The flexed-arm hang test measures upper body strength and endurance, timing how long someone can remain with the chin above a horizontal bar. The following information describes the procedures as used in the President's Challenge, Brockport and FitnessGram assessments. See also the flexed-arm hang test used for the Marines and the flexed-arm hang used for the International Physical Fitness Test, and the Bent-Arm Hang from the Eurofit tests.
purpose: to measure upper body strength and endurance by timing how long they can hang with the chin above the bar.
equipment required: Stopwatch, Horizontal overhead bar at an adequate height, stool or step (optional) and a gym mat to be placed under the bar.
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: Grasp the overhead bar. The grip for the President's Challenge allows using either an overhand grip (palms facing away from body) or underhand grip (palms facing toward body), while for FitnessGram and Brockport the overhand grip is required (see more about grip types). Position the body with the armed flexed and the chin clearing the bar. The chest should be held close to bar with legs hanging straight. The body must not swing, the knees must not be bent, and the legs must not kick. The participants should be assisted to this position. The subject holds this position for as long as possible. Only one trial is required.
scoring: The total time in seconds is recorded - timing is stopped when student's chin touches or falls below the bar. The type of grip used should also be recorded with the results.
variations: three other procedures for the flexed-arm hang are described on this site, the flexed-arm hang test from the International Physical Fitness Test, the Eurofit Bent-Arm Hang and also the flexed-arm hang test used for the Marines
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.
other comments: Rather than doing a pull-up to start, lift the participant to the starting position. This decreases any extra exertion and may possibly increase the length of time. When repeating the test, ensure that the same grip technique is used each time.
The Test in Action
- This test is part of the President's Challenge, Brockport and FitnessGram assessments, also there's a similar flexed-arm hang test used for the Marines and the flexed-arm hang used for the International Physical Fitness Test.
- Flexed Arm Hang test used for the Marine PFT — how long someone can remain with the chin held above a horizontal bar.
- The Flexed Arm Hang used for the IPFT — how long someone can remain with the chin held above a horizontal bar.
- Bent-Arm Hang from the Eurofit tests.
- The similar pull-up and push-up upper body strength test
- Extended (Straight) Arm Hang Test — hanging from an overhead bar with straight arms for as long as possible, part of the Brockport assessment.
- Other strength tests
- President's Challenge Fitness Awards.
- About the Brockport test battery
- Overhand or underhand - a description of each of the grip types
- pull-up and push-up upper body strength tests