Home Fitness Tests

Upper Body Strength

This test measures the strength endurance of the chest, shoulder, and triceps muscles. Upper body strength is important for lifting and in sports requiring catching or tackling. This is one of the 10 tests included in the Home Fitness Test Manual. See the list of other Fitness Tests you can do at home.

Equipment Needed (see more about equipment)

  • Toilet Paper Roll – for indicating the depth of the push-up (or something similar)
  • Timer – you can use your watch with a second hand, or a digital watch with a seconds display.

Push Up Test

The aim of this test is to perform as many push-ups as you can in one minute.

The starting position is with your arms straight, elbows locked, body straight, hands placed slightly wider than shoulder-width apart with fingers pointing forward and both feet on the floor.

Mid-way between your hands you should place a toilet paper roll or something similar to indicate the depth of each push-up. This will ensure consistency for each push up.

If you are performing this test on your own, you can place a watch on the ground just in front of you to monitor the time elapsed, otherwise have someone call out the time and count the number of push-ups.

When ready, start timing and bend your elbows and lower your body until the chest touches the paper roll, then return to the starting position. Pausing to rest is permitted only in the up (starting) position. Repeat as many times as you can within a minute.

For the push up to be counted, the body must remain rigid in a generally straight line, and move as a unit while performing each repetition. The chest must also touch the object on the floor each time.

push up test


Count the total number of push-ups you could do in a minute. Do not count any which you did not perform as described.

Upper body strength can be improved with resistance exercises, such as weight lifting in the gym. There are many body weight exercises you can do too such as chin-ups, push-ups and dips.

Data Recording Sheet

data recording sheet

a page for recording all of your results

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Rating Scale

rating scale

a unique rating scale for use with the home fitness test.

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Why Test?

Regular testing is important to measure fitness levels and monitor changes in fitness.

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What to Test

There are a large number of fitness tests, so it is important to select the most apporopriate test for your sport or fitness level.

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How to Test

It is important to follow standard procedures. You need a guide.

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