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Holcomb Hathaway, Publishers

Chapter 3 Lab

Push-up Test of Upper-Body Muscular Endurance

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Watch demonstration video.


In this lab, you will learn the Push-up Test of Upper-Body Muscular Endurance.

Muscular endurance, an important component of physical fitness, describes the ability to perform repeated muscle actions. The ability to perform repeated muscle actions is specific to the muscle group involved. Thus, testing procedures are often designed to assess upper-body, lower-body, or abdominal muscular endurance. This particular test focuses on upper-body strength.


  • Floor mat


  1. Have the subject begin in the up position with arms fully extended and body straight. The hands should be pointed forward and approximately shoulder-width apart. Male subjects use the toes as the pivot point. Female subjects can assume the “modified knee push-up” position with the knees bent and touching the floor.
  2. The subject lowers his or her body until the chin touches the floor and then returns to the up position by straightening the elbows.
  3. A partner should count the number of push-ups performed correctly to exhaustion without stopping.
  4. Record the number of correctly performed push-ups, filling in the information below:
  • Gender:
  • Age:
  • Number of consecutive push-ups to exhaustion:
  • Classification1:


  1. To classify, use norms charts provided by your instructor or sites such as http://sportsmedicine.about.com/od/fitnessevalandassessment/a/PushUpTest.htm

Lab adapted from Housh, T., Cramer, J., Weir, J., Beck, T., & Johnson, G. (2009). Physical Fitness Laboratories on a Budget. (pp. 38-41). Scottsdale, AZ: Holcomb Hathaway, Publishers.