The Flexed-Arm Hang test measures upper body relative strength and endurance. The participant hangs from a bar with the armed flexed, and attempts to hold this position for as long as possible. The following describes the procedures as used in the International Physical Fitness Test. See also the flexed arm hang test used for the Marines and as used in the President's Challenge Fitness Awards.
equipment required: Stopwatch, a horizontal bar 4cm in diameter, placed at a height so that participants are unable to touch the ground when hanging from it, ladder.
pre-test: Explain the test procedures to the subject. Perform screening of health risks and obtain informed consent. Prepare forms and record basic information such as age, height, body weight, gender and test conditions. Record the height of the overhead bar. See more details of pre-test procedures.
procedure: The participant climbs the ladder to a height so that the chin is level with the bar. Grasp the overhead bar using an overhand grip (palms facing away from body), with the hands at shoulder width apart. On the command, "ready, go," the person removes their feet from the ladder, and the timing starts. The participant should attempt to hold this position for as long as possible.
scoring: The total time is seconds is recorded - timing is stopped when the person's chin falls below the level of the bar or the head tilts backward to enable the chin to stay level with the bar.
variations: three other procedures for the flexed arm hang are described on this site, the flexed arm hang test the President's Challenge Fitness Awards, the Eurofit Bent Arm Hang and also the flexed arm hang test used for the Marines. These procedures only vary slightly from that described here.
advantages: the equipment is readily available, and the test is easy and quick to perform.
disadvantages: The body weight of the subject has a great effect on the results of this test. A better test of upper body strength in which body weight is not as important is the push-up test.
The Test in Action
- This test is part of the International Physical Fitness Test
- See the similar Flexed Arm Hang test used for the Marine PFT
- The flexed arm hang test used in the President's Challenge Fitness Awards.
- Bent-Arm Hang from the Eurofit tests.
- Extended (Straight) Arm Hang Test — hanging from an overhead bar with straight arms for as long as possible, part of the Brockport assessment.
- Similar pull-up and push-up upper body strength tests.
- Other strength tests
- Overhand or underhand - a description of each of the grip types
- More details about the International Physical Fitness Test