Face down, hands in, toes pointed and stiff as a board. This is the true way to do the rising fad known as “planking.”
The “lying down” game became popular in England at the beginning of the 21st century. The idea wasn’t that well known until 2009 when doctors were caught planking on the clock.
The rules to the game are simple: lie face down in a unique location, keeping the body as stiff as a board, take a picture and post it to the Internet.
According to Jonathan Adams, 26, from Orem majoring in electrical engineering, planking is only interesting if the place is unique.
“I personally think it’s hilarious to see people lying in the most awkward position possible in really strange places,” Adams said. “A lot of the planking I’ve seen is lame because it isn’t in an interesting place, but when it’s done right, it always makes me laugh.”
The fad has been known by various names such as “extreme lying down”, “facedowns” and, translated from Korean, “playing dead.” The name “planking” originated in Australia and New Zealand and because of social media it has become the more popular title.
Parker Cornaby, a general roofing contractor, has many unique planking opportunities, but chooses to follow the law instead.
“I never knew what [planking] was until one of my buddies made his little brother plank between the book shelf and treadmill and posted it on Facebook,” Cornaby said. “I think planking is a little too risky for me and my profession unless I want a fat fine from OSHA. I’ve been tempted though.”
Like Jaime Conde, an economics major from San Diego, many students find the fad a bit odd, but overall pretty entertaining.
“I think it’s a pretty strange fad, but it’s good clean fun and I do some weird things too sometimes,” Conde said. “However, I don’t really see myself planking any time soon.”
Erin Mumford, an English major from Orem, summed up the purpose behind planking.
“Planking is for people with a fine sense of whimsy,” Mumford said. “It’s OK if you think it’s stupid. It’s supposed to be. It’s about taking life — and yourself — a little less seriously.”