Want to see if you're "in shape?" Meaghan B. Murphy, deputy editor, SELF magazine, joined Kelly and Michael to test their fitness and now, we're offering you all the rules to test yours. To learn more about the Presidential Youth Fitness Program, visit this website. To take the Fitnessgram test, visit this website.
Did you take the test? Calculate your results here.
The test includes a 1.5 mile run, half-sit-ups, push-ups, the sit-and-reach test and then offers you directions to test your Body Mass Index (BMI).
1.5- MILE RUN
Aerobic fitness is a measure of how much oxygen your body uses during exercise or physical work. The score is your maximal oxygen uptake and the higher the value, the better your aerobic fitness.
For this test you must run all out for 1.5 miles and record your time. Keep in mind that you need to pace yourself for the full 1.5 miles. We recommend that you take this test with a partner who can record your time and count laps. You may also want to keep track of your time using your own watch as a back up.
This test can be performed on a treadmill. When running on the treadmill, be sure to let your arms swing freely at your sides (do not hold on to the handrails). Keep the incline of the treadmill level (at zero). You or your partner needs to record the time on the treadmill when you complete 1.5 miles at your testing speed (keep in mind it takes a few seconds to increase the speed of the treadmill).
HALF SIT UPS
The half sit-up test is mainly an indicator of your abdominal muscular strength and endurance. However, you also use other muscle groups while performing the test. Scoring in the “below average” to “very poor” category shows that your muscular strength and endurance may be low and needs to improve. Low abdominal muscular strength and endurance may lead to muscle fatigue and may lead to back injury.
What you will need:
*Mat or rug
*Stopwatch or watch with a second hand
*Four strips of tape to place 3.5 inches apart on mat or rug to provide start and end position for the curl-up
*Prepare the mat or rug with the tape strips as shown in the picture. You need to be able to feel the tape as your fingers move across the mat or rug from the starting and ending positions. We recommend that you do the test with a partner.
1. Lie face-up on mat or rug with knees at a right angle (that is, 90º) and feet flat on the ground. The feet are not held down.
2. Place hands palms facing down on the mat or rug with the fingers touching the first piece of tape.
3. Flatten your lower back to the mat or rug, and half sit-up so that your fingers move from the first piece of tape to the second. Then return your shoulders to the mat or rug and repeat the movement as described. Your head does not have to touch the surface. Keep your lower back flat on the mat or rug during the movements – if you arch your back, it can cause injury.
4.Your partner will count the number of half sit-ups performed in one minute. Pace yourself so you can do half sit-ups for one minute.
5. Record your results.
The push-up test score is an indicator of your upper-body and shoulder muscular strength and endurance. Scoring in the “below average” or “poor” category shows that your muscular strength and endurance may be low and needs to improve. Poor upper-body and shoulder muscular strength and endurance may lead to shoulder pain. Remember, better strength and endurance make everyday activities easier to do.
*Males start in the standard push-up position (elevated). Hands should be shoulder width apart, arms extended straight out under the shoulders, back and legs in a straight line, and toes curled under.
*Females do a modified push-up with knees bent and touching the floor. Starting in the up position, hands should be slightly ahead of the shoulders so hands are in the proper position for the downward motion.
1. Lower until the chest is about 2 inches from the floor and rise up again.
2. Perform the test until you cannot complete any more push-ups while keeping your back straight and, if you are a male, keeping the legs straight as well. The key to completing the test properly is to maintain a rigid position and keep the back flat. If necessary, you can take a brief rest in the up position (not lying on the floor).
3. Record your results.
*Normative data for the push-up and modified push-up are based on a population that is 20 years of age and older.
THE SIT-AND-REACH TEST
This test, while not perfect, provides some information about the hamstring muscle group. The more the hamstrings allow one to reach forward, the less it restricts movement of the pelvis.
The test score gives you an idea of how flexible you are for this particular task. Having a low score indicates that more work is needed to improve the ability of the hamstring muscle group to stretch when you do the sit-and-reach movement.
What you will need:
*Tape measure or yardstick and tape and a partner to help record score.
1. Perform a series of static stretches. These stretches should focus on stretching the trunk and legs. Following the stretches, you may also want to do some brisk walking.
2. Place a yardstick on the floor and put a long piece of masking tape over the 15 inch mark at a right angle to the yardstick.
3. Remove your shoes and sit on the floor with the yardstick between the legs (0 mark close to your crotch), with your feet about 12 inches apart. Heels should be at the 14 inch mark at the start of the stretch to account for the fact that the legs tend to move forward when performing the stretch.
4. With the fingertips in contact with the yardstick, slowly stretch forward with both hands as far as possible noting where the fingertips are to the closest inch. Exhaling when you stretch forward and dropping the head may allow you to stretch a bit further. Do not use fast and sudden motions, which can injure your hamstring muscles.
5. Perform the stretch three times with a few seconds of rest between stretches.
6. Record the best measurement.
Body Mass Index (BMI): BMI is a number that is based on a person's weight and height. It can be used to identify people at risk for some health problems. 1 Higher BMI values indicate greater weight per unit of height.
BMI is related to the risk of disease and death. The score is valid for both men and women, but it does have some limitations:
*It may overestimate body fat in athletes and others who have a muscular build;
*It may underestimate body fat in older persons and others who have lost muscle mass.
What you will need:
*Tape measure of piece of string
1. With shoes off, measure your weight on a scale.
2. Record this measurement.
1. With shoes off, stand with your back to the wall, heels close together and as close as
possible to the wall.
2. Have your partner place the yardstick on top of your head such that it touches the wall
and is parallel to the floor. Partner makes a small mark on the wall under the yardstick.
3. Measure the distance from the floor to the mark (in feet and inches).
4. Record this measurement.
Waist Circumference can serve as another indicator for some health risks for individuals who may have a BMI classification of normal or overweight (a BMI score between 18.5 and 29.9). A high waist circumference is associated with an increased risk for type 2 diabetes, elevated blood lipids (fats like cholesterol and triglycerides), hypertension, and cardiovascular disease in patients with a BMI between 25 and 34.9. 2 Recording changes over time in waist circumference is important since it can change even when body weight remains the same.
1. Stand upright and have your partner wrap the tape measure or a piece of string around
your bare abdomen just above the hip bones (see diagram). Pull the string or
tape measure so it’s snug, but not compressing the skin. Keep the tape level.
2. Your partner holds thumb and finger on the measuring tape or string where the two
ends meet. If you use a piece of string, have a yard stick or other measuring device handy
so you can measure the string.
3. Record this measurement (in inches).
To find your BMI, use this chart.