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Press Up Test

Testing and measurement are the means of collecting information upon which subsequent performance evaluations and decisions are made but in the analysis we need to bear in mind the factors that may influence the results.

Objective

The objective of the Press Up test is to assess the strength endurance of the athlete's upper body muscles.

Required Resources

To undertake this test you will require:

  • Non-slip surface
  • Assistant

How to conduct the test

  • The athlete warms up for 10 minutes
  • The athlete lies on the ground, places their hands by the shoulders and straightens the  arms - see Figure 1 (start position)
  • The athlete lowers the body until the elbows reach 90° (see Figure 2) and then extends the arms to return to the start position
  • The athlete continuous this press-up action, with no rest, until they are unable to continue
  • The assistant counts and records the number of correctly completed press-ups

 

Press up
Figure 1

Press up
Figure 2

Athletes with less relative strength in the upper body can use the modified press up position to assess their upper body strength.

  • The athlete warms up for 10 minutes
  • The athlete lies on the ground, places their hands by the shoulders, straightens the  arms and keeps the knees on the ground- see Figure 3 (start position)
  • The athlete lowers the body until the elbows reach 90° - see Figure 4 and then extends the arms to return to the start position
  • The athlete continuous this press-up action, with no rest, until they are unable to continue
  • The assistant counts and records the number of correctly completed press-ups
Press Up
Figure 3

Press up
Figure 4

Assessment

For an evaluation of the athlete's performance select the age group and Test, enter the total number of press ups and then select the 'Calculate' button.

Age Test Number of press ups
   
Assessment -

Assessment is based on the normative data tables below

How much weight are you pressing?

When you perform the full press up (Fig 1), you are lifting approximately 75% of your body weight and in the modified press up position (Fig 3), you are lifting approximately 60% of your body weight.

Normative data for the Press Up Tests

The following table, McArdle et al. (2000)[1], provides normative data for the full body press up for Men

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
60+ >29 20 - 29 10 - 19 5 - 9 <5

The following table, McArdle et al. (2000)[1], provides normative data for the modified Push Ups for Women

Age Excellent Good Average Fair Poor
20 - 29 >48 34 - 38 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
60+ >19 5 - 19 3 - 4 1- 2 <1

The following table, adapted from Golding et al. (1986)[2], provides normative data for the Push Ups for Men

Age Excellent Good Above
Average
Average Below
Average
Poor
17 - 19 >56 47-56 35-46 19-34 11-18 <11
20 - 29 >47 39-47 30-38 17-29 10-16 <10
30 - 39 >41 34-41 25-33 13-24 8-12 <8
40 -49 >34 28-34 21-27 11-20 6-10 <6
50 - 59 >31 25-31 18-24 9-17 5-8 <5
60 - 65 >30 24-30 17-23 6-16 3-5 <3

The following table, adapted from Golding et al. (1986)[2], provides normative data for the Push Ups for Women

Age Excellent Good Above
Average
Average Below
Average
Poor
17 - 19 >35 27-35 21-26 11-20 6-10 <6
20 - 29 >36 30-36 23-29 12-22 7-11 <7
30 - 39 >37 30-37 22-29 10-21 5-9 <5
40 -49 >31 25-31 18-24 8-17 4-7 <4
50 - 59 >25 21-25 15-20 7-14 3-6 <3
60 - 65 >23 19-23 13-18 5-12 2-4 <2

Analysis

Analysis of the test result is by comparing it with the athlete's previous results for this test. It is expected that, with appropriate training between each test, the analysis would indicate an improvement in the athlete's upper body strength endurance.

Target Group

This test is suitable for active individuals but not for those where the test would be contraindicated.

Reliability

Test reliability refers to the degree to which a test is consistent and stable in measuring what it is intended to measure. Reliability will depend upon how strict the test is conducted and the individual's level of motivation to perform the test. The following link provides a variety of factors that may influence the results and therefore the test reliability.

Validity

Test validity refers to the degree to which the test actually measures what it claims to measure and the extent to which inferences, conclusions, and decisions made on the basis of test scores are appropriate and meaningful. This test provides a means to monitor the effect of training on the athlete's physical development.

Advantages

  • No equipment required
  • Simple to set up and conduct
  • The test can be administered by the athlete
  • Can be conducted almost anywhere

Disadvantages

  • Assistant required to administer the test

Referenced Material

  1. McARDLE, W.D. et al. (2000) Training muscles to become stronger. In: McARDLE, W.D. et al., 2nd ed. Essentials of Exercise Physiology, USA: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins, p. 418
  2. GOLDING, L.A. et al. (1986) Y's way to physical fitness : the complete guide to fitness testing and instruction. 3rd ed, USA: Human Kinetics 

Page Reference

The reference for this page is:

  • MACKENZIE, B. (2001) Press Up Test [WWW] Available from: http://www.brianmac.co.uk/pressuptst.htm [Accessed

Associated Pages

The following Sports Coach pages should be read in conjunction with this page: