ACSM Abdominal Strength Test

Woman doing sit-ups

Good abdominal strength can help your body to function at a higher level. Better posture and lower risk of back pain are just two benefits of strong abdominals. One way to gauge your abdominal strength is to take the American College of Sports Medicine abdominal strength test.


You need to work on a padded floor or mat for testing. Place two pieces of tape about 10 cm apart on the floor or mat. You will need a metronome to help you control the rhythm of each abdominal curl. The metronome will produce a "clicking" or "beating" sound to help you establish a rhythm for the test. You will also need a stopwatch to monitor your time.


Set the metronome for 50 beats per minute. Lie on your back with your arms flat to the floor and your palms facing down. The middle fingers of each hand should touch the first line of tape. Your knees should be bent with your feet flat on the floor. Your head should face the ceiling.


When you are ready, set the stopwatch for 60 seconds. Begin to curl the upper part of your body until your fingertips touch the second strip of tape. Return to your original position with your shoulder blades touching the floor or mat. Each movement should be performed to the "click" of the metronome. Keep count of the number of repetitions you do during the 60 seconds.


You should terminate the test if you can complete 25 repetitions within the minute or when the minute is over. You may also have to terminate if you are no longer able to keep the beat of the metronome. If you begin to roll your neck forward at any time, you will need to stop the test.


If you complete all 25 repetitions within the time limit, your rating for abdominal strength is excellent, regardless of age or gender. Your rating is very good if you completed between 17 to 24 repetitions. If you completed between 12 to 17 reps, your rating is good. If you did six to 12 repetitions, your rating is fair. If the score is six or less, it means your abdominal strength needs improvement.