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Guinness World Records: Motivational 2021 fitness world records: longest plank, dead hang and more

 As 2022 rapidly approaches, many of you will be making new year’s resolutions that involve getting fit and improving your health. 

To motivate you not to give up before the end of January, we’re looking back at some of the most incredible fitness world records broken this year. 

Highest jump out of water wearing a monofin 

In March, 21-year-old Omar Sayed Shaaban (Egypt) achieved the highest jump out of water wearing a monofin - 2.30 m (7 ft 11.8 in).

Monofins are a type of swim fin typically used in underwater sports such as free-diving and underwater orienteering. 

The previous record of 2 m (6 ft 6.74 in) was jointly held by three different people and had stood for nine years.  

In addition to being able to leap like a dolphin, Omar is one of the world’s fastest sprinters underwater. He can cross 50 metres underwater on one breath in only 15.6 seconds and 100 metres in 35.5 seconds while wearing a snorkel. 

"Swimming is peaceful. A rush of unexplainable thoughts crosses your mind underwater, but it's certainly different and healing." - Omar Sayed Shaaban 

Longest time breath held voluntarily (male) 

March also saw Budimir Šobat (Croatia) hold his breath longer than anyone ever has before, with a breath-taking time of 24 min 37.36 sec. 

Budimir beat the previous record by 34 seconds, which is a long time when you can’t breathe! 

"This record did not come by accident. I put all my effort in it. I was preparing myself for this record for more than 3 years.  I have trained 6 days a week." 

Remarkably, Budimir only started freediving when he was 48 years old.

"Freediving is first of all a mental sport. If you can be stronger than your mind you will succeed." - Budimir Šobat

Longest duration in the dead hang position 

In April, Harald Riise (Norway) achieved the record for the longest duration in the dead hang position.

Hanging for 16 min 3 sec, Harald broke Tazio Gavioli’s record of 13 min 52 sec.

"Being a wheelchair user, I am dependent on my upper body strength to cope with everyday physical challenges. My ability to dead hang for instance is, quite literally, what gets me out of bed in the morning." Harald explained. 

"Setting a dead hang Guinness World Records title was for me the ultimate challenge. I wanted to show both myself and others that it was possible, and I’m thrilled that I succeeded." 

Longest Samson's chair/static wall sit (female) - LA1 

In June, Dareen Barbar (Lebanon) held the thigh-burning Samson’s chair pose for an incredible 2 min 8.24 sec. 

Dareen has an above knee left leg amputation (LA1). Her record was attempted in conjunction with the launch of the Guinness World Records Impairment Records Initiative, which includes classification categories for those with physical, intellectual and visual impairments. 

After losing her left leg in an accident at age 15, Dareen discovered an intense passion for sports and fitness. 

"I always look for ways to show the world that disability is an extra ordinary ability that makes the impossible possible, and the only disability in life is a bad attitude and mindset.” she said. 

"Achieving something is always rewarding. Go for it, plan, train and aim." 

Longest time in the abdominal plank position (male) 

In August, Daniel Scali (Australia) planked for 9 hr 30 min and 1 sec, smashing the previous record of 8 hr 15 min and 15 sec set last year by George Hood (USA).

Perhaps even more impressive than the fact that Daniel planked for nearly 10 hours is the fact that he did it all while having CRPS (complex regional pain syndrome). 

"It’s the brain sending wrong messages to my arm, which is the affected area. So anything like soft touch, movement, wind, water, will cause me pain." he explained. 

Daniel used exercise to train himself to deal with the pain. Planking was especially painful – and thus useful - so he decided to try and break the world record. 

"It was a full head to toe experience of constant pain. My feet were numb. My knees were burning. My thighs were burning. My left arm felt like it was on fire. But it was all worth it in the end." - Daniel Scali

Fastest 20m walking on hands 

In September, the record-breaking stars of Guinness World Records 2022 were revealed. Among them was Zion Clark (USA), who set the record for the fastest 20m walking on hands a few months prior, on 15 February. 

He covered the entire 20 metre distance in just 4.78 seconds.

Zion was born with Caudal Regression Syndrome, a rare condition characterized by abnormal development of the lower (caudal) end of the spine. 

"The older I got, the stronger I got. And one day I remember I just got up on my hands and was like 'OK this is how I'm doing it'." 

"The message I would give to kids with disabilities or anyone with a disability would be – It’s going to be hard, but if you’ve got the heart and the determination, you can go get what’s yours.” – Zion Clark 

Hopefully our amazing record breakers have inspired you to achieve any goal you set for yourself in 2022. Now go hit the gym!

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