Just a one-minute plank makes my whole body shake, so my jaw dropped to the floor when I heard about a new world record of 4 hours, 19 minutes, and 55 seconds. Dana Glowacka, a vegan athlete, and yogi, makes her world-record plank hold look easy, but she’s the first to admit that it took a lot of dedication and hard work.
“My son found a record plank in the Guinness World Records book and told me I could do it,” she tells me. “We even didn’t know who the person who hold the plank was, but I was ready to plank right away and see how long I could stay strong. My first attempt was four minutes.”
Four minutes to more than four hours? If you’re wondering how she did it, she says the biggest thing is simply starting your day with a plank every morning. “Holding planks in sets is safe and helps develop the mind-body endurance,” she says. “Let’s say you can hold one for two minutes. Start with three sets a day.”
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You can spread those sets all throughout the day to build up your mental and physical endurance. Glowacka recommends doing your first set in the morning, second before lunch, and third later in the evening:
- Set 1: 2 minutes in the morning (can be on your sides)
- Set 2: 2 minutes before lunch (can be on your sides)
- Set 3: 2 minutes before supper or bedtime (aim for a straight and strong plank)
By the time you go to bed, you’ve accumulated six minutes of planking. As you get stronger, you can increase those sets to three minutes, five minutes, and so on. “Playing with sets and numbers is the secret to building up a stronger plank in the most safe way,” she says. Glowacka also says to regularly throw in one longer set—an 8-minute attempt, 10-minute attempt, or something even more challenging—even if your body doesn’t feel ready for it.
By using these tips and building up your strength and endurance, planking will become easier and easier. Before you know it, the time will be flying by—and you’ll have other gym-goers walking by you with dropped jaws, too.
Before you start planking, make sure you’re doing it correctly:
Here’s why core exercises are so important if you want to turn into a planking queen. Then if you need a little boost, check out the new sneakers from Nike that can help you stabilize your plank for (much!) longer.
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