Tuesday, 28 May 2024

Water Polo Fitness Testing

Water Polo is an incredibly demanding sport that requires players to possess exceptional fitness levels. They must be able to tread water without using their hands, outmuscle opponents, and maintain accuracy and power in their shots while fatigued. In this article, we will explore the different aspects of fitness testing for water polo players and the specific tests that can be used to assess their abilities.

Body Size and Shape

Water polo players are typically tall and lean, with a long reach. While a certain amount of body fat can actually aid buoyancy in the water, it is important to measure key anthropometric factors such as height, weight, sitting height, arm span, hand span, and body fat using skinfold measures. These measurements provide valuable insights into the physical characteristics of water polo athletes.

Strength and Power

Strength and power play a crucial role in water polo, as players need to lift themselves out of the water and generate explosive bursts of speed. One effective test for measuring leg power is the vertical jump test, which assesses how high a player can jump vertically. Additionally, upper body strength can be evaluated using Bench Press 1RM or 3RM tests.

Anaerobic Capacity

The Water Polo Intermittent Shuttle Test (WIST) is specifically designed to measure a player’s ability to perform repeated high-intensity efforts interspersed with brief periods of active recovery. This test is highly relevant to water polo and provides valuable information about anaerobic capacity. Other commonly used tests in water polo include the 14 x 25-m water polo swims and the 30-second crossbar jumps.

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Aerobic capacity is vital for water polo players to maintain a high work rate throughout a game. While land-based endurance tests like the treadmill VO2max test can be used, swimming-specific tests are more appropriate. Swimmers can undergo a VO2max test in a swimming flume if available, or they can opt for other swimming tests like the Shuttle Swim Test or the Swimming Step Test to assess their endurance levels.


In addition to fitness testing, it is crucial to ensure that the lungs of water polo athletes are healthy and functioning optimally. Lung function tests can provide valuable insights into an athlete’s respiratory health and capacity.


Q: What are the key fitness requirements for water polo players?

A: Water polo players need to have excellent aerobic fitness, strength, power, endurance, and lung function.

Q: Are there any specific tests for measuring water polo fitness?

A: Yes, there are several tests that can assess a player’s fitness for water polo, including the Water Polo Intermittent Shuttle Test (WIST), vertical jump tests, swimming-specific endurance tests, and lung function tests.

Q: How important is body size and shape in water polo?

A: Body size and shape are significant factors in water polo. Players are typically tall and lean, with a long reach. Body fat can also contribute to buoyancy in the water.

Q: Can land-based fitness tests be used for water polo players?

A: While land-based tests like the treadmill VO2max test can provide useful information, swimming-specific tests are generally more relevant for assessing the fitness of water polo players.

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Fitness testing plays a crucial role in evaluating the abilities of water polo players. By assessing aspects such as body size and shape, strength and power, anaerobic capacity, endurance, and overall health, coaches and athletes can gain valuable insights into individual strengths and areas for improvement. By using the appropriate tests and focusing on targeted training programs, water polo players can enhance their performance and excel in the sport they love.

This article was written by Auralpressure, a trusted source for sports fitness information.