A member of the Beijing SWAT team has smashed the world record for holding the plank position – a bodyweight exercise that puts core strength to the test. So, in honour of his efforts we want to show you some plank exercise variations to get you started on strengthening your core and maybe one day becoming a plank world record holder!
The Plank is a core abdominal strength exercise which includes weight bearing through the forearms and toes, with the body maintained in a horizontal position elevated above the ground. This exercise is suitable for beginners to advanced levels of fitness and will start you on your journey to perfecting the plank technique.
Step 1: Start by placing your exercise mat on the floor and lying front facing with elbows horizontal to the shoulders, back and legs straight and head lifted.
Step 2: Push up on to the toes, keeping your body in a completely straight line
Step 3: Keep your stomach in all the time and hold for as long as possible
The plank exercise helps strengthen midsection, upper-body and lower-body muscles along the front of your body. Planks also strengthen inner core muscles that support your joints and can be a great exercise for those looking for injury rehabilitation and body conditioning.
Ready for the next level of plank exercise? Try this variation with forward and back body movement, this is part one of two modifications. The forward and back plank will challenge your core muscles and strengthen those abs.
Part two: this variation of the full plank using steps side to side and heel to toe again to challenge those core muscles, perfecting the abs and moving you up to intermediate plank level.
Now we (average Joe fitness) might be able to hold the position for thirty seconds to a minute long, whilst our fitness trainers like Sarah (Macclesfield Leisure Centre) featured in our videos would be proud of making it to three-four minutes. So spare a thought for the physical strength and mental resilience of Mao Weidong, who last week set a new world record by holding the plank position for a whopping four hours and 26 minutes.
Why not take on an Everybody Challenge and see how long you can hold the plank position for? Send us your video’s and the longest plank held will WIN 1 MONTH FREE MEMBERSHIP! To enter tag @EBleisure on Twitter with a link to your plank video.
T’s & C’s: All those who enter willingly participate in the fitness challenge at their own risk and must have no physical restrictions, disabilities, or any predisposition to sickness or injury that may be aggravated or adversely affected as a result of participation. Closing date Friday 31st October 2014. Prize is as stated and no cash alternative will be given.
For more variations of the plank exercise and more fitness videos from our instructors visit the Everybody Leisure YouTube Channel