I’ll let you in on a secret: I absolutely hate treadmills. Sure, it’s a bodyweight exercise that can be done just about anywhere and works your core and arm muscles, but that doesn’t make it any more enjoyable. Whenever I see them in a workout, I tend to imagine an injury and hold a static plank instead; that is, until now.
In order to properly tame the move (and in the name of good content), I opted to do 50 walking planks every day for a week. Is this move the secret to a stronger core, or was it the fitness challenge that made me quit? Read on to find out more.
Of course, what works for me and my body might not work for you. If you’re recovering from an injury or returning to exercise after a break, it’s worth checking your form with a personal trainer before doing 50 reps of anything. It should also be noted that treadmills may not be suitable for anyone who has recently given birth or has had a wrist injury in the past.
Looking for more workout inspiration? Read what happened when I did 100 dead bugs a day for a weekbesides, look at this Abdominal workout with dumbbells 15 minutesand that 10 Minute Abs Workout Pamela Reif it will ignite you.
How to make a walking board
To do a walking plank, also known as a top-down plank, get into a plank position on an exercise mat (if you don’t have one, we’ve found the best yoga mats which also serve as exercise mats here). Keep your palms flat on the floor, arms straight. Remember to keep your hands under your shoulders.
Brace your core by dropping your left elbow to the floor, followed by your right. You should always be in a plank position, with your weight on your elbows. Pause here, then press your left palm to the floor and come back up into a high plank position.
Learn more about how to make a walking boardand the various modifications to try here.
I Did 50 Kickboards A Day For A Week – Here’s What Happened
This one wasn’t fun and wasn’t pretty, but after a week of doing 50 reps of the exercise every day, here’s what I learned.
Planks couldn’t be easier
For most of these week-long challenges, on the fourth or fifth day, I’m looking for ways to add intensity to the movement to make things a little harder. This was not the case with the walking boards. I found it only took a few reps to get my arms and heart burning. This could be because as a runner I don’t spend as much time on my upper body strength, but compared to my normal ab workouts, it definitely felt more like a full body workout.
If up and down planks are too difficult right now, start by building your strength in a regular high plank. Once you’ve mastered this move, try holding a plank for a minute, but after 30 seconds switch from a high plank to an angled plank – this will get you used to the movement. Of course, you can also start with fewer reps – aim for two planks up and down on each arm and increase from there.
My heart and my arms felt stronger
Although this exercise didn’t feel any easier to me, after a week of doing 50 reps a day, my core and arms felt stronger. Throughout the reps, I thought about squeezing my belly button towards my spine, helping me keep my abs engaged throughout the movement. I also had to remember to keep my pelvis still and parallel to the floor, rather than rocking side to side as I went from low plank to high plank.
I had to resist the temptation to rush
On the first day, I went through the exercise as fast as humanly possible with the goal of completing my 50 reps and finishing them as fast as possible. The second day when I rolled out my exercise mat and started doing the same in the gym, a personal trainer stopped me and said “you know you’ll be pulling a lot more of this exercise if you move slower?” He hadn’t been wrong: when I slowed down the movement, my trunk had to work harder to stabilize my body, and my arms had to work harder to go from the low plank to the high plank.
The key to this exercise is to move slowly and with control. I found that doing five sets of 10 reps allowed me to move more slowly, taking a short break between each set. I would also swap which arm I was leading with after five reps to make sure I was working each side equally.
I will add it to my basic routine in the future
350 walking plank reps later, I’m still not a fan, but I’ll definitely be incorporating this abs and arm exercise into my home workout routines, and hopefully I won’t dread it so much. I’ve found the key is to break the movement down into shorter reps and really focus on the muscles you’re working on as you go. That said, I’m looking forward to not having to do 50 reps of the walking plank tomorrow.
Looking for more workout inspiration? This calisthenics workout uses just four exercises to build full-body strengthand read what happened when this writer did 50 sumo squats a day for a week.
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