Good strength and endurance of the abdominal muscles are important in promoting correct posture and pelvic alignment. The curl-up abdominal fitness test requires the participants to perform as many curl-ups as possible following a cadence of one every three seconds. The following information describes the curl-up procedures as used in the FitnessGram Program and the Brockport Physical Fitness Test. There is also a similar Curl-Up test as part of the Connecticut Physical Fitness Test and a beep curl-up test used for the NHL testing. See the general guidelines for Abdominal Endurance Tests.
purpose: The curl-up test measures abdominal strength and endurance, which is important in back support and core stability.
- A flat, clean, cushioned surface.
- PACER cd with curl-up cadence track. We have an online sit-up metronome that you can use. A sit up beep test mp3 which uses the same cadence is also available. If the cadence cd is not available, you can call out at the set cadence using a stopwatch, use a metronome, or create an audio track using the Team Beep Test software.
- 3.0" or 4.5" Curl-Up Measuring Strip. The 3.0 inch measuring strip is for 5-9 year olds, the 4.5" is used for students age 10 and up. If the manufactured measuring strips are not available, you can mark the floor with some tape, or use a piece of cardboard cut to the right dimensions (see make your own)
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. See more details of pre-test procedures.
procedure: The student begins by lying on their back, knees bent at approximately 140 degrees, feet flat on the floor, legs slightly apart, arms straight and parallel to the trunk with palms of the hands resting on the mat. The fingers are stretched out and the head is in contact with the mat. The measuring strip is placed on the mat under the students legs so that their fingertips are just resting on the nearest edge of the measuring strip. The feet cannot be held or rest against an object. Keeping heels in contact with the mat, the student curls up slowly, sliding their fingers across the measuring strip until the fingertips reach the other side, then curls back down until their head touches the mat. Movement should be smooth and at the cadence of 20 curl-ups per minute (1 curl-up every 3 seconds).
scoring: Record the total number of curl ups. The test is continued until exhaustion (e.g. the subject cannot maintain the set rhythm), or until they complete 75 curl-ups. The test is also stopped if the student has two technique warnings - if the heels come off the floor, the head does not return to the mat, or the fingertips do not reach the far side of the measuring strip.
advantages: this test is simple and quick to perform requiring minimal equipment, and large groups may be tested all at once.
disadvantages: a cd with the correct cadence or the measuring strip may not always available, although it is possible to conduct the test without these.
- Ensure that the students do not hunch their shoulders before beginning test, as they may be able to get the fingertips to the other side of the testing strip by merely moving the arms and shoulders up and down.
- Students should not forcibly “reach” across the measuring strip with their hands, but simply let the hands passively move along the floor in response to the action of the trunk and shoulders.
- It is important that the correct technique is used as described for accurate comparison to the FitnessGram norms.
- The curl-up assessment used in FitnessGram is a safer and more effective test since it does not involve the assistance of the hip flexor muscles and minimizes compression in the spine, when compared to a full sit-up with the feet held.
guidelines: before conducting any fitness test, you should review each person's medical status to identify medical, orthopedic or other health problems that should be considered. Before starting, make sure the correct techniques for all tests are explained. (see the Fitness Testing Guidelines for more info)
The Test in Action
- This curl-up is used in the FitnessGram Program
- The same test is part of the Brockport Physical Fitness Test.
- The similar Curl Up test
- Beep curl up test used for the NHL testing.
- General Abdominal Endurance Test description.
- A simple sit-up test that you can do at home.
- Sit-up tests procedures for the US Army and US Marines and US Navy
- Puchase the sit-up test audio file
- About Abdominal Testing
- Online sit-up metronome where you can set your own pace.
- About the FitnessGram Program and the Brockport Test
- Videos of Sit Up Fitness Tests
- Sit up exercise at the beach or at home
- Sit Up World Records