Plank Fitness Challenge – Pirates Not Included

I was going through my very backed-up Google Reader, which is chock full of great stuff from all over the inter-web, when I came across a post from “Word to Sweat By” (a great little site for fitness minded people, and they have a really great assortment of gym towels and lunch bags with clever phrases on them.) Anyway, Word to Sweat By was promoting a 6 week Fitness Challenge developed by Morgan of Life After Bagels and talked about on FitBlog Chats. Now for the record, this challenge actually started on the 16th, so I am a bit behind, but I figure even if I start late, it is better than not starting at all!

This challenge is all about the plank. Don’t worry, it isn’t walking the plank! (Sorry, I can’t pass up a pirate pun) The plank is part of the traditional Sun Salutation in many yoga practices. It is one of the best exercises for strengthening your core muscle groups including your abs, back, shoulders, thighs, and bottom. According to, planks engage 20 muscles, far surpassing the 6-7 that are engaged during a crunch.

So what is the challenge? Well here it is per Life After Bagels –

  • May 16-June 26, 2011; a 6-week challenge open to anyone and everyone – (Or for those just hearing about the challenge, Souzapalooza will be doing the challenge a little behind schedule; from 5/27 – 7/8)
  • A gradual, goal-based program helping participants take on the “plank” position and increase both length of time and number of times in plank per week
  • Participants will set their own goals and design their own programs
So here is my goal: Starting today, 5/27, I will hold a high plank position for 30 seconds, increasing it 3.5 seconds a day to be able to hold it for 3 full minutes by the end of the challenge. I plan on doing this twice a day, once in the morning when I get up, and once in the evening. It seems simple enough, but I guaruntee my stomach muscles will be on fire for the next six weeks. It is a small price to pay to eventually have abs for my next career as a belly dancer.
For those of you unfamiliar to the plank exercise, detailed instructions on how to properly do a plank, please head here: PLANKS
So Who’s With Me?!?!?
Photo Credit – Pink Sherbet Photography on Flickr
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