Fitness Test also referred to as fitness evaluation or fitness assessment, are various tests and measurements you can do to determine your overall health and fitness level. Some or all of this test is generally done before you begin with an exercise regime, however, you can do this test just to understand your current level of fitness.
In this article, we would be discussing 5 testing and measurement methods.
- Flexibility Test
- One Minute Sit-Up Test
- Push-ups Test
- Three minute Step Test
- Body Composition
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For this test, a ruler or a measurement tape is required. Before doing this test a warm is required, you can do light cardio and some stretching before taking this test. As your hamstrings and lower back are involved in this test, you should stretch these muscles in particular.
Seat without shoes, stretching your legs forward. Keep your feet 10 to 12 inches apart. Legs should be straight and not bent, if you are unable to keep your legs straight, then take help from someone who can press your legs from the knees.
Now keep your measurement tape in between your legs. 15-inch mark in line with your heels, and zero – mark towards your body. With the palms place on each other reach forward as much as you can and hold for a couple of seconds so that the measurement is taken. Perform this three times and note the highest reading. Now read the table below ( Source. YMCA DATA as reported by the ACSM)
|Below Average||Below 15||Below 14||Below 13||below 11||below 9|
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|Below Average||Below 18||Below 17||Below 16||Below 14||Below 14|
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2. One – Minute Sit-Up Test
Lie on the floor in a supine position i.e. on your back. Your knees should be bent approx. at 45 – degrees. Your hands should be behind your head with your fingers locked to each other. Place your feet at 12 inches apart. Take the help of someone to Stand or hold your feet so that your heels do not move or lose contact with the floor while doing the sit-ups. Now while breathing out bring your heads towards your knees smoothly without pulling your head. Do as many sit-ups as you can in 1 minute.
|Poor||Below 31||Below 26||Below 21||Below 17||Below 12||Below 10|
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|Poor||Below 20||Below 17||Below 12||Below 8||Below 5||Below 4|
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3. Pushup Test
For this test, you should lie on the floor in the prone position, i.e. on your chest, now place the arms shoulder-width apart and push your body upwards till your arms are straight, go down till your chin touches the ground. Keep your body straight and don’t arch your back.
Males should keep their legs straight in shoulder line using their feet as pivots, whereas for females the thighs should be straight and use their knees as pivots. You should perform as many pushups as possible without any time limit. to check for fitness level refer to the table below.
|Poor||Below 14||Below 12||Below 9||Below 7||Below 5||Below 3|
|Poor||Below 9||Below 8||Below 5||Below 4||Below 3||Below 2|
4. Three-Minute Step Test
You should take this test to check your cardiovascular recovery capability. For the test, you should have a 12-inch high board or a stool, a music player, or music on your phone, and a stopwatch. You should start the test by placing the right foot on the board, then left foot, then right foot down followed by left foot down. This movement should be performed on the beat of the music. You will have to complete 24 rounds in 1 minute. Perform this step test for 3 Minutes.
It is advisable not to talk during the test. If you feel dizzy, short of breath, or experience any pain immediately stop the test. After 3 Minutes, seat down and locate the pulse within 5 seconds of completing 3 minutes. Now count the heart rate for 1 minute to check the recovery. Refer to the table for your fitness level.
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Source: Canadian Public Health Association Project
5. Body Composition Test
What is Body Composition: The Body is distributed in three parts – Fat-free Tissue, Adipose Tissue, and Extracellular water. However, in sports and fitness, the general focus is on muscle and fat in the body which affects fitness and sporting performance.
Now, body fat is very essential for some functions of the body, but when the percentage of body fat begins to increase the chances of cardiovascular disease also increases. The percentage of body fat also depends on Body Type. There are three body types such as.
- Ectomorph – They have very little body fat and are generally long and lean. For them, it’s very difficult to put on muscle mass.
- Mesomorph – Are athletic, Stong, and Solid. People with this body type are not over or underweight. They easily lose or gain weight.
- Endomorph – Are generally big, having a lot of fat and muscle mass. They put on fat very easily.
Now, BMI (Body Mass Index) is a widely accepted but not very accurate indicator for Body Composition. BMI is the ratio of weight to height, which was used by Insurance companies to measure the level of fitness. BMI is not accurate as it does not calculate the fat percentage.
|BMI Less than 18.5||Underweight|
|BMI 18.5 to 24.9||Healthy Weight|
|BMI 25 to 29.9||Overweight|
|BMI 30 to 39.9||Obese|
Further, there are also many methods to calculate Body Fat Percentage, but none are accurate. Most neat to accurate is hydrostatic weighing. There are also electrical impedance, infrared, and ultrasound measuring devices but are not very accurate.
The most used and relatively accurate is the skin caliper method. There are three skinfold measurement methods.
- Durnan Formula based on 4 points
- Jackson – Pollack based on 3 points
- Slaughter-Lohman based on 2 points.
Here we would discuss Jackson – Pollack based on 3 points.
In the Jackson/Pollock method, for males, you have to take skin folds with a caliper from 3 different points i.e. Chest, Abdomen, Thigh whereas for females 3 points are tricep, suprailiac, and thighs.
The Right side of the body should be measured, and the caliper should be perpendicular to the site. First, for this method, you should take the help of someone, before measurement you should relax your muscles. When you pinch the skin fold the middle of the skin should be measured. Take the reading three times and note the average measurement for that site.
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The Formula for Male:
Body Density = 1.10938 – (0.0008267 x sum of skinfolds) + (0.0000016 x square of the sum of skinfolds) – (0.0002574 x age)
Body Fat Percentage (%) = (495 / Body Density) – 450
The Formula for Female:
Body Density = 1.0994921 – (0.0009929 x sum of skinfolds) + (0.0000023 x square of the sum of skinfolds) – (0.0001392 x age)
Body Fat Percentage (%) = (495 / Body Density) – 450
Now refer to the table for your fitness level.