How to perform the push-up fitness assessment

The push-up fitness assessment (which is also called the press-up test) is a basic fitness test which is used by coaches, personal trainers, and athletes in order to assess upper body fitness as well as to monitor progress during the course of strength and fitness training. This simple fitness assessment helps you to compare your own upper body muscular endurance to others of your age and gender. In addition, the push-up fitness assessment assists you with tracking your fitness programme over time.

There are several variations of the push-up test, with differences being seen in:

  • The placement of the hands,
  • How far to dip,
  • The duration of the test, as well as
  • The method of counting the number of completed push-ups.

The possible equipment required during the push-up test include a:

  • Floor mat,
  • Metronome (or audio recording, clapping, drums),
  • Stopwatch,
  • Wall, and
  • Chairs

The equipment that you use will depend on the test protocol that you use.

The procedure for a push-up test

A standard push-up beings with the hands and toes touching the floor. The fitness participant’s body and legs must be in a straight line with their feet slightly apart and their arms shoulder-width apart. The shoulders must be extended and at right angles to the body.

Keeping the back and knees straight, the fitness participant will lower his or her body to:

  • A predetermined point,
  • Touch some other object, or
  • A point where there is a 90-degree angle at the elbows.

The next movement will be returning back to the starting point with the arms extended.

This action continues. The test is repeated until exhaustion or until the fitness participant can do no more in rhythm or has reached the target number of push-ups.

How to do a modified push-up test

The fitness participant needs to begin by getting down on their hands and knees with their hands just outside shoulder width as well as slightly forward of their shoulders. The fitness participant’s knees should be directly aligned with their hips. They need to keep their abdomen tight and their spine in a neutral position.

Inhale and bend the elbows. Lower the chest to 90 degrees at the elbows. Exhale and push up so that the arms are straight. Make sure that the elbows aren’t completely locked. Attempt doing two sets of between 10 and 12 repetitions.

If the fitness participant can’t go to 90 degrees at the elbow, tell them that they need to just go to a comfortable position until they can work up to 90 degrees.

The push-up works the chest, triceps and shoulders.

Here is a list of other variations:

  • The Hand Release Push-up is a new USA army push-up fitness assessment. During this test, the hands are lifted up off the ground while the fitness participant is in the down position.
  • The Cadence Push-Up Test is used in the President’s Challenge.
  • The Beep Push-Up Test also falls under the umbrella of cadence fitness tests but it is performed at a faster rate.
  • The Chair Push-Up test is an easier version for the young or unfit.
  • Home Push-Up is a simple fitness assessment that can be done at home.
  • During the Isometric Push-Up, the starting ‘up’ position is held for as long as possible.

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