day plank challenge instructions and safety
Please read these general exercise guidelines before you do the challenge
Important note: the plank is a static exercise (that is, one in which muscles are held in contraction). Static holds can cause an increase in blood pressure, so are not suitable for anyone who suffers from high blood pressure.
- Start in an all-4s kneeling position
- 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 – if possible check in a mirror or ask someone else to check
- Now hold this position for 15 seconds
- Then lower your knees to the floor and rest
Get a copy of the 7 day plank challenge tracker
Sign up for My Fitness Planner updates and get the free printable download link e-mailed to you:
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The first will ask you for a one-click confirmation of your subscription
Once you’ve confirmed, you’ll get a second e-mail with a link to your download and a separate welcome e-mail