Plank Workouts for Women that Work
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With this easy-to-follow plank challenge, you will see the results you’ve been dying to see in no time. Say goodbye to your love handles and tummy pouch because they are on their way out. This 30-day challenge is fast and easy, and you can do it at home. It consists of only one exercise – the plank – and you only have to do it one time each day.
The plank is a great exercise that works muscles throughout your entire body. But only if it is done correctly. Keep reading to find detailed instructions and quick tips on how to improve your plank and get the most out of this challenge!
About Toning Your Core and Sculpting the Perfect Abs
The plank is one of the most efficient and effective core exercises, as it targets both the upper and lower muscles of the abdomen, as well as the lower back. And while it’s working all those muscles to strengthen your core, your upper-body, and lower-body are also getting a workout. And the best part? While it improves your posture, strengthens your core muscles helping to avoid injury, and activates multiple muscles throughout your body, it is also giving you that flat, toned stomach you’ve been working so hard to achieve.
Proper Plank Form
In order for the plank to work in your favor, it is essential that your form is correct when performing the exercise. Improper form can actually injure your lower back and halt your progress. Follow these directions to perform a proper forearm plank.
- Plant forearms firmly on the ground, shoulder-width apart.
- Stretch out your legs, stabilizing yourself with the balls of your feet.
- As you lift yourself off the floor, make sure your body forms a straight line from the top of your head all the way to your feet.
- Do not let your hips sink down close to the floor; this will cause strain on your lower back, which could result in a low back injury.
- Do not raise your hips either; though this makes it easier, it will also put unnecessary strain on your lower back. Plus it’s cheating, making the exercise easier, so don’t do that.
- Make sure your abs are engaged the whole time. You can do this by thinking about getting your belly button to reach the ceiling, not letting gravity take over your stomach and keeping your abdominal muscles engaged the entire time.
- To engage your legs, squeeze your glutes together and engage your quads. The best way to engage specific muscles is to think about flexing them while you are doing the exercise.
- Most important is to remember to breathe. Especially as you begin holding the exercise for longer amounts of time, it is important to keep a steady breathing pattern. Try to get deep breathes, rather than keeping the breathing high in your chest. This can be hard due to the position your body is in, but the best trick to control your breathing pattern is to focus on your out breath. Your body will naturally take a breath in with the same amount of pressure you breathe out.
One thing to remember is that this is a core exercise, and your core does include your lower back. So do not be concerned if you feel some soreness in your lower back a few days into the challenge. This is normal, and actually good because it means those muscles, which don’t tend to get focused on too much, are being worked and, ultimately, being strengthened.
Falling Off Schedule
First things first, it’s ok! Life happens. Sometimes we forget, sometimes we are too busy, and let’s be honest, sometimes we just straight up do not feel like working out. If you miss one day that’s alright. The best thing to do is to start where you left off and don’t worry about trying to make up for a lost day. Just turn it into a 31-day challenge with an extra rest day. No big deal.
If you happen to miss multiple days in a row, however, the rules change a little. After missing a few days, it is best to just take it from the top. Don’t feel bad about starting over though! Chances are you will be more determined to complete the challenge on your second go around. The challenge is designed to build your strength at a steady pace, letting your body adapt to the movements, making sure to not tear and muscles or make you too sore to the point where you can’t complete it. So after missing a few days, instead of throwing your body right back into a higher rep range, you will get the most out of it by starting at day one.
Doing a challenge is a great way to jumpstart your fitness lifestyle, push yourself to new limits, reach new goals, and see the results you want. But they only work if you stick to them. Here are some quick tips to use when doing any fitness challenge to help you stay on track and have fun while you’re doing it!
- Invite your friends to join you! Everything is more fun when your best friends do it with you, so make it a team challenge. This way, you will have your friends to keep you accountable, push you, and make this challenge that much more fun!
- Listen to your favorite music! Even though it does not take too much time out of your day, working out is always more fun when you are listening to the hottest new hit or your favorite indie band.
- Be consistent! Do the exercises for the challenge each day at the same time and in the same place (if possible. I know life is busy, so do this to the best of your ability). When you have a routine to follow, you are more likely to not miss a day and actually complete the challenge.
- For this challenge in particular, a good tip is to perform this challenge on a soft service, preferably a workout mat! But if you don’t have one of those on hand, using a towel or any other soft surface will do the trick. Because you will be performing the plank on the same spot on your forearms and elbows, it is important to keep them protected.
Now that you’re all set, it’s time to start sculpting that tummy!