30 Day Plank Challenge

This is it. The BEST 30-Day Plank Challenge of all. I feel like I should disclaim that for fear of the FTC coming after me, but well, oh well. I’ll be really honest, this is an awesome challenge and we’re starting as a group on Monday, February 1st 2016! Get your timer and your core ready, things are about to get a whole lot sturdier very quickly!

30 Day Plank Challenge

Why the 30-Day Plank Challenge?

Plank exercises are some of the overall best exercises you can do to strengthen your entire core. And keep in mind, your core includes a whole lot more than just your abs. It’s essentially your entire body less your arms, legs and head. For a very minimal time investment, you challenge all the major muscles, strengthening your body, improving balance and preventing future injuries. And not to mention, the plank is 100% excuse free, meaning no special gear, machines or equipment are required. All you need is a timer and you can drop anywhere and get your core work in!

Why Planks are Better than Crunches

That is a fairly broad statement. But as a runner, it turns out crunches aren’t the best exercise for to strengthen our core. Too many can tighten our hip flexors and I learned this as I was researching that funky hip pain I had towards the end of last year. As a part of my recovery, crunches were eliminated. And I LOVE crunches. As it turns out, core stabilization exercises are much more effective for us runner folks, so I’m bringing the 30-Day Plan Challenge back!

How to do the 30-Day Plank Challenge

Every day for 30 days you will hold a plank and a side plank (on each side) and time yourself. The two planks are in divided into 4 tiers, or levels, ensuring your body is always challenged and you continue to grow through the entire month. As you get stronger,  and you can hold a level for 90 seconds, you graduate to the next level – how fun is that? Here’s what you’re looking at:

Regular Plank Tiers

  • Level 1: Static Knee Forearm Plank
  • Level 2: Static Forearm Plank
  • Level 3: Static 1 Leg Forearm Plank

Plank Regular 1-3

  • Level 4: Dynamic Elbow to Wrist Plank

Plank Regular 4

Side Plank Tiers

  • Level 1: Static Knee Side Forearm Plank
  • Level 2: Static Low Side Forearm Plank
  • Level 3: Static 1 Leg Side Forearm Plank

Side Plank 1-3

  • Level 4: Dynamic Side Forearm Plank with Hip Dip

Side Plank 4

The Fine Print:

  1. On day one, you start with the level that works best for you and hold for as long as you can maintain good form. That will be your benchmark time. I recommend starting at level one, but you know your body best.
  2. Everyday thereafter, you simply hold the plank longer. Aim for something like a 10 second improvement. When you reach 90 seconds, and your form is still perfect then it is time to advance to the next level of the challenge. Remember, all days might not be better, that’s ok and normal. Focus on the overall trend and celebrate every day you get stronger! Everybody will be different and it’s up to you to decide when to take rest days.
  3. Once you reach Level 4, you simply focus on moving through the dynamic moves for as long as you can and focus on the endurance of the exercise to continue to challenge your body and improve.
  4. Record your level and your times on your daily tracker so you can easily measure and review your strength improvement throughout the challenge.

Getting started on the 30-Day Plank Challenge

  1. Like  Teresa Marie Wellness on FaceBook.
  2. Request access to the Private Coaching Group. This is where daily coaching reminders are posted and where you share how long and which level plank you did each day and any results or brags you have. You only need to join this group once and you’ll automatically be signed up for all future challenges.
  3. Enlist support and invite your friends. Will make it easier and way more fun!
  4. Get access to all the trackers by joining the community here. If you have already signed up for a Challenge Series Event in the past, you will receive the monthly broadcast email on 1/27 with a link to all the updated trackers.
  5. Mark your personal calendar, because your challenge starts Monday February 1st, 2016!
  6. Take your before picture because you will want it in 30 days from now!

Be Smart. Be Safe. Have Fun. Get FIT!

We Can Do This!

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80 thoughts on “30 Day Plank Challenge

      1. I would love to have the 30 day plank challenge forms
        This is my first challenge! I am very excited to start
        Also I could not get signed up. Help

  1. I’m not on Facebook, but I’m definitely going to participate. I can do a decent level 2 plank in both categories, so it will be neat to see if I can advance. I like the set time limit, seems easy enough to do anything for 30 days, and if I come out of it an improved person, all the better!

    And I love the challenge tracker worksheet, I was trying to use my phone before, but it was boring. I like how the tracker has encouragement and reminds you to take photos.

    Thanks for the opportunity!

    1. What a great email – thank you so much! Please send me an update later in the month to let me know how much you improve. You’ll be Level 3 before you know it! We Can Do This!

  2. I can do level four of the side plank easier than level 3What should I start with then? Thanks for doing these challenges. I’m loving them!!

    1. So glad you are enjoying the challenges Kim! Excellent question and I’d say yes. Start with which one is less challenging, to give yourself more room to improve throughout the month. We are all strong in different ways, and you’ll be better off challenging your body versus going in “order.” Have fun!

