The 30-Day Plank Challenge

Erik Taylor
by Erik Taylor
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The 30-Day Plank Challenge

If you’ve never had a strong core, you might not realize just how much it can impact your daily life. A strong torso helps shield against injury, can improve back (and possibly even knee) pain, improves posture, and promotes more efficient movement overall. If you’re new to exercise and/or have limited time to work out, prioritizing core strength is a smart strategy because it can make a dramatic difference in so many ways, and doesn’t take much time.

Core exercises are a great place to start if you are new to working out because most core moves are pretty simple, require minimal (if any) equipment, can be performed at home, and can be learned in minutes.

Why is doing a challenge important? When you’re trying to improve at something in life, the first step to success is setting a goal—this gives us motivation on those days we don’t want to exercise. Also, as you progress through this challenge, you will see improvement, and progress is highly motivating.

Like any challenge in life, you need to put in the work, be patient, stay positive, and celebrate small improvements.

The goal of this 30-day plank challenge is to see how long can you hold a plank. Obviously, we need to practice planking, but we also need to do other core exercises that will help us build a solid foundation.

Keep these things in mind as you progress through the challenge:

  • Practice proper form above all else.
  • Each week will get progressively harder.
  • At the end of each week, you’ll test to see how long you can hold a plank.
  • Rest days are a must—these allow your body to recover and get stronger.
  • Schedule time on your calendar each day to get your workout in.
  • Adjust the time you hold the plank and the rest intervals (either increase or decrease one or both) depending on your fitness level.
  • All of these exercises can be done at home without any equipment.


plank training plan rev

For more guidance on how to execute these moves with good form, check out this article.

Looking for more fitness challenges? Check out our other plans:

The 28-Day Squat Challenge
The 30-Day Walking Challenge
The 28-Day Run-Yoga-Meditation Challenge

Infographic designed by Tierra Wilson

About the Author

Erik Taylor
Erik Taylor

Erik is a NASM-certified trainer who works with clients online to build their fitness and nutrition plans. He works with people at all levels, from first-time exercisers to weekend warriors and endurance athletes. Erik lives in one of the beach cities of Los Angeles with his wife and two daughters. Connect with Erik on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat (eriktaylorsfit) and


104 responses to “The 30-Day Plank Challenge”

  1. Avatar Rabbit Armitage says:

    I think you need to be clearer on the difference between the walking plank and the alternating hand plank since the pictures are the same. I’m going to assume by “alternating” hand you are basically referring to the Plank Builder move. While the walking is simply going from left to right while moving your hands only

  2. Avatar Julie Holden says:

    If a regular plank is already part of your routine, place a weight on your shoulders to increase the difficulty.

  3. Avatar Lindsay says:

    I wish there was a printable version… the “print” button above did
    not even show the challenge information, mostly just the top toolbar.

  4. Avatar MicErnest says:

    I have this on my phone and started this morning. Shared with my friend and sister and we are all doing the challenge.

    Typically I suck at planking cos I shake too much lol.

    Let’s see how goes.

  5. Avatar Jennifer Acevedo says:

    What’s the difference between the walking plank and alternating hand plank? Pictures look the same and online it looks like everybody has different names for plank exercises

  6. Avatar bobbieconnolly says:

    Started two days ago…..good luck to all!

  7. Avatar Pam says:

    I want to start the plank but I have torn chest muscles, will the plank make this condition worse? What can I do to heal my torn muscles please?

  8. Avatar Gabrielle McCann says:

    I”m going to give that a go – thanks!

  9. I find plank SO hard – but it really lets me know it’s working. I am incorporating a lot more strength work to support my running and planking is a headliner.

    I might try this challenge next month….

  10. Avatar Pat G Williamson says:

    I started today and did not do well 13.11 seconds and had trouble assuming the correct position my back did not want to cooperate. Shocked did not think it would be that hard. Convinced more than ever this is important and needed. So tomorrow is another day.

    • Avatar SunnyCO says:

      Hi Pat, it’s the exercises that we struggle the most with that are the most important for us to do. Keep up the good work! Good luck!

