Can You Survive The 28-Day Planking Challenge?

You can do a lot in four minutes. For example, you could listen to the new Justin Timberlake song, make a peanut butter & jelly sandwich, or call a friend and tell them how much you care about them! It might not seem like much time, but four short minutes have the potential to better our lives in all kinds of ways.

When it comes to working out, however, four minutes hardly seem like enough time to accomplish anything meaningful. Most people spend at least an hour at the gym whenever they work out, so how can four minutes at home give you a good workout?

It's called "the Plank Challenge," and it's taking the nation by storm. Planking for exercise is nothing new, but it takes some time to get good at it. How long, exactly? Four minutes. Over the course of 28 days, the Plank Challenge promises to take you from being able to plank for 20 seconds to four whole minutes! So, what do you say? Do you think you're tough enough to conquer the challenge?

According to Woman Daily Magazine, the Plank Challenge is as follows: 

Day 1: 20 seconds
Day 2: 20 seconds
Day 3: 30 seconds
Day 4: 30 seconds
Day 5: 40 seconds
Day 6: Rest
Day 7: 45 seconds
Day 8: 45 seconds
Day 9: 60 seconds
Day 10: 60 seconds
Day 11: 60 seconds
Day 12: 90 seconds
Day 13: Rest
Day 14: 90 seconds
Day 15: 90 seconds
Day 16: 120 seconds
Day 17: 120 seconds
Day 18: 150 seconds
Day 19: Rest
Day 20: 150 seconds
Day 21: 150 seconds
Day 22: 180 seconds
Day 23: 180 seconds
Day 24: 210 seconds
Day 25: Rest
Day 26: 210 seconds
Day 27: 240 seconds
Day 28: Until failure

Of course, an exercise routine like this is useless if you aren't doing it properly. Here are the official instructions for a perfect plank from Physical Living:


Step 1: Get into position as if you were about to do a push-up, then lower yourself down onto your forearms. Your elbows should be lined up underneath your shoulders.

Step 2: Make sure your back stays straight. Any bend in your spine can put unwanted pressure on your back and neck muscles.

Step 3: Keep your core muscles as tight as possible.

Step 4: Spread your legs apart slightly. This will take pressure off your hips.

Step 5: Finally, make sure your breathing is slow and focused.

So, what are the benefits of planking? While it certainly shouldn't be your only workout for the day, the plank is a great way to round out your daily physical activity. Here are the three biggest benefits that can be gained from planking:


1. Tones Stomach

They don't call them your "core" muscles for nothing! Planking is a great way to strengthen your abdomen and make your stomach look fantastic. You'll be amazed at how many other activities and exercises become easier when you have a strong core.

2. Improves Posture

Your core muscles help you support your body weight and stand up straight. Instead of slouching all the time, you'll find that maintaining a healthy posture becomes second nature.

3. Increases Flexibility

Planking actually stretches your back and shoulder muscles, making you more flexible in the process.

For more information on this incredibly simple exercise, check out the video below:

H/T: Remedy Daily

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