Who would have thought that the simple act of lying face down, with arms to the side, would evolve into a wacky game and an international craze? That’s exactly what's happened with ‘planking’ (which is what it is called). This fad has already captured the imagination of plankers and the international media, and is now catching on in India and has got amateur plankers excited. “The goal is to ‘plank’ in odd locations, mostly in public, and typically on top of difficult objects like a mail box, hand rail, tombstone and then get a friend to take a picture," says Nick Newell of goplanking.com. These pics then need to be posted online. Plankers try to outdo each other over what is a better plank, depending on technique, daring or creativity.
Some highly-rated planks online include those on tombstones, mail boxes and a road in the middle of the desert. Planking hit mainstream media after the death of planker Acton Beale, who had a fatal accident, after falling from the balcony of a block of flats in Brisbane, Australia, earlier this month. Once news broke on the Internet, the art of planking became a mainstream fad. Like any successful fad, it has many fathers. Different people have claimed to be its creators. But the term “planking” originated in Australia.
Amateur Indian plankers are now coming to the scene to match up to their international counterparts. “This is the craziest game in the world and Indians are all set to start planking soon,” says amateur planker Rohit Miglani. Ashnav Saxena agrees, “Due to some notorious and dangerous planks it attracts youngsters. It is very hot right now and I hope it will become more popular.”
Rules of the game:
Start on the ground: Form is key and it is easiest to practice your form on the ground without having to worry about your balance. Have a friend take photos of your first planks.
Practice your balance: There are a few easy planks you can try off the ground. Try the ‘bridge’, where both your head and your feet rest on some object (like two chairs), but the rest of your body is suspended. Practice this technique and work on your balance and form.
Next try the ‘see-saw’: This is where the center of your body rests on an object and your head and feet are suspended. This is the opposite of the ‘bridge’.
Tough task: Finally, and maybe most difficult, is the ‘mountain’ plank (derived from the origami fold of the same name). Here, the center of your entire body is balanced from head to toe on a thin object (like a railing). Not recommended on objects more than three feet off the ground, as you will mostly likely fall.
Be safe: Balance is a key talent if you want to increase the value of your plank. But be safe! Dangerous planks have little value, and can endanger your life.
— Nick Newell, planking expert from goplanking.com
For more info, visit www.goplanking.com