Monday, October 31, 2022

It's Time for Planksgiving '22

How do you feel about planking? Ever wanted to give it a try?  If you're already a proficient planker, have you thought of upping your game ? 

Or maybe you're just simply craving a little challenge to get you through November, before the holiday season really takes off?

Have no fear...Planksgiving '22 is here!

It's no secret that I'm a devout planker. Looking back through some of my archived blog posts, there's evidence that's it's been happening since at least 2015. Truth be told, I have no idea when it actually started (but it seems like forever ago, LOL).

Although I have been planking-on-the-daily all these years, it has been awhile since I've done a  planking challenge of sorts. My abs aren't looking scary, but they're definitely not looking as toned as I'd like them to be. 

Besides, my racing season is over for a few why not switch things up a bit?

Allow me to tell you about Planksgiving '22!

This will be an easy challenge to jump into, no matter where you are in your planking (or fitness)  journey. Basically, I'm challenging you to simply get down on the floor and assume the position, everyday.

Forearm plank, with one leg extended

First of all, there aren't daily "assignments," because we're all at different levels. A 30-second forearm plank might be easy-peasy for some and nearly impossible for others (and that's alright). Instead, the focus will be on daily work, and gradual progress between now and Thanksgiving (November 24th).

 If you already have planking in your fitness regimen, that's great! You'll already have a base, so daily planking (even on your rest days) shouldn't be too big of a schedule adjustment (after all, this is only for a few weeks). 

If you're a beginner, try starting with a conservative time frame (maybe 15-30 seconds). Do that for the first four days, then add five (or ten) seconds for the next four. Boom! That'll get you through the first 1/3 of the challenge in no time.

A few tips:
***Vary your positions. A forearm plank is typically more challenging than balancing on your hands/wrists; a side plank (on your forearms or hands/wrists) is even tougher since it will call on your obliques and inner thighs to engage. Do try to incorporate different positions each day, or at least on alternate days, since the different positions utilize different muscles.

***Be mindful of your form. Your core will naturally "contract" as a means to maintain your balance, but you also should try to squeeze your buttocks and keep your legs flexed. As well, keep your back strong; if you can feel it starting to sway, you're done. 

***Have your phone, a tablet, a book, or magazine handy. Believe me, planking can be boring! I always have something to entertain (or distract) me while I'm doing my thing.

***Increase your "holding time" in increments of 5,10, or 15 seconds, at least during the first week or so. It's helpful to chart your progress and keep a log of how many minutes each day you've devoted to planking. 

***After the first eight days have passed, assess how things are feeling. Can you add more seconds to each position, each day? Or increase the holding time every-other day? Do you feel like adding an additional planking session to each day...maybe over lunch or before bedtime?  

***Use a timer, and try to not look at it. Full disclosure: a 1-minute plank goes much quicker when you're not stalking the clock for the duration.

***Take measurements (of your waist and hips), especially on Day-1 and Day-24 (but also on Day-8 and Day-16). A word of caution, you probably will not feel or notice the results on a daily basis (but they'll be there). Over the course of these 24 days, progress will happen, so be sure to document it! It may be subtle, but at the very least you will start to gain more strength (and not just in your core).

Myself? My goal is five minutes of daily planking for this challenge. These five minutes probably won't all happen in succession everyday. I do plan on squeezing in some planking over my lunch breaks (on occasion), and for sure in the evenings. Also, I'm going to be focusing on my side-plank and increasing my Chaturanga  holding time.  

Chaturanga is tough!

 Some related posts:

So, what ya say? Are you on board to up your planking game (at least for the next 24 days)? 

I'm linking this with Kim and Zenaida for the Tuesday Topics Link-Up

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  1. This is a great idea, Kim!
    I do quite a bit of planking, but not every day. I'm in!
    So you mean 5 minutes of planking across a day?
    And the increments you speak of in tip 4 (increasing holding time by 5, 10, 15 minutes) are meant across a week?
    I think I'll go for 5 minutes a day. I love that it's simple and challenging at the same time!

    1. Sorry, Catrina...I accidentally said "minutes" instead of "seconds," LOL (I went back and fixed that). I meant to try to increase in 5,10, or 15-second increments, but do what works for you at your fitness level. And, yes, I did mean 5 minutes over the course of a day (but I will try to throw in a few 5-minute planks, you know...just for kicks ;-)

    2. Ah, yes, that makes sense.
      It's awesome that you can do 5-minute planks, Kim!! I think I can get to half of that max. Time to train!

  2. Okay, I'm joining this challenge. I said I was going to do Jenn's Planksgiving, then realized I couldn't do all the moves because of my rib injury (eye roll) so I said I would just do a forearm plank everyday, and I keep forgetting to even do that! So, today is a brand new start. Planking daily till Thanksgiving! Thanks for the motivation.

    1. YAY!!!! Glad to you have you on the planking party team!!

  3. Happy Planksgiving! My goal for November is to develop a push up habit, but maybe I'll try to work a few planks in here and there as well.

    1. Push-ups are great, too! I've been doing 10-daily push-ups since the Spring of 2020 (I think?). They're a hard habit to break!

  4. I don't mind planks but it's not my favorite way to workout my core. That being said, I'm in the market for a new challenge so this could be fun!

  5. I think I've got my husband on board for this and I hope he will continue it until Thanksgiving. Not sure we will make it to 5 min at a time -that's a lot of planking!

  6. Sounds like a great challenge! I love that planking is something you can do (pretty much) anywhere. This is a great way to get back into the habit of planking!

  7. My core hurts just thinking of this challenge! Haha. More the reason why I should be doing this or any kind of core workout.

  8. Interesting that you find the forearm planks more challenging than on your hands and wrists--I feel the opposite, lol. Enjoy the challenge!