Watch the New World Record for the Longest Plank Hold

Last year, athlete and extreme planker Dana Glowacka set a new world record in the female category for “Longest Time in an Abdominal Plank Position,” lasting an agonizing 4 hours 19 minutes 55 seconds. Glowacka, who hails from Montreal, Canada, broke the record at the 1st International Plank Training Conference in Illinois, in front of a group of Guinness World Record officials.

“I’m so grateful,” she wrote on social media following the event, thanking her coaches. “Truly, if you put the whole of you in what you believe, you gonna make it!”

While undoubtably an impressive accomplishment, a 4-plus hour record isn’t necessarily something that the average person should be striving for in their own core workouts. In fact, outside of the world of extreme planking, you should be aiming to do more with less when it comes to training your core.

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“A world-record plank is an exercise in generating as little true core tension as possible so you can sustain the plank longer,” says Men’s Health fitness director Ebenezer Samuel C.S.C.S. “The plank has its greatest value to your actual core strength and functionality when you’re forced to apply maximum core tension (thus fatiguing your core incredibly quickly). Do a plank right, and you’ll only be able to hold it for 20 to 30 seconds (and ideally, you’re tapped in 10 seconds, because you’re generating that much more core tension).”

“Once you can hold a plank sturdily for a minute or two, there are better ways to train your abs than to chase a world-record waste of time,” he continues. “You should look to add bands or to pull you off-balance, or to work from increasingly unstable plank positions that force your core to create tension against rotation (think of plank shoulder-taps) or lower back extension (think of planks with your hands extended far in front of you, arms off the ground.”

In order to get the maximum benefit out of your plank, you need to perfect your form. Remember: while it’s an ab-crusher, this is also a full-body move, which means creating (and sustaining) full-body tension. You should also be keeping your upper back completely flat, which can be achieved by actively squeezing your glutes to drive your hips into a neutral position, and lightly squeezing your shoulders together.

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