The 16 Minute Plank…Series

I’ve seen a graphic going around Facebook and Pinterest for the 30 day plank challenge. I believe in planks, I think they’re an excellent way to boost core strength and stability. But, I’m not a big fan of doing a single movement each day for an increased duration. This is why I set out to do my own plank challenge, a ladder that combines the effects of not just front planks, but side and back planks as well.

Is it a challenge? To me it is! It’s also something to work for. Try it out, see how far you make it, when it becomes too much or you start to lose form, stop. Then, next time you try it, try to make it further through the challenge. I do this series twice a week if you’re looking for an idea on frequency.

Before I outline the series, I want to put up a few pictures (credit to Women’s Health Mag and Fit Sugar) of proper plank form. Form matters…if you are not properly aligned you could do more damage than good.

Front Plank:

front plank

Side Plank:

side plank

Reverse Plank:

back plank

Alright, so, here goes. Make sure you have a timer or stopwatch on hand.

For each round, you’ll start with a forward plank, move to a left plank, then to a reverse plank, and finally to a right plank before starting all over again. Do not drop, do not take a break between rounds. This is a continuous movement that builds to a 16 minute plank series. Again, it’s a challenge to see if you can improve each time you try, taking shortcuts will only hamper your own progress.

Round 1: 15 seconds for each position (front, left, back, right…no dropping, then move straight into round 2)

Round 2: 30 seconds each

Round 3: 45 seconds each

Round 4: 1 minute each

Round 5: 45 seconds each

Round 6: 30 seconds each

Round 7: 15 seconds each

This equals out t0 16 minutes. Give it a try! Not challenging enough? Turn it into a reverse ladder (1 minute, 45 seconds, 30 seconds, 15 seconds then build back up).

Give it a try!

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