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Physical Fitness Tests & Activities

author image Jody Braverman
Jody Braverman is a health and fitness professional and writer in Seattle. She has been a personal trainer and yoga instructor for almost a decade and is passionate about movement and helping people lead active, healthy lives.
Physical Fitness Tests & Activities
Sit Ups Photo Credit: KaranovA/iStock/Getty Images

You might have several reasons why you want to take a fitness test. If you are trying out for a sports team or competition, or being admitted to the military, you might be asked to take a physical fitness test. Or, if you join a health club, a fitness professional might ask you to perform a physical fitness test or activity so that she can assess your fitness level. Physical fitness tests and activities can also encourage kids and adults to be more physically active. If you are just starting an exercise program, consult with your healthcare professional before doing these tests.

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Sit-Up Test

The sit-up test measures the strength of your abdominal muscles. There are several different methods of performing this tests and scales of measurement. To do this test on your own, or as a friendly competition among friends, lie on your back on the floor or on an exercise mat. Bend your knees and place your feet flat on the floor. Place your hands lightly on the tops of your thighs. Have a friend time you with a stopwatch for 60 seconds. Contract your abdominal muscles and when your assistant says "go," do as many sit-ups as you can, curling up enough so that your hands slide up to the top of your knees. Return to your starting position after each repetition. At the end of 60 seconds, record your total. Use the chart at the Top End Sports website to see how you did for your age group and gender.

Sit-and-Reach Test

The sit-and-reach test measures your flexibility, specifically your hamstring flexibility. You will need a ruler and a step for this test. Warm up for this test by going for a quick jog. When you return, take off your shoes and sit down on the floor facing the bottom step of a stairway with your legs extended out in front of you, feet flexed and legs slightly apart. Keep your legs straight throughout the exercise. Place your ruler on the top of the step, extending out over your feet. As you inhale and lengthen your spine toward the ceiling, reach your arms out in front of you, with one hand on top of the other. Exhale completely as you reach your arms forward as far as you can. When you have reached as far as you can, touch your fingertips to the ruler and make note of the distance between your toes and your fingers. Use the chart at the Top End Sports website to see how you did for your age group and gender.

Squat Test

The squat test measures your muscular endurance. Find a chair, such as a dining room chair, that sets your knees at right angles when you sit down. Stand a little bit in front of the chair with your back to it. Put your hands on your hips and squat down as if you are sitting on the chair. Touch your bottom to the chair lightly and then stand back up. Do this as many times as you can, maintaining proper form. Record how many you did, and use the chart at the Top End Sports website to see how you did for your age group and gender.

Step Test

The step test measures your cardiovascular endurance. You'll need a stopwatch and a step about 12 inches high for this activity. Before starting the test, make sure you know how to find your pulse on your neck with your index finger. Set your stopwatch for three minutes. Stand in front of the step, and begin to step up and down. Step on with the right foot, then step the left foot up. Step the right foot off and step the left foot off. Continue this rhythm for three minutes. At the end of three minutes, find your pulse and count the number of beats in 60 seconds. This is your score. Use the chart at the Top End Sports website to see how you did for your age group and gender.

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