Location

Jereld R. Nicholson Library

Subject Area

Health, Human Performance & Athletics

Description

Purpose: The plank exercise is a popular and widely used exercise to increase core strength. We previously established normative values for the plank exercise that may be used for fitness classification to identify gaps in core muscular strength and endurance. Whether the plank exercise can be confidently added to current fitness appraisal protocols will depend on its reliability and validity in the fitness testing environment. This study sought to examine test-retest reliability of the plank exercise and to compare plank performance with established normative values for the curl up test. The role of verbal encouragement cues during plank performance testing was also assessed.

Methods: Collegiate male (n=14) and female participants (n=19) performed the plank exercise in two separate sessions separated by a minimum of 72 hr. Participants maintained the plank position until complete fatigue was reached. Verbal cues were given to half of the participants in one of the two sessions. Performance on the curl up exercise was measured in a third, separate session.

Results: Intraclass correlation showed that mean time held in the plank position was not significantly different between the two plank testing sessions (108.15 + 49.38 versus 111.39 + 56.87 seconds, p=0.556). Verbal encouragement cues did not improve performance time (between group effect, p=0.940). The curl up test was not significantly correlated with either plank session (r=0.410 and 0.276 for plank session one and two, respectively). Surprisingly, the curl up test was positively correlated with participant height (r=0.578).

Conclusion: This study suggests that the plank exercise is a reliable test; plank performance was comparable across testing sessions and not influenced by verbal encouragement. Further testing is needed to confirm validity of the plank exercise as a measure of core muscular endurance. We show here that plank performance was not correlated with the standard curl up test. However, the curl up test may not adequately measure core strength, given that increased body height was associated with higher curl up completion scores.

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May 15th, 9:30 AM May 15th, 10:45 AM

Test-Retest Reliability and Validity of the Plank Exercise

Jereld R. Nicholson Library

Purpose: The plank exercise is a popular and widely used exercise to increase core strength. We previously established normative values for the plank exercise that may be used for fitness classification to identify gaps in core muscular strength and endurance. Whether the plank exercise can be confidently added to current fitness appraisal protocols will depend on its reliability and validity in the fitness testing environment. This study sought to examine test-retest reliability of the plank exercise and to compare plank performance with established normative values for the curl up test. The role of verbal encouragement cues during plank performance testing was also assessed.

Methods: Collegiate male (n=14) and female participants (n=19) performed the plank exercise in two separate sessions separated by a minimum of 72 hr. Participants maintained the plank position until complete fatigue was reached. Verbal cues were given to half of the participants in one of the two sessions. Performance on the curl up exercise was measured in a third, separate session.

Results: Intraclass correlation showed that mean time held in the plank position was not significantly different between the two plank testing sessions (108.15 + 49.38 versus 111.39 + 56.87 seconds, p=0.556). Verbal encouragement cues did not improve performance time (between group effect, p=0.940). The curl up test was not significantly correlated with either plank session (r=0.410 and 0.276 for plank session one and two, respectively). Surprisingly, the curl up test was positively correlated with participant height (r=0.578).

Conclusion: This study suggests that the plank exercise is a reliable test; plank performance was comparable across testing sessions and not influenced by verbal encouragement. Further testing is needed to confirm validity of the plank exercise as a measure of core muscular endurance. We show here that plank performance was not correlated with the standard curl up test. However, the curl up test may not adequately measure core strength, given that increased body height was associated with higher curl up completion scores.

 

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