Core strength is vital to all types of fitness training. Your core muscles play a huge role in your everyday activities, from getting out of bed, to walking down the street, and bending over to grab your purse-but, most importantly, they literally help you stay upright
Strengthening your core carries with it a number of key benefits--many of which you will begin to experience soon after beginning your core-strengthening routine. Increased core strength offers powerful benefits to anyone at any age, allowing you to more effectively complete your exercise routines, perform in the sport of your choice, or even decrease the risk of injury.
Here is a quick 3-min test you can do to see how strong your core really is:
Position the watch or clock where you can easily see it.
Assume the plank exercise position with your elbows on the ground. Hold for 60 seconds.
Lift your right arm off the ground. Hold for 15 seconds.
Return your right arm to the ground and lift the left arm off the ground. Hold for 15 seconds.
Return your left arm to the ground and lift the right leg off the ground. Hold for 15 seconds.
Return your right leg to the ground and lift the left leg off the ground. Hold for 15 seconds.
Lift your left leg and right arm off the ground. Hold for 15 seconds.
Return your left leg and right arm to the ground.
Lift your right leg and left arm off the ground. Hold for 15 seconds.
Return to the plank exercise position (elbows on the ground). Hold this position for 30 seconds.
How did you get on? It’s pretty tough isn’t it?
Results and Interpretation
Good Core Strength: If you can complete the test fully, you have good core strength.
Poor Core Strength: If you can not complete the test fully, your core strength needs improvement.
Using the Results
Poor core strength results in unnecessary torso movement and swaying during all other athletic movements. This results in wasted energy and poor biomechanics. Good core strength indicates that the athlete can move with high efficiency.
If you are unable to complete the test, practice the routine three or four times each week until you improve. Cut all of the suggested times in half or by a third so instead of initially holding the plank for 1 minute, try 30 seconds or 20 seconds instead and the move on to lifting one arm up for 10 seconds or 5 seconds
By comparing your results over time, you will note improvements or declines in core strength.
Join a Get Fit Today session and speak to an instructor about exercises that will help build your core strength.