Fitness should be fun, I definitely believe in that. You don’t want to be doing things you hate and you don’t want to get too hung up on numbers. However, if you’re on a bit of a mission to improve your fitness, having a few benchmark numbers can help you gauge your progress over time. That’s where some basic fitness tests come into play.
Fitness tests don’t need to be scary. They’re not there as some kind of torture or punishment. Here are five pretty basic fitness tests for you to try. You don’t even have to do all of them. Think about which ones might be relevant to your goals.
Basic Fitness Test #1: Walk/Jog
You can do this one in one of two ways.
- Select 2 points at home – this could be each end of the hallway or driveway, two trees in the backyard – anything practical. Walk or jog between those two points for either 3 or 5 minutes. Record how many times you run between the two points in the allocated time.
- Select a route you’d like to walk regularly. It might be around the block, around the local park – any route you feel you can manage relatively comfortably. Record how long it takes to perform one lap.
The objective, when you repeat this test, is to either get between the two points more times in the same timeframe or perform your lap faster.
Basic Fitness Test #2: Push Ups
The first thing you need to do here is select your level for push ups – wall push ups, knee push ups or toe push ups. Start with a level that feels most comfortable for you. You want to challenge yourself but we certainly don’t want any injuries.
Set a timer for 30, 45 or 60 seconds. Perform as many push ups as you can in the timeframe you’ve decided upon. Record how many you get done.
The next time, try to do more (with good form) of the same type of push ups in the same time frame. Another way to see how you’re going is to try the next level of push ups in the same timeframe. See if you can equal or improve the number of repetitions.
Basic Fitness Test #3: Wall Sit
This is a static leg exercise and all you need is a solid wall to lean against.
- Position yourself against the wall with your back against the wall and your legs at 90 degrees, very much like you are sitting on a chair
- Set a timer and record how long you can remain in the sitting position for
The objective is to, over time, increase the duration of your wall sit.
Basic Fitness Test #4: Basic Crunch
- Lie on your back with knees bent, feet flat on the floor and hands on your thighs
- Set your timer for 30, 45 or 60 seconds
- Using your abdominal muscles, crunch up until your hands reach your knees
- Record how many repetitions you perform in the timeframe you have selected
When you repeat your test, the aim is to perform more repetitions in the same amount of time.
Tips for Crunches
If your neck is hurting try one or both of these little tricks to try to stop you engaging your neck muscles
- Select a spot above you on the ceiling and keep your eyes on that spot. It will stop you pulling your neck forward as you crunch up using your abdominals
- Try placing your tongue on the roof of your moth as you crunch up. This too, can help you avoid engaging your neck muscles
Basic Fitness Test #5: Plank
Much like with the push ups, the first thing to do with the plank exercise is to select your level – knees or toes. With this one, be ensure you are keeping your back straight and you are not dropping your hips.
Set a timer and record how long you can hold the position for.
When you repeat the test, your aim will be to hold the same position for a longer duration.
If you’ve got any questions at all about any of these tests or want to let us know how you did, stop by our Facebook page and send us a quick message. We’d love to hear from you!