This 30 Day Plank Challenge is going to help you tone and strengthen your core muscles! It can be done virtually anywhere and requires no equipment. All you do is a simple, but effective static hold exercise called the plank. In this 30 Day Plank Challenge, you’ll take small steps to a stronger you by holding a plank a little longer each day. So are you ready? Let’s do this!
30 Day Plank Challenge – Small Steps To A Stronger You
Tips for Success
One of the best ways to ensure you succeed is a really simple one: grab a friend to do the 30 Day Plank Challenge with. Together you can keep each other motivated and accountable.
Another tip is one given to me by a fellow blogger, Ali Richards. “My big tip is to find a song the perfect length and play it loudly while you’re planking. Sing along to distract yourself! In iTunes you can order songs by length so can easily build it up each day.”
Most anything is better with music, so give this tip a try.
What Will The Plank Do For Me?
The plank is a powerhouse isometric exercise that engages the muscles in your shoulders, abdominals, lower back, hips, glutes and arms, in other words, your core muscles. At the end of the 30 Day Plank Challenge you’ll have a stronger core which will help you look and feel better. Better core strength will also help you perform a number of different exercises with more ease. And it will help protect you from injury.
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How to Perform a Standard Plank
To do a standard plank, start on the ground in a push up position with your hands directly underneath your shoulders. Then pretend there’s a long ruler across your back, in line with your body. Your body should form a straight line with the ruler touching you at three points – the back of your head, between your shoulder blades, on your glutes. And your hips should be parallel to the ground.
If the ruler is touching the top of your head, you’re overarching your neck. To fix this, tuck your chin in slightly until the ruler touches only the back of your head. And if the ruler is touching the lower portion of your head, you’re looking down too far. So raise your head slightly until the ruler touches only the back of your head.
If the ruler touches your glutes, but not between your shoulder blades, your hips are too high. Lower your hips slightly until the ruler touches both your glutes and the space between your shoulder blades.
As you fatigue, you may find you dip your hips and let them lower towards the ground. To fix this, make sure to squeeze your glutes to hold your hips steady.
And lastly, don’t forget to breathe. You don’t want to hold your breathe while performing this exercise.
Several plank alternatives are listed below if you’re looking for modifications or variations of the plank.
30 Day Plank Challenge
Here’s how the challenge works. On the first day, start with a 30-second plank hold. Each day thereafter, you add one second to your plank hold. On the last day, you add two seconds. At the end of thirty days, you’ll hold a plank for a full minute. Let’s see if you can do it!
- Day 1 – 30 seconds
- Day 2 – 31 seconds
- Day 3 – 32 seconds
- Day 4 – 33 seconds
- Day 5 – 34 seconds
- Day 6 – 35 seconds
- Day 7 – 36 seconds
- Day 8 – 37 seconds
- Day 9 – 38 seconds
- Day 10 – 39 seconds
- Day 11 – 40 seconds
- Day 12 – 41 seconds
- Day 13 – 42 seconds
- Day 14 – 43 seconds
- Day 15 – 44 seconds
- Day 16 – 45 seconds
- Day 17 – 46 seconds
- Day 18 – 47 seconds
- Day 19 – 48 seconds
- Day 20 – 49 seconds
- Day 21 – 50 seconds
- Day 22 – 51 seconds
- Day 23 – 52 seconds
- Day 24 – 53 seconds
- Day 25 – 54 seconds
- Day 26 – 55 seconds
- Day 27 – 56 seconds
- Day 28 – 57 seconds
- Day 29 – 58 seconds
- Day 30 – 60 seconds
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Now, if you want to challenge yourself further, start off with your current max plank hold. What’s that, you say? It’s what we’re going to call your baseline plank hold time. To find yours, set a timer and see how long you can hold a plank.
That’s your baseline at the beginning of the 30 Day Plank Challenge and that’s the amount of time you’ll hold your plank on Day 1. Each day thereafter, you add one second to your plan hold. On the last day, you add two seconds. At the end of the thirty days, you’ll have extended your baseline plank hold by thirty seconds.
A 30 Day Plank Challenge to help you tone & strengthen your core muscles! It can be done anywhere with no equipment. Take small steps to a stronger you by holding a simple, but effective exercise called the plank a little longer each day.
If you really want to challenge yourself, increase the number of seconds you add each day. Try adding 5 seconds per day and by day thirty your plank hold will be two and a half minutes longer! So if you start off with a two minute plank, at the end of the 30 Day Plank Challenge you’ll have reached a four and a half minute plank.
Variations on the 30 Day Plank Challenge
Whether you’re not yet ready for a full plank on your hands or if you’ve done this challenge before, here are more ideas to change it up a little.
Modification for a Standard Plank
The forearm plank is a great modification for the standard plank and is slightly easier to perform. For the forearm plank, everything is the same except you place the forearms on the ground with the elbows directly beneath the shoulders.
Another modification is the knee plank. With this movement, everything is the same except your knees are on the ground. If knee planks bother your knees, try doing them on a rug or a yoga mat.
Advanced Alternatives for a Standard Plank
Maybe you’ve done this challenge before and want to change it up a little. If so, I’ve got a number of advanced alternatives you can perform for the 30 Day Plank Challenge.
The first one is the side plank which focuses on working your oblique muscles, the core muscles on the sides of your torso. If you do the 30 Day Plank Challenge with a side plank, alternate sides each day. For example, start day one with a left side plank, then day two with a right side plank, and so on.
To perform a side plank, start off by lying on your side with your legs and feet stacked one on top of the other. Your hips should be lined up as if you had a ruler running from the ground through your hips in a straight line. Lift your body off the ground so only your hand or elbow and the bottom foot are touching the ground. Make sure to keep your legs stacked and your hips steady.
To make the side plank a little harder raise your other hand up towards the ceiling. If you want to add more difficulty, raise the top leg up.
Alternatively, you can do the 30 Day Challenge with a single-leg plank. With this exercise, everything is the same as a standard plank, but now you have one foot resting on top of the other so that only one leg is on the ground. Make sure to keep your hips parallel to the ground and squeeze the glutes to hold the hips steady.
If you do the 30 Day Plank Challenge with a single-leg plank, alternate sides each day. For example, start day one with only your left foot on the ground, then on day two switch to only the right foot on the ground, and so on.
Medicine Ball Plank
If you want to crank it up a notch, try the 30 Day Challenge with a medicine ball plank. This adds a balance component to the standard plank, forcing you to work your core muscles harder. To do a medicine ball plank, do everything the same as you would with a standard plank, but instead of resting your hands on the ground, you rest them on a medicine ball. And with this movement, really focus on holding every part of your body steady.
There you have it. A 30 Day Plank Challenge to strengthen and tone the core muscles of your body and several modifications and variations you can try. Stay tuned for more challenges you can do in just thirty days.
What About You?
Are you ready to take the 30 Day Plank Challenge? How long can you hold a plank? After doing this challenge, come back and comment below what you thought. Share how you feel at the end of the challenge.
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