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Curl-ups (or Partial Curl-ups)

This activity measures abdominal strength and endurance.

Two girls demonstrate the curl-upCurl-ups Testing

Here’s what you do:

  • Have the student lie on a cushioned, clean surface with knees flexed and feet about 12 inches from buttocks. A partner holds the feet.
  • Make sure the arms are crossed with hands placed on opposite shoulders and elbows held close to chest.
  • Keeping this arm position, student raises the trunk, curling up to touch elbows to thighs, and then lowers the back to the floor so that the scapulas (shoulder blades) touch the floor, for one curl-up.
  • To start, a timer calls out the signal “ Ready? Go!” and begins timing student for one minute. The student stops on the word “Stop.”
Curl-ups Tip

Instruct helpers to count aloud the number of repetitions.

Curl-ups Scoring

“Bouncing” off the floor is not permitted. The curl-up should be counted only if performed correctly.

Partial Curl-ups Testing

Two students demonstrate the partial curlupHere’s what you do:

  • Have the student lie on a cushioned, clean surface with knees flexed and feet about 12 inches from buttocks. Do not hold or anchor the feet.
  • Arms are extended forward with fingers resting on the legs and pointing toward the knees.
  • The student’s partner is behind the head with hands cupped under the student’s head.;
  • The student being tested curls up slowly, sliding the fingers up the legs until the fingertips touch the knees, then back down until the head touches the partner’s hands.
  • The curl-ups are done to a metronome (or audio tape, clapping, drums) with one complete curl-up every three seconds, and are continued until the student can do no more in rhythm or has reached the target number for the test. The student should remain in motion during the entire three-second interval.
Partial Curl-up Tip

Make sure that the participant’s arm is fully extended from the starting position.

Partial Curl-up Scoring

Record only those curl-ups done with proper form and in rhythm.

Partial Curl-up Rationale

Done slowly with knees bent and feet not held, the partial curl-up is also an indicator of abdominal strength and endurance.

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