I would like to know if there any tests I can do at home to self assess of my lower back and abs muscles strength and other parameters?
When I went to physical therapy, they essentially have you bend in all the directions, extend your back, flex your back, bend side to side, rotate side to side, and do a static crunch(holding it for 10 seconds), leg raise(how high can you left your legs and hold it for 10 seconds, I think you can bend your knees, the point is to hold the position), and laying flat on your back, holding your back to the floor for 15 seconds. Here's what they test below:
- leg raises(lower abs)
- crunch (upper abs)
- lying flat(transverse abdominus) - you could also try doing a set of 10 deadbugs
- bend side to side( obliques, but more importantly lateral movements)
- roration( obliques but more importantly rotation)
- spine extension(if there is pain with extension, then transverse abdominus)
- flexion ( if pain with flexion, then back extensors).
If you fail any of the above, then you have the corresponding ab problem. The last two you should be really careful, especially if you have back problems.
You could also look in a mirror, and a curve in your spine(assuming you don't have any underlying medical conditions) could be a sign your core is weak in general.