We’re looking at the simple plank! Although it’s not as easy as it looks and takes some practice to get the right alignment. I teach this a lot and there are A LOT of bums in the air or sagging backs that I need to correct, so check you take note of your position.
Maintain a straight line through your body with no arch in your back – drive your shoulder blades down your back so your upper back isn’t arched. You can do this either on your hands or on your elbows, but just make sure your hands or your elbows are directly below your shoulders. Keep your head facing down and your neck in line with your back, but don’t let it drop. Set your timer and hold that position for as long as you can.
If you lasted less than 15 seconds: Your core muscles are on the weak side and this could affect your back. You need to keep practicing this exercise adding a few seconds each time. Really squeeze your glutes and think about pulling your tummy button to your spine to stay in a strong position.
If you lasted 15 - 45 seconds: You've got a nice foundation of strength, which will help protect your back, but there's still room for improvement.
If you lasted more than 45 seconds: great work! Keep adding seconds to your time though and aim for some abs of steel!
Naturally this isn't the only way of testing your core strength or indeed of improving the strength, but it gives you something to work towards. Happy to give you more ideas on core exercises!