The 28-Day Planking Challenge Will Tone And Tighten Your Tummy In No Time

What if I told you that you could transform your body in just four minutes? I bet you think I sound like a cheesy infomercial right now, and might just be about to pitch you the "Ab X-Ploder 3000" or some equally ridiculous product, but just hear me out - this is no cheap sales ploy. 

Still with me? Awesome. While my promise of four minutes a day might sound too good to be true, it's legit. All you need to do is take the 28-day Plank Challenge, originally featured in Women Daily Magazine. Slowly but surely, this program will help increase your strength and endurance. It's not a quick fix, but honestly, you should be wary of anything that is - either it's a lie or it'll seriously mess up your health. If you're willing to put in a few minutes a day for a month, you will see results.

    The Challenge

    This challenge must be completed over the course of four continuous weeks. At the outset, you'll simply hold a plank position for 20 seconds. Over time, you'll gradually build up your stamina until you're planking for four whole minutes by the end. Here's how to do it:

    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 

    How To Do A Proper Plank

    The challenge above won't do you any good if your form is off. Improper form will either result in injury or fail to provide enough stress to actually condition your body. Here's how Physical Living's advice on how you should execute a proper plank:

    1. Position yourself correctly. Your elbows should be directly under your shoulders so that your weight is properly distributed.
    2. Keep your spine straight. Be very mindful of not rounding out your spine, as this can put undue pressure on your neck and back.
    3. Tighten your core to maximize the benefits of the exercise.
    4. Spread your legs slightly apart. You hips should not feel any additional pressure during this exercise, so adjust accordingly if you find that's the case.
    5. Breath slowly and deliberately, keeping your body relaxed and your core engaged.

    Why Planking?

    You may be wondering why is a program that only consists of a single core-building exercise so good for you? Planking is for your abs, so how is it helping the rest of your body? As it turns out, in a lot of ways! Here's what planking does for you:

    1. Tones Your Tummy: This one might seem a little obvious. Planking is all about building strength in your core; you have to really engage your abs to perform a good plank. Planking helps train your transverse abdominis, also known as the "girdle" muscle or the "Spanx" of your abs. It'll give you a naturally toned and tight stomach.
    2. Promotes Good Posture: Your abs are essential to good posture, as they help stabilize your body throughout almost any movement. Strengthening the core helps you stand up straight and tall, and increases overall your range of motion.  
    3. Increases Flexibility: As you work your back and shoulder muscles (both of which are engaged during a plank), your flexibility increases. Planking actually helps stretch your shoulder blades out to promote a bigger range of motion.

    Be sure to SHARE this challenge with your family and friends so you can all get fitter and stronger together.

    H/T: RemedyDaily

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