It doesn’t matter if it’s the beginning of the year or the start of Summer. If you’re ready to start exercising, there’s no better time to start than right now.
Before you jump on the treadmill or under the barbell, it’s important to determine your current fitness level. Here are 4 quick and easy fitness tests that you can give yourself to determine where you need to start.
- The Squat Test
Let’s start out with one of the most important fitness tests out there.
You may know how important the squat is as an exercise but it can also pinpoint your trouble areas. Have a partner watch your form from the front and side. Have them take the following notes:
Do your knees extend FAR past your toes?
- If yes, then you need to focus on stretching out the calves, hamstrings, and glutes.
- You will also need to focus on glute exercises outside the squat. The Donkey Kick is an excellent choice for glutes.
Do your knees collapse inward?
- If yes, then you need to incorporate a few exercises for your hip adductors and hip abductors (inner and outer thigh muscles).
Can you reach parallel without lifting the heels or swaying?
- If you can’t then you need to strengthen up the hamstrings and glutes. Romanian Deadlifts and Hip Thrusts are excellent choices.
- The Push-up Test
While the push-up test will determine your strength level, it will also highlight trouble areas with form. Again, have a friend take notes.
Can you perform a push-up without your hips dropping?
- If not, you need to focus on a total core workout. Abdominals, obliques, lower back, and the glutes need some attention.
Do your elbows flare out?
- If so, this is an issue of form. Start with knee push-ups and focus on controlling the range of motion in your elbows. Don’t let them flare out of control.
- The Pull-Up Test
It’s okay if you need to use the weighted pull-up machine for this test. Have a friend pay close attention to form and take notes.
When you pull yourself up, where do you feel it?
- If you feel it primarily in your biceps (arms) then you need a form check. The movement comes from the lats. Imagine your back literally pulling you up. Your arms are just there to hold you in place. Yes, you’ll feel it slightly in your arms but a pull-up should primarily be felt in the back.
Can you control your bodyweight? Are you able to slowly lower yourself AND slowly pull yourself up?
- If you can’t then you may need to put your ego in check. Start out with the weighted pull-up machine. It counterbalances your own bodyweight. Practice your form here and perform slow moving pull-ups until you’re able to do the same without assistance.
- The Endurance Test
How you perform here will determine what type of cardio work you should be doing. Perform the following workout. Take no breaks until you complete every set for each exercise.
Bodyweight Squat: 20
Jumping Lunges: 15
Mountain Climbers: 30
How do you feel?
- If you weren’t even able to complete the workout then your cardio work needs to stick with the basics. Jogging, cycling, and power walking are great options.
- If you were able to crush it, then stick with High Intensity Interval Training for your cardio needs.
- If you were somewhere in the middle, switch it up between intermediate cardio options like running and hardcore options like H.I.I.T.
Tell Us What You Think!
Have you completed any of the tests above?
How did you do?
Let us know your results in the comments section below!
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