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Core Muscle Strength & Stability Test

Testing and measurement are the means of collecting information upon which subsequent performance evaluations and decisions are made but in the analysis we need to bear in mind the factors that may influence the results.

Objective

The objective of the Core Muscle Strength & Stability Test is to monitor the development of the athlete's abdominal and lower back muscles.

Required Resources

To undertake this test you will require :

  • Flat non-slip surface
  • Mat
  • Stopwatch
  • Assistant

How to conduct the test

The assistant is responsible for instructing the athlete as to the position to assume at the appropriate stage. Throughout the test the back, neck and head should be maintained in the posture as per figure below. If the athlete is unable to hold this position then the test is to be stopped.

Stage 1

  • The athlete warms up for 10 minutes
  • The athlete, using the mat to support their elbows and arms, assumes the Start Position
  • Once the athlete is in the correct position the assistant starts the stopwatch
  • The athlete is to hold this position for 60 seconds
Plank

Stage 2

  • The athlete lifts their right arm off the ground and extends it out in front of them parallel with the ground
  • The athlete is to hold this position for 15 seconds
Plank

Stage 3

  • The athlete returns to the Start Position, lifts the left arm off the ground and extends it out in front of them parallel with the ground
  • The athlete is to hold this position for 15 seconds
Plank

Stage 4

  • The athlete returns to the Start Position, lifts the right leg off the ground and extends it out behind them parallel with the ground
  • The athlete is to hold this position for 15 seconds
Plank

Stage 5

  • The athlete returns to the Start Position, lifts the left leg off the ground and extends it out behind them parallel with the ground
  • The athlete is to hold this position for 15 seconds
Plank

Stage 6

  • The athlete returns to the Start Position, lifts the left leg and right arm off the ground and extends them out parallel with the ground
  • The athlete is to hold this position for 15 seconds
Plank

Stage 7

  • The athlete returns to the Start Position, lifts the right leg and left arm off the ground and extends them out parallel with the ground
  • The athlete is to hold this position for 15 seconds
Plank

Stage 8

  • The athlete returns to the Start Position
  • The athlete is to hold this position for 30 seconds
Plank

Stage 9

  • End of test
 

The assistant records the stage at which the athlete is unable to maintain the correct body position or is unable to continue with the test.

Analysis

Analysis of the result is by comparing it with the results of previous tests. It is expected that, with appropriate training between each test, the analysis would indicate an improvement.

If the athlete is able to complete this test then it indicates they have good core strength. If they are unable to complete the test then repeat the routine 3 or 4 times a week until they can.

If core strength is poor then the torso will move unnecessarily during motion and waste energy. Good core strength indicates that the athlete can move with high efficiency.

Target Group

This test is suitable for active individuals but not for those where the test would be contraindicated.

Reliability

Test reliability refers to the degree to which a test is consistent and stable in measuring what it is intended to measure. Reliability will depend upon how strict the test is conducted and the individual's level of motivation to perform the test. The following link provides a variety of factors that may influence the results and therefore the test reliability.

Validity

Test validity refers to the degree to which the test actually measures what it claims to measure and the extent to which inferences, conclusions, and decisions made on the basis of test scores are appropriate and meaningful. This test provides a means to monitor the effect of training on the athlete's physical development.

Advantages

  • No equipment required
  • Simple to set up and conduct
  • Can be conducted almost anywhere

Disadvantages

  • Assistant required to administer the test

Associated References

The following references provide additional information on this topic:

  • GALLAGHER, S. P. et al. (1999) The Pilates method of body conditioning: introduction to the core exercises. BainBridge Books
  • Navalta, J. W. et al. (2007) Core stabilization exercises enhance lactate clearance following high-intensity exercise. The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, 21 (4), p. 1305-1309
  • PARKHOUSE, K. L., and BALL, N. (2011) Influence of dynamic versus static core exercises on performance in field based fitness tests. Journal of bodywork and movement therapies, 15 (4), p. 517-524
  • OLIVER, G. D. et al. (2010) Muscle activation of different core exercises. The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, 24 (11), p. 3069-3074

Page Reference

The reference for this page is:

  • MACKENZIE, B. (2002) Core Muscle Strength and Stability Test [WWW] Available from: http://www.brianmac.co.uk/coretest.htm [Accessed

Associated Pages

The following Sports Coach pages should be read in conjunction with this page: