How To Plank For 5 Minutes Without Losing Your Mind

I learned the hard way that a strong core is key to avoiding all sorts of running injuries, and I learned in physical therapy that planking is one of the best ways to build and maintain a strong core. But the problem with planking is that the stronger you get, the longer you have to hold your planks to keep challenging your muscles and get stronger. But how do you do that without losing your mind? 

How To Plank for 5 Minutes
My mental endurance maxes out at about 2:00 minutes, so I switch things up to do 5 minutes of planking without losing my mind. 

5 Minutes Of Planking

I usually start with a forearm plank, and hold that for 90 seconds before rolling over to do a side plank (one one forearm), which I hold for 60 seconds before rolling over to do a side plank on the other side. Then I finish with another 90 second forearm plank, by which time my muscles are usually quivering and glad to be DONE!

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Last week I had fun with my planks by doing them outside when I could.

Weekly Wrap

It was so HOT and HUMID this week. Getting out early didn’t so much let me beat the heat as simply survive my workouts. Here’s my rundown for the weekly wrap hosted by Holly and Tricia and this week’s guest host–Darlene at My 5k and More.

Monday: 30 min run + 30 min strength training  (including planks!) 

I caught a nice breeze off the river

Tuesday: Indoor cycling at Revolve + planking in the park

Wednesday: Orange Theory Fitness + planking by the river

Thursday: 6 mile run + planking by the fountain

Friday: Core power yoga, including many flows through chaturanga, side planks and fallen angel (sort of a side plank variation)  

Saturday: 35.5 mile bike ride + planking in my garden

Sunday: Indoor cycling at Revolve + planking on the path

How long can you spend planking without losing your mind?

Did you manage to beat the heat this week?

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36 Responses to How To Plank For 5 Minutes Without Losing Your Mind

  1. I am back on the planks now again and I am starting over. I try to sing a song in my head to distract myself

  2. Kimberly G says:

    Thanks so much for your planking tips! I need to get better about planking more often. It’s one of those things where I know I need to do it, but then I don’t.

    Agree with you about the weather this week. You’ll be happy to know only 61 more days until Fall LOL
    Kimberly G recently posted…Chicago Marathon Training Recap – Week 9My Profile

  3. You know, I plank everyday, and I have been able to hold a forearm plank for 5 minutes (NOT everyday LOL). I really need to do some rotations like you suggested, just to mix it up a bit. I always feel like I’m cheating by changing position, but actually you still have to hold everything tight to maintain your form AS you’re changing positions…so, it’s all good. Stay tuned….. 😉
    Kimberly Hatting recently posted…Epiphanies AplentyMy Profile

  4. HoHo Runs says:

    At some point, I did get up to a 5 minute plank on my forearms. However, that position now hurts my (previously broken) metatarsals and my back. So your suggestion is a great one for me. I’ll give it a try. Great job on the long ride this week!

  5. I’ve never officially planked because honestly I don’t know if I am doing it right. Should the bottom be even with the shoulders or lower. Some how I never did push ups correctly so I imagine my plank would look the same way..haha

  6. Teresa says:

    I get bored with planks as well. However, I can hold forearm plank much longer than side planks so guess that means I need to do more side planks.

    Great 35 miler on the bike! Can’t wait to hear about your upcoming cycling ride!
    Teresa recently posted…On the Road to 100 MilesMy Profile

  7. That’s a good way to get in a nice long plank! I need to get back into doing these more. I did a plank challenge a few years ago and loved it!
    Nice week of workouts!

  8. It’s been great seeing you plank posts on IG. I’m back to daily planking this month, and definitely, need to incorporate more side planks.
    Michelle @ Running with Attitude recently posted…Weekly Wrap – Feeling the HeatMy Profile

  9. Carla says:

    I need to try this as I dont know I could even do a TWO MINUTE PLANK.

  10. Marcia says:

    Credit my short torso or something, but planks come easily to me. I do love some side plank challenge though. And interspersing pushups between planks for spice.

  11. Lesley says:

    I’m getting planking back in my routine too. I can hold a forearm plank for 1 minute, but if I add in side planks, it’s 30 on the forearms, 30 each side, and 30 again for a forearm plank. The sides are the most difficult, and I need to build those up.

  12. thanks for the tips! I am trying to get from one minute to two minutes! That is my goal this month during my summer challenge 🙂 Nice week by the way for you!
    Mary Beth Jackson recently posted…ZOOMA Summer Challenge Week 1My Profile

  13. What a good week! I don’t know how long I can hold a plank, but I’m certain it’s not 5 minutes! That is awesome…and breaking it up like that is such a good way to get it done!

  14. Karen Bayne says:

    You have convinced me I need to plank more! I haven’t really tried to mix up my stance like that, I will try it in my next sets and see how I do. I have not held a full two minute plank yet!
    I haven’t really found a way to beat the heat, I am in survival mode in summer, that is how I roll lol Your runs look speedy to me in the heat!

  15. Jenn says:

    Planks are so miserably boring. I didn’t realize you were allowed to change position! That might change the game for me a little!
    Jenn recently posted…weekly wrap: 7.9.17 – 7.23.17My Profile

  16. Rachel says:

    You’re amazing. My “5 minute” planks are more like forearm for 1 minute, then alternating side planks for 30 seconds. And I haven’t done those in at least a year!
    Rachel recently posted…Midweek Long Run + B’nai B’rith Health Run 5K RecapMy Profile

  17. I do a lot of planks but I never do anything continuously for 5 minutes. That must be how I don’t lose my mind…

    It has been a steamy summer, for sure!
    Wendy@Taking the Long Way Home recently posted…Like a Boss: Recovery WeekMy Profile

  18. What a fun planking routine! Definitely a great way to mix it up and work the core for 5 minutes!

  19. Renée says:

    I think I made it once to 3.5 minutes planking! Maybe I should try again. I recently started using my kettlebells at home again, I could try to add a plank here and there. but 5 minutes… UGH.

    seems like you had a really good week 🙂

  20. Jamie says:

    I used to be able to plank for a long time, like almost 4 minutes. It’s been a long time since I’ve been able to do that. I think it’s time to start practicing again.

  21. Darlene says:

    I can barely hold a plank for one minute but I like your tips of mixing it up.

    I have to motivate myself to do them again.

    Love the pic of the Washington monument.
    Darlene recently posted…TOTR: July Report CardMy Profile

  22. I’ve always been amazed by those who can plank for longer than 60 seconds. Planking for much longer than that is both a mental and a physical challenge, but I’ll have to try using some of your tips. Thanks!
    Kathryn @ Dancing to Running recently posted…Chicago Marathon Training Log – Week 7My Profile

  23. Holding planks for a long time is a challenge for me, especially longer than a minute. I like being able to change positions – it’s still challenging! I wonder how long I could last, lol!

  24. Farrah says:

    Major props to you on planking for 5 minutes, hahaha. I don’t think I’ve ever tried for how long I could hold it for, but am veryyy unsure that I could make it to 5 minutes. I’ll have to try your way though–I like how you switch it up! :]

  25. GiGi Eats says:

    I play on my phone when I do the plank and I can go for 5 minutes straight – I am playing words with friends! LOL!

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