  3. I’m signed up for teh challenges and get teh email each month, but I’m having a hard time findign the calendars. Is there a link in the email that should take me to the calendar so I can print it to track my progress? What if I missed a challenge, or want to repeat it? How do I find it and print its tracker?

    1. Hi Julie! Yes, at the bottom of the welcome and monthly emails there are the links to all the trackers. When you click on them, they should open in a separate window and you can either print them or save them. I’d suggest saving them all, so you have them when you want them, versus searching for the email again, but that is up to you! And you can always message me through your email and I can send you any tracker you’d like as a .pdf attachment. I’m happy you are up for the challenges!

  4. Thanks for the invite. I just got the first email, but I seem to be missing the link for the tracks. Could be me overlooking it. Any advice for a night shift worker who works 12 hour shifts on how not to blow their healthy diet with the constant flipping back and forth from night to day shift on their days off. And thanks for the challenge.

  5. Humm…I just sent another test message and all the links are right under the bullets? That is a widely challenging lifestyle you have — messing with sleep is hard. I do have some great tips for how to prepare to be successful when you are out of the house for 10+ hours a day. This page will have all the updates on Program Development 🙂 https://www.facebook.com/ColorYourselfSkinny

  6. Hi! I signed up last month for the Arms, but I never go anything for these next 2 challenges…Also, do we just do these planks once a day?

    1. Hi Molly! I sent the email on Monday, maybe check your spam? Or you can private message me and I’m happy to send to you directly! Yes, one normal and each side plank daily should rock your core just fine!

  7. I just signed up and would love to get the tracker form for the 30 day plank. I know I’m late to the party but I’d love to start now anyway. Can you send one to my email? I’m filling out the form below. Thanks!

    1. You can never be too late to the fitness party Leslie! If you confirmed your registration, you should have the tracker already. But just in case, I’ll send it to you again now 🙂 Have fun!

  8. Hi, Teresa! I just came across your article on active.com and I am eager to try this starting November 1. I am attempting running (I started June 1 from a very sedentary life) and I know that it is crucial to strengthen the entire body so I am very excited about this challenge and to discover the rest of your site.

    I am encouraged by this because many of the poses shown are on the forearm. I had surgery to remove a cyst on my wrist years ago and there is apparently scar tissue in there that makes my wrist quite sore when I put weight on it. This is very unfortunate because, while I can do push-ups, planks and the like, I’m left with a constantly sore wrist. Not to mention that I’ve never had much flexibility in my wrists anyway. However, it seems that, in order to advance to the highest level, it would be beneficial to be able to hold the position by moving up to the wrists. Might you have any suggestions/recommendations that I could try to do this, but also avoid wrist pain?

    Thank you!

    1. Hi Jessica! I’m so glad that levels 1-3 will work for you with your condition 🙂 The idea with Level 4 is that it’s simply a dynamic move or a static hold. Why don’t you try keeping your forearm plank and challenging your core my moving your right knee towards your right arm, back to plank then repeat on the left side. And do that just as long as you can. It will challenge your stability making the move harder 🙂 Let me know how that goes for you!

        1. Of course — my blog is kind of like my house. I’d never invite someone over and then ignore them 🙂 But I do apologize for taking a while to get back to you on this one. Have fun and take care of that wrist!

    1. Hi Brenda — check your email for one from me and your spam folder for the confirmation one from my email provider so you get all the future trackers. Have fun!!

  9. Better late than never!!!! Started the 30 day Plank Challenge today, excited for this goal! I have a question that I can’t seem to Google an answer for…where exactly do I get my ‘abdomen’ measurement??? I know where my waist is of course, and hips..is abdoment just below the ribcage? Thanks!

    1. Very good question — and it’s kind of subjective. I say your waist is the narrowest portion of your torso and your abdomen is the widest, about an inch below your belly button. But the most important thing is that you make a good mental note (maybe even snap a pic) of where you measure and just be sure to hit the exact same spot when you remeasure in 30 days. And you are so right — It’s NEVER to late to get stronger and fitter! Glad you found the challenge and have fun!!

  10. Hello – interested in doing this Challenge. I know it started and ended already, but is it still possible to get a tracker for it? Also, do I have to be on facebook to do your challenges? Because I’m not.

  11. I am so glad I found this! I had seen the plank challenge on facebook and decided to give it a try. Then I found this site and the modified version is so much better for my just starting out. In one month I have reached 2 minutes and have lost an inch on my waist! I am so excited!! Now I am determined to make it all the way to the top level and 5 minutes!!! No matter how long it takes. I just turned 50 and am pre-diabetic. I love to walk but needed something for the core. Thank you!!!

    1. HI Tina!! What a great message — I’m so glad you found the challenge and you sound like you are doing so great! Please keep me posted on your progress!

    1. Hi Susan – apologies for not replying sooner! Not sure how I missed this one? Congrats on your great success and you should be proud! Fitness is most defiantly a lifestyle not a destination so you’re smart to think about maintenance. Make sure core stabilizing activities are a part of your weekly exercise routine always to maintain your new strength. It really is true, if you don’t use it — you lose it. But you’re probably safe brining the intensity down from daily to several time per week. Hope that helps!

