Planking like a Pro

For the month of November I saw a challenge on Instagram from some of my fellow Tampa Bay bloggers. The #planksgiving challenge looks like this:

Planksgiving challenge

I chewed on it a while and then I bit, I joined the challenge.

But, here’s the thing, most of the #planksgiving challenges top out at 3 minutes and a 3 minute plank is definitely do-able for me. Just a few months ago I had been in the habit of doing at least a 2 minute plank every single day but this challenge has you topping off at 5 minutes…FIVE WHOLE MINUTES.

I signed up because I love a good challenge but I was thinking I’ma need a few breaks in between.  But then my competitive side checked in and I thought, I’m doing this!  I mean do you realize how many muscles you work when you’re doing a plank?

plank muscles

That is serious!

So, I’m just going to incorporate the same strategy I used when I first starting doing planks to build up my time and hit that 5 minutes… or maybe even more.  For the record I’m already ahead of the challenge and this morning I did a 2:45!

First, in case you aren’t familiar with planks, here is the proper form.

proper plank formFive minutes doesn’t really count if you don’t have proper form so make sure you’re doing them correctly.

And now, here are my tips for holding that plank longer and stronger:

1. Do a plank every single day and always try to increase your time by a few seconds.

2. Take 2 – I like to give myself the opportunity to do a little better, so I do a plank first thing in the morning before I go running and then I do another one sometime in the evening. I try to increase the time just a little bit at night. If I manage to increase the time it pushes me work harder the next day. If I match the time, it gives me confidence that I’m getting better.

3. I read a magazine article or something that would normally take a few minutes of time but I don’t like to read my email or check facebook or any other social media because I don’t want to have to scroll or risk losing my form.

4. I don’t look at the clock until I start to shake. Sometimes I’m right where I thought I’d be and sometimes, I’m way ahead.

5. Just when I’m ready to drop and think I can go no further, I think about the world record holders and some of the top fitness people who hold planks for an hour or more and I try to hold mine just a bit longer. (I’m super competitive and this works really well for me.)

So, that’s what I do and that’s how I plan to get to my 5 minute planks by the end of November and I’m pretty sure I can do it. In fact by the end of November, this will be me:


Do you have any tips for increasing your plank time?
What’s the longest plank you’ve ever held?

6 thoughts on “Planking like a Pro

  1. sooooooo….in order to make time go by….I incorporate lifting one leg for 3 breaths (about 12 seconds for me) and then the other leg. Or side planking on each side, making sure to stack hips and concentrate on form. Mixing it up for me REALLY helps. 5 minutes can fly by. seriously…..You should also try the wall planks for awesome workout. I can only hold those for 30 seconds. I truly do LOVE planks. fckn weirdo. So Plank You very much for the challenge! I’m IN!

  2. 3.5 is my longest. My trainer would have be do a few during our sessions. I usually get bored first.

    I’d definitely have to read a book to do 5 minutes. Even if I could ever do an hour physically, mentally I’d fail way before then!

    • 3.5 is awesome! I think an hour would be hard to. It’s not like you can actually do anything during that hour and there is no way I could mentally entertain myself for that long. Even thinking about it is pretty scary. 🙂

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