Push-Up Fitness Test Instructions
The push-up (or press-up) test measures muscular endurance of the upper body (anterior deltoid, pectorals major, and triceps muscles).
You will need a clear flat surface such as a gymnasium floor, plus a stopwatch for timing. You will also need an assistant to monitor the correct technique and record the results.
- Perform a warm-up and practice the required technique.
- The starting 'up' position is with the hands placed shoulder width apart with fingers pointing forward and feet together on a
level surface. The arms are fully extended with only hands and feet touching the
- Lower your body to the floor until your arms are bent at right angles. Keep your back straight at all times.
- Return to the up position with your arms fully extended. This is one repetition.
- Resting is permitted only in the 'up' position.
- Repeat the action for one minute.
- The total number of push-ups in one minute is recorded as the score. Any incorrectly performed push-ups are not counted.
- Compare the results to the norms below.
This is just an example test protocol of a push up test. There are many ways you can perform a push up test. This test is based on the maximum number of push-ups you can do in one minute. Other tests may require you to do as many as you can in a different time period (e.g. 2 minutes) or as many as you can following a set tempo. Push-up fitness tests for women are often performed with the knees on the ground instead of the feet.
What is a Good Score?
You should be aiming for at least 20 push-ups in one minute. A result above 40 is very good. Here are some norms for the 1-minute push-up test.
Push-up test norms for men
|Excellent||> 56||> 47||> 41||> 34||> 31||> 30|
|Very Poor||< 4||< 4||< 2||0||0||0|
Push-up test norms for women
|Excellent||> 30||> 32||> 28||> 20||> 16||> 12|
Push-Up Test Variations
- Vary the time: This test is based on the maximum number of push-ups you can do in one minute. Other tests may require you to do as many as you can over a different time period, such as 30 seconds or 2 minutes.
- Follow a set tempo: some push-up fitness tests require the participant to perform them in time to a regular tempo, such as one every two seconds, for as long as possible.
- Vary the technique: some push-up fitness tests require the chest to touch the floor or some other object. The distance between the hands may also be different in some tests.
see other fitness test protocols