Monday, 17 Jun 2024

President’s Challenge Curl-Up Test

Curl-Up Test

The President’s Challenge fitness award program has undergone some changes, being replaced by the FitnessGram Program. As a result, the curl-up test that was previously used has been replaced by the FitnessGram Curl-Up. However, it’s still important to understand the original test and its procedures.

What is the Curl-Up Test?

The curl-up test is designed to measure abdominal strength and endurance, both of which are important for back support and core stability. It involves the subject performing curl-ups, touching their elbows to their thighs, within a specific time limit. This test can be performed at home or in a fitness setting.

Standard Curl-Up Test Procedure

To conduct the standard curl-up test, follow these steps:

  1. Lie down with your knees flexed and your feet approximately 12 inches from your buttocks.
  2. Have a partner assist by anchoring your feet to the ground.
  3. Cross your arms flat across your chest, with your hands on opposite shoulders.
  4. Raise your trunk while keeping your arms in position, curling up to touch your elbows to your thighs.
  5. Lower back to the floor until your shoulder blades (upper back) touch the floor.
  6. Repeat as many curl-ups as you can within one minute.

Scoring and Technique

Only correctly performed curl-ups should be counted. Bouncing off the floor is not allowed. The completion of one complete curl-up counts as one. The timer begins the test by calling out the signal “Ready? Go!”. The stopwatch is started at the same time, and at the conclusion of one minute, the timer calls out “Stop” at which point counting and the subject stop.

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Advantages and Disadvantages

The curl-up test has its advantages and disadvantages. On the positive side, it is a simple and quick test that requires minimal equipment. Additionally, it allows for testing large groups of individuals simultaneously. However, a curl-up test with the feet held can increase the involvement of the hip flexor muscles, which may make it less reliable as a measure of abdominal strength. In this case, the partial curl-up test, where the feet are not supported, is a better alternative.


1. How does the curl-up test measure abdominal strength and endurance?

The curl-up test assesses abdominal strength and endurance by measuring the number of properly executed curl-ups performed within a one-minute time frame. This exercise is crucial for back support and core stability.

2. Can the curl-up test be conducted at home?

Yes, the curl-up test can be performed at home. You will need a flat, clean, cushioned surface, a stopwatch, recording sheets, and a pen. Find a partner who can assist by anchoring your feet. Follow the test procedures mentioned earlier to ensure accurate results.

3. What are the advantages of the curl-up test?

The curl-up test is advantageous as it is a simple and quick test that can be conducted with minimal equipment. Additionally, large groups of individuals can be tested simultaneously, making it efficient for group fitness assessments.


The curl-up test is an effective way to measure abdominal strength and endurance. By following the proper technique and guidelines, you can assess your core stability and back support. Remember, the FitnessGram Curl-Up is now the preferred test, but understanding the original President’s Challenge Curl-Up Test provides valuable insight.

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For more information and to explore various fitness tests, visit Auralpressure.

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