Reality check: You’re crazy busy. Faisal Abdalla, Mindful’s fitness ambassador, understands that. His newest challenge consists of one simple move—just one—but it basically does everything. “A plank hold is a total body exercise,” he says. “It works your entire core—that’s your abs, hips, back and butt—your lower body, your upper body. It does it all.”
Embrace the plank and you’ll not only get stronger, but you’ll sport improved posture, be less likely to get injured and have an easier go at daily tasks.
Challenge yourself—and invite a friend!
Step 1: Practice Makes Perfect
If you’ve never done a plank before, it’s a smart idea to practice before starting the challenge. Begin in a push-up position, supporting your body weight on hands and balls of feet. (Beginners can start out on forearms.) Hold for 10 seconds, rest, then repeat three times. Do this for a few days until you’re comfortable with the movement.
“You want your body in a straight line. Once your back starts to arch, stop and rest.”
Step 2: Go For It
Grab a timer, a tennis ball and a good friend. Get in plank position from step one and ask your pal to place the ball between your shoulder blades. “The longer you go without dropping the ball,” says Faisal, “the higher you go on the competition table.” Record your time and use that as your benchmark to top over the next seven days.
“Keep your wrists and elbows under your shoulders, squeeze your butt cheeks in tight, and don’t hold your breath.”
Going Solo? No worries if you can’t recruit a friend to join you in this challenge. You still reap the benefits without the ball-balancing element by aiming to tack on a few additional seconds every day.
Switch Things Up
“Planks aren’t hard to do, but that doesn’t mean they’re easy. Remember to ignore any negative voices that pop into your head and keep your Positive Mental Attitude!”