Start 2021 With This New Year’s Fitness Challenge

Start 2021 With This New Year’s Fitness Challenge

The New Year often brings on a slew of 5-minute plank challenges, but this year it’s time for something different. This year’s plank challenge, described below, delivers more fun and more benefit than you might have thought possible from the ubiquitous plank exercise.

Our Plank Addiction

As often happens when something gets popular, the plank became wildly popular and then it became overused. Case in point: The world record for a static plank now stands at more than 10 hours.

To be clear, the plank is a wonderfully beneficial exercise. It develops core strength combined with full-body stability. It also teaches us to coordinate that stability across multiple joints simultaneously. But the main benefit of planks becomes its biggest problem when overused.

There is no movement.

Stuck in Plank Mode

Life is movement, not the absence of it. An exceptional ability to not move does not serve us well when we need to move.

The ability to create and maintain a static plank for a reasonable amount of time (20-30 seconds) is a fundamental physical ability, just as learning the alphabet is fundamental to communication. If all we do is hold our static plank for longer amounts of time, it is like practicing the alphabet over and over and never using the letters to build words and sentences.

Turning “Plank” Into an Action Verb

The entire reason we should do a plank is to be able to move more effectively. With that in mind, this challenge does just that—gets you moving in a plank—while also presenting a progressive challenge to inspire and motivate you throughout January to continually enjoy the feeling of continuous improvement from your consistent effort.

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