Strength Endurance Test: Side Plank

strength-endurance Jul 05, 2023

The Side Plank test is a fitness assessment exercise that measures your core strength, balance, and stability. The Side Plank test is commonly used in sports and physical therapy settings to assess and track an individual's core strength and stability progress over time. It is an effective exercise to target the obliques, the muscles on the side of the abdomen, and it can be modified to make it more challenging by lifting the top leg or adding a lateral reach.

Here are the steps to perform the Side Plank test:

  1. Lie on your side with your elbow directly under your shoulder and your forearm perpendicular to your body.
  2. Stack your feet on top of each other and lift your hips off the ground, so that your body forms a straight line from your head to your feet.
  3. Engage your core muscles, glutes, and inner thighs to maintain stability in the position.
  4. Hold the position for as long as you can, maintaining good form and without touching the ground with any part of your body.
  5. Stop the test when you can no longer hold the position or when your form breaks down.
  6. Record the length of time you were able to hold the position.

Here are some normative values reported in a study by Kaur and colleagues (2021):

  • Male (in seconds):
    • 20-29 years: 38.95 ± 9.44
    • 30-39 years: 34.08 ± 7.33
    • 40-49 years: 28.75 ± 7.60
    • 50-59 years: 25.45 ± 5.84
    • 60-69 years: 20.66 ± 5.57
    • 70-79 years: 14.42 ± 4.24
  • Female (in seconds):
    • 20-29 years: 47.14 ± 12.05
    • 30-39 years: 39.85 ± 9.27
    • 40-49 years: 33.02 ± 7.62
    • 50-59 years: 28.73 ± 6.87
    • 60-69 years: 23.52 ± 5.49
    • 70-79 years: 18.12 ± 5.08

It's important to note that normative values may differ depending on the population being tested, the testing protocol, and other factors. These values can serve as a general guide, but it's best to consult with a qualified fitness or healthcare professional to interpret your test results and create an appropriate exercise program based on your individual needs and goals.



  1. Kaur, H., Singh, H., & Kumar, R. (2021). Normative values of endurance time of the side plank test in Indian adults. Journal of Exercise Science & Fitness, 19(2), 139-143.
  2. Youdas, J. W., Amundson, C. L., Cicero, K. S., Hahn, J. J., Harezlak, D. T., & Hollman, J. H. (2015). Surface electromyographic activation patterns and elbow joint motion during a push-up plus variant on stable and labile surfaces. Journal of Athletic Training, 50(3), 211-221.
  3. McGill, S. M., Karpowicz, A., Fenwick, C. M., & Brown, S. H. (2009). Exercises for the torso performed in a standing posture: Spinal flexion and extension exercises. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 23(3), 815-825.
  4. Behm, D. G., Leonard, A. M., Young, W. B., Bonsey, W. A., & MacKinnon, S. N. (2005). Trunk muscle electromyographic activity with unstable and unilateral exercises. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 19(1), 193-201.

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