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Abdominal Curl Test

The abdominal curl (or crunch) test is used to measure the strength/endurance of a clients abdominal muscles. This page shows you how to conduct this test.

Abdominal Curl Test (a muscular strength/endurance test of the abdominal muscles)


  • This test requires your client to maintain a constant tempo throughout, moving from the start position (figure below) up to the mid position in one second and then back to start position again in one second (i.e. 2 seconds for 1 complete Abdominal Curl). 
  • The curl ups are done with the client on their back with their knees bent to 90°, hands beside their ears and their elbows pointing forwards (as shown below).
  • Elbows touch thighs on one beat/second, shoulder blades touch floor on the second beat/second.
  • Continue the test until your client breaks one of the following performance rules:


a. Their hands come in front of their ear.

b. Their elbows do not touch their thighs.

c. Their bottom comes off the floor.

d. They cannot maintain a steady pace and need to take a rest.


Abdominal Curl (Start Position)

personal training ab curl start

Abdominal Curl (Mid Position)

personal training ab curl mid 


Use the table below if you deem it necessary to calculate your clients fitness category.  Alternatively you can simply record the clients initial test result and use this to show progress against in future tests.

Fitness category







25 – 32

15 – 25

Needs improvement




Number completed_____________________________________________

Fitness category_______________________________________________





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