Overview

Start With This Core Strength Test

Start With This Core Strength Test

One good test of core strength and core endurance is being able to maintain a stable spine while lifting the chest, positioning the legs in table top, extending the legs to a 45 degree angle, and holding this stable position for an inhale of five counts and an exhale of five counts for 10 cycles.

Pilates “Hundred” Assessment

The hundred assessment exercise is a simple tool that can help you assess your core strength and endurance.

1. Chest Lift

chest lift

2. Legs 90 degrees/"Table Top"

legs 90 degree table top

3. Chest Lift with legs "Table Top"

chest lift with legs table top

4. Full "hundred" position

full hundred position

 

  1. Chest Lift

chest lift

  1. Legs 90 degrees/"Table Top"

legs 90 degree table top

  1. Chest Lift with legs "Table Top"

chest lift with legs table top

  1. Full "hundred" position

full hundred position

 

(If you have any pain during this test, please discontinue and consult with your health care provider.)

Can you keep your lower back stable while you lift your upper body and chest without stress in the neck and shoulders? (photo 1)

YES: Great, move to photo 2.

NO: You might need more core stability and upper body alignment training to take stress out of the neck and learn how to use the lower abdominals.

Can you hold your low back stable while lifting one leg at a time onto table top? (photo 2)

YES: Great, move to photo 3.

NO: With this exercise, you can tell if your spine is moving. A moving spine usually causes pain and tilts forward creating more space under your lower back. This may be a core stability issue, related to core endurance, or due to pain.

Can you hold both positions together without pain? (photo 3)

YES: Great, move to photo 4.

NO: This may be due to decreased core stability, upper body alignment impairment (related to core endurance), or pain.

Can you extend your legs out without losing your low back stability? (photo 4)

YES: Excellent, test your endurance in step 5!

NO: Leg extension tests your core stability, upper body alignment, and the added weight of your legs to challenge your core strength and endurance. We recommend getting training with a professional.

Can you hold the posture, which is the full hundred position, for 100 breaths (five inhales and five exhale, 10 cycles)?

YES: Great work! Train with this exercise to continue to build your breath, core strength, and endurance.

NO: You might need more core endurance training if you made it this far and cannot sustain the posture. This is easy to build with changes in less than two weeks!

Do you have pain and if so, which step?

YES: Pain can be a sign that your spine and pelvis alignment is not optimal, your muscles are inhibited or not firing correctly, or you are over-stabilizing to protect. We recommend you have your pain evaluated by a trained professional who can teach you exercises that are safest for your body and injury needs.

NO: You might need more core strength and stability in addition to good form.

Is it too hard to hold the posture?

YES: You may just need to work on building more core stability and make sure your alignment is providing you with proper form.

NO: It might be endurance and core stability you need.

Contact Us

Ready to learn more and see how Pilates can help you safely move without pain? Email Holly with questions at hollykchiodo@hsc.utah.edu or call 801-587-7005 to book a Pilates therapy evaluation at the University Orthopaedic Center.

*Most insurance is accepted for Pilates therapy with a prescription for physical therapy.