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The Plank Fitness Test

The Plank Test, also known as the Prone Bridge Test, is a simple fitness test of core muscle strength, and can also be used as a fitness exercise for improving core strength. The aim of this test is to hold an elevated plank position for as long as possible.

test 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.

pre-test: Explain the test procedures to the subject. Perform screening of health risks and obtain informed consent. Prepare forms and record basic information such as age, height, body weight, gender and test conditions. Perform a standard warm-up. See more details of pre-test procedures.

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 head should be facing towards the ground and not looking forwards. The test is over when the subject is unable to hold the back straight and the hip is lowered.

the snatch exercisethe plank test

scoring: The score is the total time completed. The table below is just a rough guide to scores for both males and females created by Topend Sports. See the references below for more detailed norms. In 2020, 62-year-old former US Marine George Hood set the world planking record with a time of eight hours, 15 minutes and 15 seconds.

Rating Time
Excellent > 6 minutes
Very Good 4-6 minutes
above average 2-4 minutes
Average 1-2 minutes
below average 30-60 seconds
poor 15-30 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.


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Testing Extra

We have over 400 fitness tests listed, so it's not easy to choose the best one to use. You should consider the validity, reliability, costs and ease of use for each test. Use our testing guide to conducting, recording, and interpreting fitness tests. Any questions, please ask or search for your answer.

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