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The plank test

The Plank test – Fitness tests:

The plank test is a great indicator of core and back strength, and one of the best and simplest fitness tests to use. It is really simple and only requires a stop watch.

The plank test procedure

Plank test procedure

The subject can hold the plank, with their arms separated. There back and legs must be straight at all times. The minute their back lowers or raises out of the position the test stops.

The plank position and tips

I am currently training to attempt to break the world record for the plank so I have some good tips. Firstly with the plank position you must ensure your lower back is in the correct position and not overly arched, tense your glutes and abs to maintain your lower back position.

To improve your plank time, I find distracting myself by counting slowly backwards from 100 really helps. This stops you from focusing on the time which you can’t control and instead you focus on a number which you control.

Plank test results

The following table will give you a good indication of what you plank test results mean.

Rating Male Female
World record 33 mins 33 mins
Exceptional 6:30 + 6 mins+
Very strong 240-390 240-360
Strong 120-240 120-240
Healthy 60-120 60-120
Acceptable 30-60 30-60
Weak 11-29 11-29
Very Weak 1-10 1-10
Alarmingly weak can’t hold position