4-Level Abdominal Strength Test

This is a simple test of abdominal muscle strength, requiring no specific equipment. It is an easy test to administer, though as far as we know it has not been scientifically validated. See also the similar 7-Stage Abdominal Strength Test.

purpose: the 4-stage sit up test measures lower back and abdominal strength, which is important for core stability.

equipment required: flat surface, recording sheet and pen.

pre-test: Explain the test procedures to the subject. Perform screening of health risks and obtain informed consent. Prepare forms and record basic information such as age, height, body weight, gender, test conditions. Measure and mark out the course. Ensure that the subjects are adequately warmed-up. See more details of pre-test procedures.

procedure: This is a simple test where you are required to do four forms of sit ups. The subject attempts to perform one sit-up as described for each level, with either the feet held by an assistant or not, and with the legs straight or not. Several attempts can be made for each level, with the technique scored using the criteria below. The four levels are as follows:

scoring: Use the criteria in the following table to give a score out of four for each sit up. Add the score for all four sit-up levels for a total score out of 16.

Score Criteria
0 Cannot perform
1 difficulty performing, jerky motion, feet leave the floor
uses a lot of momentum to overcome 45 degrees
performs with a slight pause in the mid area of the sit-up
no difficulty

advantages: moderate sized groups can be tested at once, with minimal equipment required.

disadvantages: scoring is subjective, and therefore results cannot be easily compared between groups.

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