  11. Avatar Bradley Beard says:

    I have screws in my left wrist because I had to have a bone removed. I cannot bend my wrist, so things like push-ups and burpees are impossible for me. Do you have any ideas on things I could do or ways I can modify the plank/push-ups?

    • Avatar Margaret says:

      If you can’t bend your wrists or it hurts I would suggest pushup bars or using a pair of hex dumbells. Keeps your wrists straight and still allows you to do the exercises. Position the pushup bars/dumbells where you would normally place your hands for a plank or pushup and grasp, then do your exercise. Hope this helps.

      • Avatar Bradley Beard says:

        Thanks. I have tried that with certain workouts, but it is difficult if i am doing a class and there are others around or I am having to move around a lot.

  12. Avatar MonaMarie says:

    How do I get this on my phone? I just got the email today. Says it started May 1. How do I reset it and get the challenge?

  13. Avatar Debbie Neff Clark says:

    Can this be printed off? I just got this today 5/16/15 so I will not be on the same day as others!

  14. Avatar Yvette Richardson says:

    Started today, I managed to go 38 seconds but my knees started hurting so I stopped

    • Avatar Felita Viruet Delikat says:

      The key to a good plank is to keep core strong and hips as parallel to floor and try to distribute your body weight evenly. I am a runner and I do yoga I have had knee issues and I use to plank with more weight on legs than arms
      It seems right because our legs are stronger but in yoga I learn the balance of
      your weight makes some challenging poses much easier. good luck

      • Avatar Yvette Richardson says:

        Thank you!! I’ll be doing day 2 today and I’ll try to shift my weight more toward my arms and core. Usually my knees don’t bother me, it’s my left ankle, hopefully this will help me get stronger!

    • Avatar Lyn Jones says:

      38 seconds is better than not doing it at all. So I’d say your ahead of the game

      • Avatar Yvette Richardson says:

        Thank you!! I’m on day three today! Im trying to keep my weight balanced so it keeps my knees from going out.

  15. Avatar Lyn Jones says:

    Just got this email today 5-16-15 anyone starting today.. It would be awesome to do this with a partner. 🙂

    • Avatar Jacqueline Risk says:

      I’m starting today too! Planked for 1 min 1 sec. My son beat me at 1 m 7 s.

    • Avatar Rebecca Decossas Cantley says:

      Started today (5/15) held for 1 min 10 seconds. OUCH!!!

    • Avatar Lisa says:

      Hey there, Lyn! It’s Sunday, 5/17 @ 1:15 am, so I plan on starting this challenge today (sometime after the sun & I are up!). If you haven’t started – or don’t mind working w/ someone who is a day behind you, I’d be delighted to be your online partner. Feel free to let me know if you’re interested! Either way, I wish you the best of luck & hope it goes well.
      Lisa Paul

      • Avatar Lyn Jones says:

        Hi there Lisa!
        Yes that would be awesome to partner up. I did not start yesterday in hopes that someone would take me up on the partner offer. Here is my contact info
        facebook- dalinda jones
        Instagram- dalinda_jones
        yay! I am so excited for the next 30 days

  16. I’m starting this one tomorrow.

  17. Avatar Keith says:

    I wish these challenges would set up a daily email that you could sign up for and it would email you the next level of the challenge.

  18. Avatar DalalStreetKing says:

    You mention “most core moves are pretty simple”. implying there core exercises other than plank. Are these all the core exercises? I clicked on the tag “core workouts” and page shows this same article. Am I missing something?

  19. Avatar Steve West says:

    I was able to print from my iPhone by clicking on the pic from the email and using AirPrint.

  20. Avatar Cassie says:

    I just lost 20 pound so I want to add planms and squats, the thing is I can only do planks for about 10 sec tgan I drop, how can I get stronger and I need to know how to properly do squats

  21. Avatar Cassie says:

    It’s how can I get stronger so that I can do planks and properly do squats

  22. Avatar Nettie Reid says:

    Looking forward to this challenge. I have struggled with these.

  23. Avatar Loretta G. Blair says:

    Started this challenge today and held form for 45 seconds, rested then did one more for 30 seconds. I’ve always like planks in yoga so I added this challenge into my yoga routine right at the very end. I think I’m going to enjoy this.

