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planking

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PumpUp’s Best Plank Photos

Thanks for planking it out on Day 3 of PumpUp’s #MyResolution photo-a-day challenge! Creative planks are always great to witness and a riot to perform, aren’t they? Remember to never sacrifice proper form for extra time in the pose. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the longest plank to date was held for 4 hours and 26 minutes. 

Here are a handful among many of PumpUp’s favourite planks from the challenge:

  • @emily_swan (top photo) demonstrates some sweet plank variations to try! These isometric poses will work different parts of your body.
  • @alexawinter (second row, left), among many others on the app, took this opportunity to plank it out in her kitchen!
  • Ain’t no mountain high, ain’t no valley low enough for @k_c (second row, right). She climbed on top of Pinnacle Mountain in order to take this shot!
  • Maybe treadmills aren’t just for running. Maybe. There was no ‘treading’ to be seen with @amyliu’s plank! (third row,left)
  • @danelee (third row, right) explained that he does a lot of plank work in gymnastics. He decided to do his plank on two physioballs!
  • The winner of our challenge is @annakw! She vastly improved her plank time since she began to work out in September. “I couldn’t hold one for more than a minute. Now, the most I can do is two minutes!” 

Plank it out

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Do a plank (at any point today) and let us know with how long you held it for! Challenge a friend to do it! 

We aren’t talking about the planking photo-sensation that swept the nation a few years ago. We’re talking planks as a form of exercise. Ever wondered why fitness instructors urge you to engage in this simple, albeit potentially painful, movement?

Planks are static, isometric exercises that build strength. Specifically, standard and side planks will work your upper and lower abs, your obliques, and your lower back. They’ll also help to improve your posture by working your core muscles that stabilize your spine and hips. Finally, planks are said to relieve stress by stretching muscles that tend to stiffen throughout the day. 

Start on your knees if you’re a beginner and build up to lifting your knees off of the ground. As you practice plank every day, you’ll be able to increase the amount of time you hold the plank per rep. 

If you are doing a standard elbow plank, make sure your shoulders don’t reach past your elbows. Your arms should rest at a 90-degree angle

Refrain from sticking out your lower body (read: your butt) above your upper body. This will help to keep your plank straight. 

Keep your neck in a straight line with your body. Don’t crane your head up. Look down at your fists to help maintain a neutral neck position, never up. 

When you feel like you’re body is too sore to maintain proper form, remove yourself from plank position. 

How long can you hold your plank for?