INSTAGRAM | @margotrobbieofficial

ALREADY BLESSED with fame, good looks, and a role in the world’s most talked about movie, it appears that Margot Robbie has been keeping another talent up her sleeve. The actress has just proven she’s also a fitness queen, demolishing the cast of Barbie in a planking contest. Seriously, what can’t this woman do?

As the world is flocking to theatres to witness the spectacle that is Barbie, the film’s cast is engaging in trials of strength — and Barbie herself has come out on top. Robbie held her plank for four minutes and ten seconds in the contest, far surpassing other Barbie cast members Ryan Gosling and Hari Nef, who clocked in with planks lasting three minutes and two seconds, and two minutes and 15 seconds, as well as producer David Heyman, with a time of four minutes and one second.

The only competitor to better Robbie’s time was her personal trainer, David Higgins, but since he’s not a cast member, we’re going to consider him exempt from competition. No word yet on Michael Cera’s plank time, but the guy who plays Allan would likely be stiff competition — after all, there’s only one Allan.

Our money would’ve been on Gosling to be the best ‘planker’ amongst the Barbie cast, given the chiselled physique the actor built to play Ken, but Robbie outlasted her co-star by a full minute. Robbie may have bettered Gosling in a plank-off, but given Ken’s skills with all things beach related, we’re fairly certain Gosling would outperform just about anyone in a beach-off — if the situation presented itself, of course.

INSTAGRAM | @davidhigginslondon
Warner Bros. | Barbie

What are planks?

If you’ve ever subjected yourself a plank, you’ll understand that the exercise is a gruelling physical undertaking, and you have our commiserations. Albert Einstein proved that the faster you move, the slower the time passes. Planks prove the inverse — that moving slowly also makes time move slower. You don’t know how long ten seconds is unless you’ve experienced the pain that is holding on for dear life at the tail end of a plank.

If you’re not familiar with planking (consider yourself lucky), here’s a quick rundown. A plank is a demanding exercise that involves holding your body parallel to the floor in an elevated position while engaging your core. Typically, you keep only your toes and forearms on the ground while holding your entire bodyweight for as long as possible. While the exercise is anything but fun, it’s a real ab-burner that builds unreal core strength.

How can you get better at planks?

For the couch potatoes currently thinking that Robbie’s plank time isn’t all that impressive, or anyone thinking they could easily do better with limited preparation, trust us, you can’t. Plank endurance is not something that comes naturally, and regular training is necessary if you want your best time to surpass the one-minute mark. This is how you can improve your plank time.

Remember to breathe

Your muscles need oxygen for fuel. The more you breathe, the more fuel you’ll have to hold a plank, so make sure to breathe steadily and evenly. By focusing on breathing, you’ll not only be making planks more efficient, you’ll also be taking your mind off the pain — just go to your happy place.

Positioning is paramount

To maintain effective plank form, a neutral spine and neck is a necessity. As the going gets tough and you feel yourself beginning to slump, don’t sink into your shoulders and put pressure on the wrong places. Even though it feels harder, maintaining good form will actually make the plank much easier than moving around.

Flex. Everything.

Performing a plank is much more than simply fixing yourself in position and staying there. During the plank, it’s important that you engage your muscles, but not only your core. Flex your arms, squeeze your butt, and tense your back, it’ll make things easier.

Get stronger

Forgive us for stating the obvious, but the best way to improve your plank time is to simply get stronger. Don’t just focus on your core though, planks require full body strength, and as your muscles get bigger, you’ll likely also find that your planks are getting longer.

Warner Bros. | Barbie

Can planks get you abs of steel?

Now that you know how to become a plank-master like Robbie, you’re probably wondering if a few minutes each day spent doing planks will be enough to chisel out a six-pack of abs. So, is that enough? Unfortunately, the answer is no. While planks will bolster your core strength and make it feel like you’ve packed a full workout of pain into a few short minutes, building a toned stomach takes a larger commitment to exercise and diet.

To assist in your quest to obtain the perfect six-pack, here’s a sample ab and core workout. This workout, performed 3-4 times per week in conjunction with a healthy diet, will see you well on your way to Barbie levels of fitness.

  1. Warm-up: 5-10 minutes of light cardio and stretching.
  2. Planks: hold for 30-60 seconds, rest for 30 seconds, repeat three times.
  3. Mountain climbers: perform for 60 seconds, rest for 30 seconds, repeat three times.
  4. Crunches: perform 20-30 reps, rest for 30 seconds, repeat three times.
  5. Flutter kicks: perform for 30 seconds, rest for 30 seconds, repeat three times.
  6. Sit-ups: perform 10-15 reps, rest for 60 seconds, repeat three times.
  7. Russian twists: perform for 30-45 seconds, rest for 60 seconds, repeat three times.
  8. Push-ups: perform 10-15 reps, rest for 30 seconds, repeat three times.


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