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Planksgiving Fitness Challenge 2020

Beginning October 26 and ending November 21, 2020, Easton Training Center’s Kickboxing program will launch a month-long fitness challenge: Planksgiving! To build up our core strength before the holidays, we’re holding a friendly competition. Each week for 4 weeks, members will compete to see who can log the longest hold of the week’s specified plank variation. Planks must be timed by a Kickboxing instructor before or after class. Each location will have a weekly winner, and at the end of the month, cumulative scores will be tallied to determine the location’s Planksgiving winner!

Planks are a popular and important part of a workout routine because planks target almost every muscle group in your body. While you are participating in Easton’s Planksgiving, challenge yourself to not only get physically stronger, but to get mentally stronger as well. Practice your ability to focus your mind and your breathing. Master this, and you just may win!

Week 1: Middle Forearm Plank

Middle plank with perfect form!

Middle Plank Standards:

  • Shoulder directly over elbows
  • Arms bent at 90° angle
  • Hands spread shoulder-width apart
  • Hips and knees raised, body flat
How not to do the middle plank.

Common mistakes 

  • Arched back – This will fatigue your upper body and put unnecessary pressure on your spine.
    *Tip* – Spread your shoulders wider and place your palms on the floor. This will take the strain off your upper body and help you engage your core better
  • Lowered hips – This position does not engage your core and will put a strain on your lower back.
    *Tip* – Tuck your hips under, squeeze your glutes, and try spreading your feet slightly wider. 
  • Strained neck – Looking up will put a strain on your neck and can cause your form to fall apart.
    *Tip* – Tuck your chin and look down at the floor so that your head is in alignment with the rest of your body

Week 2: Side Plank

The perfect side plank!

Side Plank Standards

  • Shoulders in line with elbow
  • Hips and knees raised, body straight
  • Head in line with spine
  • Feet stacked
  • Top arm off the ground
Watch out for sagging hips in the side plank.

Common mistakes 

  • Hips sagging – This will put strain on your shoulder and does not engage your core correctly.
    *Tip* – Use your oblique abdominal muscles to raise your hips and make sure your spine is straight. 
  • Rotating forward – If your body is rotating, your weight distribution is off.
    *Tip* – Work proper balance and control by keeping your shoulders, hips, knees, and feet stacked on top of each other. 

Week 3: Reverse Plank

Have you ever seen such an awesome reverse plank?

Reverse Plank Standards

  • Palms and heels on the floor
  • Hips raised, facing the ceiling
  • Body flat from head to toe
Don’t forget to keep your hips high in the reverse plank!

Common mistakes

  • Hip sagging – Use more than just your arms to hold yourself up.
    *Tip* – Lift your hips high, engage your core, draw your shoulder away from your head, and tighten your glutes. 
  • Hyperextending – Your elbows and knees should be straight, but don’t force it.
    *Tip* – Engage your back muscles and glutes to take the pressure off your joints.
  • Head Position – If you tilt your head forward or back, it will strain your neck.
    *Tip* – Keep your head and neck in line with your torso.

Week 4: X-Plank

The wider your hands and feet are placed in the X-plank, the bigger the challenge!

X-Plank Standards

  • High middle plank with arms extended and elbows off the ground
  • Arms wider than shoulders
  • Feet wider than hips
  • Body makes an X
Keep that spine straight in the X-plank!

Common mistakes

  • The X-Plank has the same pitfalls as the middle plank!
    *Tip* – Start in a high middle plank position, then walk your hands and feet out wider.

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