Binge Fitness Challenge of the Week {Courtesy of Pure Barre West Loop}

With Binge Fitness Week less than a week away, this weeks Binge Fitness Challenge is extra special! Thanks to Susan of the (almost open) Pure Barre West Loop for sharing her go-plank position challenge. Try out the challenge and make sure to click here to follow along with all the amazing stuff happening over at Pure Barre West Loop. (hint hint: we may have a special event giveaway happening during Binge Fitness Week, so stay tuned!)

Come back every week to get your Binge Fitness Challenge of the Week. Share your post workout selfies with us by using #BingeOnFitness on social media.

Susan Says:

I have a love-hate relationship with THE PLANK position. Without doubt, it’s a fantastic way to fire up muscles throughout your body and especially your core, but I also know how hard it can be to hold onto your perfect plank position when every fiber of your being wants to drop to the floor… and maybe take a nap… and then grab a snack.

In every Pure Barre class we hold a plank for 90 seconds and I remember struggling to make it even halfway through in my first class several years ago. One thing that helped me get stronger with each class was focusing on technique. It’s more important to keep your best form – hips tucked (no sway in the lower back) and tension out of the shoulders and neck – even if this means coming to your knees for all or part of the plank hold.

As I was building strength, I started out with intervals like this:

– Full plank 30 secs
– Modified (on knees) 10 secs
– Full plank 30 secs
– Modified (on knees) 10 secs
– Full plank 10 secs

It always felt good to finish that final 10 seconds in a full plank position and in my best form!

I did the above interval (or similar variations) until I could hold for the full 90 seconds WITH good form. The important part is to not cheat yourself. As you get stronger, see if you can stay on your toes another 5-10 seconds instead of dropping to your knees at your usual point. Or instead of always taking a 10 second break on your knees, challenge yourself to only 5 seconds and then pop back up on your toes. I also love that Pure Barre is always mixing up the what we do during plank, whether pushing back through the heels or floating one foot off the floor; the variations keeps me distracted while also challenging me in new ways.

The following video from Pure Barre is a great example of how to modify plank until you can work up to a longer hold while staying on your toes. Take a look!

While I’m typically practicing plank during a Pure Barre class, I’ve been known to workout just about anywhere. In my former corporate life, you could have easily found me doing a plank or push ups to fight off the mid-afternoon lull. You’ll be surprised how many people join you because secretly they want to squeeze a little more fitness into the corners of their life, too!

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