Straight Leg Lift Abdominal Strength Test

The Straight Leg Lift test is a test of abdominal strength, in which the participants slowly lower the straightened legs. This test is important to conduct as poor abdominal muscle strength can cause poor posture leading to lower back pain.

purpose: The purpose of this test is to estimate the degree of abdominal strength.

equipment required: flat surface, an abdominal strength test board with different degrees of angle marked (otherwise, you can use a protractor, flexometer or goniometer to measure the leg angle)

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. Ensure that the subjects are adequately warmed-up. See more details of pre-test procedures.

abdominal strength testprocedure: The subject lays supine on the floor next to the abdominal strength test board. The hip joint should be aligned to the intersection of the scale. The arms are held across the chest and the head rested on the floor. The tester places their finger tips underneath the subject's lower back. Both legs are raised to a 90-degree angle (vertically) while keeping the upper body flat on the floor. The subject may bend their knees first to move to the starting position, before straightening the knee joint. The subject aims to sustain the pressure on the tester's fingers under the lower back by contracting the abdominals as the legs are lowered. The subject slowly lowers both legs until the pressure on the hand behind the back disappears. The lowest angle observed as the pressure is taken off is the measurement of their abdominal strength.

scoring: The score is the angle of the legs in degrees from the floor. Below is a guide to scoring for this test

Angle Rating
90 very poor, starting position
75 poor
60 below average
45  average
30 above average
15 good
0 excellent, legs horizontal

advantages: simple test with minimal equipment needed

comments: The muscles that play a major role in the effort to maintain the position of the low back and pelvis during the leg-lowering movement are the rectus abdominis and external oblique muscles.

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