Doing A 1-Minute Plank A Day: What Can Happen?

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Strength training exercises like planks can offer nice benefits. Find out what kind of results you can expect from doing a 1-minute plank a day.

People who are new to core workouts and don’t use these muscles that much can potentially see small improvements in core muscle endurance from doing a 1-minute plank a day.

That being said, even these individuals will stop seeing progress relatively soon. An exercise routine like this is just not that long or challenging.

Even the calorie-burning results of 1-minute planks are barely noticeable. The same applies to more general exercise benefits.

The main reason why you would do a challenge like this is to get used to exercising more. However, even then, you want to consider longer and/or more challenging routines soon.

What results a 1-minute plank a day can offer

Implementing more exercise can offer valuable benefits but not all workouts are equal in terms of what results they offer.

Find out what can happen when you start doing 1-minute planks every day.

A 1-minute plank will burn a few extra calories

Throughout the day your body needs energy (measured in calories) to function. Generally, the more intense your movements, the more calories your body will use up your body.

That means because they are a bit more challenging than just sitting down, planks can likely help you burn a few extra calories.

A few rough estimations are that people with different body weights can burn the following amounts of calories while doing a 1-minute bodyweight plank:

  • 125 pounds (56 kg) body weight: 4 calories
  • 155 pounds (70 kg) body weight: 5 calories
  • 185 pounds (83 kg) body weight: 7 calories
  • 215 pounds (97 kg) body weight: 8 calories

Keep in mind that these are very rough estimations. The actual number of calories you burn can vary due to differences in body composition, hormone levels, weighted vs bodyweight planks, etc.

Something else to note is that you already burn around 2 calories when sitting still for 1 minute just to stay alive.

Additionally, you want to know that one pound (0.45 kg) of body fat is around 3500 calories.

With these pieces of information, it should become clear that doing a 1-minute plank a day is not a good exercise routine for people who want to burn a lot of calories.

To how many pushups is a 1-minute plank equivalent in calories

Some people are also interested in how planks compare to exercises like pushups in terms of details like how many calories each movement burns.

A rough estimation is that a 1-minute plank is equivalent to about 14 pushups in terms of calorie-burning during the workout.

However, it is important to note that a lot of the calorie-burning effects of resistance training exercises like planks and pushups come from any extra muscle mass they build.

Pushups can help you build a lot more muscle mass than planks. Because of this, the comparison above is likely an understatement of how suboptimal planks are for burning calories compared to other exercises.

Your core muscle endurance could improve a bit

By challenging muscles enough but to safe extents, you start a variety of processes that can change their health, size, and strength.

How many planks a day of what durations is enough to cause these changes depends on the current strength level of your muscles.

If you are relatively new to core exercises and working out in general, doing a 1-minute plank every day could be enough to see small improvements in muscle endurance in your abs and obliques.

That being said, it is important to note that a 1-minute plank is not that impressive when it comes to core workouts either.

Even if you are able to see some endurance progress initially, you will likely hit a plateau soon.

At this point, you want to consider longer planks or other exercises to keep seeing results.

Could help you start an exercise habit

1 minute of exercise a day is far from impressive. Even so, for some people, this could be one of the benefits of this type of routine.

More intense workouts of one hour or more with 5 different exercises could be more effective.

However, if you are just starting out your fitness journey, these could feel so overwhelming that you end up doing no exercise at all.

Starting with something small like a 1-minute plank a day instead could be more effective for building an exercise habit.

That being said, it is still important to highlight that 1 minute of planking is not that much. You likely want to consider doing more intense routines, even if they are only a few minutes longer, very soon.

You will likely not build muscle

Planks do work your abs and obliques but many people overestimate how effective this exercise is for building muscle mass.

A big reason for this is that planks work your abs in an isometric (static) way. More dynamic exercises like sit-ups are typically more effective for building muscle mass.

It is still possible to build muscle with isometric exercises but most people will need more than a 1-minute plank a day to achieve this.

One review of other studies concluded that you want to do 3 to 30 seconds per set/plank repetition and more than 80 to 150 seconds per workout at 70-75% of maximum voluntary contraction to grow muscles with isometrics (1).

This suggests that even if you would do weighted planks with enough resistance, one minute would not be optimal and potentially not good enough to build core muscle.

More general 1-minute plank benefits to a tiny extent

You should not expect too much in this area since planks are not that intense.

However, because they are more active than sitting down, you will get a few general health benefits of exercise to a tiny extent by doing planks. Some examples include:

  • Mood
  • Sleep
  • Stress levels
  • Cognitive function

Again, you will only barely experience these things from doing a 1-minute plank a day. Likely not even to the extent where the benefits become noticeable.

Your muscles may feel sore the first few days

If you have been inactive for a while, it is possible that core muscles like your abs and obliques may feel slightly sore the first few days of implementing 1-minute planks.

That being said, even if you do experience this initially, you will likely stop getting sore muscles relatively soon.

Such a short and soft workout routine is just not that challenging for your muscles.

Is a 1-minute plank enough to make a difference?

For core training beginners, doing a 1-minute plank a day could be enough to see small improvements in core muscle endurance.

That being said, by now it should be clear that an exercise routine like this is not enough to see significant progress toward other fitness goals.

Even in terms of burning calories, 1-minute planks are not enough to make a significant difference.

How to make your exercise routine more effective

Luckily there are many ways to make your exercise routine more effective.

If you really want to stick to the planks, you would do longer sessions and potentially do the exercise with extra weight on your hips.

That being said, to build muscle mass and endurance in your core and other areas, different exercises are often more effective than planks.

To burn calories, lose weight, and get some of the other more general health benefits of exercise you definitely want to choose different exercises.

Even if your body is currently not able to deal with more intense exercises like running, you can do low-impact movements like walking, swimming, and rowing.

1-minute plank every day for 30 days results example

The information above is definitely helpful but you may also want to see what happens when someone actually implements a 1-minute plank every day for 30 days.

Luke from the Youtube channel Luke Verbeek implemented a challenge like this. You can see his results below.

One thing to keep in mind about his transformation is that he also reduced how many calories he consumed and continued doing his other workouts.

So even if the 1-minute plank was not a big reason for the changes Luke experienced, it can be motivating to see what is possible with 30 days of taking action.

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Matt Claes founded Weight Loss Made Practical to help people get in shape and stay there after losing 37 pounds and learning the best of the best about weight loss, health, and longevity for over 4 years. Over these years he has become an expert in nutrition, exercise, and other physical health aspects.