  24. Avatar shparekh says:

    How do I get this on my phone I.e. Myfitnesspal app?
    Thank you.

    • Avatar Felita Viruet Delikat says:

      yes the app or if you get the email I usually pull up email when they have cool work outs and I do from my iphone

  25. Avatar Rotimi William says:

    Starting this challenge today! Hope I can stick to it lol

  26. Avatar Dayna Dymarcik says:

    Do y0u have to do planks on your elbows or can you do them on your hands ? Been doing the challenge for 2 weeks love it

  27. Avatar Marty P says:

    I tried to copy paste and print however it will only copy to day 8, do you have a printable version.

  28. Avatar Leanne Perez says:

    I am now on day 11…… I am feeling so much better.. I can actually make it to 60 seconds without screaming in pain… lol…. I also have the squat and burpee app….. I set the reminders to do this every morning…. I do my planks at six, then the others after my daughter goes to school…. I have noticed such a difference in just the 11 days….. I LOVE these apps… Thank you so much, finally a free app, that actually works and shows progress in such little time…. stick with it, I promise it really does work…..

  29. Avatar Cherie says:

    I’m in!

  30. Avatar Laura Phillips says:

    I have not done a plank in years & I would just be starting to exercise. Have not exercised in awhile. I had the same problems as everyone else with pictures, especially the walking plank & spiderman plank. Is spiderman plank, knee in air? Or on floor?

  31. Avatar vicky lou says:

    How do you add the challenges to the my fitness pal for exercise. You must burn some calories. Was going to try it tomorrow.

  32. Avatar A_Lee700 says:

    How do I get the challenge on the IPhone app? I seen other ask but haven’t seen any responses.

  33. Avatar Daniela Rodriguez says:

    alright I’m in

  34. Avatar Jamiw says:

    I have a couple challenge groups starting soon if anyone is interested to lose weight and get into a healthy lifestyle change. email me for detals its great if you are looking to lose a couple lbs or a lot of weight or even just tone. Let me help ! 🙂

  35. Avatar naomi says:

    Can you do this , if you have Arthritis in your spine ????

  36. Avatar Jaylene Little Halstead says:

    I want to do this, but I can’t get it to print so I can actually read it!

  37. Avatar Candy says:

    I don’t have this on my phone so I would really like to print off the Plank Challenge but cannot get more than the first page which is a picture. Can you advise?

    • I downloaded it and yes it is a single picture. Just open it in image software and zoom in. I printed mine out but it is tiny. However since I know the context I can make most of it out without opening the image file. I jot progress notes on the hard copy.

  38. Avatar Joanne Koonce-Hamar says:

    Is there a place to track daily completion or weekly progress from the “tests?”

  39. Avatar SunnyMathews says:

    Starting on June 1 with 9 ladies from my virtual Red Hat Society chapter, Fit n Fabulous. We will post our progress on our closed FB group page.

  40. Avatar Paul McClelland says:

    How do I join the 30 day Plank that starts on June 1?

  41. Avatar Kerry Painter says:

    Great. I’m blind so pictures are no use to me whatsoever. Shame that. I really think MFP and others need to address issues such as this when it comes to home workouts. I am not one of them but there are a lot of housebound blind people who can’t afford or don’t have the confidence to go to the gym and having home workout routines would help them immensely.

  42. Avatar Yvette Richardson says:

    Day 5 plank is a challenge!!!

  43. Avatar Kbrad says:

    I’m ready to begin this challenge. I do not like planking but I know it’s quite effective.

  44. Avatar Lucy Beasley says:

    I’m on day 7 now and my shakes have gone and have just done a 1 minute 49 seconds plank. It’s really working. I love it.

  45. Failed day 15 today. Do I repeat the day or what? No shakes. My arms just give out.

  46. Avatar ES says:

    Day 15th saying “side plank, repeat 5 times”. Is this 5 times per side? So would it be 15 intervals done that day?!
    I am day 9, doing well, but 15 intervals looks impossible…
    Who can help to understand please?

    • I think that’s what it means and I did find it impossible – too big a jump from day 14. Hope someone will chime in with a tip or two.

