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Try This 8-Week Plank Challenge to Get Stronger From Head to Toe

Try This 8-Week Plank Challenge to Get Stronger From Head to Toe
Issue Time:2017-10-31


Try This 8-WeekPlank Challenge to Get Stronger From Head to Toe

Planks challenge your arms, legs, chest,shoulders, and butt, not to mention make your abs quiver like an earthquake when done properly. Best of all, you can do them anywhere and tweak them to suit your ability. The more you plank, the stronger and more stable you get,and the longer your muscles can endure a plank hold. That's the intention ofour 8-week plank challenge.(Got 10 minutes?Then you've got time to lose the weight for good with prevention's new 10-minute workouts and 10-minute meals. )

Your performance will improve if you take active recoveries (or continue moving) between plank holds.This plan uses back extensions as an active recovery exercise because they strengthen the lower back, which is the opposing muscle group to the absyou're strengthening in plank. Perform the assigned weekly workout 3 days per week with 24 to 48 hours between sessions.


Beginner:


If shoulder strength or stability is not your strong suit, or if the pressure of high plank holds hurts your wrists, simply find a bench, stool, or ottoman to use as a prop for an incline plank. Place your forearms parallel to one another on the bench and create afist with your hands. Grip the floor with your toes behind you. Lift your body up, supported by your forearms and toes. Tighten your belly and clench your buns. Attempt to create a straight line from the side of the shoulder to theside of the hip to the middle of the ankle. If this is too taxing, find ahigher bench: The higher the platform, the easier your incline plank will be.

Advanced:


Assume high plank on a mat. Place your hands directly underneath your shoulders, grip the back of the mat with your toes, and then lift and hold your body following the same steps above.

Back Extension:

Beginner:


Lie on your belly on a mat. Place your hands on either side of your ribcage, then press your body weight into your hands to assist your lower back in lifting your head and chest. Hold momentarily, then return your head and chest to the mat. (Make sure not to compress your lower back.)

Advanced:


Lie on your belly on a mat with hands stacked under your forehead. Using the muscles of your lower back, lift your head, arms, and maybe even your chest off of the mat. Hold momentarily, then return your head, arms, and chest to the mat.

Prevention Plank Challenge:

WEEK 1

15-second plank hold

10 back extensions

REPEAT 4X total (collective plank total: 1minute)


WEEK 2

20-second plank hold

10 back extensions

REPEAT 4X total (collective plank total: 1minute 20 seconds)


WEEK 3

25-second plank hold

10 back extensions

REPEAT 4X total (collective plank total: 1minute 40 seconds)


WEEK 4

30-second plank hold

10 back extensions

REPEAT 4X total (collective plank total: 2minutes)


WEEK 5

35-second plank hold

10 back extensions

REPEAT 4X total (collective plank total: 2minutes 20 seconds)


WEEK 6

40-second plank hold

10 back extensions

REPEAT 4X total (collective plank total: 2minutes 40 seconds)


WEEK 7

45-second plank hold

10 back extensions

REPEAT 4X total (collective plank total: 3minutes)


WEEK 8

50-second plank hold

10 back extensions

REPEAT 4X total (collective plank total: 3minutes 20 seconds)



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