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Curl Up Test Fitnessgram

The curl up test is a fitness test that measures abdominal strength and endurance in the FitnessGram assessment. It’s less intense than the popular pacer test.

The goal of the Curl up test is to complete as many curl-ups as possible, up to a maximum of 75, and to do so at a set cadence or pace to the cadence CD. 

When doing your curl-up test, you will be on a mat and see how many curl-ups you can do, which is a test of your muscular endurance. 

That means how long your muscles can do something repeatedly; you will take the test as long as possible. Then, continue until you make two mistakes; your test will be over when you make two mistakes. 

In this test, somebody will count for you; anytime you make a mistake, they will tap you on the foot, hold up a one, and let you know you have that one mistake. Therefore, you should continue when you make your first mistake; keep going until you make two. Your test is over when they tap you and tell you you have two mistakes. 

If you make your second mistake on 15, your score will be 14. So if you’re a counter, it’s important to remember your partner’s score. When you hold up the two, and they make their second mistake, you need to listen to the CD and then subtract one because they did not finish that last rep.

Do as many reps as possible; do your best and forget the rest. Remember, if you’re counting, you need to have tunnel vision. You need to focus on your partner and ensure you are watching them. Don’t tell anybody else what to do for their partner.

Your job is to watch your partner and your partner only. Once you finish the test, please sit quietly and wait for your teacher to come to get your score. After everybody goes one time, we will switch it up and do round two. The people doing the test will become the counters, and the counters will become the testers. 


  • The teacher ensures each student has a partner (counter); one curls while the other counts and records mistakes.
  • The student lies face-up on the mat with their back against it, knees bent at 140 degrees, feet flat on the mat, legs slightly apart, palms of the hands resting on the mat, arms kept straight and parallel to the trunk.
  • Once in the proper position, the audio CD will indicate up, down, and the number of completed curl-ups. Students are signaled to begin and perform each curl-up slowly at the CD’s pace.
  • The student will curl-up until their fingertips slide across a measuring tape line.
  • The score for the curl-up is the number of curl-ups performed. 
  • The first mistake curl-up is counted in the score. The student continues until they make two mistakes; the test will be over when they make two mistakes. 

Few Common Mistakes 

When getting ready for the test, lay on the mat and put your fingers on the edge of the first tape line. When you lay down, if your hands are not touching the tape, you need to stretch your arms out as far as you can and scooch your body up until you get to the edge of the first tape line. That is the correct starting position; also, ensure you don’t have your feet on the mat. 

When the CD says up: you will come up and bring your fingers past the second tape line. When it says down, you will go back to the start. Every time it says up, your hands go on the mat and slide past the tape. Then, when it says down, you go back to the start. 

You have to do a few things when taking the test. 

  • First, you must stay with the CD at the same speed the whole time. So you don’t have to worry about it speeding up like the pacer test. It’s going to stay at the same speed.
  • Second, you must ensure you’re coming up on the ups and down on downs. If you cannot keep up with the CD, that would be a mistake. 
  • Third, you want to ensure your hands stay on the mat. If you’re coming up and your hands come off the mat, that is a mistake; keep your hands on the mat and ensure they slide past that second tape; if your hands do not cross the second tape, that is a mistake. Make sure you keep your hands moving past that second tape. 
  • Fourth, you want to keep your arms nice and straight, so don’t bend your elbows and pull yourself up on your elbows. Keep your arms nice and straight as you pass that second tape, and then go back down. 

Also, keep your feet to be connected to the ground. Your feet must be touching the ground at all times. If your foot comes up off the ground, that is a mistake. So make sure you keep your feet on the ground; they can be flat or up on your heels, but they must touch the ground, and your feet cannot touch the mat. 

If your feet touched the mat, you could use your legs to pull your body up. We’re not trying to measure your leg strength. Remember, we’re trying to measure your abdominal strength. That’s the muscles in your stomach. We want to see what your muscular endurance is for your abs. 

Those are a few common mistakes you need to watch out for. You got to come up and down each time. 

Remember, friends, do your best to save your measurement. It gives you some information to learn where you’re at, which will help you set a goal for yourself and try to improve. 

Everybody’s different. We’re trying to see where we are, set a goal for ourselves, and become a better version of ourselves. Do you have any questions? Please let your teacher know.

George N.