Holding a plank for even a minute may sound like a big enough challenge to start with – but with a little trick we learned for “resting” one arm at a time, you’ll surprise yourself when you accept this challenge and actually complete it!
Ready for the Challenge?
We’ve detailed the moves in this challenge for you here, and we’ve made it available for you to download in a PDF. Just click here (or on the image on the left) and you can grab a copy to keep on your computer or print out for future reference.
The Plank and Balance Challenge – The Moves
Start out in a simple plank. Place your hands under your shoulders, put a slight bend in your elbows, prop up on your toes and look at the ground a few inches in front of your finger tips. Work towards a straight line from your heels to the crown of your head.
Without dropping onto your knees, move to a side arm balance. Keep your right hand rooted, raise your left hand up and turn onto the outside of your right foot. See… your left arm gets a little rest…
Again, without dropping onto your knees, switch to the left-handed side arm balance. Here, your right arm gets a much needed rest…
Then, move back to the plank again and repeat!
The Plank and Balance Challenge – The Challenge
Now, the challenge is to keep yourself up for a full 7.5 minutes. Grab your stop watch and get into position:
- 1 minute plank
- 1 minute side arm balance on the right
- 1 minute side arm balance on the left
- 45 second plank
- 45 second side arm balance on the right
- 45 second side arm balance on the left
- 30 second plank
- 30 second side arm balance on the right
- 30 second side arm balance on the left
- 15 second plank
- 15 second side arm balance on the right
- 15 second side arm balance on the left
You WILL shake. You WILL sweat and you WILL have to tell yourself that you WILL do it!
Don’t be surprised if it takes you a few days of doing this a few times before you master it. Keep doing it until you do so!
Modifications for Beginners
As long as your doctor says you’re healthy enough for exercise, we suggest trying to do this without modifications – until you absolutely need to modify. It is hard – that’s why it’s called a “Challenge”.
But, if you’re halfway through that second round and you can’t hold on anymore, you can try a few of these modifications:
- Move to your forearms. This takes out some height so you’re not working as hard against gravity. It also takes the pressure off of your wrists and gives you a larger base to balance on. This works for your plank and the side arm balances.
- Drop to your knees in plank. Before giving up and resting, try dropping your knees down. This will take a lot of weight off without completely taking you out of the move. This works if you’re up in a full plank or down on your forearms.
- Drop your bottom knee in side arm balance. Same thing goes for side arm balance. Before coming all the way out of the posture, just drop your bottom knee down. It’ll immediately alleviate weight and you’ll be able to hold out a bit longer.
Work your way out of modifications until you can hold all three postures for each full round.
Modifications for Experts
If you’ve mastered these moves and want to take them to the next level, here are some options:
- Raise one leg behind you while in plank. Switch half-way through each round.
- Raise your top leg while in side arm balance and hold it high through each round.
How Did You Do?
Let us know if you were able to complete this challenge! We want to know how many tries it took and how you felt when you finally mastered it!