The Fit 50 – No.21 3-Minute Plank

50 Fitness challenges to shake up your fitness journey.

How many can you do?

No.21 3-Minute Plank

The staple of core strength but how good are you at performing the plank hold. Can also be called the core hold.

The holding of the high part of the push up position or in an elbow and forearm resting position. The mind could wander, and the body may shake but one thing is for sure – the time will pass slowly.

The slowest ever recorded minute was recorded when I did my first plank in a few years last month, time stopped still at one stage, not sure how this didn’t make the news.

Not much technique or agility required just determination and practice. Can you keep going another ten seconds, another twenty? Important to get your positioning correct, keep that butt down but also don’t let your hips sink. You should have someone set you alignment, see if you are nice and straight.

There are a few exercises you can do in this position which require motion, tapping of the shoulders, bringing your knee slowly to your elbow or removing one of your 4 bases for a period of time – lift your leg for 15 seconds for example. These other exercises can relieve the boredom and repetitiveness of just practicing the plank.

There is no easy way to improve your plank time, just practice static hold core exercises. Maybe you can do some V-sits or L-sits to help or superman’s for your back. In general, though, the plank is the best training for the plank.

L-sit could be used for an alternative, sitting up right, arms by sides, hands press into the floor raising your butt and legs off the ground. All your weight is taken by your two hands. Difficult.

My Experience – Shaking, always shaking towards the end. Long deep breaths get me through it, counting to 20 breaths gets through about 90 seconds and then it is just hanging on. I don’t enjoy the 3 minutes but when they are over, I feel great. I try this at work sometimes when I need an energy boost, even just for a minute – try it, why not.

Fun Fact – George Hood from Illinois USA held the plank for over 10 hours, and he is 60 years old. So 3-minutes shouldn’t be so hard right?

Elite Challenge – Anything over 5 minutes

Alternate Test – 1-minute L-sit hold.

Fit Fifty Challenge – Completing 3 minutes unbroken

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