January Plank Challenge (PlankAwayJanuary)

by doctorjeal
2 comments 19 minutes read
Plank Exercise Challenge

Welcome to the January Plank challenge, a simple yet effective daily challenge that will improve your core strength and endurance throughout January.

Whatever your fitness resolutions for the new year, add this challenge into the mix for daily inspiration and a challenge to keep you focused. This challenge only takes a short time each day, furthermore, my challenges are designed not only to challenge you but to create healthy and active habits that you can continue. You’ll soon learn you don’t need to invest vast amounts of time into exercise however you do need to be consistent.

There are three levels to choose from in this challenge, so you can pick the one that best fits your current fitness level. Each level features a different plank variation, as well as a progressively longer hold time.

What is the January Plank Challenge?

The January Plank challenge is a fitness challenge that involves doing the plank exercise on a daily basis throughout the month of January. The plank is an exercise that involves holding your body in a straight, stationary position while resting on your forearms and toes. It is an effective way to strengthen and tone the muscles in your core, including your abs, back, and hips. It can also improve your endurance and overall physical fitness. To participate in the January Plank challenge, you simply need to do the plank exercise every day for the target duration.

As with always, when exercising, It is important to listen to your body and only do as much as you feel comfortable with. The January Plank challenge is a simple and effective way to improve your core strength and endurance and can be a great way to kick off the new year with a healthy and active lifestyle.


Are you ready to get your fitness plans for the new year started?

Challenge starts in

-200Days -21Hours 00Minutes -17Seconds

Missed the January Plank Challenge?

Don’t worry, get started today with the 28 Day Plank Challenge.

Click here to get started today

What is a plank?

The plank is a bodyweight exercise that involves holding your body in a straight, stationary position while resting on your forearms and toes. It is a popular exercise for strengthening and toning the muscles in your core, including your abs, back, and hips. A staple of fitness and is often used during fitness tests and assessments.

Often also referred to as a prone bridge it is a simple static exercise that will work every part of your core and your whole body as you maintain a rigid position.

Visually the plank is a bridge supported on your toes and forearms, a straight line from your heels to your shoulders. As a result, It looks so simple that you’d think it was easy, but it is not. Consequently, you’ll find the plank in almost any fitness programme and that is because it is highly effective and works a fundamental muscle group, your core.

5 Reasons to Plank Everyday


Plank Fitness Test

The January Plank challenge is progressive and you should notice some gains throughout the month. To start off you should test your current core strength with a Plank test. This simple test will give you an idea of where you are now, this can be compared when conducting the same test at the end of the challenge. The result of the test will help you choose the plank variation to do during the challenge.

To conduct the test:

  • Have a stopwatch ready or a friend with a stopwatch.
  • Get into the plank position.
  • Hold the plank for as long as you can.
  • Stop the test when you fail or you reach 2 minutes.

Choose the Plank variation based on your initial Plank Test result

  • Under 30 seconds – Choose the Beginner variation (Half Plank).
  • 30 seconds up to 1 minute 30 seconds – Choose the Regular plank on forearms or with straight arms.
  • 1 minute 30 seconds and above – Choose the Plank/Up Down variation for a dynamic plank. Alternatively, you could use an unstable platform such as a BOSU, Balance Pod or Fitness Ball and place your feet upon them creating a more demanding static Plank exercise. Or choose from these 28 Plank Variations

Test your progress with a follow-up Plank Test at the end of the month

After a month of regular planking, you should be feeling stronger with more endurance in your core and stabilizing muscles. To find out how you have improved, repeat the test you conducted at the start of the month. The test should be exactly the same conditions, same plank variation etc. 


Plank Challenge Target Guide #Plankawaychallenge


Scoring the Plank Challenge

The plank challenge is split into 3 levels for which you can score your progress, you don’t need to keep to one level, You can mix & match and go up or down a level. Each level has a score associated with it, use the free-scoring sheet available for download below to track your progress and tally your total score for the month

TARGET LEVELPOINTSEXERCISE LEVELPOINTS
Level 1 1 point Easy (Half Plank) + 1 point
Level 22 pointsModerate (Full Blank) + 2 points
Level 33 pointsAdvanced (UP/Downs) + 3 points
PlankAwayJanuary Plank Challenge Scoring Guide
Icon

January Plank Exercise Challenge Scoring Sheet (PlankAwayJanuary) 80 KB 13 downloads

Download the January Plank Challenge scoring sheet and score your challenge every…

Suggested Equipment

GymBoss, the Number One Tool you Need to Time your HIIT Intervals

Programme Design

I have designed this challenge as a progressive ascending pyramid, in simple turns, each day is equal to or harder than the last. The challenge progresses in small steps enabling you to become stronger as you go through the month. The challenge has two-day steps where we keep to the same target for two days (we can call this acclimatization if you like). It’s all to get you up to your target time at the end of the month, in a safe, effective and progressive manner.

There was an issue displaying the chart. Please edit the chart in the admin area for more details.

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I'm doing #PlankAwayJanuary and you can join me for free. A daily Plank Challenge to keep me motivated. Share on X

The Plank Exercise

A plank exercise is a bodyweight exercise that targets the muscles in the core, including the abdominal muscles, lower back muscles, and muscles in the pelvis. Planks are often included in workouts to improve overall core strength and stability.

There are 3 variations of the plank designed for the beginner, intermediate and advanced levels of fitness which you can choose from for this plank challenge.

Want more? Check out my 28 Plank Variations

Key Points

  • Keep neutral spine alignment
  • Maintain a straight line through shoulders, hips, knees & ankles
  • Maintain abdominal tension
  • Remember to breath

Plank Challenge Variation at level 1
Beginner – Half Plank (from knees) 

The beginner plank variation for this plank challenge features a modified plank or a half plank suitable for beginners and those new to exercise. It is a less intense version of the plank exercise. Yet a daily commitment to the plank challenge will enable you to improve your core strength and stability.

Half Plank exercise provided by diet.com

A half plank exercise, also known as a modified plank, is a variation of the traditional plank exercise that targets the muscles in the core, including the abdominal muscles, obliques, and lower back muscles. It is a great exercise for those who are new to planks or who want to modify the traditional plank to make it easier or more challenging.

To do a half plank exercise, start by getting into a plank position with your feet side by side and your elbow resting on the ground. Your body should be in a straight line from your head to your feet.

Plank Challenge Variation at level 2
Regular – Forearm Plank or Straight Arm Plank

Fore Arm Plank Exercise provided by BeachBody

To do a plank exercise, you start in a push-up position with your hands shoulder-width apart and your feet hip-width apart. Your body should be straight and tense, with your weight balanced evenly between your hands and feet.

Plank Challenge Variation at level 3
Plank Up Downs

Plank Up-Down Exercise courtesy of DareBee.com

The Plank Up/Down exercise is a dynamic variation of a traditional plank exercise where you will alternate between a forearm plank and a straight-arm plank. This is achieved by moving one arm at a time from the forearm plank position to the straight arm plank position followed by the other arm and returning back to the start position by returning one arm at a time back to the forearm plank position.


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