Measures abdominal muscular endurance.
Equipment: Exercise mat or padded surface, watch with a second hand.
Preparation: Warm up with easy movements such as walking in place.
Note: Full sit-ups with feet secured are done for the purpose of testing abdominal strength. To strengthen the abdominal muscles, crunches are the preferred exercise. When doing crunches, don't have your ankles held down and use your abdominal muscles to curl yourself up only until your shoulder blades lift off the floor.
- Lie on your back on a padded surface with your legs together, knees bent and heels flat on the floor, with fingers laced and held behind the head or hands cupped behind the ears.
- Have a partner hold your feet down firmly, or secure them under a bed or a bar.
- Contract your abdominal muscles and raise your upper body off the floor until your elbows touch your knees.
- Go back down until your shoulder blades touch the floor. This is one sit-up.
- Perform as many correct sit-ups as you can in one minute. Be sure to avoid pulling on your neck with your hands, and breathe as normally as possible. Any resting should be done in the "up" position.
Measures flexibility of the lower back and hamstrings.
Equipment: 12-inch box (or step), yardstick.
- Place a yardstick on the box (or step) so the 15-inch mark is flush with the edge of the box. Have someone hold the yardstick there or secure it with tape.
- Warm up with some easy movements and light stretching.
- Take off your shoes and sit with your feet placed squarely against the box, straddling the yardstick with one end closest to your groin. Keep the feet no wider than eight inches apart and toes pointed directly toward the ceiling.
- Place one hand on top of the other, with the tips of the middle fingers even, and lean forward slowly with your legs straight, reaching as far forward along the yardstick as you can. Don't bend your knees, and be sure to exhale as you lean forward.
- Hold the position for at least one second, being sure not to bounce, lunge or bob.
- Your score is the point at which your fingertips touch the yardstick at maximum reach, recorded to the nearest quarter of an inch.
- Perform the stretch three times and use the best of the three scores.
12-Minute Aerobic Test
Measures cardiovascular endurance.
Equipment: Comfortable walking shoes, watch with second hand, indoor or outdoor track.
- Do not eat a heavy meal or smoke for at least two hours before the test.
- Warm up for several minutes by walking at an easy pace, then stretch gently.
- Using the inside lane of the track, cover as much distance as possible in 12 minutes. You may walk, jog or run.
- Record the distance you covered. (Each completed lap is a quarter of a mile.)
- Cool down by walking at a comfortable pace for several minutes.
Now, find out how you did.
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