Tuesday, June 30, 2015

7 Day Plank Challenge

I participated in a plank challenge. I thought it helped my core so much so I decided to host one. I mainly used everything the same that I did during the challenge I participated in. I recorded my own videos though.  I started this on June 22 but you can do it anytime you want.  See all the details below. You can give it a try. It's difficult but a good difficult. I've improved so much just from doing this twice.

{DAY 1}
Building Basic Plank: Hold 30 seconds 
DAY 1: BASIC PLANK with ARM variations
1. Hold Basic plank in forearm plank or straight arm plank for 30 secs.
2. Shoulder Taps in straight arm plank 
(5 sets of 10 OR continuous for 1 min)
3. Arm lifts in forearm or straight arm plank 
(5 sets of 10 OR continuous for 1 minute)
***Use weights for extra challenge or if you are at that fitness level
*Do all of these variations or pick what you can do now! This is for you! So, start at your own ability level! If just holding a modified forearm plank for 20 seconds is all you can do without breaking form, then that is great! We all start somewhere!
-straight line from head to heels
-Shoulders directly over wrists
-look in front of your finger tips
-don’t let booty sag or stick up in the air!!
1. Knees down
2. Longer rest periods
MY BEST TIP for you:
-Use a mirror or video record yourself to look at your form

i have seen feet shoulder width apart or feet closer. Do what is comfortable. I have them wider so that I am more stable with movements.

{Day 2}
Building Basic Plank: Hold 40 seconds (forearm or straight arm)
DAY 1: BASIC PLANK with LEG variations
For some variation, we'll focus on planking with leg work. I'll stick to 40 seconds so our day is consistent!
Form your basic plank, then do 10 seconds of each:
* knee to chest
* twisted knee to chest
* leg lifts
* in-outs
** Let's shoot for three rounds of the leg variations, with 10 second rests in between!
Remember to keep your head and butt in line with your spine! Look 3-5 inches in front of your hands, and keep form in the forefront of your thoughts.

{DAY 3}
Building Basic Plank: Hold 50 seconds
1. Knee taps (30-60 seconds)
2. Hip drops (30-60 seconds)
3. Pike up (30-60 seconds)
Repeat for 2-3 total sets
-straight line from head to heels
-Shoulders directly over elbows
-look in front of your finger tips
-don’t let booty sag or stick up in the air!!
1. One knee down
2. Longer rest periods
My best TIPS for you:
-Really think of pulling in your core to the ceiling
-visualize your spine being parallel with the ground

Don’t roll out shoulders.
pike up is bonus. It looks easy but is really hard to do right.

Day 4
Hold a regular plank for 1 minute!
Then turn and do these moves in the side plank position. Make sure your arm is straight up and down (your hand, elbow and shoulder all in line) for safety. (Mine isn’t quite vertical in the video.) Stop and readjust when needed.
-10 hip dips
-10 toe taps
-10 leg lifts
-10 crunches
Then flip onto your other side and repeat.
Modifications: Lower your bottom leg like I did half way through the top video. Lower onto your forearm for more support like my top video..
Tips: keep your arm aligned (shoulder, elbow and hand lined up).

{Day 5}
Hold a regular plank for 70 seconds in your preferred position.
Next, try a reverse plank! The bottom video segment shows a reverse plank with straight arms and the top segment shows a modified version on forearms and with bent knees. I’m not quite sure that’s the best modified way to do them. Google wasn’t the best help when I was looking it up.
- holding for 10
-10 leg lifts
-10 tabletop hip dips
Rest and repeat 2-3 more times.
- try not to sink into your shoulders 
- keep a strong core
Remember to modify as necessary, pace yourself, and HAVE FUN with it!

Chest up. You will have the tendency to sink in and don’t do that. 
For better form check out this video and look at 26 seconds in to about 32 seconds. 
{Day 6}
Hold your plank for 80 seconds and then complete this series:
-10 walking planks
-10 plank jacks
-10 spiderman planks
-10 twist into side plank
Tips: pretend there is a glass of water sitting on your back and try not to spill it during your plank walks. Keep your elbows and wrists in line with your shoulders! (This video is actually the first time I ever accomplished a plank walk so be sure to check out the modified way to do it.)
Happy Planking!

{Day 7}
Building Basic Plank: Hold 90 seconds
just arms
just legs
both arms and legs
3 sets of 15-20 second hold on each side (more difficult)
Just try 2 minutes of switching back and forth (less difficult…sort of!!)
1. start in full plank with feet slightly wider than the hips
2. first lift up one foot then lift up the opposite arm, reaching it straight out in front of you 
3. try your best to keep the hips and shoulders square to the floor and the spine in a straight line
1. Both knees down
2. Longer rest periods
My best TIPS for you:
really get your balance with your leg up before you put the opposite arm up
This is really hard, so focus on the balance and form rather than time!
Modified is at the end of the video.
I remember going to physical therapy for my hip/IT band back in 2011 and them telling me how weak my core muscles were after they asked me to do unstable plank. They never tried to have me build up to actually doing it though.
Just arms and just legs is in a video in the comments. 

Recording videos with Ella around was a little tough. This is a video of some bloopers. 

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