Flick through any exercise textbook and you’ll see one lift rated among the best for building abs of steel
That exercise is the plank. Although you may think sit-ups and crunches are best for working your core, these are arguably bettered by the plank, a movement which is more about bracing and tension.
Holding the plank for a couple of minutes is a good standard of fitness and strength, but one Canadian woman has hit that out of the park. She set a new world record – by holding the plank for over four hours.
In the process, Dana Glowacka set a new world record for the ‘Longest Female Abdominal Plank’, with the total hold time around four hours and 20 minutes smashing the previous record by almost a complete hour.
As it stands, the record has not yet been ratified by Guinness World Records, but it’s only a matter of time.
Previously, she placed second at the 2016 International World Cup Plank Challenge in Beijing. There, she performed a plank of two hours and five minutes. While that in itself is an incredible achievement, it’s clear to see how far she’s stepped efforts up over the last three years.
Just a brief glance at Glowacka’s Instagram account proves she’s spent years developing abs of steel.
Unlike most lifts, performance on the plank is not about how many reps you can perform, but the length of time you hold the position.
The longer it’s held, the stronger your abdominal muscles will be. Holding it for over one minute is a good start, and moving up in 30 second steps is a sign of progress.
How to perform the plank
- Position yourself face down with forearms on the ground supporting your body
- Your back should be straight, and your feet should be placed together
- Balance your weight on your forearms and toes
- Hold this position for as long as you can, keeping your body as rigid as possible
- Progress by increasing length of time or by adding a weight plate to your back