Core Muscles Strength Training: The Plank Test

Core Muscles Strength Training: The Plank Test
Before building a house and deciding on the design and décor, we will first have to ensure the foundation is strong. The pillars supporting the house and the structures are key in our consideration. This is to ensure the house does not crumble.
It works the same way with our body. Before we start building our muscles and getting the look we want, we have to ensure our core is strong.

Put simply, our core comprises many different muscles that help stabilise the spine, pelvis and runs the entire length of our torso. In technical terms, our core includes the traverse abdominis (TVA), erector spinae, obliques and your lower lats.

When we stand, our core muscles help us stand upright. They control our movement and weight.

Thus, we can already see that the chief foundation of our body should thus be our core. Yet, many in the gym tend to neglect the core, choosing to focus on vanity muscles such as the triceps and biceps instead.

There are many benefits to a strong core. I’ll just list three of them.


Benefit No. 1: Strong Core Reduces Back Pain


As most of us start spending longer hours sitting in front of the laptop or playing games on our smart phones, more of us are experiencing back pain. It is something uncomfortable yet we cannot not get our work done. Thanks to our sedentary lifestyle, something has to give and very often, it’s our back.

Unbalanced core muscles are very often linked to lower back pain. And it is not something you would want to experience as it can be excruciating. Besides reducing back pain, strong core muscles help us maintain proper posture and reduces strain on the spine.

Benefit No. 2: Strong Core Ensures You Work Out The Correct Muscle 

We can all train to increase our strength and agility but if your core muscles are weak, you will not be able to reap the full benefits of your exercise.

When you see some people swinging their weights in the gym while standing, it’s not because their legs are weak (it could be as well). But the explanation is that the core muscles are weak. If your core muscles are weak, you will need to compensate them and that’s why you start swinging your weights.

And now tell me, when you start swinging your weights while doing forward raises, are you working the specific muscles you intended to?

Benefit No. 3: Strong Core Helps Us Achieve 6 Pack Abs Faster 


Now this is something that will make everyone sit up and take notice. It’s true. Forget about relying on crunches to get their dream 6 pack abs. That, probably will never happen in your lifetime.
You have heard of this phrase before. Do not put all your eggs in one basket.

If you spread out your eggs and do different exercises that target your core, chances of you achieving 6 pack abs will be faster as well.

And your body loves variety.

There are many core exercises you can do. But one of the easiest that I make all my clients do is the plank.

Test the strength of your core by doing my plank test! There are 4 steps in all.

1. Get into plank position
2. Prop up your toes and elbows
3. Ensure your body is in a straight line and parallel to the floor (or mat) from neck to ankle
4. Hold the position, without wobbling or sagging.
Lionel’s Legend For Your Plank Score 
1 minute = Excellent
40 seconds = Good
20 seconds = Fair

10 seconds = Poor


And by the way, all my clients can stay in plank position for at least 1 minute. Enough said, it’s time for everyone to get down to core business!

If you would like to find out more about training your core muscles, click here.