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Ready to get results fast? Try this 5-minute plank challenge


Athleta Ribbon - 2

What to do when your sanity needs a sweat sesh, but making it to the studio is just not going to happen? Sweat Series is here to help! We partnered with Athleta and asked the industry’s hottest instructors and fit-stagrammers to give us their quickest—and hardest—do-anywhere workouts. So, get pumped! (On your own schedule.)

Imagine yourself standing relaxed, chatting with friends. Now, imaging standing with your core engaged, spine tall. Big difference, right?

That difference is exactly what Claudia Zakrzewski wants to end. “When you’re a kid, you’re told to start with your legs because people think that’s where the power is, but it’s all about the abs,” explains the instructor at Cyc and Flex Studios, whose five-minute plank challenge for Well+Good readers was created in partnership with our fab fit friends at Athleta.

“Whether you’re running, swimming, biking, or just walking, your strength comes from your core, so you need that to be as strong as humanly possible,” she says.

The key to a strong core? The plank, Zakrzewski says. “Holding a plank is so important for your entire body and really works your core in a way that no other workout does.” she says. But don’t think just because you’re not jumping up and down, doing burpees and squat jumps, you’re not getting in an intense full-body workout.

Zakrzewski designed this workout to be a one-stop, full-body blast that will have you shaking until the agonizing last second. And if your wrists hurt? (A complaint that the trainer often hears from her clients.) It just means that your wrists aren’t strong enough yet. “People think that their wrists hurting means they should stop, but it’s just a sign of weak wrists and you need to work them to make them stronger, just like the rest of your muscles,” she explains.

So drop and give her five minutes of core-powered planks—stat!

Check out the core-busting workout above, and try the rest of our butt-kicking Sweat Series workouts.

Get the look:

Claudia is wearing:

Eagle Pose Bra, $54
Laser Mesh Sonar Capri, $74

Katherine is wearing:

Heartbeat Revelation Capri, $74
Repetition Tank, $49