Historically, the sit-up has always been a part of exercise and researched extensively. In 2015 A scientific article was published, The sit up test to exhaustion as a test for muscular endurance evaluation. Based on their research they concluded that the sit up test - “was found to be inexpensive, safe and appropriate for core muscle endurance measurement for both male and female.”
Versions of the sit-up test are numerous, but usually it is to perform as many sit-ups as possible in a two minute time period. The rules are made by the administrator or the coach and are made to fit a person or specific population.
Example Rule: The feet are to be anchored or have a spotter hold the feet. The lower leg and thigh should be at a right angle. The feet must be 12 inches apart for big people shoulder width apart. The hands must be locked tightly (interdigital folds should touch) behind the head throughout the entire exercise. The exercise begins with the shoulder blades on the ground. A repetition is counted when the base of the neck is above the base of the spine. For each repetition the shoulder blades must return to the ground. It is unacceptable to bounce the rear off the floor to gain momentum or rest in the down position. During the test participants are trying to achieve as many repetitions as possible and for most this requires pacing themselves.
Rule changes increase the difficulty. A participant may be required to pause at the top for 1 second and slightly contract the abdomen on the descent of each repetition. Resting during the test may only be allowed in the vertical position with hands clasped and a resting time limit set - example 5 seconds. Some form of movement may also be mandated to occur for the entire two minutes if a vertical position cant be achieved.
Following the timed sit up another exercise may be a part of the test - example the 2 minute timed paused-chin:
Immediately following the sit-up the participant climbs to the top of the chin bar and holds in place for a goal of 90 seconds. When achieved a timed descent begins. The objective is to reach 30 seconds before the arms are fully extended. The head must not be thrown backwards into extension during the lowering phase. Both hold and descent times are recorded.
Paused-Chin on the Pendulum Rack System