The push-up test measures upper body strength and endurance. In this test, the maximum number of push-ups performed at a rate of one every three seconds is recorded (20 push-ups per minute). The following information describes the procedures as used for many testing protocols, such as the FitnessGram Program, the President's Challenge Fitness Awards, the Connecticut Physical Fitness Test and the Brockport fitness testing battery. There is also another push-up beep test though it is performed at a faster rate of 25 per minute.
equipment required: floor mat, a method of indicating the desired pace of 20 per minute (simply, you can call out at the set cadence using a stopwatch. Other options are using a metronome or our free online push-up metronome. We have also created a pushup audio file for this test with the correct rate. The PACER cd also includes a push-up cadence track. You can also create an audio track using the Team Beep Test software).
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. Perform a standard warm-up. See more details of pre-test procedures.
procedure: Start in the push-up position - with the hands and toes touching the floor, the body and legs are in a straight line, feet slightly apart, the arms at shoulder width apart, extended and at a right angle to the body. Keeping the back and knees straight, the subject lowers the body until there is a 90-degree angle at the elbows, with the upper arms parallel to the floor. A partner holds their hand at the point of the 90-degree angle so that the subject being tested goes down only until their shoulder touches the partner's hand, then back up. The push-ups are done in time to a metronome or similar device with one complete push-up every three seconds (1.5 seconds down and 1.5 seconds up, 20 complete push-ups per minute). The subject continues until they can do no more in rhythm (has not done the last three in rhythm) or has reached the target number of push-ups. (see push-up videos for some examples)
scoring: Record the number of correctly completed push-ups that were performed in time to the rhythm.
target population: sports in which upper body strength is important.
advantages: this test is easy and quick to perform.
comments: The participants should be instructed to spend as little time in the starting position beforehand in order to reduce fatigue and increase the number of repetitions. The test is also sometimes called the press up test.
- There is also another push-up beep test at a faster rate (25 per minute).
- A similar test, the cadence Bench Press Test performed at 25 per minute at a set weight.
- Other variations such as a Simple Push-Up Test that can be done at home
- Push-ups as performed in the US Army physical fitness test
- Push-ups as performed in the US Navy PRT.
- Cadence Pull-Up Test — at a rate of 15 per minute
- Read about the general push-up test
- Try our online push-up metronome where you can set any pace.
- Buy a Press-up Cadence mp3 track
- See video of push-up fitness tests
- About the President's Challenge Fitness Awards, the Connecticut Physical Fitness Test and the FitnessGram Program
- The Brockport Test Battery — health-related tests of physical fitness for use with young people with disabilities.
- An alternative test to the push-up for the President's Challenge and FitnessGram is the pull-up
- World Records for Push Ups
- List of other Strength Tests