Challenge 2 is geared to strengthen your core and improve the duration of your dog’s sit. While most plank challenges set a goal of attaining a 5 minute plank over 30 days, our challenge is for you to double (triple or quadruple) the time of your baseline plank over the month, doing only a single plank each day. So while some people may start with a baseline plank of 1 minute, others may be starting at 5 seconds, but it doesn’t matter! What matters is that you maintain the proper form for the entire duration of your plank to get the full benefits and avoid injury.
The plank is a great core exercise because you don’t need any equipment so you can do them anywhere, anytime and it strengthens the abdominal, back, and shoulder muscles simultaneously! While it may look easy – it isn’t! Keys to proper plank positioning are:
- elbows directly under your shoulders
- toes on the ground, push your heels back
- no sagging in the middle or butt in the air
- neck in neutral position
- body should be in a straight line from heel to head
To begin the challenge you first need to determine what your baseline plank hold time is and, if you aren’t sure, your pooch’s sit baseline. Give your dog your sit cue (if you use a “stay” cue give it as well) and start a timer. Stop the timer when your dog breaks from the sit. The time spent in the sit position is your pooch’s baseline time that you want to try to double over the next 30 days. Next, position your self in a proper plank position (see above instructions and photo) with a timer between you hands. Hit the start on your timer and hold the plank as long as you can. Record your time and post an update to our Facebook page indicating which challenge you are working towards, with photos or a link to your video of you and your pooch completing the challenge!
Keep in mind that you may be able to maintain a plank, longer than your pooch can remain in a sit position, so that means you may need to do some extra work with your pooch along with your daily plank! Same applies to your dog…some may be able to maintain a sit position for 1 minute, others may not sit still for 2 seconds! Check out our obedience training if you pooch needs some help in learning the basics!
The plank can often times be more psychologically challenging than physically, particularly when you are holding it for increasingly long periods of time, so keep positive thoughts in your mind, sing a song with a goal of holding your plank to the end, etc.
So do your first plank and post your time, then each day do a single plank while your pooch is in a sit position and each day try to increase your time, even if only by one second! Before you know it you will have doubled, tripled or even quadrupled your time and enhanced your core strength…and you pooch’s duration in a sit!