Updated: May 13th, 2020
No matter how much cardio you complete, it’s impossible to tone you stomach without a little targeted core strengthening. Not only do planks improve core strength, but they also play a key role in the strength of your entire body and performance on the run.
Download this 30 Day Plank Challenge printable for free!
This simple exercise is easy to complete, and usually takes less than a minute or two for you to reap the benefits and feel the burn. This 30-Day Plank Challenge makes incorporating planks into your training plan easier than ever.
Plank challenges are ideal for runners because they map out daily exercises that are simple to incorporate at the end of a run. It takes less that a few minutes for a plank to be effective, and completing a plank during your cool down is a great way to challenge your tired muscles.
Does a 30 Day Plank Challenge work?
A popular way to embrace the benefits of regular planking is to complete a 30 day plank challenge. These challenges gradually increase the time you hold a plank to help you gain strength in a way that feels manageable.
In terms of increasing your planking endurance: it is very likely that you can do so by completing a 30 day challenge. Assuming you start with a duration of time which challenges your core but is still achievable, you’ll gradually gain core strength with consistent planking.
The key to plank success is consistency.
Every few days, the length for which you hold your plank will increase by just a few seconds. This is enough to add more of a challenge, yet not so much that you can’t complete the plank.
Over time, your core strength will improve and your body will adapt to holding a plank for longer stretches of time. 30 day plank challenges are perfect for beginners to provide an attainable goal, yet yield some pretty drastic results.
How do you complete a plank?
Planking is easy because it looks just like it sounds. To complete a successful plank, you’ll need to do just that: make your body into a plank.
Begin by lying face down on the floor. Rise up onto your elbows by bringing your hands underneath your chest and pushing off your forearms.
From this position, you’ll want to lift your body off the floor. For your plank, you have two options: an elbow plank, or a straight arm plank. Both options give you the same core strengthening benefits, and most people choose one or the other simply based on comfort.
If you’re completing a straight arm plank, you’ll need to straighten your arms entirely, with your palms flat on the floor. Remain on your forearms if you choose to complete an elbow plank. Distribute your weight evenly between your toes and forearms.
A plank challenge can be completed with an elbow plank or straight arm plank.
Regardless of your planking preference, the focus is to maintain a completely flat back and body. Pay special attention to your upper back and hips to avoid arching your back or letting your hips sag.
How long should a beginner plank for?
If you’re a planking beginner, it likely won’t take long before you begin to feel the burn. From my own experience, it seems that no matter how consistently you complete a plank, they always manage to leave you shaking after a bit of time.
For complete beginners, aim to hold your first plank for about 30 seconds. If you already have moderate core strength, anywhere from 45 – 60 seconds is a good place to start.
This 30 Day Plank Challenge for Runners is a simple, convenient way to incorporate core strengthening into your training plan on a regular basis. Core strength helps us maintain healthy running form, improves our efficiency during speed workouts, and helps avoid injuries when we get tired.
What’s in the 30 Day Plank Challenge?
- Begins with a 45 second plank
- Rest days every 7 days
- Builds to a 2 minute plank
- Increase by no more than 5 seconds
Throughout 30 Day Plank Challenge chart, you’ll find multiple rest days. The plank challenge starts off easily, with just a 45 plank, and builds gradually throughout 30 days.
Planks will increase in length for a few days, and then drop back down after a rest day to avoid moving on before your body has fully adjusted.
Enjoy the efficiency of this challenge as you strengthen your core by dedicating no more than 2 minutes each day to complete this 30 day plank challenge!
Avoid all those inconvenient crunches and floor exercises by swapping them out with a simple plank.
Finding less than 5 minutes each day feels much more manageable than adding in a 30+ minute ab workout each week. The convenience of a daily plank is hard to beat!
So what happens when you plank for 30 days?
You get stronger.
There’s no doubt about it. The short, consistent effort you put forth during a plank gradually compounds over 30 days until it adds up to massive progress.
Trying to increase your planking time from 45 seconds to 120 seconds in a day or two would feel nearly impossible. However, broken down over the course of 30 days, you’ll likely barely feel the difference.
Improve your running performance and set your body up to avoid injuries this training season by incorporating regular core strengthening.
Whether you complete your daily plank during your cool down routine or while watching TV, your body will benefit from a stronger core each day.
More plank and core workout ideas:
- 15 Minute Crunchless Core Workout
- 15 Plank Variations to Strengthen Your Core
- 20 Minute Tabata Bodyweight Core Workout
- 30 Day Core Workout Challenge