Date of Paper/Work


Type of Paper/Work

Research Project

Degree Name

Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT)


Physical Therapy

First Advisor

Jaynie Bjornaraa



Research suggests that core endurance is related to function and injury. Core endurance tests are commonly used in the clinic and yet limited data about normative values exist. This study aims to establish normative values and assess the effect of specific variables on these values in adults 18-55 years old for three clinical core endurance tests.


Fifty-five subjects, 20 male and 35 female with a mean age of 29 participated in this study. Subjects were required to complete a general health and exercise history questionnaire. Each subject was then randomly assigned a test order and tested by one of four student researchers. The core endurance tests performed were right side plank (RSP), left side plank (LSP), 60 degree flexion test (Fl) and trunk extensor (Ext) endurance test.


Analyses included one-way ANOVA and multiple regression to determine where differences existed between groups and to understand what variables influenced test outcomes. Significant results existed for the following variables: gender M/F (RSP p=.002, LSP p=.003), exercise Y/N (Ext p=.02, Fl p=.003), active runners Y/N (RSP p=.03 Fl p=.0002), strength training Y/N (RSP p=.03, LSP p=.02), core exercise Y/N (LSP p=.02), previous and/or current competitive athletes Y/N (Ext p=.045, RSP p=.01, Fl p=.01) and lower extremity injury Y/N (Ext p=.03). Multiple regression revealed exercise time was the most significant predictor of RSP (p=.01) and core exercise time and overall exercise time were highest predictors of LSP (p=.001).


Our results suggest that gender and exercise play a significant role in core endurance. Data suggests regular general exercise and strength training may have a stronger correlation with increased overall core endurance than participating in exercises specific to the core musculature.


Normative values about these core endurance tests can be used in clinical practice to assess core endurance in the general population.