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7-Stage Abdominal Strength Test

This is an easy to perform sit-up test of abdominal strength, that you can do with large groups all at once. Participants perform sit-up actions of increasing difficulty, with the highest level successfully completed sit-up their measure of abdominal strength.

purpose: This sit-up test measures abdominal strength, which is important in back support and core stability.

equipment required: flat surface, 5 lb (2.5 kg) and 10 lb (5 kg) weight, 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. Ensure that the participants are adequately warmed-up. See more details of pre-test procedures.

procedure: The subject lies on their back, with their knees at right angles and feet flat on the floor. The subject then attempts to perform one complete sit-up for each level in the prescribed manner (see table below), starting with level 1. Each level is achieved if a single sit up is performed in the prescribed manner, without the feet coming off the floor. As many attempts as necessary can be made.

scoring: There are 8 levels ranging in difficulty from very poor to elite. The highest level sit-up correctly completed is recorded.

Level Rating Description
0 very poor cannot perform level 1
1 poor with arms extended, the athlete curls up so that the wrists reach the knees
fair with arms extended, the athlete curls up so that the elbows reach the knees
average with the arms held together across abdominals, the athletes curls up so that the chest touches the thighs
good with the arms held across chest, holding the opposite shoulders, the athlete curls up so that the forearms touch the thighs
very good with the hands held behind head, the athlete curls up so that the chest touches the thighs
excellent as per level 5, with a 5 lb (2.5 kg) weight held behind head, chest touching the thighs
elite as per level 5, with a 10 lb (5 kg) weight held behind head, chest touching the thighs

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

disadvantages: People with very heavy upper body find this exercise difficult to perform, as they find it hard to keep their feet on the ground.

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