A Danish fitness instructor has smashed the world record for the longest time spent in the planking position.

Tom Hoel, 51, regained the title at the weekend after having been stripped of it in October last year by China's Mao Weidong.

Mr Hoel held the notoriously difficult position for four hours and 28 minutes, clearing Mr Weidong's time by two full minutes.

He told The Local: "It's a wonderful feeling to get the title of world champion back. The best feeling is actually not the title but meeting the hopes and expectations of all my friends and club members, who were there to share both my pain and happiness."


In regaining the title, he also smashed his own personal best. But it was not all plain sailing and he admitted to going through a "serious crisis" during his attempt.

But when he was told the time and realised he had already beat his own personal best, he pushed on.

"I thought that I was still under three hours and was ready to quit but when I realised that I had beat my former record and the goal was within sight, I mobilised every resource in my mind and body."

The plank is designed to sculpt a flat stomach, strengthen the entire core, provide support for the entire body in everyday movements, reduce back pain and improve posture.

Last October, footage taken of Mr Weidong's attempt illustrated just how remarkably difficult it is.

The video showed the 43-year-old with his elbows bent 90 degrees and the rest of his weight on his forearms on the ground, forming a straight line from his head to feet while clenching his hands.

He could be seen holding his position on a podium in front of spectators, while dripping sweat from every part of his body.

It is believed the Beijing man planned to finish when he did because the numbers matched his wife's birthday, April 26.

- Daily Mail