PLANKS: Can’t Touch This

It’s PLANK time dan nah nah nah nah nah nah, can’t touch this!

Today is the official day 1 of the #Fitblog PLANKS challenge :)

Challenge details:

  • May 16-June 26; a 6-week challenge open to anyone and everyone
  • A gradual, goal-based program helping participants take on the “plank” position and increase both length of time and number of times in plank per week
  • Participants will set their own goals and design their own programs
  • Guided blog topic starters (optional)

Here are the Blog Topics:

  • Week 1: Plank Partner
  • Week 2: Belly Talk
  • Week 3: Exposed – Why I love My Body
  • Week 4: Alternate Workouts
  • Week 5: Six Packs of Motivation
  • Week 6: Abtastic Attitude

I’ll be posting about each week’s topic on Wednesdays.  This Wednesday’s Topic is Plank Partner.  Find someone to be your accountability buddy.  Try to get a friend or family member on board to do the challenge with you, then you can check up on each other about your goals.  Or just hook up with someone online that’s also doing the challenge.

Here is my program:

  • I’m going to work on my planks 4 days a week
  • Each day I’m going to increase my time by 7.5 seconds
  • My initial test was 1 min and 4 seconds (I rounded down to 1 min to design my program)
  • My end goal is 4 minutes

Stay Connected:

Now, because as challenge hosts neither Katy nor I are qualified to give you advice on your program, goals, plank positions, etc, we have brought in an expert with the most-est.  My go to personal trainer for all things challenge related … Susan!

Plank Position Tips and Modifications

Hello friends! My name is Susan and I come from The Great Balancing Act. You may remember me from the Pipes Challenge. Well I am back today to help you out with the new #Fitblog Planks Challenge!

I’m a personal trainer and have helped manymany clients master their plank. It’s a hard one to do properly, but is an amazing for strengthening your core when done properly. The most important thing to remember is that you should feel this in your belly. You’re body is always trying to cheat and take the easy way out of exercises. Especially in plank. Try doing it in front of a mirror to check your form and always be aware of what your body is doing.


Some things to remember:

  • Do not stick your butt in the air. Your body will want to do this naturally, and sometimes you don’t even realize this is happening.
  • Conversely, don’t arch your back too much and let your belly fall toward the ground. This puts pressure on your back.
  • Elbows should be under your shoulders, or if you’re in a high plank, hands under your shoulders.
  • Keep your head down to make sure your whole spine is straight. It should look like a straight line from your heels to your head.
  • Speaking of your heels, push them back a little. We have a habit of pushing all our weight forward onto our arms, but balance that out by putting some weight back into your feet too. This will help with that straight line.
  • Tuck your pelvis in. Pretend like your going to hump the ground. Crude, I know, but it will keep you from sticking your butt up.
  • BREATHE. Focusing on your breathing will help you pull through. Remember, a lot of this exercise is mind over matter!

Most of you will probably set time goals over the course of this challenge, but I encourage you to also try out different plank variations! There are SO many “fun” ways to do a plank, it’s a shame to stick to just one kind.

Some other plank variations:

High plank


Plank with Leg Lift


Side plank


Side High Plank


Side Plank with Leg Raise


Plank on a ball



Reverse plank

Even more to try:

Plank on a medicine ball

Plank shuffle

Side plank with reach under

Plank with twist

Plank up

Leave a comment below if you have any questions, and don’t hesitate to drop me a line at thegreatbalancingact if you need some personal training advice over the course of the challenge.

Happy exercising!!

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40 Responses to PLANKS: Can’t Touch This

  1. Brutal… brutal brutal brutal plankage. I always have a to satch my butt in the air and my weight shifting to my arms.

  2. I love this challenge! I’ve been doing planks every time I work out for the past couple weeks. This challenge will help me hold it longer!

  3. Thanks for the modifications and tips! Can’t wait to see my progress and the progress of others!

  4. Awesome challenge!! I just did some planks this morning after my workout and it was hard. I would love to build up to 3 minutes on the front plank so I just might have to participate in this :)

  5. A couple of those planks frighten me. LOL! I’m going to give this one a try too! I somehow missed this challenge??

    • Morgan @ Life After Bagels says:

      I was so busy with work last week I wasn’t able to “peddle my wares” as much as I usually do the week before a challenge

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  7. Ohhhh, thanks for the variations on plank. I like to mix things up and those all look great!!

