five minute plank challenge

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five minute plank


our studio barre clients make it no secret that forearm plank is their least favorite part of class. in fact, my fellow instructors and i lovingly joke that it’s their “favorite minute of the day.”

yeah right.

but kidding aside, the plank position is an easy way to get nearly a full-body workout. not only does it strengthen your abdominal wall, but also works your glutes, chest, lower back, legs, and core -which helps with your coordination and balance.

last night, S stumbled upon the above “five-minute plank” workout. something he had seen floating around the interwebs for months. as he read me the description, i became intrigued.

“i wanna try!” i screamed as i cleared a section on the rug and got into position.

“i guess i’ll try, too…” S replied as he begrudgingly climbed down from the couch to join me on the ground.

so there we were, side by side, bracing ourselves for five minutes of straight ab-endurance. i began taking deep breaths in preparation. S grabbed his phone to use it as a stopwatch.

ready, set, GO!

one minute of straight arm plank. easy peasy.

30 seconds of forearm plank. okay, i can do that.

30 seconds with right leg raised. oof, yep, starting to feel it. keep breathing, is it time to switch to the other leg yet?

30 seconds with left leg raised. man does it feel good to switch legs. oh but now both legs are burning.

side plank -30 seconds each side. hips. are. drooping. keep breathing, shawna. you’re almost there.

back to straight arm plank for 30 seconds. okay home stretch.

and one full minute of forearm plank to finish it off. you’ve got this. you can do anything for one minute.

at this point S had stopped and was now just cheering me on. “go to your happy place, babe.”

my happy place was exactly one minute from that point in time. i closed my eyes, shifted my weight, sucked my abs in best i could, and prayed for the minute mark to arrive more quickly than it did.

“twenty-seconds!” S cried.

i swear to you that was the longest 20 seconds of my life.

“…5, 4, 3, 2, 1! you did it, you’re a rockstar!”

i dropped to my knees in victory. i had survived the five-minute plank.


but i had survived.

and not only that, i felt really accomplished. and my abs definitely felt firmer. or at least i pretended like they did.

at any rate, the challenge has inspired both S and i to stick with it from here until, well, at least bathing suit season. if all it takes is five minutes of our day to get washboard abs and a tighter, stronger core, count us in. therefore we’ve committed to doing the five-minute plank series every night.

care to join us?

top image via self magazine // image two via huffington post

  • Andrea Culver
    April 7, 2015

    I did it part way this morning. I think a few more tries I will nail it!

  • Aunt Teresa
    April 8, 2015

    I’ll sit on the couch and cheer you on… good luck, my dears.

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