Monday, 17 Jun 2024

Trunk Lift Test

The trunk lift test is a valuable assessment of back extensor strength, flexibility, and endurance. It involves lifting the upper body off the floor using the back muscles and holding that position while the height is measured. This simple test requires minimal equipment, making it accessible for various fitness settings.

Test Procedure

To perform the trunk lift test, the participant lies face-down on a mat with toes pointing back and hands placed under the thighs. A marker is placed on the floor in line with the eyes to maintain proper alignment. The upper body is then slowly and controlledly lifted off the floor to a maximum height of 12 inches while keeping the head in alignment with the spine. The position is held long enough for a measurement to be made from the floor to the chin. Two trials are allowed, and the best score is recorded.


The score for the trunk lift test is based on the distance from the floor to the chin, with a maximum score of 12 inches. Anything over this distance is recorded as 12 inches. It’s essential to avoid ballistic or bouncing movements, as all actions should be performed in a controlled manner.

Advantages and Disadvantages

One advantage of the trunk lift test is its simplicity and the minimal equipment required. However, it’s worth noting that the test can only be conducted with one person at a time, which may be time-consuming for large groups. To expedite the process, participants can partner up, with one measuring and one performing the test. It’s crucial to ensure that all movements are slow and controlled to maintain accuracy and safety.

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Test in Action and Similar Tests

The trunk lift test is commonly included in fitness assessment protocols such as the FitnessGram and Brockport. It is a part of a comprehensive battery of tests to evaluate strength and fitness. Other similar tests that assess back strength include the isometric back strength test, upper back strength (Kraus-Weber) test, and the plank test.

Learn More

To find out more about the FitnessGram program and the Brockport test battery, as well as other strength and power tests, visit our website at Take advantage of these resources to enhance your understanding of fitness assessments and improve your overall fitness journey.


Q: How does the trunk lift test measure trunk extensor strength?
A: The trunk lift test evaluates trunk extensor strength by measuring the distance from the floor to the chin while lifting the upper body off the floor.

Q: Can the trunk lift test be performed with minimal equipment?
A: Yes, the trunk lift test only requires a gym mat, a measuring device (e.g., yardstick, ruler, tape measure), and a marker.

Q: Are there any precautions to consider when performing the trunk lift test?
A: It’s crucial to maintain slow and controlled movements during the test to avoid hyperextension and ensure participant safety.


The trunk lift test is a valuable assessment of back extensor strength, flexibility, and endurance. It involves lifting the upper body off the floor while maintaining proper alignment and measuring the height. This test is simple to perform and requires minimal equipment. It is commonly used in fitness assessment protocols and can provide valuable insights into an individual’s overall fitness level. Visit to learn more about fitness assessments and explore other tests to enhance your fitness journey.

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