In the Flexed Arm Hang Test, the participant hangs from a bar with the armed flexed, and attempts to hold this position for as long as possible. This test forms part of the US Marine Physical Fitness Test (PFT), performed by US Marine personnel every six months. The flexed arm hang test is only performed by the female Marines - males perform the pull-up test.
purpose: This test measures upper body strength and endurance.
equipment required: Stopwatch, horizontal overhead (pull up) bar at the appropriate height.
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 starting position is with the chin above the bar, and both feet off the ground. You can reach the starting position by standing on a support, or if necessary assisted by others. The grip can be either with both palms facing forward or to the rear, though with both facing in the same direction (see more about grip types). The aim of the test is to hold this position for as long as possible. The timer is started when the Marine is in position, and does no stop until they cannot maintain some degree of flexion at the elbow. The feet may not touch the floor during the test.
variations: two other procedures for the flexed arm hang are described on this site, the flexed arm hang test from the President's Challenge Fitness Awards, the Eurofit Bent Arm Hang and also the flexed arm hang used for the International Physical Fitness Test.
scoring: The total time is recorded until the body drops so that the elbows are not flexed at all. Marines are awarded 1 point for every 1 second up to 40 seconds, then 2 points per second. A minimum of 15 seconds is required to pass the test. See PFT for more information about scoring.
The Test in Action
- This test forms part of the US Marine Physical Fitness Test
- President's Challenge Flexed Arm Hang
- International Physical Fitness Test Flexed Arm Hang
- 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.
- The similar pull-up and push-up upper body strength test
- PFT testing discussion and scoring
- Other strength tests
- Overhand or underhand - a description of each of the grip types
- All fitness test list