Push Up Test
The push-up fitness test (also called the press up test) measures upper body strength and endurance.
There are many variations of the push up test, such as different placement of the hands, how far to dip, the duration of the test and the method of counting the number of completed push ups.
- possible equipment required: depending on which protocol you use, you will need a floor mat, metronome (or audio tape, clapping, drums), stopwatch, wall, chair.
- procedure: A standard push up begins with the hands and toes touching the floor, the body and legs in a straight line, feet slightly apart, the arms at shoulder width apart, extended and at a right angles to the body. Keeping the back and knees straight, the subject lowers the body to a predetermined point, to touch some other object, or until there is a 90-degree angle at the elbows, then returns back to the starting position with the arms extended. This action is repeated, and test continues until exhaustion, or until they can do no more in rhythm or have reached the target number of push-ups. See push up videos for some examples of push up fitness tests.
- scoring: Record the number of correctly completed push-ups.
- variations: Here are just some of the variations as described on this site:
- Technique: Some variations of the push up test are designed to make it easier for certain populations, which may be required when testing people with weak upper body strength such as children, females and the elderly. The traditional female push-up technique is with the knees resting on the ground, which is an option on the Home Push Up Test. The test can also be made easier by raising the upper body such as in the chair push up test. How far to go down? In the President's Challenge version, an assistant places their hand at the point of 90 degree flexion to indicate the depth of the push up. The Army and Navy also require the upper arms are at least parallel to the ground in the lower position.
- Timed Test: A common version of the push up test is to measure the maximum number of push up in a set time, such as one or two minutes. The Army Push Up Test is conducted over two minutes, and the Navy Push Up Test over one minute. The Chair Push Up variation measures the maximum number in 30 seconds. There are also untimed maximum push up test to determine the most you can do.
- Tempo test: like the running beep test, there are push up beep tests where the push-ups are required to be done in time to an audio beep recording or following the rhythm of a metronome. For example, the tempo push up test used in the FitnessGram, President's Challenge Fitness Awards and the Connecticut Physical Fitness Test measures the maximum number of push ups performed at a rate of one every three seconds.
- Alternative fitness tests to measure upper body strength are the pull up or chin up and flexed arm hang.
- target population: the push up test is commonly used as a general test of strength. There are some sports in which upper body strength is particularly important.
- advantages: this test is easy and quick to perform, usually requiring minimal or inexpensive equipment. Many subjects can be tested at once.
- other push up tests:
- see video of push up fitness tests
- World Records for Push Ups
- list of other strength tests