Saturday, 13 Jul 2024

Push Up Fitness Test

The push-up fitness test, also known as the press-up test, is a valuable measure of upper body strength and endurance. With various variations to suit different needs, the push-up test is a versatile exercise that can be customized to meet specific requirements. In this article, we will discuss the general method for conducting the push-up test and provide links to specific push-up fitness tests.

Possible Equipment Required

Depending on the protocol used, you may need equipment such as a floor mat, metronome (or audio tape, clapping, drums), stopwatch, wall, or chair. The specific equipment required will vary based on the chosen push-up test.

Pre-Test Procedures

Before conducting the push-up fitness test, it is essential to explain the test procedures to the subjects, screen for health risks, and obtain informed consent. Preparing forms and recording basic information such as age, height, body weight, gender, and test conditions is also crucial. Additionally, it is recommended to perform a standard warm-up before initiating the test.


A standard push-up begins with the hands and toes touching the floor, the body and legs in a straight line, feet slightly apart, and 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 to a predetermined point, such as touching the ground or reaching a 90-degree angle at the elbows. They then return to the starting position with the arms extended. This action is repeated without rest until exhaustion or reaching the target number of push-ups.

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The push-up test is scored by recording the number of correctly completed push-ups.


There are several variations of the push-up test, each serving different purposes and accommodating different populations. Some variations are designed to make the test easier for certain groups such as children, females, and the elderly. Other variations include timed tests, tempo tests, isometric tests, and alternative fitness tests. The choice of variation depends on the specific goals and requirements of the test.

Target Population

The push-up test is commonly used as a general test of strength and can be valuable for assessing upper body strength in various sports.


The push-up test offers several advantages, including its ease and quickness to perform. It usually requires minimal or inexpensive equipment and can be conducted with multiple participants simultaneously.

List of Push-Up Tests

  • Push ups as performed in the US Army physical fitness test (APFT)
  • Hand Release Push-Up: the new USA army push-up test in which the hands are lifted from the ground while in the down position
  • Push ups as performed in the US Navy PRT
  • Maximum number push-up test
  • Cadence Push-Up Test: a cadence push-up test used in the President’s Challenge
  • Beep Push-Up Test: another cadence test, at a faster rate
  • Chair push-up test: an easier version for the young or unfit
  • Modified push-up test: includes a clap behind the back while in the ‘down’ position and a touch from one hand to the other in the ‘up’ position
  • Home Push-Up: a simple push-up test that can be done at home
  • Isometric Push-Up Hold Test: hold the lowered ‘down’ push-up position for as long as possible
  • Isometric Push-Up (Brockport): the starting ‘up’ position is held for as long as possible
  • Trunk Stability Push-Up Test: push up from the ground while keeping the body straight with no sagging
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Q: What is the purpose of the push-up fitness test?
A: The push-up fitness test is used to measure upper body strength and endurance in individuals.

Q: Are there variations of the push-up test?
A: Yes, there are several variations of the push-up test, including different techniques, timed tests, tempo tests, and isometric tests.

Q: What are the advantages of the push-up test?
A: The push-up test is easy to perform, requires minimal equipment, and allows for testing multiple participants simultaneously.


The push-up fitness test is a versatile and valuable tool for assessing upper body strength and endurance. With various variations available, the test can be tailored to suit different populations and specific goals. Conducting the test correctly and following the appropriate procedures ensures accurate and reliable results. By incorporating the push-up test into fitness assessments, individuals can track their progress and work towards improving their upper body strength. To learn more about the push-up fitness test and its variations, visit