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FitnessGram Curl-Up Test

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.

equipment required:

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). 

sit up testing kidssit up testing

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.


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)

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