I Tried My Firefighter Boyfriend’s 3-Minute Plank Series, and It Made My Core Quake


When my boyfriend was accepted into fire academy, I knew it would entail a lot of physical work (think: carrying ladders and hoses, using bricks as weights, etc.). However, many of the conditioning portions of his training involve bodyweight moves that I personally wanted to try myself — you’re talking to someone who used to challenge boys to push-up competitions in college, so you can say I’m a little competitive when it comes to proving my strength. (OK, a lot competitive.)

The plank series he does is difficult for sure — it’s three minutes of different plank variations that ask your core to kick into overdrive — yet the moves are simple and there are only four of them. I’ve tried this as a core burnout tacked onto the end of my at-home sweat sessions, and I’ve also done it as a stand-alone workout when I have a break in my day. Fact: I am a huge fan of quick but effective training, and three minutes is really all you need in a plank to feel your deep core muscles working.

Three-Minute Plank Series

  • Elbow plank: one minute
  • Elbow plank with reach (left arm): 15 seconds
  • Elbow plank with reach (right arm): 15 seconds
  • Elbow plank with leg lift (left leg): 15 seconds
  • Elbow plank with leg lift (right leg): 15 seconds
  • Two-point plank (left arm and right leg up): 15 seconds
  • Two-point plank (right arm and left leg up): 15 seconds
  • Elbow plank: 30 seconds

In this series, you’re slowly taking away your points of contact on the floor to recruit your core muscles even more, and it requires a good amount of focus to stay balanced. Keep reading for step-by-step instructions for how to do each. My boyfriend wanted me to note, too, that he would add side planks as well — he’s an overachiever!

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