May Plank Challenge - Week 1 Schedule!

Posted May 12, 2014 in Sweet Success, planks, plank, workout, fitness, exercise, health

We're starting the May Plank Challenge today!

This fitness challenge will help you tighten your core just in time for summer! We're not just holding a plank every day, we are going to challenge ourselves with different plank variations to create strong abs!

In just three weeks you will strengthen your core, and feel lean and toned just in time for summer!

A lot of plank challenges have participants hold a regular plank every day for increasing amounts of time. But I wanted to create something that was more challenging.

I've incorporated many plank variations in this challenge to strengthen your core and work your entire body.

Why planks? Planks are one of the best exercises for flat, toned abs because they work every muscle in your core, including the rectus abdominus, transverse abdominus, internal and external obliques, hips and back, according to Shape Magazine. Strengthening your entire core helps to sculpt a flat stomach.

So what's the first step? Take a photo of yourself...sans shirt. I know, I know. You don't have to share the photo with me or anyone else. It's just for yourself. Photos are really the best way to track progress, especially when you're goal is to get muscle definition or just tone up. You're not going to see that progress on the scale. 

Follow this week's schedule, fill your diet with lots of nutritious, whole foods, and get in those cardio sessions!

First up - some basics on the plank. 

  • Hands (or elbows) should be directly under your shoulders, slightly wider than shoulder width apart.
  • Ground toes into the floor and squeeze glutes to stabilize the bottom half of your body. But don't lock your knees!
  • Look at the floor about a foot in front of your hands to keep your neck and spine in a neutral position.
  • Keep your abs engaged.

Here are some variations we're going to do this week.

Arm Extension Plank

Reach one hand forward keeping your hips parallel to the ground.

Single Leg Plank

Lift one leg keeping your hips parallel to the ground.

Up-Down Plank

Start in a regular plank position. Lower your right forearm to the ground, the the left so that you are in an elbow plank. Return to a regular plank by leading with your left arm. *Switch leading arms every few times you do this one!

Side Plank


Make sure your wrist is under your shoulder. Stack feet, stagger feet or bring your bottom knee to the ground lifting your hips toward the sky. 

Elbow Plank


Elbows should be under your shoulders.

Elbow Plank with Hip Dips

Starting in an elbow plank, dip your right hip toward the ground, return to start position, then dip on the left side.

Now you know the planks we'll be doing this week. Here's your schedule!

Day 1

20 second Plank

Arm Extension Plank - 20 seconds on each side

Single Leg Plank - 20 seconds on each side

Repeat x2

Day 2

20 second Plank

Arm Extension Plank - 20 seconds on each side

Single Leg Plank - 20 seconds on each side

Repeat x3

Day 3

30 second Plank

Up-Down Plank - 30 seconds

Side Plank - 30 seconds on each side

Repeat x2

Day 4

30 second Plank

Up-Down Plank - 30 seconds

Side Plank - 30 seconds each side

Repeat x3

Day 5

Elbow Plank - 20 seconds

Elbow Plank with Hip Dips - 30 seconds

40 second Plank

Repeat x2

Day 6

Rest

Day 7

45 second Plank

Arm Extension Plank - 45 seconds on each side

Single Leg Plank - 45 seconds on each side

Repeat x2

You made it through the first week of the May Plank Challenge! Let me know how you're doing in the comments below or share your personal progress with me on Twitter or Instagram

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