What is the Trunk Lift Assessment??

The trunk lift assessment is a test that measures the strength and flexibility of the lower back.  The objective of this test is to raise the upper body off the floor by using the muscles of the back and hold the position to allow for the measurement. 

Why is the Trunk Lift Assessment Important??

The trunk lift assessment is a very important test because it directly shows the strength and flexibility of the lower back muscles.  Many people believe that the "core muscles" are only the abdominal muscles but they do indeed include the lower back muscles.
          "Core Muscles" = Obliques
                                        Lower Back
Many people only exercise the abdominals and the obliques, while ignoring the lower back muscles.  This test will give students the insight on whether or not they need to focus more on their lower back muscles.


Evaluation Criterion

During the test administration, each student will receive a worksheet and an evaluation sheet that they will give to me, the teacher, at the end of the test.  Students will receive credit for participating in the test for that day and will also receive extra credit for performing at the passing level for high school students.  For this test there are two types of criterion: Needs Improvement and Satisfactory.  Students will be told to not lift there upper body more than 12 inches because it is a risk for potential injury.

Trunk Lift Test 
Assessment Task Sheet 

Circle “Yes” if Performed
Circle “No” if NOT Performed

  1. Face down with hands TUCKED at side. 

  1. Eyes down looking at PENNY 

  1. Slowly lift up NO MORE than 12 inches and HOLD 
  1. TWO Trials 

** 6 - 12 Inches is the PASSING standard for both boys and girls K - 8
** 9 - 12 Inches is the PASSING standard for both boys and girls 9 - 12
Trial 1: __________________
                                 Best of 2 Trials: ______________________
Trial 2: __________________
Performer’s Name: ______________________________________________________
Partner’s Name: ________________________________________________________

Preparation for Assessment

In order to prepare for this assessment, the class will be doing a number of lower back exercises and stretches.  We will also be doing a yoga unit which will have a variety of moves that are targeted to the lower back.  

Some of the stretches we will be doing include:

Squat Exercise
This is an exercise that helps in strengthening the lower back. 

  • Stand with your feet about hip-width apart, in front of a chair.
  • Squat until your hands come to the level of the chair.
  • Let your head lead your body over the top of the chair. Move using only the ankle joints, while letting your weight be on the chair. Let your muscles relax.
  • Pull back, that is, slowly transfer the weight from the chair to your feet. The movement should come from the hip joints, and not your lower back.
  • Repeat the procedure for about ten times without tightening any of your muscles.
Stretching Hip Flexors
This exercise helps lessen the stress on the spine.
  • Get into a stance similar to a runner starting a race.
  • Bend your knee till your head is directly above the knee.
  • Lower your hips till your other knee touches the ground.
  • Repeat the exercise minimum ten times.
Chest Lift
This is the simplest of all the 
  • Lie down on your stomach.
  • Place your hands next to your chest.
  • Now slowly, lift your chest off the ground.
  • Stay there for some moments, and come back to the original position.
  • Repeat the exercise at least 10 times.
Straight Leg Raise
Strong hamstrings are needed to have a strong back, and this exercise strengthens your hamstring muscle.
  • Lie on your back.
  • Bend your knees while keeping both the feet flat on the ground.
  • Now, without lifting your hips, lift the upper part of your body.
  • Straighten each leg one at a time, and try to hold the stretch for few seconds.
  • Place your hands on your knee and try to pull it towards your chest, while keeping the other leg stretched straight.
  • Do minimum 10 leg raises.

How Can You Improve In and Out of Class??

Students can improve on this test by following along and actively participating when we do the yoga unit and the various stretches before each class.  They can also improve their score by practicing some of these tests out of class when they are at home.  Most of these stretches and yoga movements do not need equipment so it is very easy for them to perform at home.  They  can do these stretches while watching TV, listening to music, etc.

Date of Next Assessment??

The next trunk lift assessment will be performed on Monday, November 15, 2010. The test will take place in the gymnasium.  This will be the second assessment for the students. 

Is the Trunk Lift a Valid Test??

Test Validity relies totally on what the test measures. In order for a test to be valid it must test what is wanted to be measured.  In this case the Trunk Lift measure lower back strength and flexibility.  This test is valid because we are looking to find whether or not the students have healthy lower back muscles. 

How Did You Control for Reliability??

In order to make sure that the test was reliable, we had the students perform the task in small groups.  Because the groups are small, I was able to make sure that all of the students understood the task and how to perform it.  I was also able to watch the students more carefully so I was sure that they were not making any mistakes when performing this test.

How Did the Class Perform as a Whole??

In order to keep everything private, The following scores are just a breakdown and there are no names associated with the scores.

   25 Students
   7 Students - Need Improvement
   17 Students - Satisfactory
   1 Student - Unable to Participate

   12 Males
   3 Males - Need Improvement
   8 Males - Satisfactory
   1 Male - Unable to Participate

   13 Females
   4 Females - Need Improvement
   9 Females - Satisfactory

Mean: 9.85 inches

Mode: 12

Range: 6 - 12

Standard Deviation: 2.03

Video of Test Administration