21 Day Fitness Challenge – Handstands & Planks

Welcome to my first ever 21 day fitness challenge! These 21 days are meant to help improve core stabilization while practicing handstands. I made the daily challenges very short – 3 to 10 minutes a day- because these challenges are not meant to be the only exercises of the day. They are meant to be added to an already complete exercise program. I will still be on my weight-lifting, yoga, and cardio regimen throughout the challenge, but just adding the handstand and plank practice.

If you are super new to handstands, or if you would just like a little more guidance on how to warm up the shoulders and get upside down, here is one of my favorite handstand tutorial videos from Kino, a yoga guru. Her video includes a full in-depth warm up, and she does a handstand against the wall, and also shows how to engage the core in plank pose, very helpful!

WEEK 1 – We are starting slow this week. My handstands will be with my back facing the wall, I will be focusing on my form and stability, and working to remove the bend out of the low back. The planks start off at an easy 30 second plank hold and will be increasing in length as the challenge progresses.  I will be holding plank on my forearms but you can hold plank on the palms if that’s easier for you.

WEEK 2 – This week, we will make the handstands a little more dynamic, with FTW (Facing The Wall) handstands. We start off in a high plank with the wall behind us, the feet move up the wall, while the hands walk towards the wall. Pause once the nose touches the wall, and walk back out to plank for one rep. The plank holds this week are all 60 seconds long, just the number of rounds changes.

WEEK 3 – After 2 whole weeks of handstand practice, we are ready to step away from the wall with FS (Free Standing) handstands. Most of my free standing handstands last about 3 – 5 seconds, so each one is considered a rep. By the end of the challenge, we will be trying 30 free standing handstands and two 75 second plank holds all in one day.

Here is a quick video I made showing the different options for how to do the handstands in the challenge.

REMEMBER: This challenge is just for fun. I did not include any rest days since the daily challenges are so short. If you need a rest day, by all means, listen to your body. I made this challenge as a personal challenge, since I know what my body is capable of. We are all at different places in our fitness journeys so we will all have different experiences. BE PREPARED for a major fail day, whether that means not being able to hold the planks or finish the rounds, or even just needing some days off, and DON’T beat yourself up about it. Okay that last part was mostly for me, I have failed many fitness challenges in the past and can sometimes get down on myself over it. Its OK if we don’t make it till the end or if we cant hold all the planks. The important thing is that we try our best and give our fullest efforts.

If you’re gonna try the challenge, leave a comment and let me know. Ill post an update at the end of the challenge to talk about my experience / progress.

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