Core strength: how long can you plank

  • < 1min
  • 1min - 2min
  • 2min - 3min
  • 3min - 5min
  • 5min+

0 voters

This poll comes from a curiosity when I got my first retail bike fit. He had me do a one minute plank to demonstrate core strength. Me being the fit, and active adult I was thought sure, no problem. About 30 seconds in I was trembling bad, and by a minute I had given up. At that point I assumed no one could do it :joy:, but to my shock, he said many can easily complete it.

So fast forward a year (to December 2018), I wanted to improve my marathon by incorporating some core strength work and someone on this forum suggested the plank challenge. Start at 1min and ever day do a plank and add 5 seconds till you get to 5 minutes. I for the most part did just that and made it up to 3:30 when I moved into maintenance mode and just did it one or twice a week. I’m still at that strength today, but noticed my lower back problems haven’t come back in a long time which I can presume have a lot to do with improving the core strength.

So my question is, how many people actually do planks and core strength and what’s a common level of “fitness” I.e. ability to hold a plank over time?

Side note, I like what it’s done to me so much, that I’m now adding in side planks like coach chad demonstrates in strength work videos. :+1:

2.5 mins, got there planking about 10 times. Trying to build it up a little but it’s so boring, and hard… But good for you it seems…

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I used to climb and did planking quite often got up to around 3-3:30 but havent done them consistently for a few years. I still go gym and ride MTB so I’m not too bad. Just checked my log and I havent done one in 6 months…

Just had a go and got 2:05 which I’m ok with (was at gym this morning so not sure how much better I’d be fresh). Will have to get back on them again!


Between the 1 - 1.30 minute mark. I haven’t really tried to improve that figure as it’s part of circuit I do.

As a side note, my friends wife, who is a professional ballerina can hold the plank position for just over 14 minutes. She beat a team of five guys (including me), during a New Years Eve house party. No, she wasn’t sober :skull:


4:20 hours. :+1::canada::blonde_woman:

Canadian woman breaks world record for longest plank ever

But, as Emily Batty’s strength coach says, planks aren’t really a practical exercise for the bike (i.e. static position).

These days I can smash out a 2hr reverse couch plank no problem. :grin:


I’d argue that for average Joe’s that aren’t doing any sort of core work or minimal amounts that a plank is better than no plank. For an elite athlete then sure there is probably better stuff for them.


How in Gods name!?!?

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8 min…

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When you can do longer duration planks, switch over to a RKC Plank. You can get more done in less time then :slight_smile:

Don’t thank me till you’ve found out how much more they hurt :wink:

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I usually plank for 5 min after most indoor rides. Record is 10 min but never tried to max.

Got into planks maybe 5 years ago doing a “plank challenge” and just kept going as it was fun and worked.

At some point, static planking isn’t giving bang for buck so rather than doing more time in static, change it up to adding movement. During winter strength training I use our TRX and have a 7 min series of core movements that totally wrecks me. Fun though.


I’ve said this before, but I think it bears repeating as far as how off the bike strength translates to on bike performance…

I had all sorts of problems with “fit” on the bike…hands, shoulders, lower back, etc., until I could do the following:

Plank for 90 seconds
Perform 50 push ups without stopping
Perform 10 pull up without stopping

When I could do that, all of my “fit” issues went away :metal:

(Don’t get me wrong, a good bike fit is definitely important)


I can’t do that, but like you all problems disappeared after increasing posterior chain strength. Started with upper back and that solved most problems.

I love goals like this.
Plank :ballot_box_with_check:
Push Ups 30 something :x: :frowning_face:
Pull ups :ballot_box_with_check: (Just)

I need to get on it.


As part of my climbing groups core routine we do a rotation of 30 sec: front plank, side plank, front, other side, front, side, front, side. Then mountain climbers until you collapse


Also…in the mirror, at pool, in real life it’s always a bit better to look like Sagan than Froome :wink:


I do the pedestal routine a couple of times a week.

In terms of how long I can hold a plank, IDC. But I’m sure it’s less than 5min! Just the pedestal routine is enough training for me to be able to handle my training. :wink:

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Plank 2:28
Pushups 25
Pull ups 10

The only move of the above I practice are pullups

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wasnt there talks of a level 1-3 or so checklist for what exercises you should be able to accomplish as a cyclist? i thought @Nate_Pearson mentioned it.


Yes, not sure why it’s not out yet. I’ll follow up now