What a Plank

Help! I’m stuck in a plank rut! When I first started to do this core strengthening exercise in the summer, I could plank on my toes for roughly 20 seconds. From day one, I found this exercise to be very difficult. Not just challenging, but difficult. Gradually through a lot of sweat and near to tears, I increased my time to 45 seconds to 1 minute on a good day. Currently in my rock hard abs class we are now up to planking for 3 minutes. Well, I shouldn’t say “we,” it’s more like “they” are planking for 3 minutes. I feel as though I’m the only person in this class who cannot hold a plank for long. After 45 seconds my fists ball up till my nails are piercing my palms, my teeth clench and I start this pitiful grunting sound as my back begins to weaken and I collapse on the mat. Last week, the skinny Minnie beside me gave me a “poor you” smile when I collapsed on my mat after 50 seconds. Skinny Minnie on the other hand, held her plank with perfect form for the entire 3 minutes. Yes, I took note of this.

I’ve even tried going to a happy place to avoid fatigue when planking. I close my eyes as I assume plank position, take a deep breath and start to think of ocean waves or white fluffy clouds in a blue sky, but to no avail. Collapse happens over and over again before the one minute mark.  I don’t understand. Could it be that my upper body is still just too weak to hold a plank for a long period? My core seems to be pretty strong. I can sit on a mat with my feet off the floor and hold position for 2 minutes. I can do oblique twists with a medicine ball for a cool minute no problem. The plank? Not so much. I am determined and will continue to plank until I meet that 3 minute mark. Abdominal and back, don’t fail me now.

Does anyone else have an exercise that is ultra challenging or very difficult?


Why oh why is it so hard? I wish you could hear the grunting.

5 thoughts on “What a Plank

  1. Plank is hard for sure. Maybe when you start to feel the burn, do scan of how your whole body is feeling, bringing your breath to that part, making sure to breath whe whole way. Start with your face, try to relax it. Then your neck. Focus on your shoulders, notice how they feel and so on. Sometimes that helps me to take my focus away from wanting to give up. Not only that, but by the time you get to your toes you may only have 30 seconds left.

    1. These are great tips, MK. I really have to think about my body’s response for sure. I can feel when the anxiety is about to hit in those exact places, face and shoulders before mat collapsing occurs. Lol. Breathing and relaxing may just be what I need to do to forget the burn.

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