      • Avatar Jr says:

        It’s really hard but I just did it a couple days ago and my abs are feeling nice and sore still. Wait until the walking planks. At first I thought it’d be easy. Boy was I wrong.

  47. Avatar Sammy Smith says:

    Starting today……need to do something today. At the point of no return.

  48. Avatar luvdacritters says:

    Just found this and am starting today. I have a long ways to go – my arms started shaking before I was even at 10 seconds and I only made it to 30 seconds….

  49. Avatar Mitchell Sivley says:

    After clicking on a link in this thread I feel like I know what each one is but the challenge still calls for holds on Spider-Man and walking and alternating hand planks. I’m on day 12 so I still have a couple days to figure it out!

  50. Avatar lirantha says:

    So I finished this the other day and it’s been great! Any tips on how to build on this, though? I’d love a 30 day challenge part 2. 🙂 For now I’ve started repeating the last week, but adding 5 seconds on each day from where I ended with each type plank on the time before.

  51. Thanks for the link, Megan.

  52. Avatar jupitergirl says:

    Does anyone have any information on how to maintain the core once the challenge is over?

  53. Avatar Carly Hudson says:

    Super excited about the results I am seeing from this challenge! Take before and after pics if you are just starting this. I did and it was really excited to see the difference 30 days can make!

  54. Avatar Shawn says:

    Two more “work” days left in the challenge before the final test. What do I do after the challenge? How to I continue to build or at least maintain my core going forward?

  55. Avatar Angella Lightfoot Naasko says:

    Can anyone tell me where to find the actual challenge list of days? Im seeing nothing but an article on why you should do it..

  56. Avatar Cynthia says:

    I don’t see the schedule???

  57. Avatar Elidjon Grembi says:

    I’ve just started to attend a gym 4 time a week. Can I alter these plank exercise with the rest at gym?

  58. Avatar Lawren says:

    Finished the 30 day plank challenge. Please post a schedule to continue!

  59. How does one add planks to the exercise diary. They don’t come up in the Strength Training database, and I don’t see a way to manually add them except as Notes.

  60. Avatar ctsmithiii says:

    Everyone reading this can do it! Start small and work your way up. I started planking out during TV commercials several years ago. First 30 seconds, then 60, then 90, then 120. I started a five minute plank routine that I thought would be impossible 6 months ago and am up to 10 minutes. Progress not perfection.

  61. For the last 3 months or so, I have been doing a 2 minute plank…not sure if that is good or not but I really dont want to go longer than that…but I think it has really helped with making me stronger and helps in toning

  62. Avatar Bobby says:

    Plank challenges are so good for your core! I’ve done a few over the years and they produce excellent results!

  63. Avatar Mega _ says:

    Sorry for bad english. Thx a lot. It is very interesting, not boring programm and effective. On the first day my time was 2:30 min, on last day 4:30 min. My posture became better. I will be grateful for advices what to do next.

  64. Avatar Divya says:

    What do you do once you finish ?! I’m suddenly bereft of a plan.

  65. Avatar Raguram says:

    What do you do after the 30 day challenge? And do we do if we fail in one of the days? Do we go back to day 1?

  66. Avatar Linda N Michael Garcia says:

    What is good amount of time to hold the plank and side plank? I’m able to hold plank for 3 minutes and the side plank 1 minute per each side.

  67. Avatar Shane Ramsey says:

    I just completed my last day of this. Any suggestions on how to start again? Going back to week 1 would be far too easy should I just pick a week and start there?

  68. Avatar Elena Lisheva says:

    I really need to start exercises to help my back pain. Glad they are simple to start!

  69. Avatar Mohd Monish says:

    I have less time to exercise out of my busy schedule,so I think this is the best way to get in shape.i am going to try this out

  70. Avatar Ara dmon says:

    When it comes to the cardio plank is one of the great exercise which helps you to strengthen your core.
    And 30 days workout plank challenge gives you the perfect opportunity to work on your core muscles.
    This article is well balanced and well composed which gives you a proper knowledge about this plank exercise.

  71. Avatar Aman Bansal says:

    What is the the difference between the walking plank and alternating hand plank.

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