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The 4-Week Plank Challenge

by 
author image Hoku Krueger
Hoku Krueger recently graduated from Occidental College with a B.A. in English and Comparative Literature Studies and a minor in French Language Studies. During her time there she wrote for the Occidental Weekly and interned with The Maui News.
The 4-Week Plank Challenge
Whether you’re a beginner or an old pro, planks are the perfect way to tone and tighten your entire body. Photo Credit: Ken Stachnik/LIVESTRONG.COM

LIVESTRONG.COM is turning ten years old this summer, and we want to celebrate our birthday with you! On Saturday, August 4, at The Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California, the entire LIVESTRONG team and celebrity trainer Jillian Michaels, along with our favorite social media influencers, food experts, celebrities, top fitness trainers and our biggest fans will be breaking the GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS™ title for Most people holding a plank. Are you in? Get tickets now before they sell out.

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Core strength isn't just about having a killer six-pack. Strengthening this area of your body — which also includes your pelvic floor and obliques — is key to everything from improving your balance and running form to tightening your glutes and yes, even sculpting your abs.

A strong core can prevent back pain and injury from everyday movements like chasing the kids around and picking up heavy boxes. The perfect move that checks all of these boxes? You guessed it — planks!

Why You Should Join the Challenge

Build an overall stronger, healthier and sexier body by joining our 4-Week Plank Challenge, which starts on Monday, June 4. Plus, get the support and motivation you need with our Facebook Challenge Group.

The plank is the perfect full-body exercise to kick off your fitness journey. Not only does it strengthen your core, but this simple moves also improves your posture, digestion and breathing as well as reducing lower-back pain.

The best thing about this ab-shredding exercise is that you can do it anywhere at any time. Whether you’re at work, school or a friend’s place, drop down and inspire everyone around you to get stronger.

Read more: What Are the 4 Main Benefits of the Plank Exercise?

How to Do a Proper Plank

Not sure how to plank? Take on the LIVESTRONG.COM 4-Week Plank Challenge with fitness expert Elise Joan. Every week for four weeks, we give you seven plank variations that’ll work every major muscle group, including your abs, obliques, hips, back and glutes.

But let's start with the basics: Start on your hands and knees. Then push up onto your hands and feet so that your body is in a straight line from head to toe. Keep your abs engaged, hips lifted and neck relaxed. Basically, you're in the top position of a push-up. Now the hard part: hold!

While they may seem tough at first, planks are easy to master. Start out by holding each plank for 30 seconds, twice a day. By the end of the first week you’ll be able to hold for a minute, no sweat!

Read more: Step-by-Step Directions on How to Do the Plank

How to Join the Plank Challenge

1. Join our Facebook Challenge Group to get support, motivation and virtual workout buddies. Each week, we'll be posting the new plank variations and cheering you along.

2. Print out the calendar below and hang it somewhere where you're sure to see it every day. Or you can save it to your computer desktop or phone to reference it when you need it.

Print out your LIVESTRONG.COM 4- Week Plank Challenge calendar.
Print out your LIVESTRONG.COM 4- Week Plank Challenge calendar. Photo Credit: Gracie Wilson/LIVESTRONG.COM

3. Get to planking! If you’re new to planking, hold each variation for just 30 seconds and work your way up to one or even two minutes. Or if you've been doing planks for a while, jump right in to one or two minutes to challenge yourself.

4. Share your progress in the Facebook group. Post photos of yourself planking or simply shout "DONE!" so we can all hold each other accountable.

5. Lastly, be sure to follow Elise on Facebook and Instagram. Love her outfits? Get her look at Montreal London, Manduka, Splits 59 and Beach Body.

LIVESTRONG.COM is turning ten years old this summer, and we want to celebrate our birthday with you! On Saturday, August 4, at The Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California, the entire LIVESTRONG team and celebrity trainer Jillian Michaels, along with our favorite social media influencers, food experts, celebrities, top fitness trainers and our biggest fans will be breaking the GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS™ title for Most people holding a plank. Are you in? Get tickets now before they sell out.

Check Out the Other Weeks of the Challenge

What Do YOU Think?

Do you love or hate planks? Have you ever done a plank challenge? Tell us what you think! Will you be joining this challenge? What other kinds of challenges would you like to see on LIVESTRONG.COM? Share your thoughts in the comments below or in our challenge Facebook group.

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