Wednesday, 29 May 2024

The Plank Fitness Test

The Plank Fitness Test, also known as the Prone Bridge Test, is a simple and effective measure of core muscle strength. It can also be used as an exercise to improve core strength. In this test, the goal is to hold an elevated plank position for as long as possible.


The Plank Test specifically targets the back and core stabilizing muscles, assessing their control and endurance.

Equipment Required

To perform the Plank Test, you will need a flat and clean surface, a stopwatch, recording sheets, and a pen.


To start the test, position yourself with your upper body supported off the ground by your elbows and forearms. Keep your legs straight, with the weight taken by your toes. Lift your hips off the floor, creating a straight line from head to toe. Once you are in the correct position, start the stopwatch. Make sure your head is facing towards the ground and not looking forwards. The test is over when you are unable to maintain a straight back and lower your hips.


The score for the Plank Test is the total time completed. Below is a rough guide to scores for both males and females, provided by Topend Sports. It’s important to note that in 2020, a 62-year-old former US Marine named George Hood set the world record for planking, achieving an impressive time of eight hours, 15 minutes, and 15 seconds.

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Advantages and Disadvantages

The Plank Test offers several advantages. It is simple to perform, with minimal costs involved, and can be easily self-administered.

However, one disadvantage of this test is that determining failure is subjective and relies on individual judgment.


  • Q: How often should I perform the Plank Test?

  • A: The frequency of performing the Plank Test depends on your individual fitness goals. It is generally recommended to incorporate it into your regular exercise routine, aiming for at least two to three times per week.

  • Q: Can anyone perform the Plank Test?

  • A: The Plank Test can be performed by individuals of various fitness levels. However, if you have any pre-existing health conditions or concerns, it is advised to consult with a healthcare professional before attempting the test.

  • Q: Are there any variations to the Plank Test?

  • A: Yes, there are variations to the Plank Test that can be implemented to increase the challenge or target different muscle groups. Some examples include the Side Ramp fitness test, the Isometric Push-Up Hold Test, and the Trunk Stability Push-Up Test.


The Plank Fitness Test is a valuable tool for assessing core muscle strength and endurance. By incorporating this test into your fitness routine, you can work towards improving your overall core stability. Remember to listen to your body and consult with a professional if needed. Start planking and unlock your core strength potential!


  • Strand, S. L., Hjelm, J., Shoepe, T. C., & Fajardo, M. A. (2014). Norms for an isometric muscle endurance test. Journal of human kinetics, 40, 93-102.
  • Bohannon RW, Steffl M, Glenney SS, Green M, Cashwell L, Prajerova K, Bunn J. The prone bridge test: Performance, validity, and reliability among older and younger adults. J Bodyw Mov Ther. 2018 Apr;22(2):385-389.
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