Say goodbye to your muffin top.
RIP love handles.
The new 30-day plank challenge is here.
It’s estimated that over 50,000 people start this challenge every month.
Any idea why?
Because it works.
ONE Move, TONS Of Benefits
The plank is one of the best core exercise you can do.
It’s a full-body exercise and this move alone works all the muscles in your core.
Your shoulders, arms, upper back, and calves will all get a good workout.
Specifically, the exercise forces you to engage your abs, glutes, and lower back to keep a rigid spine.
This not only strengthens these muscles, but also prevents against lower back pain.
This 30-day plank challenge will get you comfortable with the movement and then take your strength to new levels whilst building and sculpting your lower body.
How To Do A Perfect Plank
Don’t skip this section!
When it comes to exercises such as the plank, form is key.
If you’re not exercising using the proper form, then you’re not only putting yourself at risk of injury, but you’re also not getting the most out of the exercise as you could be.
• Begin on your hands and knees with your arms about shoulder width apart. Your elbows should be directly underneath your shoulders.
• Next, lower yourself on your forearms and kick your legs out backwards. Your weight should be distributed evenly between your upper body and the balls of your feet.
• You want to firmly engage your lower back, abs, and glutes to maintain a rigid, strong spine. Imagine that there’s a long piece of string stretching from the heels of your feet all the way up through your legs, back, and neck and stretching through your head.
• Do not let your hips lower towards the ground. This will place unwated strain on your lower back. If this is happening, then it’s a sign that you’re not engaging your glutes and abs.
• Contritely, make sure that your hips are not too high in the air. This means that you’re not engaging your lower back. A straight spine, hips and legs is exactly what we’re looking for. You’ll also want to engage your quads to help both your abs and glutes.
• Lastly, remember to breathe. Take in long, calm breaths before breathing out in a controlled manor. You don’t want to be huffing and puffing. Maintain control and peace with your body.
WARNING: 4 Common Plank Mistakes
• Placing the hands either too far together or too far apart: you want them underneath your shoulders to maintain maximums stability.
• Not breathing: always remember to breathe no matter what exercise you’re doing. If you’re not breathing, then your muscles aren’t getting the oxygen they need to keep their strength up.
• Looking towards your feet: this causes your head to drop and lower back to round which can affect your whole posture.
• Pushing yourself too hard: as with any exercise, it’s better to keep a perfect form than try to hit a new personal best. Always focus on form first and the results will come.
#BODYGOAL: Set Yourself Up For Success
One of the biggest factors that stops people from committing to an exercise regime or working out in general is motivation.
Though, there are a number of ways to make sure that your mind stays focused on getting you fit.
First, make sure that you have a clear goal in mind.
Many people fail simply from not making their goal realistic.
Though this challenge is extremely effective, it’s not going to turn you into a catwalk model.
Equally, make sure that your goal is big enough to keep you always pushing for more.
Why aim to lose a pound of fat when you could aim for 5?
Second, make sure to take a progress picture at the start of any body transformation journey.
We all have those days where we want to give up because we aren’t seeing results.
When you have a starting picture to look back on, then you can see how far you’ve come.
On those days where you’re feeling down and ready to quit, you can compare this photo with how you look in the mirror to make you realize all those changes you never noticed.
Third, make sure to keep a workout log.
You’re not only going to change how you look, you’re going to change how you perform.
Both your strength and cardiovascular capabilities are going to sky rocket in this month long challenge.
By keeping a workout log, you can flip through to see the difference in your fitness from the start to the finish.
It also allows you to leave notes to make your future workouts more effective and enjoyable.
Lastly, make sure that your goal is known.
If you’re the only person who knows what you’re trying to do, then you’re the only one who can hold yourself accountable.
It’s much easier to tell yourself that you’ve quit than it is to tell a friend or family member.
These people can also help motivate you.
The best situation would be for someone to do the challenge alongside you so that you can motivate each other.
You don’t need to be in the same place, but as long as you’re doing the challenge in the same month as someone else, then you can both make sure the other stays on track.
The 30-Day Plank Challenge Calendar
Are you ready to swap in your love handles for a tight and toned tummy?
The challenge itself is actually incredibly simple.
You start with just a 15 second plank and then add 5 seconds each day.
Each day you’re going to push yourself a little further, building on the strength you gained from the day before.
Use the shorter times at the start to really focus on your form.
Really drill the perfect placement into your mind so that you’re stronger and better prepared for the longer days.
You can also use these days to help build motivation before things become really challenging later on.
It’s always important to take rest days as this is where your body actually adapts.
Contrary to what you might think, your body doesn’t grow stronger when you’re exercising.
In fact, your body technically becomes weaker as you’re breaking down your muscle tissue.
It’s only when we rest and recover that we grow stronger and more capable.
What Happens If You Miss a Day?
Sometimes life gets in the way and that’s perfectly fine.
We can’t expect everything to revolve perfectly around our health and fitness goals!
If you happen to miss a day, then don’t worry about it.
Simply continue the challenge from where you left off at the next available opportunity.
Don’t try to make up for it by doing two workouts in one day.
Achieve Your Dream Body
The hardest part is just starting.
Once you’ve passed that first hurdle, then you’re one step closer to success and on your way to the body you’ve been dreaming of.
Don’t think too much about it, just commit to it.
Doing something is better than doing nothing, so even if you feel like you can’t do the full 30 days or you may have a few missed workouts, just get started.
You never know, you might just surprise yourself.
If you want to get the most out of any exercise regime, then you need to pair it with a healthy diet.
Unfortunately, you could have the best workout regime in the world, but if your diet isn’t up to scratch, then you’re not going to be getting the best results possible.
Click here for a printable calendar to keep around the house to keep you on track.
Make sure to check off every workout as you go along!
At the start, the challenge may seem quite daunting.
You might never have planked for this along or you may have never planked at all.
Yet, the whole point of the challenge is build your strength so that you can.
Nobody starts a challenge knowing that they can already do what’s at the end.
Each day you’ll be growing stronger and fitter whilst noticing visual differences in the mirror and with how you feel.
Make sure that you’re giving your all each day.
Sometimes might be tired, sometimes you might feel weaker, sometimes you might feel stressed.
However, none of that matters as long as you’re giving it your all.
Who cares if you think you could have held the plank longer on another day as long as you know that you’ve given everything you could for that session.
We all have our down days, but it’s how we deal with them that makes all the difference.
MORE: 5-Min Tiny Waist Workout
Don’t believe any of the excuses that your mind pulls up, believe that you can do it no matter what’s going on or how you may feel.
This challenge requires just four things:
If you maintain those four things, then you will succeed.