EXERCISE

How Fit Are You

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6_tests_of_fitness_14401_71

Think you are fit? Use these 6 exercises to see how fit you are .

PLANK
What it targets
Your core strength
How to do it
Hold your body in a straight line from head to heels. Keep your feet together and your elbows beneath your shoulders. Look straight down and brace for as long as you can. Focus on keeping your hips from sagging. When they do the test is over.
To improve
Perform the plank with your hands, feet or both on an unstable surface such as a gym ball. You won’t be able to hold it for long, but it’ll make doing this test on stable ground easier.
Time                                            Level
More than 2min                    Excellent
75sec–2min                            Good
45–75sec                                Average
Less than 45sec                    Poor

 

BODYWEIGHT SQUAT
What it targets
Your core, quad and hamstring strength
How to do it
Keep your feet shoulder-width apart and toes turned out slightly. Brace your core and lower until your thighs are parallel to the floor and your knees are in line with your feet. Push back to the start through your heels. The test is over when you can’t maintain perfect form.
To improve Perform walking lunges with light dumb-bells to build muscular strength in your glutes and legs.
Reps                                        Level
50 or more                          Excellent
30–49                                    Good
16–29                                   Average
15 or fewer                         Poor
PRESS-UP
What it targets
Your chest, shoulder and triceps strength
How to do it
Keep your body in a straight line and your elbows pointing back, not to the side. Lower until your chest is a fist’s height off the floor, and then push back up. The test is over when you can’t maintain perfect form.
To improve
Complete a set to failure, rest for a few minutes and start again. This will overload the targeted muscles, making them grow stronger.
Reps                                       Level
50 or more                         Excellent
25–49                                  Good
16–24                                 Average
15 or fewer                         Poor

1KM RUN
What it targets
Your cardiovascular system

How to do it
Set the treadmill elevation to one degree. Keep a constant pace.
To improve
Do sets of all-out sprints of between 500m and 800m to improve your ability to maintain a maximum speed for longer.
Time                                         Level
3min or less                           Excellent
3min–3min 29sec                 Good
3min 30sec–4min 29sec Average
4min 30sec or more           Poor

500M ROW
What it targets
Your cardiovascular system and muscle co-ordination between the upper and lower body
How to do it
On a Concept2 rowing machine, select level ten resistances. Sit upright with your shoulders back and core braced. Drive with your legs.
To improve
Perform sets of max-?effort 250m rows, separated by a ?few minutes of gentle rowing, to improve your endurance.
Time                                                         Level
1min 30 sec or less                             Excellent
1min 31sec–1min 44sec                  Good
1min 45sec–1min 59sec                  Average
2min or more                                        Poor

 

PULL-UP
What it targets
Your upper back strength
How to do it
Grip the bar overhand, extend your arms fully and let your body hang. Pull up until your chin is over the bar, squeezing your lats. Lower again without swinging. The test is over when you can’t maintain perfect form.
To improve
Do a max set, rest for a few minutes and repeat. Try lat pull-downs on a machine to build back strength.
Reps                                                   Level
12 or more                                       Excellent
8–11                                                  Good
4–7                                                  Average
3 or fewer                                      Poor