14 Day Plank Challenge
If you want to build up a killer core and a strong posture, incorporating a plank into your workout routine is the way to go. While this exercise is often considered boring, it is remarkably efficient in enhancing your strength and building up your abs as well. Follow the best 14-day plank challenge to build a powerful core and sexy 6-pack.
What is a plank?
Plank is a simple yet effective exercise that builds up stability and strength throughout the whole body. There are multiple variations of the plank exercise, yet the crucial element is keeping your body perpendicular to the ground, stomach facing down, with your torso elevated either with the help of your elbows or hands.
Plank has numerous benefits which caused its popularity.
First of all, it is a bodyweight exercise, which means you don’t need any expensive equipment to practice it, so you can do it both at home and in the gym. Planks can save you some cash. Also, bodyweight exercises are continuously tailored to your own workout needs since they rely only on the weight of your body. Also, plank targets multiple muscles all over your body.
Plank and different muscle groups
In particular, plank targets the transversus abdominis, which is a set of core muscles that lays the foundation that enables you to develop your abs. You need to work on these muscles if you wish to sculpt the perfect 6-pack.
The rectus abdominis makes up the top layer of your abs, which is why they are commonly referred to as your “six-pack.” If you keep these muscles strong, you can easily and properly perform daily activities that require you to flex the trunk (2). Strong rectus abdominis helps immensely in improving sports performance and stabilizing the spine.
Your oblique muscles support your spinal column, and improve your performance in physical activities that involve quick movements and twisting.
Combined with hamstrings, calves, and back, glutes are the most powerful muscles in the human body. They help support your back and make completing your everyday routine tasks possible. This muscle group, often collectively called the “posterior chain”—generates more force than any other human movement, whether that means power cleans, deadlifts, box jumps, or just lifting a heavy suitcase off the floor (4).
Finally, planks will help you to enhance your posture, get rid of debilitating back pain, improve balance and coordination, as well as flexibility and metabolism (7).
So, without further ado, here’s a 14 day plank challenge plan that’ll help you get stronger from head to toe (3).
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14 day plank challenge plan
How to do the plank challenge? Nothing complicated. You need to power through laziness, put our recommendations into practice and for the lack of a better expression – just do it. If you feel discomfort while performing a plank, take a quick 10-second break and resume.
This day, you perform one set of two plank exercises: a standard and side plank. Hold a standard plank for 10 seconds, then take a 5-second breather, and repeat for a total of 4 times. Then, do the same with the side plank, and repeat for a total of 3 times.
Get into a plank position. Rest on your forearms, with your fingers spread wide and body straight. Then, squeeze your thighs, hips and abs while driving your heels away from you.
Lie on your side and place your forearm on the ground, perpendicular to your body. Keep your body straight, your glutes must be tight and shoulders pulled back. Make sure to not let your hips sag. Stack your shoulders and hips and look straightforward, aligning your nose and navel.
Today, you’ll need to do more – 2 of the same exact sets of plank and side plank exercises.
This is the easy day, for your muscles to be able to recover. Perform one set of feet-elevated plank. Hold it for 20 seconds, then rest for five. Repeat two times.
The only difference of feet-elevated plank from the regular plank is that you should place your feet on a 4-inch box.
Today, you’ll need to perform two sets, each set consisting of a stability ball plank, and a side plank with leg reach exercises. Performing a stability ball, hold it for 20 seconds, rest for 5 seconds, and repeat for a total of 3 times. With a side plank with leg reach, hold it for 15 seconds, rest for 5 seconds, repeat for a total of two times.
Stability ball plank:
Get into a plank position, supporting your body weight with your chest and forearms on the ball and your toes on the floor. Then, lift your chest off the ball so your upper body weight is supported by your forearms. Keep your abdominals contracted and your back straight, eyes looking forward.
Side plank with leg reach:
Lie on your side and place your forearm on the ground, perpendicular to your body. Keep your body straight, your glutes tight, your shoulders must be pulled back. Make sure to not let your hips sag. Stack your shoulders and hips and look straightforwardly, aligning your nose and navel. Lift your top leg up and reach your top arm over your head.
Today you’ll need to do 2 sets consisting of three exercises: stability ball plank, plank walk, and side plank with leg reach.
