How to Test Core Strength


Author: Bryan Lang, PT, DPT, MHA, CSCS, Cert.DN: Doctor of Physical Therapy, Business Owner, Associate Professor, and Blog Contributor. Explores common client questions, helps find solutions for every day functional health concerns, and interprets difficult theories in healthcare rehabilitation. Committed to life-long learning and education. Learn more about Bryan on Google+.


People talk a lot about the importance of having a strong core, but how do you really know if you're weak or strong? A new study has come out to identify "norms" for a new assessment called the Bunkie Test.

*Keep in mind, these norms were for males and females between the ages of 26 plus or minus 4.5 years old. As more studies come out, new norms will be made available for greater age ranges. 

*IMPORTANT INFORMATION*

Materials: One stool. That's it. A yoga mat or some towels are nice for less pressure in your forearms against the ground, but is not necessary. 

Each position is performed on the left and then right side (or vice versa) before moving onto a new position. You should allow 30 seconds of rest between each test (on each side and in each of the 5 positions). 

 A test must be stopped when the person is unable to maintain the proper test position. An couple examples would be the  person stops the test due to fatigue or the person is unable to maintain the correct position. If there is someone watching the person's form, they are allowed one attempt to verbally tell the person correct their position. If they were unable to assume the correct posture after verbal cueing the test is stopped and the time is written down.

One final note: From my experience with personally performing and testing this on different clients, I prefer to be on my toes or heels for each of the positions. In the original test, the person must place their foot flat on the stool or table at all times (click here to see what I'm talking about and check out her foot compared to mine). The way I do it is more comfortable for me and most others I have tested this on. 

POSITION 1 for LEFT side

POSITION 2 for LEFT side

POSITION 3 for LEFT side

POSITION 4 for LEFT side

POSITION 5 for LEFT side

You're done with your LEFT side. Moving onto the right side. Same exercises, just a different side. 

POSITION 1 for RIGHT side

POSITION 2 for RIGHT side

POSITION 3 for RIGHT side

POSITION 4 for RIGHT side

POSITION 5 for RIGHT side

You can compare your score with what normal scores are for this test

  • APL = Position 1, LSL = Position 2, PPL = Position 3, PSL = Position 4, MSL = Position 5
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