Assessing Your Current Level of Muscular Endurance

Assessing Your Current Level of Muscular Endurance

For best results, don’t do any strenuous weight training within 48 hours of any test. To assess endurance of the abdominal muscles, perform the curl-up test. To assess endurance of muscles in the upper body, perform the push-up test. To assess endurance of the muscles in the lower body, perform the squat endurance test.

The Curl-Up Test Equipment

1. Two six-inch strips of self-stick Velcro or heavy tape

2. Ruler

3. Partner

4. Mat (optional)


Affix the strips of Velcro or long strips of tape on the mat or testing surface. Place the strips three inches apart.

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1. Start by lying on your back on the floor or mat, arms straight and by your sides, shoulders relaxed, palms down and on the floor, and fingers straight. Adjust your position so that the longest fingertip of each hand touches the end of the near strip of Velcro or tape. Your knees should be bent about 90 degrees, with your feet about 12-18 inches from your buttocks.

2. To perform a curl-up, flex your spine while sliding your fingers across the floor until the fingertips of each hand reach the second strip of Velcro or tape. Then return to the starting position; the shoulders must be returned to touch the mat between curl-ups, but the head need not touch. Shoulders must remain relaxed throughout the curl-up, and feet and buttocks must stay on the floor. Breathe easily, exhaling during the lift phase of the curl-up; do not hold your breath.

3. Once your partner says “go,” perform as many curl-ups as you can at a steady pace with correct form. Your partner counts the curl-ups you perform and calls a stop to the test if she or he notices any incorrect form or drop in your pace.

Number of curl-ups:

Rating Your Curl-Up Test Result

Your score is the number of completed curl-ups. Refer to the appropriate portion of the table for a rating of your abdominal muscular endurance. Record your rating below and in the summary at the end of this lab.


Ratings for the Curl-Up Test

Number of Curl-Ups

Ratings based on norms calculated from data collected by Robert Lualhati on 4545 college students, 16-80 years of age, at Skyline College, San Bruno, Calif. Used with permission.

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