The 4-Week Plank Challenge: Week 1

Elise Joan demonstrates how to do a bicycle plank
Get ready for some ab-sculpting planks. (Image: Ken Stachnik/LIVESTRONG.COM)

Welcome to week 1, fellow plankers! We’re kicking off the LIVESTRONG 4-Week Plank Challenge with all the moves you’ll need to get started.

Check out the video below to watch Elise break each move down:

Remember, if you’re new to planking, hold each variation for just 30 seconds and work your way up to one or even two minutes. Here's a line-up of all the moves you'll be doing this week:

Elise Joan demonstrates how to do a Wide-Arm Plank
Place your hands wider than usual. (Image: Ken Stachnik/LIVESTRONG.COM)

1. Wide-Arm Plank

HOW TO DO IT: Start in the standard plank position, but walk your hands out several inches so that your hands are wider than shoulder-distance apart. Then walk your feet out several inches. You should now be in a star shape.

Elise Joan demonstrates how to do a Knee-to-Nose Extension Plank
Really engage those abs! (Image: Ken Stachnik/LIVESTRONG.COM)

2. Knee-to-Nose Extension Plank

HOW TO DO IT: Begin in the wide-arm plank position. Next, draw your left knee up toward your nose as you round your back. Return to the start and repeat twice more. Now do three reps on the right side. Repeat for the full 30 seconds to 2 minutes.

Elise Joan demonstrates how to do a Straight-Arm Plank
Drop and give us 30 seconds! (Image: Ken Stachnik/LIVESTRONG.COM)

3. Straight-Arm Plank

HOW TO DO IT: This is your standard plank where you start in and hold the top of a push-up position. Keep your arms straight without locking your elbows out and maintain proper form. If you lose your form, drop down to your knees.

Elise Joan demonstrates how to do a Cross-Knee Extension Plank
Twist and shout! (Image: Ken Stachnik/LIVESTRONG.COM)

4. Cross-Knee Extension Plank

HOW TO DO IT: Begin in a straight-arm plank. Then bring your left knee to your right elbow. Take it back to the start before repeating twice more. Now do three reps with your right knee and your left elbow. Repeat for the full 30 seconds to 2 minutes.

Elise Joan demonstrates how to do a Forearm Plank
This variation is the baseline for planks. (Image: Ken Stachnik/LIVESTRONG.COM)

5. Forearm Plank

HOW TO DO IT: Instead of starting with your arms extended straight, you'll be doing a standard plank but dropping down to your forearms. You can keep your hands flat along the floor or clasp your hands in front of you.

Elise Joan demonstrates how to do an Opposite-Leg Bicycle plank
Cycle those legs to feel the burn. (Image: Ken Stachnik/LIVESTRONG.COM)

6. Opposite-Leg Bicycle Plank

HOW TO DO IT: Start in a forearm plank. Now slowly start to bend one knee, and then the other. Cycle back and forth between bending your right and left knees, keeping your hips at shoulder height. Continue for the full 30 seconds to two minutes.

Elise Joan demonstrates how to do a Hip-Drop Plank
Your obliques will be on fire. (Image: Ken Stachnik/LIVESTRONG.COM)

7. Hip-Drop Plank

HOW TO DO IT: Again, start in a forearm plank. Then slowly drop your hips to the left side, hovering a few inches above the ground (or as far as you can while keeping proper form). Return to center before dropping your hips to the right side. Alternate for 30 seconds to two minutes.

Stay Tuned for More!

Now get ready to start week 2 to learn seven more ab-blasting moves that you can do in the office without even changing your clothes. Don’t forget to join our Facebook Challenge Group to get support, motivation and virtual workout buddies.

Also, be sure to follow Elise on Facebook and Instagram. Love her outfits? Get her Week 1 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 before they sell out.

What Do YOU Think?

Do you love or hate planks? Have you ever done a plank challenge? Try Week 1’s moves and tell us what you think! 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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