Core Challenge Workout – Day 8 (Plank Test)

Core Challenge Workout – Day 8

All good programs need a benchmark or a starting point because you can only see how far you’ve come when you know where you’ve started.

Now that you’re warmed up with your planks these past few days and are practicing your great form and technique we are going to test your plank strength and endurance.

Here is your Core Challenge Workout for today:

  • Bicycle Plank – 20 (rest 20 seconds)

Perform this sequence 2 times through as a warm up

  • Plank Test

I want you to do the Plank Test 2 times total.  See if you can increase your time on the second one.

The Plank Test is designed to push you past your comfort zone and test not only your physical strength and endurance but also your mental toughness.

You’ll need a watch with a second hand or an iPhone to time your plank.

When you get into your beautiful plank position (see How To Do the Exercises below) I want you to set your timer and simply hold that plank as long as you can.

During the Plank Test you will start to shake, feel sweat drop off your nose, want to drop your butt or start to lose your form and this discomfort will make you want to stop.  But don’t.

I encourage you to fight the urge to quit, drop or pike your hips up high.

I encourage you to see past the time on the clock and not let that number define how long you think you can go.

I encourage you to push through any discomfort that you are feeling and hold that plank as long as you possibly can.

Once you drop out of your plank position, stop the clock and make a note of your time.  Better yet, email it to me and I’ll track it for you.

Your plank time may be 15 seconds, it may be 3 minutes and 15 seconds.  Wherever you are is ok.  If you stick with the Core Challenge I PROMISE you that you will be able to hold that plank for much longer next time.

Well, of course there will be a next time. We have to gauge your progress!

How To Do the Exercises

Bicycle Crunch

  1. Lay on your back, knees bent, feet flat on ground
  2. Place hands behind head
  3. Lift shoulders and head off the ground, lift feet off ground
  4. Rotate your torso to the right so that your left elbow and right knee meet in the middle of your torso (this is the start position)
  5. Keep left leg straight out, about 18 inches off the ground
  6. Keeping abs tight, rotate torso to the left so that the right elbow is now meeting the left knee in the middle of your torso and left leg is now extended
  7. Continue rotating so that opposite elbow and knee meets in the middle
  8. Make sure that your extended leg is as low to the ground as can possibly be and that when you meet your elbow and knee in the middle you are contracting (squeezing) your abs  in tightly


  1. Hold yourself in the “up” position of a pushup, hands under our slightly in front of your shoulders, fingers spread, apart, pointing forward
  2. Press your feet, knees and thighs together
  3. Draw your shoulders down away from your ears and engage your shoulder blades so they are slightly pulling toward each other
  4. Lift your belly up nice and tight, pulling your belly button toward your spine
  5. Drop your tush a bit keeping a nice long spine
  6. Focus on your belly button, pulling it up towards your spine
  7. Breathe – Hold position for as long as you can

Modifications for the Plank:

1.  For those with wrist troubles, drop down to your forearms.  Please be sure to keep your tush lifted and think about lengthening your spine. 

2.  Get on all fours and alternate lifting your left arm straight out and lifting your right leg and pressing it straight behind you.  Please keep your neck in  neutral (lengthen your spine up to the base of your head and let your eyes gaze softly down to the ground).  If you are at this level, we are not doing this for a test – please perform this sequence for 40 seconds with a 20 second break and then repeat it one more time.

Great job everyone!

Now go run!

Keli 🙂

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