split image of DonnaJean Wilde planking

A grandmother from Alberta, Canada, has broken the world record for the longest time in an abdominal plank position (female).

DonnaJean Wilde, 58, planked for 4 hr 30 min 11 sec, just over 10 minutes longer than the previous record set by fellow Canadian Dana Glowacka in 2019.

DonnaJean’s prolonged plank took place at the high school where she formerly served as vice principal before retiring.

Overseeing the record attempt was Guinness World Records Official Adjudicator Tina Shi, who closely monitored DonnaJean’s form.

To successfully achieve the record, the challenger’s forearms and toes must touch the ground at all times. The remainder of the body must be lifted off the ground and be kept straight throughout.

“My elbows hurt pretty bad,” DonnaJean said after completing her record-breaking plank.

“I was so worried about losing my form, and I think that’s why my quads hurt because I was just really tense.”

DonnaJean felt that the first two hours went by quickly, but the following two hours were much more difficult.

She said: “The last hour was the most challenging, just to stay focussed and keep my form.”

side view of DonnaJean planking

During the last 30 minutes, she focussed on “breathing, staying calm, and not shaking”.

She drew motivation from her 12 grandchildren who came along to watch, in addition to the large audience of supportive school students.

As someone who suffers from chronic pain in her hands and arms, DonnaJean is used to persevering through adversity.

Her husband, Randy, believes her condition has proved to be helpful, rather than a hindrance: “That chronic pain and numbness that she deals with every day has helped her to be able to plank through the pain,” he said.

front view of DonnaJean planking

Ordinarily, DonnaJean planks for up to three hours every day, and in preparation for this record attempt, she upped it to six hours (split into two three-hour blocks).

She incorporated the exercise into her daily routine 12 years ago after breaking her wrist and finding herself unable to run or lift weights while wearing a cast.

“I realized that I could read and do things when I was planking and fell in love with it,” she recalls.

In addition to watching movies in the plank position, DonnaJean did all her master’s degree studies while planking!

DonnaJean smiling

DonnaJean says it feels “overwhelming” to have achieved this world record after over a decade of daily planking.

“I actually still can’t believe it,” she said. “It feels like a dream.”

Her advice for anyone who wants to break her record is: “Keep trying and keep practising. When you have to read or work on your computer, just get on the floor and do it on the floor.”

The men’s plank world record currently stands at 9 hr 38 min 47 sec, achieved last year by Josef Šálek from Czechia.

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