Introduction to the 21 Day Plank Challenge
This article will give you everything you need to know to embark on the 21 day plank challenge. First of all, the plank exercise is a great tool and should definitely be added to your workout routine. When performed correctly, planking can be very beneficial at increasing strength and endurance.
Notably, planking has been known to be a popular rehabilitation exercise which focus on stability. This might be because it’s so easy to set planking goals from week to week as well as track your progress. While you’re here getting excited about fitness goals, you should take a look at my guest blog post on the Secret to Fitness Blog – Workout Goal Setting.
As a benchmark, in my physiotherapy practice I like to make sure my active clients are able to hold a 60 second plank with proper form.
This 21 day plank challenge is a great way to kick off your fitness endeavor. By the end of the 21 days, you will be stronger, more energetic, and more confident. Let’s get started.
One of the best things about the 21 day plank challenge is that you don’t need much in the way of equipment. The only thing you might want to consider is getting a yoga or regular exercise mat and a timer.
When performing the plank, you should:
- Keep your core muscles engaged to maintain a stable frame. Draw in your belly button and squeeze your glutes.
- Breathe normally, this is an endurance exercise so you will need the oxygen.
- Keep your elbows under your shoulders and your toes pointed on the ground.
- Avoid letting your hips sag to low to the ground or raise to high above your back.
- Stop if you are feeling sharp pains anywhere.
21 Day Plank Challenge: Day by Day
This 21 Day Plank Challenge is unique and different from others you may have seen because you are doing more than just adding time every day. The design is intended to really help you build strength along the way. Let’s get started.
- Day 1: 30 seconds
- Day 2: 40 seconds
- Day 3: 10 Push Ups
- Day 4: 50 seconds
- Day 5: Until Fatigue
- Day 6: Rest
- Day 7: 2 x 30 seconds
- Day 8: 2 x 40 seconds
- Day 9: 2 x 50 seconds
- Day 10: 15 Push Ups
- Day 11: 60 seconds
- Day 12: Until Fatigue
- Day 13: Rest
- Day 14: 3 x 30 seconds
- Day 15: 3 x 40 seconds
- Day 16: 3 x 50 seconds
- Day 17: 20 Push Ups
- Day 18: 70 seconds
- Day 19: Until Fatigue
- Day 20: Rest
- Day 21: 90 seconds
This variation of the 21 Day Plank Challenge is a great way to kickoff your healthy and fit lifestyle, but why stop there? As your next step, the same planking schedule can be modified by simply doubling your times each day. You’ll end up with a 3 minute plank by the end of it.
If you are really dedicated you can strive to achieve true greatness like the ex-US Marine who planked for over 8 hours. Plank World Record
21 Day Plank Challenge Bonus Tip:
Try doing this challenge with a friend. You’ll see that if you buddy up, you will both be more motivated and will keep each other accountable.
Also, remember to never exercise through pain although it is normal to feel muscle fatigue or mild discomfort. It is also normal to feel general muscle soreness over the next couple days if you are trying a new exercise. This is called delayed onset muscle soreness or DOMS.
See How do I know if I’m overdoing it with my rehab exercises? for more information.
For therapeutic purposes, it is best to meet with a Physiotherapist first to help establish a tailored exercise plan that is right for you.