Welcome to the latest edition of workout Wednesday! Each week I share a strength training or running workout to keep you motivated. This week we are talking planks. I put together this plank challenge for beginners to progress you to a one minute plank or more in 30 days! Are you ready? 

Planks are my favorite core exercise because they engage all major core muscle groups including the transverse abdominus, the rectus abdominus, the external oblique muscle and the glutes. Do your planks regularly to improve core strength. Great for runners!

Beginners: Follow the plan as shown. Alternate between the plank exercises every day. For example: Day 1 you will do a 20 second straight arm plank, day 2 a 20 second elbow plank and and day 3 a 20 second side plank (on each side), day 4 back to straight arm plank for 30 seconds and so on according to the schedule. 

If you can't hold for 20 seconds without rest, hold for as long as you, then add 5 to 10 seconds every 3 days. Progress at your own speed. 

Advanced: Perform all three exercises every day.


In a high plank position position your shoulders directly over your wrists. Your body should form a straight line from your heels to your head. Do not allow your hips to sag down or raise up in the air. Engage your abs and breathe normally.


Begin in a low forearm plank position. Position your elbows on the floor with your hands flat on the floor and your shoulders directly over your elbows. Do not clasp your hands in front of you. Your body should be in a straight line parallel to the floor. Engage your core, pulling your belly while breathing normally. Be careful not to sink your hips or raise your butt in the air. 


With a straight arm lift yourself up into a side plank position. Your shoulders should be directly over your wrists. Stack your feet and don't allow your hips to drop. 

If a straight arm side plank is too challenging, start on your elbow.

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Coach Lea

I am a NASM personal trainer and RRCA adult distance running coach that specializes in strength training for runners. I offer in-person training in the Shredshed, online training and Fit to Run bootcamps. If you are interested in a more in-depth running or strength training plan, please contact me. Have questions? I'd love to help. 

While I am a certified personal trainer, I am not your personal trainer. Since I don't know your exercise abilities, injury background or medical history, please see your doctor before beginning any new exercise program. This is an opinion blog. No information in this blog is intended to be taken as medical advice or prescription. Please see your doctor and/or registered dietitian for any health concerns.