  8. Yay! As promised, I am SO doing this challenge :) I’m excited to try al the plank variations to see how different they are.

    Hey Morgan, is there a badge for this challenge that I can put on my sidebar? Maybe I missed it….

  9. YAY!!! Im so excited for this one.
    I plan to attempt every single one of those.

  10. Carolina says:

    I’m in! Lets get to plankin’!

  11. Amy Ramos says:

    I got my challenge in my smartphone:
    I am starting off with 30 secs of all types of planks (side, with leg, etc) 3x a week.
    I will increase each week from 10-15 secs
    At the end of the challenge I would like to do the plank, side plank and plank with leg lift for a 100 secs each.
    It will be tough but I am up for the challenge!

  12. Oooh I love this! I’m totally in. When does the challenge start? Today? Are we just increasing our plank time this week… and finding a partner in planking? ;)

    Awesome challenge!

  13. I am so excited about this! I might actually be able to do this even when traveling.

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  15. I love all those variations! I think I’ll try a few, especially the ones with the ball.
    Here’s my plan:
    - work on my planks 3 times a week (Mon, Wed, Fri)
    - try to increase my time by 10 seconds every day
    - initial test: 1 min
    - end goal: 4 minutes
    Let’s go!

  16. Dr. Pete says:

    Excellent – thanks for all the details (and thanks to Susan for the coaching/variations). I realized very quickly today that doing my Planks AFTER 165 push-ups isn’t going to work, so I’m going for 3 days/week on my aerobic days (Tu/Th/Sa). First test tomorrow, but I suspect it’s going to be around that 1 minute mark, too.

  17. Anna says:

    Excited for the challenge! Already have a friend to keep me motivated and working on figuring out what my plan and goals are going to be. So far I am just going with the flow which is not always a good thing when it comes to fitness goals ;)

  18. Lynna says:

    I’m Katy Widrick’s mom and I read about your challenge through her blog. We just moved and even though the move was something we both wanted, it was a move from our too-big family house to a two room house… very, very stressful time and this was perfect timing. Even I, a 60yo (shh…) empty nester can work on one single pose and get a little bit better at it day by day… I started with holding a plank for 10th seconds, then two for 10 seconds… then today’s post gave me more ideas. I will try really hard to keep up. I have 30 pounds that are not my friends. This may be just one step, but who knows… maybe it will be just the start I need… thanks!

  19. Jill says:

    First off…thanks Susan for giving us all of that Plank information! Morgan…thanks for helping us get “Planked”:). I plan to go week to week and depending on how I feel, I will change up the routine. Here’s what I’m thinking: I am going to see how long I can hold the standard plank. This will help me determine how many sets I’ll complete 3x a week. I’d like to try this “Tabata” idea I read in Self magazine; i.e., 20 sec hold/10 sec rest, to be done 8 times (I’ll start 4 times this week, adding in a leg lift plank).

  20. Nat says:

    Wow, I never really thought about all the different kinds of planks you can do. This is great!

  21. Nat says:

    Oh and MC Hammer never gets old..hahaha!

  22. I so need this! I do mine on my forearms since the other way hurts my wrists. The modifications tips are great.

  23. Samantha says:

    Any thoughts on plank modifications during pregnancy?

  24. I’m in! This is a great challenge – I am a TOTAL newbie when it comes to planks. So much so that I did my initial test in “high plank” without knowing it! I could hold that for 28 seconds. When I did regular plank, I could hold on for 38 seconds. My tummy is my #1 trouble area. I am very excited for this challenge and the hope for a flat tummy!

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  28. I have a love/hate relationships with planks. I hate doing them but I love how hard they work your core. I am definitely inspired by this challenge to incorporate them into my routine much more often. I usually only really focus on abs like 1 or 2 x’s week, but I will set a goal to do planks 3 or 4 x’s a week!

  29. Lynn says:

    I’m in (sorry for my tardiness). I will get my starting time and come up with a plan tonight. Looking forward to conquering the plank with all of you!

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  31. Emily says:

    A little late, but I’m going to try and play along!!

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