If you’ve never had a strong core, you might not realise just how much it can impact your daily life. A strong torso helps shield against injury, can improve back (and possibly even knee) pain, improves posture, and promotes more efficient movement overall.

If you’re new to exercise and/or have limited time to work out, prioritising core strength is a smart strategy because it can make a dramatic difference in so many ways and doesn’t take much time.

Why is doing a challenge important? When you’re trying to improve at something in life, the first step to success is setting a goal—this gives us motivation on those days we don’t want to exercise. Also, as you progress through this challenge, you will see improvement, and progress is highly motivating.

Like any challenge in life, you need to put in the work, be patient, stay positive, and celebrate small improvements.

The Challenge:

The goal of this 30-day plank challenge is but to build up your own plank until you can last three minutes in rock-solid fashion. Over the next 30 days you will become a lean, mean planking machine, and all it’s going to take is three minutes of work a day. At most.

Those three minutes will, naturally, be a stern test of your physical and mental endurance. We’d advise using music or some other form of entertainment to help distract you during the long minutes of planking. The benefits of this work will not only be a personal planking record to be proud of, but an impressively strong core that will help you improve in all manner of sport and other exercises, as well as enhancing your posture and mobility.

Since you’re going to be spending an awful lot of time planking, it’s absolutely vital to get your form spot-on. There are three key attributes of a perfect plank to bear in mind:

  1. Your weight should be on the balls of your feet and your elbows. Rest your forearms on the floor with your hands locked together in front.
  2. Keep your back and hips aligned so that your body forms a straight line from shoulders to ankles.
  3. Brace your abs. The key is not to let your hips sag, or raise them too high. It’s all about forming a straight line, much like a plank of wood. You don’t see a plank of wood sagging at the hips do you?

The 30-Day Plank Challenge

Take heart from the fact you will have both a core and a mind as strong as iron at the end of it. The first few days are exclusively standard planks, but as time goes on, some variations enter the mix. Make sure you nail your technique for each variation before starting.

Day 1 60sec plank
Day 2 70sec plank
Day 3 80sec plank
Day 4 90sec plank
Day 5 2 x 60sec plank
Day 6 2 x 70sec plank
Day 7 2 x 80sec plank
Day 8 2 x 90sec plank
Day 9 2min plank
Day 10 60sec plank up downs (aka walking plank)
Day 11 70sec plank up downs
Day 12 80sec plank up downs
Day 13 90sec plank up downs
Day 14 60sec plank + 30sec plank up downs
Day 15 70sec plank + 30sec plank up downs
Day 16 70sec plank + 35sec plank up downs
Day 17 70sec plank + 40sec plank up downs
Day 18 75sec plank + 40 sec plank up downs
Day 19 80sec plank + 40 sec plank up downs
Day 20 60sec plank + 30sec plank up downs + 10sec (each side) Superman plank
Day 21 70sec plank + 30sec plank up downs + 15sec Superman plank
Day 22 70sec plank + 35sec plank up downs + 15sec Superman plank
Day 23 70 sec plank + 35sec plank up downs + 20sec Superman plank
Day 24 75sec plank + 35sec plank up downs + 20sec Superman plank
Day 25 75sec plank + 40sec plank up downs + 20sec Superman plank
Day 26 80sec plank + 40sec plank up downs + 20sec Superman plank
Day 27 80sec plank + 40sec plank up downs + 25sec Superman plank
Day 28 85sec plank + 45sec plank up downs + 25sec Superman plank
Day 29 90sec plank + 45sec plank up downs + 30sec Superman plank
Day 30 3min plank