  12. I tried to sign up but the links just ask me to sign up again. Would like to try this, but cant find the tracker. Thanks!

    1. Hi Dana! I’m so glad to hear you are up for the challenge! You should have received the tracker after you confirmed your email address. It comes in the Welcome e-mail. I am building out a new site now just for the 30 Day Challenge Series — so we have THAT to look forward to! And I just emailed you the tracker just in case as well. Have fun and keep me posted on your results!

  13. I have seen a different 30 day plank challenge that just uses the basic forearm plank and increases the time rather than the difficulty of the plank. Can you tell me what the pros and cons of each method are? Thanks!

    1. Hi Emma! I designed this plank with the increase in difficulty of the plank over time simply to challenge the body in a different way over the course of the challenge and to also be more efficient with your time 🙂 This challenge has you doing both side planks and a forward plank so I wanted people to get in a good challenge (regardless of current fitness level) in about 5 minutes a day to make it an easier commitment. Regardless of which on you choose, your body will thank you for doing a 30 Day Plank Challenge 🙂 Have fun!

  14. Hello .. ive done the plank challenge last month but in the whole month i was doing level 1.. my question is when should i be moving to level 2 and 3.. is it in the same month or the next challenge next month ?

    1. Great question Nora and congrats on following for a month! You should move to level 2 not after a certain amount of days or weeks into the challenge, but when you can comfortably hold a level for 90 seconds. They progress with difficulty and this allows you to be most efficient with your time. Only when you get to level 4 do you need to focus on doing the work for more than 90 seconds. Let me know if you have any more questions!

  15. Hi! I just signed up but the trackers weren’t in my welcome email either. Could you send me the trackers for the challenges? Would you be able to send me links to all the trackers so I can decide which other ones I want to do as well? Thanks!

      1. Thanks Teresa! I just finished the first week of my plank challenge and have already seen results! I started at level 2 of the regular plank and am now at about 70 seconds on level 3. Should I be alternating legs that I do this one-leg plank on? The side planks are harder for me, but I am almost at 90 seconds of level 2. I’m excited to keep going and see more improvement!

  16. Hi, Theresa! I have just decided to try this 30 day challenge for May. As a very very VERY inexperienced beginner, I wondered if you had any clearer pics of the positions? In the side pics, the lower arms are cut off and I wasn’t sure at first if she had her arm extended or on the elbow. Also, with the side plank, I assume I’m supposed to do one on each side? Is that correct?

    I really hope this can help me, as my limbs are actually in pretty good shape but my core is completely out of control. I’m a natural “apple” shape so all of my weight goes to the front of my core. It’s so hard to tone a body that has never done any real exercise program, and everything at the gym seems to focus on arms and legs. Crunches only seem to isolate one section of my stomach. They actually make my stomach stick out more, which is not what I want at all!

    Thank you for this program–here’s hoping it works for me!

    1. Hi Jenny! I’m so glad you found the challenge and I think it will help you quite a bit! Yes to both side for the side plank. And whether or not you want your arms extended on on the elbow is really up to your comfort level. They are both equally difficult for your core, so just do what feels best for your body and change it up every once in a while too. Do keep me posted on your progress!

    1. Happy you are loving the challenge! And you know what’s crazy? I can’t believe that after 18 challenges and 22K members, that nobody has requested that? I will certainly consider for next month and future challenges. Cheers!

    1. Some days will be stronger than others and everybody is different. For that reason, for this and most 30 Day Challenges, rest days are 100% at your discretion as needed for your body.

      1. I meant that the workout routine is more efficient if you let the muscles recover, it’s the supercompensation principle. Of course I have no idea whether abs only need one day to recover or whether just the plank exercise doesn’t need that much rest time so that’s why I asked.

  17. I started on level 2 for both plank and side plank and tomorrow I go up to level 3 for plank! Do you recommend switching which leg is lifted each day or halfway through the time? Thanks!

    1. This challenge is actually organized by level, so you start at level one until you can hold it for 90 seconds and then move onto level 2 🙂

      1. Ok. So lets say today I did 30 seconds on level 1. That’s it? am I finished for the day? then tomorrow I reach 40… then 50… finally 90secs. So then I move to the next level?
        So you mean, I would need to hold a continuous 90 secs, not breaking it up, right?
        Sorry, but I’m still a little confused 🙁

  18. Hi Teresa. So happy the Plank challenge is back. I have subscribed to the link, gotten the confirmation email but still can’t find the tracker spreadsheet. Can you please email it to me?

  19. Only been doing basic level 2 plank position for two days now along with some push ups and I can already notice a difference. I definitely underestimated this exercise. Looking forward to getting in shape with this.

    1. Hi Barry – this is a great update! And you’ are right, the plank and push-up are two of the most efficient body weight exercises of all time 🙂 I’m glad you’re enjoying it so far!

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