Start in a usual plank position, resting on your forearms with your body forming a straight line from shoulders to feet. Now, push up from the ground, one arm at a time, into an elevated press-up position, all while maintaining your rigid plank form.
Perform two sets of a stability ball plank exercise, 3 repetitions in each set. Hold for 20 seconds, rest for 5 seconds.
Today you’ll need to do 3 sets consisting of a stability ball bodysaw exercise and a plank walk. In each set, perform 12 reps of the bodysaw. As for the plank walk, hold it for 30 seconds, rest for 10 seconds, and repeat one more time in each set. Stability ball bodysaw:
Get in a stability ball plank position. Keep your torso still, and move your body forward and back. Squeeze your shoulder blades together and never let your lower back sag.
Today you’ll need to do 3 sets consisting of stability ball bodysaw, spiderman walk, and plank walk. You’ll do 15 reps of a bodysaw exercise in each set. When performing spiderman walk, hold it for 30 seconds, rest 15 seconds, and repeat on the other side. With plank walk, hold for 30 seconds, rest for 10 seconds, repeat twice.
Hold a plank position on your forearms. Then, pull one knee the side perpendicular to your torso as if you’re aiming to tap your triceps.
Do 3 sets consisting of stir the pot, spiderman plank, and plank walk. With stir the pot, perform 12 circles in each direction. With spiderman plank, hold it for 45 seconds and rest for 15 seconds, do one time on each side. Do a plank walk for 30 seconds, but switch hands every 5 seconds.
Stir the pot:
Begin in a plank position with your elbows resting on a stability ball. Make circles with your elbows to activate the lats while the core has to stabilize your position.
Today you’ll do 3 sets consisting of stir the pot, salute plank, and side plank with leg reach. In each set, perform 12 circles each direction of stir the pot. Then, do 45 seconds of salute plank, alternating hands every 2 seconds. Now, do 2 reps of side plank with leg reach (hold 20 sec, rest 5 sec).
Begin in a plank position. Keeping your core and glutes tight, bring one hand to your forehead in a salute position with a cadence of 2 seconds up and 2 seconds down. Remember to hold your hips parallel to the ground and avoid twisting.
Three sets, each consists of 15 circles each direction of stir the pot, 45 seconds salute plank with hands alternation every 2 sec, and 30 seconds of alternating side plank. You need to switch hands every 5 sec performing the last one.
Alternating side plank:
First, lie on your side and place your forearm on the ground, perpendicular to your body. Keep your body straight, your glutes tight and shoulders pulled back. Make sure to not let your hips sag. Rotate your body as one unit toward the ground to plank and switch sides to do a side plank facing the other side.
3 sets consisting of spiderman plank (hold 45 sec, rest 15 sec, repeat on the other side), alternating side plank (45 sec, switch sides every 5 sec), and stir the pot (12 circles each direction).
On your final day, you’ll push the limits, and do 3 sets with 4 exercises in each. First, go with a salute plank (1 minute, alternate hands every 2 sec). Then, do stir the pot (15 circles each direction). Now, perform spiderman plank (hold 30 sec, rest 5 sec, 2 reps each side). You can rest for 15 sec between sides. Finish your 14 day plank challenge with 60 sec plank walk, switching sides every 5 sec.
And that’s it!
To sum up, a 14 day plank challenge is a great option for you if you wish to build up a muscular and strong core, as well as reap the benefits of this incredibly effective exercise. Don’t forget to combine your workouts with a well-balanced diet that’s high in protein (1, 6), and fiber (5). Remember to guzzle some water before and after your training to rehydrate your body. DISCLAIMER:
This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!
- Optimizing Protein Intake in Adults: Interpretation and Application of the Recommended Dietary Allowance Compared with the Acceptable Macronutrient Distribution Range (2017, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Rectus Abdominis Exercises (2019, livestrong.com)
- The 14-day Plank Plan (2017, blog.myfitnesspal.com)
- The 20 Best Glutes Exercises of All Time (n.d., mensjournal.com)
- The impact of soluble dietary fibre on gastric emptying, postprandial blood glucose and insulin in patients with type 2 diabetes. (2014, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- The role of protein in weight loss and maintenance (2015, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- What Are the 4 Main Benefits of the Plank Exercise? (2019, livestrong.com)