A simple google search will yield you a variety of exercises to develop your abdominal strength. However, we’re so focused on toning the midsection that we rarely spend anytime testing to see just how strong our core really is.

Being able to gauge your core strength will give you a base to improve upon throughout your fitness regimen. These tests can be great motivation and goals to work towards.  

The Elite Sport & Fitness Core Strength & Stability Test

The following three-part test was built off methods developed by the American College of Sports Medicine. All of these exercises are functional movement exercises that are simple to do. They are meant to help individuals determine their core strengths and their improvements over time. 

Equipment Needed: 

  • Flat surface and/or Mat
  • Timer


Step One: Strength 

1. Begin in plank position 

  • Lie down on mat, resting on the forearms, palms flat on ground.
  • Push up off ground, raising up on toes and resting on elbows. 
  • Keep your back flat, stomach tight and tuck your pelvis under to prevent your hips and abdominal from sagging.

2. Hold plank for time, coming down when form falters. 

  • :00 to :30-seconds – weak
  • :30 to :60-seconds – intermediate 
  • :60 to :90-second – good/excellent 

Step Two: Stability 

1. Perform the Bird Dog Exercise

  • Begin on your hands (positioned directly under shoulders) and knees (positioned directly under your hips); weight evenly distributed. Head, neck and shoulders aligned forward.
  • Raise your right arm forward until it’s aligned with your torso, while simultaneously raising your left leg until it’s aligned with your hip.

2. Hold this position for time.

3. Once you have to rest, repeat with opposite arm and leg.

  • :00 to :30-seconds – weak
  • :30 to :60-seconds – intermediate
  • :60 to :90-second – good/excellent 

Step 3: Strength and Stability

1. Start in Boat Pose (also known as V-Sit) 

  • Begin sitting flat. 
  • Bend your knees and lift your arms off the floor, balancing on your butt.
  • Straighten your legs and arms, keeping back flat.
  • Move your right arm and left arms to the side, then to the center and then back above your head.
  • That’s one rotation.

2. Aim to repeat these motions five times. 

  • 0-1 rotations: weak
  • 1-3 rotations: intermediate
  • 3-5 rotations: good/excellent. 

Perform this test every month to see how far your results come. Tests like these are excellent to gauge your fitness development. Want more motivation and help with your fitness goals, join the Elite Sport & Fitness Challenge 60-Day Challenge. Sign up next time you’re in, the challenge begins March 16th.