Plank your way to £100 of free gym credit

Yep, you read that headline correctly. Planking, the 'new' craze that I knew about years ago - when it was known as the lying down game - is now becoming a competition for Pay As U Gym.
But there's a reason behind it too. Their competition page says there are loads of benefits of Planking, like:
  • Improved core strength
  • The ability to maintain a stiff Plank for longer < - I'm not sure that's a benefit 
  • Improved horizontal posture significantly enhances vertical posture 
And they even give you a three week plan to become a real Planker! Wait, it gets funnier.

Week 1: Every night before you go to bed lie down and don’t move for 30 seconds. Repeat 5 times per Set for 3 Sets. Make sure you are properly warmed up before attempting this and please ensure you do it at ground level. Focus on staying really still and don’t forget to breathe. Remember “in through the nose, out through the mouth”. Say it out loud if it helps.

Week 2: Continue with the routine from Week 1 but try and extend each Rep to 60 seconds. During the last set try co-contracting your Transversus Abdominis and multifidus (you know the ones...) by sucking your belly in as if you are trying to squeeze through a narrow gap. Feels good right?! This will enhance your core strength which will be required for the longer and more public Planks in Week 3.

Week 3: By now you are probably beginning to see some results so the last week is much more about refining and honing your technique. To do this you will need a friend to ‘spot’ you during your workout, take photos and shout encouragement. Find a photogenic location, assume the Plank position and focus intently on being rigid and not moving. Get your friend to take a photograph so you can check if you were moving – if you did, then try again. Repeat until perfected.

If you follow this plan you should now be a proper Planker and we want to see how you got on!

The best bit is "Please make sure you seek the advice of your GP before commencing any Planking activity." So remember when lying face down in general, to check you're ok to do that...

And if you want to take part, competition entries can be found here.