Protocol – Curl-ups

Curl-Up Muscular Endurance Assessment

CAUTION: If you have high blood pressure (140/90 mmHg), lower back issues, hip issues, neck issues, etc.  DO NOT perform this test prior to receiving medical clearance to do so. Information provided solely as a reference and should not be performed without proper training or certification.

Equipment Required:

  • Stopwatch or watch with a seconds hand.
  • Partner to hold ankles.
  • Exercise mat.


  • Perform a few sit-ups to get used to the technique and to warm-up your abdominal muscles.
  • Lie flat on your back on the floor with your knees bent, feet flat on the floor, and your fingers interlocked touching the back of your head, behind your ears. Your partner should hold your ankles firmly so that your feet stay on the floor as you do the sit-ups.
  • When signaled to begin, raise your head and chest off of the floor until your elbows touch your knees or thighs, and then return to the starting position. Keep your neck neutral. Keep your breathing as normal as possible; don’t hold your breath.
  • Perform as many sit-ups as you can in 60 seconds.


  • Record number of sit-ups ________
  • Rate abdominal muscle endurance using the chart below.
Table: Curl-Up Norms for Age and Gender




Reps Completed in 60 seconds




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