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Press Up Fitness Testing

Testing your strength is a good way of monitoring progression, the Press Up fitness test will primary test the Chest & Arm muscles, specifically the Pectorals Major, Minor and Triceps Brachi muscles together with stabilizing shoulder and core muscles. The Press Up or Push Up exercise depending how you refer to the exercise is a functional and compound exercise recruiting more than one muscle group. This make it a very metabolic exercise, great for developing strength and burning calories.

The Test

This strength test is a relatively straight forward test of muscular and physical strength and endurance, especially the chest, shoulders and triceps which are the prime movers in this exercise.

This test has been performed with time limits of both 1 and 2 minutes in which the participant must complete as many press ups as possible with near perfect technique on each reputation. This test is popular in the army other military institutions in which you must complete as many press ups in 2 minutes, this requires good strength and endurance and is no easy task. I however would suggest performing this test in one minute if you are looking at strength and power testing and go up to 2 minutes for an insight to strength and endurance testing.

Another method is to perform the test until absolute failure, the point in which the subject is unable to complete any more repetitions. This is likely to happen within 2 minutes for most individuals anyway which test you use is down to personal preference and how relative each one is to the subjects goals. The normal values at the end of this article is for this test version, to fatigue.

 

You'll need:

Testing Procedure and Press Up Technique

Each press up must be completed with near perfect technique and posture to be counted as a full repetition.  

  • Lie down onto the mat In the prone position (facing the floor) adopting the start position with arms out stretched and hands at shoulder width apart,
  • Your feet can be together or up to 12 inches apart. 
  • The body should form a relatively straight line. 
  • Each repetition should be performed lowering the body as one unit towards the floor to a minimum of upper arms parallel to the floor (90 degrees), 
  • Return to the start position pushing though the floor lifting body as one unit.
  • The push up should be continues with no rest periods.
  • During the exercise, it’s advisable to look slight forward or directly down at the floor to avoid to much compression of the vertebra in the neck.
  • Record the total number of full body press-ups completed by the subject before failure or until the time is reached.

This test can be conducted on your own, but you must be honest with yourself. If possible, grab a friend or fellow gym user to count your repetitions performed and to time your effort.

Full Press Up

Press Up Start Female

Full Press Up Start Position

Press Up Finish Female

Full Press Up Finish Position

Full Press Up Video

 

Modified Press Up Test

The modified version of the fitness test can be performed if your base strength is low or if you can not perform at least one full press up. This is a good option for females and those new to exercise.

Half Press Up

Half Press Up Start Female

 Half Press Up Start Position

Half Press Up Finish Female

Half Press Up Finish Position

Modified Press Up Video (Half Press Up)

Track your results

When you perform this test, keep a record of your results, and compare with future attempts, try to ensure conditions are kept the same with each test to make it as fair on yourself as possible. Download the Kiss Fitness tracking sheet below and print out to record your results and track your progress over time.

Download Press Up Test Tracking Sheet

Name Date added  
Press Up Test Tracking Sheet
Popular 1.0 Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International 78.19 KB 28
04/02/2016 12:36:44

Compare against normal values

Below are charts for the normative values for the press up test performed to fatigue, that is the maximum number of press ups a subject was able to perform before they could no longer perform any more repetitions.

Normative value for Full Body Press Up Test to fatigue

Age

Excellent

Good

Average

Fair

Poor

20-29

>54

45-54

35-44

20-34

<20

30-39

>44

35-44

25-34

15-24

<15

40-49

>39

30-39

20-29

12-19

<12

50-59

>34

25-34

15-24

8-14

<8

>59

>29

20-29

10-19

5-9

<5

Normative Value for Modified Press Up Test to fatigue

Age

Excellent

Good

Average

Fair

Poor

20-29

>48

34-48

17-33

6-16

<6

30-39

>39

25-39

12-24

4-11

<4

40-49

>34

20-34

8-19

3-7

<3

50-59

>29

15-29

6-14

2-5

<2

>59

>19

5-19

3-4

1-2

<1

 References: 

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