This test forms part of the US Marine Physical Fitness Test (PFT), performed by US Marine personnel every six months. The pull-up test is only performed by the male Marines. Females perform the flexed-arm hang test.
purpose: This test measures upper body strength and endurance.
equipment required: Horizontal overhead bar, at an adequate height so that the participants can hang from it with arms fully extended and feet not touching the floor (see pull-up bars).
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. Measure and record the height of the bar. Perform a standard warm-up. See more details of pre-test procedures.
procedure: The pull-ups are performed starting from a dead hang (arms fully extended and locked), body motionless, feet off the floor. The grip can be either with both palms facing forward or to the rear, though with both facing in the same direction. From this starting position, a pull-up is performed without excessive body motion, and the body is lifted until the chin has cleared the top of the bar. The body is then lowered until his arms are fully extended or locked out. One complete pull-up is counted when the Marine's arms are locked out. This procedure is repeated until the Marine has reached the maximum 20 complete pull-ups, or can no longer complete a pull-up.
scoring: The maximum number of correctly performed pull ups is recorded. Five points for every pull-up is awarded, and at least three are required to pass the test. See these pull-up test norms.
- Grip changes are allowed during the exercises, as long as the Marines feet do not touch the bars or ground, and his hands do not touch the side bars of the pull-up bar.
- Resting is allowed in the up or down position, but resting with the chin supported by the bar is not allowed.
- Sweat shirts need to be removed so that the locking of the elbows can be observed.
- Throughout the test, the legs may be in a straight or bent position, but may not be raised above the waist.
- Whipping, kicking, kipping of the body or legs, or any leg movement used to assist the pull-up is not allowed.
- The terms chin up and pull up are often used interchangeably, though some people consider that when using the overhand grip (palms facing away from body, pronated grip) it is a pull up, and when using an underhand grip (palms facing toward body, supinated grip) it is a chin up.
- General testing procedure for the Pull Up Test
- NAPFA pull up
- Cadence Pull-Up Test — at a rate of 15 per minute
- Horizontal Pull-Up Test — a variation of the hanging pull-up, made easier as the whole body weight does not need to be lifted.
- Modified Pull-Up — with the body horizontal, grasp a bar set just out of reach, and pull up towards the bar.
- Flexed arm hang
- PFT testing discussion and scoring.
- Where to buy pull-up or chin-up bars.
- chin up test videos
- POLL: Do you call it a chin-up or pull-up?
- Other strength tests
- All fitness test list
- World Records for Pull / Chin Ups
- Pull-up test norms
- Overhand or underhand - a description of each of the grip types
- Description of the chin up fitness exercise