The President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports recommends that children 10 to 17 take this Youth Fitness Test to get a picture of their overall fitness. Created by the American Alliance for Health, Physicial Education, Recreation and Dance, it consists of six tests designed to measure various components of a youngster's fitness. It is the only fitness test for which national norms have been developed, and is the basis for the Presidential Physical Fitness Award.
The test items and the physical components they measure are:
1. Pull-ups (boys). Arm and shoulder girdle strength.
*Flexed arm hang (girls). Arm and shoulder girdle strength.
2. Sit-ups. Abdominal and hip flexor strength.
3. Shuttle run. Speed and change of direction.
4. Standing broad jump. Explosive power of leg extensor muscles.
5. 50-yard dash. Speed.
6. 600-yard run-walk. Cardiovascular endurance.
Most can be performed in the backyard or at a park or playground. Pull-Ups (Boys)
Equipment: A bar, of sufficient height, comfortable to grip.
Starting Position: Grasp the bar with palms facing forward; hang with arms and legs fully extended. Feet must not touch the floor.
1. Pull body up with the arms until the chin is over the bar.
2. Lower body until the elbows are fully extended.
3. Repeat as many times as possible.
Rules: The pull must not be a snap movement. Knees must not be raised, and kicking is not allowed. The body must not swing. One complete pull-up is counted each time the chin goes over the bar. Flexed Arm Hang (Girls)
Equipment: A sturdy bar, comfortable to grip and adjustable in height (height of bar should be approximately the same as the person being tested), and a stopwatch.
Starting Position: Using an overhand grip, hang with chin above bar and elbows flexed. Legs must be straight and feet not touching the floor.
Action: Hold position as long as possible.
Rules: Timing should start as soon as the youngster is in position and released from any support. Timing should stop when the chin touches or drops below the bar. Knees must not be raised, and kicking is not permitted. Sit-Ups
Equipment: None. However, a mat or other soft surface, such as grass, is preferred.
Starting Position: Lie on back with knees flexed, feet about one foot apart. The hands, with fingers laced, should be behind the head. A partner holds the ankles down.
1. Sit up and turn the trunk to the left, touching right elbow to left knee.
2. Return to starting position.
3. Sit up and turn trunk to the right, touching left elbow to right knee.
4. Return to starting position. Repeat as many times as possible. One complete sit-up is counted each time the youngster returns to the starting position. Shuttle Run
Equipment: Two blocks of wood, two by two by four inches (blackboard erasers may be used) and a stopwatch. Mark two parallel lines 30 feet apart. Place the blocks of wood behind one of the lines.
Starting Position: Stand behind the line opposite the blocks ready to run.
Action: On the signal "Ready -- Go!" run to the blocks, pick up one, return and place it behind the starting line.(Do not throw or drop it.) Then run and pick up the second block and carry it back across the starting line.
Rules: Allow two trials. Disqualify any trial in which a block is dropped or thrown. Record the better of the two trials in seconds to the nearest 10th. Standing Broad Jump
Equipment: Any level surface and a tape measure.
Starting Position: Stand with the feet comfortably apart, toes just behind the takeoff line. Before jumping, flex knees and swing arms backward and forward in a rhythmic motion.
Action: Jump, swinging arms forcefully forward and upward, taking off from the balls of the feet.
Rules: Allow three trials. Measure from the takeoff line to the heel or any part of body that touches the surface nearest the takeoff line. Record the best of three trials in feet and inches to the nearest inch.
Note: It may be convenient to attach the tape measure to the ground at a right angle to the takeoff line and have the youngster jump along the tape. The scorer stands to the side with a stick, touches the stick to the point where the youngster lands, and observes the mark to the nearest inch. 50-Yard Dash
Starting Position. Stand behind the starting line. The starter takes a position at the finish line with a stopwatch and raises one hand in preparation for giving the starting signal.
Action. Start running when the starter brings his hand down quickly and hits his thigh. The watch is stopped when the runner crosses the finish line.
Rules: Record the time in seconds to the nearest 10th.
Options: Ages 10 to 12, one-mile or nine-minute run; age 13 or older, 1 1/2-mile or 12-minute run. 600-Yard Run-Walk
Equipment. Stopwatch, and running area with designated starting and finish lines. 600 yards is approximately one and a half laps around a football field.
Starting Position. Stand behind starting line.
Action. On the signal "Ready -- Go!" start running the 600-yard distance (walking only if necessary).
Rules: Walking is permitted, but the object is to cover the distance in the shortest possible time. Record the time in minutes and seconds. The course should be on level ground.