1 Minute Plank – Choose your level

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Whatever level you are at with the Plank exercise, you can adapt it to  get a great workout in 1 minute. It is so important to build up gradually and slowly. Don’t attempt the more advanced levels until you are very comfortable at the initial levels. 

Level 1 : Plank on Knees

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  • Starting on your elbow and knees, engage your core muscles and lift your hips off the ground
  • You will feel your core muscles working
  • Keep your hands and shoulders relaxed
  • Dont forget to breathe
  • If you feel any pain in lower back, you are doing too much – stop.
  • Get someone to watch your body position – straight line from shoulders, hips, knees
  • Watch out – a lot of people lift their hips too high in the air and end up overworking shoulders.
  • Important : Take breaks as you need them

Only when you can do this for 1 minute nonstop should you consider moving to Level 2.

Level 2 : Plank on Toes

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When you initially move up from Knees to Toes, you will notice a huge difference. Yes, it will be a lot harder. We suggest you try 10 seconds on toes then drop back to knees and over the minute change between the knees and toes. Over time it will get easier and you will be able to reach 1 full minute on your toes (if you build up gradually). Be patient.

  • Starting on your elbow and toes, engage your core muscles and lift your hips off the ground
  • You will feel your core muscles working (much harder than when on knees!)
  • Keep your hands, fists and shoulders relaxed
  • Dont forget to breathe
  • If you feel any pain in lower back, you are doing too much – stop.
  • Get someone to watch your body position – straight line from shoulders, hips, knees
  • Watch out – a lot of people lift their hips too high in the air and end up overworking shoulders.
  • Important : Take breaks as you need them

Your body position should be a nice straight line from shoulders to hips to ankles.

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Only when you can do this for 1 minute nonstop comfortably (for a few weeks) should you consider trying out some of the progressions below. Maintaining 1 minute on toes is a massive achievement. Don’t rush into any advanced levels below.

Bonus Extras

Here are Extra level of progression for more advanced ‘plankers’. Please only attempt these when you are VERY comfortable at 1 minute plank on toes (level 2) .

Bonus Extra 1 : Moving Legs Plank

Alternate lifting legs for 3 seconds and then changing. Be careful you dont lift the bum too. Keep the body straight, just raise the leg

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Bonus Extra 2 : Moving Arms Plank

This is a little harder and requires more concentration. Alternate moving an arm out in front for a few seconds.

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Level Extra 3 : Moving up and down arms

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Move between elbows and straight arms with this routine. Be sure to vary which arm straightens first. Dont always pick your strong arm!

Be sure to join our Plank a Day Support Group on Facebook for daily reminders and tips for your plank.

Best of luck.

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Make sure you have your doctors approval to start any new exercise routine. If you feel any pain when doing the exercise, please stop immediately. Correct form is important, so be sure to follow the tips and hints.

Before embarking on this or any other exercise programme you should consult with your doctor. By participating in the programme you acknowledge that ForgetTheGym or their agents cannot be held liable for any injuries or other problems that may occur as a result.

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