With bathing suit season right around the corner, many of you are probably dusting off your weights and yoga mats in order to prep that summer body for the beach. It can be difficult to stay motivated over the colder months. Plus, from October through to April, there are tons of Holiday’s with big meals like:
How many of you stuffed your faces but forgot to hit the gym after? If you’re one of the lazy ones, you might be looking for a quick and simple exercise routine that will get you in shape in time for the summer months.
What if I told you there’s a simple exercise that will only take 4 minutes out of your day? If you keep it up for a full month, you will reduce body fat as well as enhance your strength and endurance. You will also help to reduce all that belly and back fat. Are you ready to give it a try? Don’t try these at home until you consult with a medical professional first.
1. The Plank: First, I’ll explain what the exercise is, how to do it, and I’ll point out some tips and tricks. Then I’ll explain how to adjust the workout over the month to see the results you want.
2. Demonstration: YouTube channel Runtastic Fitness shared a video on how to achieve the perfect plank.
3. Exercise: The instructor explains that planks are an isometric exercise which means that you are holding a single position and working on muscle strength without even having to move. This would be the perfect workout for people with small spaces.
4. Start: Most people are familiar with what a basic plank is. This particular form is called a ‘hand plank.’ You start by placing your hands on the ground, directly underneath your shoulders and using your toes you are going to push your knees towards the ceiling.
5. Hold: Hold this position, ensuring that all the muscles in your body are tight and firm. Although this may seem easy it first, it will gradually get more difficult to hold the position.
6. Don’t: Do not give in to the urge to let your hips rise. Although it’s alright to lift the back a little bit if you are feeling lower back pain, there is a modified version of the plank that you can try instead.
7. Simply: Drop your knees to the floor and keep your back level and you will now be in a modified plank.
8. Try this: A modified position would be to hold the plank while resting on your elbows. Make sure your arms are placed directly under your shoulder and your knees are pointing towards the ceiling.
9. Challenge: Now that you know how to do a plank or a modified plank, you are ready for the 28-day plank challenge. At the beginning, you will start planking in 20-45 seconds intervals and by the end, you could be able to hold a plank for 3-4 minutes!
10. The Plan: Hold a 20-second plank during the first two days, and then gradually increase to 30 seconds on the 3rd and 4th day. Then try and get up to 40 by day 5.
11. Rest: Take a break on the sixth day and then continue adding 5 seconds onto your plank time for the 7th and 8th day.
12. Hold: Once you’re able to hold the plank for a minute, repeat this for a few days and then begin to tack on 5 additional seconds.
13. Halfway: Aim to hold the plank for 90 seconds by day 12, and on the following day take another break.
14. Almost done: Keep up the minute and a half long plank for the 14th and 15th day and then in the next two days try and make the step to 2 minutes.
15. Maximum Plank: By the 18th-day, plank for 1 minute and 50 seconds and take a break the following day. After a couple more days bump up the time to 180 seconds on the 22nd and 23rd day. By the 26th day, you should be able to hold the plank for 2210 seconds.
16. Finale: On the last two days, hold the plank for 240 seconds long on the 27th and then on the 28th try to hold it as long as you can! Now that you have come to the end of the 28-day challenge you will notice the effects are visible and you will be amazed. Make sure to keep up the exercise though! No point in stopping now! You can even keep playing with plank variations and workouts to achieve sculpted arms and stomach muscles.