How long can you hold a plank position? Two minutes? Four?
Try an astonishing 5 hours, 15 minutes, and 15 seconds. That’s how long former Marine, George Hood (age 57), stayed in plank position on May 30, 2015, leaving the previous world record in the dust. Hood broke the record in an effort to raise money for the Semper Fi Fund, which supports wounded Marines.
Hood, a Marine officer and Special Agent with the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, directed attention to his fellow veterans as he recovered from his feat. He pointed out that his discomfort was nothing compared to the pain that wounded Marines go through every day, as USA Today reported.
In late middle age, a lot of folks ease off on their exercise routines. Hood, however, is a personal trainer who had already earned seven Guinness World Records before his Semper Fi plank, including several in rope skipping and static “spin” cycling. The previous plank record of 4 hours and 26 minutes, held by a Chinese police officer, didn’t stand a chance once Hood got balanced on his toes and elbows.
— The Union-Tribune (@sdut) May 31, 2015
Planking is one of the most powerful exercises used to develop the core abdominal muscles. It also builds strength in the shoulders, arms and glutes. To do a plank properly, you start in a push-up position, then drop your elbows to the floor, tighten your abs, keep your back straight, and then don’t move. Even though it looks as if you’re not doing anything, in reality, the plank requires real whole-body strength and can become excruciating in a very short time. Most people are happy to hold a plank for 30 seconds and proud to hit the two-minute mark.
The next time you’re struggling in plank position, think about George Hood holding the plank for more than 5 hours. With his example in mind, surely you can find inspiration to hang in there for another 30 seconds.