Plank is one of the most effective total-body moves, so here’s a new challenge for you to conquer — a five-minute plank. Since holding a straight-up plank wouldn’t be any fun (and could end up causing an injury), this challenge mixes up five basic variations to not only tone your abs and arms, but to target the obliques, legs, and upper back as well. Here’s an explanation of how to do each one, followed by the two-week plan.
Balance on the hands and toes with the body in one straight line, hands underneath the shoulders and feet hips-width distance apart.
2. Side Plank With Leg Lift (Right Side)
Balance on the right hand and the outside edge of the right foot with the body in one straight line. Raise the left arm and leg in the air.
3. Reverse Plank
Balance the body on the hands and heels with the body in one straight line.
4. Side Plank With Leg Lift (Left Side)
Balance on the left hand and the outside edge of the left foot with the body in one straight line. Raise the right arm and leg in the air.
5. Elbow Plank
Balance on the forearms and toes with the body in one straight line, elbows underneath the shoulders.
The Two-Week Plan
Instead of building up to a five-minute basic plank, this challenge involves holding the five variations described previously for the designated time listed below. It also incorporates rest days, so while you can hold off on planks that day, you can (and should) still do other workouts such as cardio. If you need more than two weeks to build up to the full one minute of each move, by all means listen to your body and take as many days as necessary.
DAY OF MONTH TIME
Day one 10 seconds each
Day two 15 seconds each
Day three 20 seconds each
Day four Rest
Day five 25 seconds each
Day six 30 seconds each
Day seven 35 seconds each
Day eight Rest
Day nine 40 seconds each
Day 10 45 seconds each
Day 11 50 seconds each
Day 12 Rest
Day 13 55 seconds each
Day 14 60 seconds each (you made it!)