15 Minute Plank

>> Saturday, February 18, 2012

I read something somewhere recently. (Yeah, I know... that was nice and specific. Sorry.) I THINK it was in Runners World or Triathlete Magazine, but I can't remember exactly where. (It might have even been online on a "reputable" website.) It basically said this:

To assess core strength for endurance athletes, try this:

- Start in a plank position. Hold that for 3 long breaths.
- Tip up into a right-side plank. Hold that for 3 long breaths.
- Rotate back down to a normal plank position. Hold that for 3 long breaths.
- Tip up on the other side into a left-side plank. Hold that for 3 long breaths.
- Rotate back down and keep repeating this sequence.

Keep doing this until it becomes too hard. If you can do this for 9 or 10 minutes, your core is in good shape. If you can't do it for that long, you may need to work on strengthening your core.

Wait... WHAT?! 9 or 10 minutes?!?!?! That seemed like a long time! So I had to try it.

I threw my watch off in front of me, hit the timer, and started. I found my "3 long breaths" seemed pretty quick, so I decided to switch to every 5 breaths instead. That ended up being 12-15 seconds in each position.

I found these 2 lovely photos to illustrate what I did. First I started in the "normal" plank position...

... and then I'd rotate up to a side plank in my white sports bra...

... then back to the middle, and then up on the other side.

At 3:00, I felt fine.

At 5:00, I felt like I could make it to 10:00.

At 8:00, I made sure my form was OK. My ass wasn't too high - it was alright.

At 10:00, sweat was forming on my forehead (it was a cold studio, and I wasn't wearing much). And the last few seconds of each hold was starting to hurt!

At 13:00, I told myself that if I could get to 15:00, I'd stop for 2 reasons: (1) I was getting bored, and (2) my elbow was getting sore from tipping back and forth.

At 15:00, I stopped. Holy hell. 15 minutes straight of planking.

My "abs" weren't sore the next day, but odd parts of my "core" were. If you were to draw a line down angling to the outside of my body from my nipples, I was sore THERE - on top of my ribs. Odd. But it was a good workout to mix things up a little.

My left elbow got a nasty rug burn on it from tipping up and down so many times:

About an hour after the workout

24 hours after the workout

48 hours after the workout

So give this workout a try! Can you do 9-10 minutes? It was easier than I thought. I might try this again sometime when I have some elbow pads and someone to entertain me. Maybe I can hit 20 minutes....


Michael 2:49 PM, February 18, 2012  

I sort of thought one did planks on the hands in a pushup position. Might sav the elbows next time. At any rate...well done. I have to say that I've never tried something like that before.

trimybest 3:33 PM, February 18, 2012  

Yeah, sure the rugburns came from planking...... Haha

sounds challenging, I usually just do situps, legt raises and bicycle kicks. That gets boring after a while.

The Triathlon Rx 8:27 PM, February 18, 2012  

Challenge accepted!!! Will report back.

My Boring Triathlon Blog 6:31 AM, February 19, 2012  

there was a Marine who did the plank for one hour. doh

TriEric 9:56 AM, February 19, 2012  

Here is the video for the plank world record.


Kitzzy 2:36 PM, February 20, 2012  

I tried it this morning for 5 minutes. I think I could have done it for 10, but I was running out of time before work and was getting bored too. I may try the full 10 minutes this weekend. Thanks for posting this.

jane ;) 5:24 PM, February 20, 2012  

hey steve, ive just completed my fitness instructor cert and we've done alot around The plank- apparently anything over 75 secs is supposed to be really ad for your body and actually anything over this amount is not useful, its good to do side, prone, side but only for the recommended time......just a thought!

Anonymous,  4:29 AM, February 21, 2012  

Abdominal exercise machines were developed to give an aerobic workout without causing injury that running, jogging, or other workout equipment can cause as such, this type of exercise machine gives you a great cardiovascular workout.

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