The plank test is a simple fitness test of core muscle strength, and can also be used as a fitness exercise for improving core strength.
- purpose: The plank test measures the control and endurance of the back/core stabilizing muscles.
- equipment required: flat and clean surface, stopwatch, recording sheets, pen.
- procedure: The aim of this test is to hold an elevated position for as long as possible. Start with the upper body supported off the ground by the elbows and forearms, and the legs straight with the weight taken by the toes. The hip is lifted off the floor creating a straight line from head to toe. As soon as the subject is in the correct position, the stopwatch is started. The test is over when the subject is unable to hold the back straight and the hip is lowered.
- scoring: The score is the total time completed. The table below is just a rough guide to scores for both males and females which I made up. The world record is over 30 minutes!
|Excellent||> 6 minutes|
|Very Good||4-6 minutes|
|above average||2-4 minutes|
|below average||30-60 seconds|
|very poor||< 15 seconds|
- advantages: this test is simple to perform, with minimal costs and can be self-administered.
- disadvantages: the determination of when failure occurs is a subjective measurement.