TikTok challenges come in all shapes and sizes, taking the form of everything from dance trends to emotional confessions. Now the popular “tabletop challenge” on TikTok is encouraging users to keep a tight, fit core and score some TikTok views in the process. But is the ab-busting trend safe?
The challenge involves a complicated feat of strength performed by two people. The task? Lock limbs together and balance both participants on just one set of legs, forming a flat line parallel to the ground – hence, the “tabletop” in the name.
If that sounds like a tough maneuver to pull off, the clips under the hashtag #tabletopchallenge prove it. The tag, which has been viewed 1.7 million times, provides plenty of examples of TikTokers trying their best – before toppling over.
The sheer physical difficulty of the challenge has given rise to some varied and interesting approaches. Most people prefer the technique of starting with one participant seated on the floor before having the other sit down and carefully interlock arms and legs – a method that brings success at least some of the time.
Other users, however, have demonstrated a more vertically oriented approach – many times with positive results.
Is the Challenge Safe?
Of course, whenever a TikTok trend involves physical challenges – like the injury-causing “Up and Down” challenge that went viral earlier this year – concerns of injury arise. With that in mind, Health.com spoke to fitness model and personal trainer Lauren Williams about the safety of the tabletop challenge.
“I would say that this one’s an okay one to try,” Williams said. “You kind of want to talk through who’s going to be on the bottom, because if you do fall, that person’s going to be kind of bearing the load. But you’re not far off the ground, so falling for either one of you is no big deal.”
Still, Williams emphasized caution and planning for those who wish to join in on the tabletop challenge.
“It looks really fun too, I think that people should try it,” she said. “They should just take their time, talk their way through it, and maybe have a conversation about how they want to fall so that they can gracefully fall together, and nobody gets bruised.”
Check out Williams’ critiques of some tabletop challenge videos below, or see more examples over at TikTok.