Subject lies supine on mat with knees bent at 90° and
feet on floor. The arms are extended to sides with fingers touching
a piece of masking tape. A second piece of tape is placed beyond
the first piece:
- 12 cm apart for subjects less than 45 years of age
- 8 cm apart for subjects 45 years or older
Set metronome at 40 beats per minute. At the first beep, the
subject slowly lifts the shoulder blades off the mat by flexing
spine until finger tips reach the second piece of tape. At the
next beep, the subject slowly returns shoulder blades to mat
by flattening lower back. Subject repeats curl-up in time with
the metronome (20 curl-ups per minute).
One repetition is counted each time shoulder blades touch
the floor. Subject performs as many curl-ups as possible without
stopping, up to a maximum of 75 repetitions. The test is
terminated if the cadence is broken.
Allow the subject to practice a few repetitions before test
begins. Instruct the subject to breathe easily during the exercise,
so as not to invoke the Valsalva maneuver. Make sure that the
fingertips are not beyond the first line in starting position.
Since elevation of the
truck to 30° is the important criteria, alternative techniques
can be considered:
- placing hands on thighs and curling up until hands reach
- hands positioned across chest with head activating a counter
when spin is flexed 30°.
- Author's note: may be slightly more difficult, since weight
of arms are positioned further up from spine articulation (shifts
center of gravity away from fulcrum(s) essentially creating longer
American College of Sports Medicine, (2000) ACSM's Guidelines
for Exercise Testing and Prescription, Sixth Edition, 84-85.