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Sit Ups Test

Testing and measurement are the means of collecting information upon which subsequent performance evaluations and decisions are made but, in the analysis, we need to bear in mind the factors that may influence the results.


The objective of this test is to monitor the development of the athlete's abdominal strength.

Required Resources

To undertake this test, you will require:

  • Non-slip surface
  • Exercise Mat
  • Stopwatch
  • Assistant

How to conduct the test

This test requires the athlete to perform as many sit-ups as possible in 30 seconds.

  • The athlete warms up for 10 minutes
  • The athlete lies on the mat with the knees bent, feet flat on the floor and their hands on their ears where they must stay throughout the test
  • The assistant holds the athlete's feet on the ground
  • The assistant gives the command “GO” and starts the stopwatch
  • The athlete sits up touching the knees with their elbows, then returns back to the floor and continues to perform as many sit-ups as possible in 30 seconds
  • The assistant keeps the athlete informed of the time remaining
  • The assistant counts and records the number of correct sit-ups completed in the 30 seconds and uses this recorded value to assess the athlete's performance

Sit Up Test

Sit Up Test


The following normative data is available for this test.

The following are norms for 16 to 19-year-olds (Davis 2000)[1].

Gender Excellent Above Average Average Below Average Poor
Male >30 26 - 30 20 - 25 17 - 19 <17
Female >25 21 - 25 15 - 20 9 - 14 <9

For an evaluation of the athlete's performance select the gender, enter the number of sit-ups and then select the 'Calculate' button.

Gender Number of Sit Ups     Assessment -

Assessment is based on the Davis (2000)[1] normative data table


Analysis of the test result is by comparing it with the athlete's previous results for this test. It is expected that, with appropriate training between each test, the analysis would indicate an improvement in the athlete's abdominal strength.

Target Group

This test is suitable for active individuals but not for those where the test would be contraindicated.


Test reliability refers to the degree to which a test is consistent and stable in measuring what it is intended to measure. Reliability will depend upon how strict the test is conducted and the individual's level of motivation to perform the test. The following link provides a variety of factors that may influence the results and therefore the test reliability.


Test validity refers to the degree to which the test actually measures what it claims to measure and the extent to which inferences, conclusions, and decisions made on the basis of test scores are appropriate and meaningful. This test provides a means to monitor the effect of training on the athlete's physical development.


  • Minimal equipment required
  • Simple to set up and conduct
  • Can be conducted almost anywhere


  • Assistant required to administer the test


  1. DAVIS, B. et al. (2000) Physical Education and the study of sport. 4th ed. London: Harcourt Publishers. p. 124

Related References

The following references provide additional information on this topic:

  • WHITING, W. C. et al. (1999) Muscle activity during sit-ups using abdominal exercise devices. The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, 13 (4), p. 339-345
  • CURETON, K. J. and WARREN, G. L. (1990) Criterion-referenced standards for youth health-related fitness tests: a tutorial. Research quarterly for exercise and sport, 61 (1), p. 7-19
  • ALARANTA, H. et al. (1994) Non-dynamometric trunk performance tests: reliability and normative data. Scandinavian journal of rehabilitation medicine, 26 (4), p. 211-215

Page Reference

If you quote information from this page in your work, then the reference for this page is:

  • MACKENZIE, B. (2000) Sit Ups Test [WWW] Available from: [Accessed

Related Pages

The following Sports Coach pages provide additional information on this topic: