Who has 10 minutes for a CORE endurance assessment?!?!
(best to take a video of yourself performing the test- then you can confirm if you maintained acceptable technique!)
Lie down on your stomach with the shoulders above elbows, forearms flat on the floor, tuck toes and lift body off the ground, shoulders and hips at an even height, and feet wider than the hips. Time how long you can maintain this position without your hips rising above or dropping below shoulder height.
0-30 seconds = you have a new goal, core endurance training!
30-60 seconds = below most
1-2 minutes = middle of the pack
2-4 minutes = better than most
4-6 minutes = dominating
greater than 6 minutes = maximal core endurance crushing it!
So, I know what a forearm plank is (your subject which of course I ignored as I was looking at the trees and couldn’t see the forest) but the tucked toes threw me off and then I was thinking of a Sphinx pose but then couldn’t figure out how to get my whole body off the ground.
@emacdoug I’m not sure if this variation will work but I suspect it will. (I’ve read some of your previous posts about times you’ve had it so bad, you couldn’t even put your socks on for some time. I totally get that feeling, though I’m sure I haven’t had it as bad as you. I could find ways to reach, but had to struggle to do it, and only with some support.)
I’ve done the normal forearm plank that is described here after a cycling shop bike-fit specialist told me it was one of the shortest time-frame things I could add to my daily routine to strengthen my core. I did it pretty faithfully and was able to hold 3 minutes pretty easily in a matter of a week or two. I fell off the wagon after awhile, though, and hadn’t done it for some time. I would semi-frequently injure my ongoing lower back issues and couldn’t plank at those times.
So I started doing a 12 minute YouTube video in mid August '22 and it radically changed me in a few ways that have nearly eliminated the low back pain I’ve dealt with off and on for many years. It has strengthened my core, lengthened my hamstrings, and strengthened (and/or lengthened?) my hip flexors, all of which I believe were at least part of the reason for my low back pain. I do have mild arthritis that is part of the issue, but the workout exercises have been HUGE in controlling this.
Then about mid-November, I added one more short workout, only 4 minutes, to the 12minute workout, and generally do both of these back to back, often when I get off the KICKR bike if I ride inside, but sometimes just whenever I take a notion to give 15-20 minutes to “restore order” to my system! I’m not as faithful at these as I should be, but even 2-3 times a week makes a big difference, though I aim for closer to 5 a week.
I’m hoping you might be able to do this type of plank without the low back pain. Worth a try, I think. Both workouts are from Foundation Training, with Dr. Eric Goodman. I’ll link these here:
@DouthatBiker This is fantastic! Thank you! I usually do 2 SYSTM yoga and 2 full body strength sessions every week, but they don’t do quite enough to fully build out my core. And I don’t have a lot of time. So these 2 sessions looks great. Some day I’ll get back to swimming which will help, too. The modified plank looks like it will help a lot. I’ll definitely give these a shot.