Take Pride Tuesday: Core Test - Are You Strong to the Core?

The 300-yard shuttle run Alpha Challenge concluded this past Friday, with our female winner Joanna Lazaridis finishing in 1:22:23 just slightly edging out C’il by 5 tenths of a second.  WOW that is close! 

Our male Alpha this month is Steven Esposito who absolutely dominated by running the shuttle in 1:07:44. His feet were smoking as he raced up and down the turf. 


HERE'S THE TWIST : We will not be competing with ourselves but seeing how many Lions we can get on the board.    

According to Stuart McGill, a spine biomechanics professor at Canada’s University of Waterloo and one of the world’s leading experts on back health, a person with sufficient core strength should be able to hold a plank for two and a half minutes. If you can't complete the test after a few attempts, there are two reasons: You aren't training your core correctly or you're obese, says McGill. Core stiffness is essential for injury prevention. Core stiffness is essential for performance enhancement. Core stiffness is not optimized in body building exercises. Core stiffness requires dedicated training generally refers to your abdominal muscles. We specifically train this core stiffness here at ILP with deadbugs, plank variations, carries, rollouts, stir the pot, and Pallof variations to name a few.  Now let's put our training to the test and see how many lions can get on the board.   

WHO: You!

WHERE:  These challenges will be posted on the board in the middle of the turf and updated each time someone conquers the challenge for that month. 

WHAT: Hold the plank position for as long as you can.

WHEN: Anytime, but the challenge cannot be substituted for a regular scheduled class. Participants should consult with a trainer to ensure you have the necessary clearance to participate in the month’s challenge. We don’t want to conflict with any movement patterns you may be working on that month. 

July’s Alpha Challenge is:

Movement: Plank Test

Area to perform this movement: Turf or Back Mat


1.       From forearm plank position, activate abdominal and core musculature (stay tight)

2.       Maintaining core position, grasp hands together (fingers interlocked), elbows on ground (creating 45 deg angle between forearms)

3.       Set your shoulder girdle by depressing your shoulder blades, and co-contracting all muscles of the shoulder region (you should feel like you are pulling your elbows, shoulder blades and forearms together while in the hold, while also pulling your arms and elbows down and toes and legs up)

4.       Maintaining the core and shoulder positioning, extend one leg back at a time and place at approximately hip width (focus on generating as much tension through your glutes as possible)

5.       Extend opposite leg into same position in slow and controlled fashion (to maintain tension already built through the core, shoulders, and opposite leg)

6.       Keep your with your glutes, shoulder blades and head in contact with the dowel or broomstick the entire time. This will ensure a neutral spine and no compensation for lack of core stability. This will set the standard. 


The Alpha Challenge is designed to help you reach another milestone in your daily training.  While this is not a mandatory exercise, we certainly encourage your participation. 


Good Luck and may the best Alpha win!