The Trunk Stability Push-Up Test (TSPU) is a variation of the push-up fitness test, used as part of the Functional Movement Screen (FMS). Participants are required to push up from the ground while keeping the body straight with no sagging. This is a test of core strength and trunk stability.
purpose: to measure trunk stability and assess the suitability for push-up training.
equipment required: flat and clean surface.
pre-test: Explain the test procedures to the subject, and demonstrate the correct technique. Perform screening of health risks and obtain informed consent. Prepare forms and record basic information such as age, height, body weight, gender and test conditions. Perform a standard warm-up. See more details of pre-test procedures.
procedure: The subject lies face down with the hands shoulder-width apart and positioned with the thumbs in line with either the top of the head (men) or chin (women). The legs must be together and toes on the ground. When ready, the body is stiffened and the elbows extended, lifting the body off the floor as a single unit, keeping the torso and legs in a straight line. If the movement cannot be completed as described, move the hands closer to the body so that the thumbs are in line with either the chin (men) or clavicles (women). Repeat a second time if required.
scoring: Assess the quality of the push-up to determine if the body is raised as a unit with no sagging. Give a score between 0 and 3.
0 - failed to complete, with pain (refer for medical assessment)
1 - failed to complete, no pain.
2 - complete successfully from the chin (men) or clavicles (women)
3 - complete successfully from top of the head (men) or chin (women)
variations: A similar test of core stability is the Isometric Push-Up Test, part of the Brockport fitness testing battery, in which participants are required to hold a raised push-up position for as long as 40 seconds. See also the Plank Fitness Test and Side Ramp Tests.
- Lockie RG, Callaghan SJ, Jordan CA, Luczo TM, Jeffriess MD (2013) Does the trunk stability push-up provide an effective measure of upper-body function specific to male team sport athletes? J Athl Enhancement 2:4.
- Lockie RG, Jalilvand F, Jordan CA, Callaghan SJ, Jeffriess MD, et al. (2015) Research-Grade Scoring for the Functional Movement Screen and Relationships with Athletic Performance Tests in Team Sport Athletes. J Athl Enhancement 4:1.
- Philp F, Blana D, Chadwick EK, et al. Study of the measurement and predictive validity of the Functional Movement Screen. BMJ Open Sport & Exercise Medicine 2018;4
- Isometric Push-Up Test — participants hold a raised push-up position for as long as 40 seconds.
- Plank Fitness Test — hold the plank position for as long as you can.
- Side Ramp Fitness Test — hold the side-ramp position for as long as you can.
- Isometric Back Strength test — hold a horizontal position while hanging over the edge of a bench for a set time period.
- Push-Up (Seated) — extend the arms and raise the body out of a chair, and hold this position for as long as possible (part of the Brockport Protocol).
- About Push-Up Fitness Testing
- Other Strength Tests
- About the Functional Movement Screen
- About the Push-Up Fitness Exercise