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Plank Challenge: Sep 2017

Plank Challenge: Sep 2017

Our 5th annual Plank Challenge is all about tailoring the experience to help you advance.

Great to have you on board for the Sep 2017 Plank Challenge. Remember that this is challenge – and that means it may vary from person to person. Empower yourself by personalizing the challenge in a way that suits you. You might consider topping out at a minute or transitioning to a more restful pose as needed.

To help in this process we have created a video (appended below the Plank Challenge calendar) that offers modifications for the plank pose. The video is followed by further tips for this challenge.

Video: Modifying Your Plank

This below video offers some ways to soften (and spice!) your practice of plank.

Hopefully the above modifications help you navigate the Plank Challenge. Throughout the month we may make more instructional videos. In addition, if you have particular techniques that help you in this challenge, let us know and we can share them with others.

How to Approach this Challenge

– Know Your Limit: Part of the challenge is recognizing when you’ve hit your limit. So progress slowly through the initial days of the chart and when you feel you have hit your max, stop there and remain there for a few days or maybe even the rest of the month. Or maybe at some point you incrementally build on it by 5 or 10 seconds, according to your pace. Remember, participation is the main thing – not following or matching any particular number per se.

– Select Your Pose: You may do the challenge doing (a) dolphin plank (i.e. on forearms) or (b) standard plank. You can also alternate between the two by going down to dolphin plank from plank to close out a particular day’s practice.

– Rest in Downward Dog: One way to combat fatigue is to go into downward dog for a few moments and then come back down to plank.

– Use Your Knees to Rest: Another way to combat fatigue is to let your knees rest on the ground for a moment, or try some of the modifications presented in the above video.

– Rest in Child’s Pose: You may also go into child’s pose for a spell and then come back into your plank pose.

– X-tra Challenge: If the beginning days are not challenging enough for you, then try doing it on three points, alternately keeping one leg in the air.

– Incorporate Meditation: Before or after your plank session, do sit for 1 minute of meditation.

– Overall Outlook: Be creative, forgiving, and careful as you advance through the plank challenge. Do respect your limits.

– Company: Invite family and friends to join The Plank Challenge – company is a wonderful motivator.

Great Benefits of this Pose:
  • Toned core
  • Reduced back pain
  • Flexibility: muscles around your shoulders, collarbone, and shoulder blades will expand and stretch as will your hamstrings and even the arches of your feet and your toes.
  • Improved posture
  • Strengthens your upper body, arms, wrist, spine

A Few Tips for Doing Plank:

– Hold your elbows directly under your shoulders and place your wrists in line with your elbows.

– Push your body up into your upper back and keep your cervical spine in a neutral position.

– Brace / contract your abdominals, squeeze your gluteal (tailbone) and thigh muscles simultaneously while continuing to breathe normally.


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