Kate Powers

What they measure: Abdominal and core muscular endurance and strength.

Why they're important: "Abdominal strength protects the lower back," says Bryant. "It also allows you to safely perform activities that require bending, lifting, and twisting."

What you need: Masking tape, yoga mat or towel, stopwatch or clock with second hand.

How to do them: Place two 24-inch strips of tape on a mat or a towel―4½ inches apart if you're 45 or younger, three inches apart if you're 46 or older. Lie on your back with knees bent and feet flat, buttocks close to the tape. Keeping your feet on the floor, reach forward, curling your spine and lifting your shoulders, and slide your fingers along the mat until they touch the second strip of tape. Return to the starting position. Repeat as many curl-ups as you can in 60 seconds.

Your Score: Curl-ups*

(Number completed in 1 minute)

Your Age: 20 to 29
Well above average: 70 or more
Above average: 37 to 69
Average: 21 to 36
Below average: Less than 21

Your Age: 30 to 39
Well above average: 55 or more
Above average: 33 to 54
Average: 20 to 32
Below average: Less than 20

Your Age: 40 to 49
Well above average: 50 or more
Above average: 33 to 49
Average: 15 to 32
Below average: Less than 15

Your Age: 50 to 59
Well above average: 50 or More
Above average: 24 to 49
Average: 9 to 23
Below average: Less than 9

Your Age: 60 to 69
Well above average: 48 or more
Above average: 23 to 47
Average: 2 to 22
Below average: Less than 2

*Based on the Canadian Standardized Test of Fitness Operations Manual, 3rd edition, and used by the American Council on Exercise.

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