Every fall and spring the 3rd and 4th graders complete several fitness tests. The fitness test scores are recorded and are used for various reasons. First, the test results can be used to help students gauge their current fitness level. Second, it gives the students a chance to improve their fitness throughout their educational careers. Providing students with opportunities and information about their current fitness levels and how to improve them is also a goal of fitness testing. There are five fitness test I give each fall and spring.
Curl-ups (or partial curl-ups)
This event measures abdominal strength and endurance.
Have student lie on cushioned, clean surface with knees flexed and feet about 12 inches from buttocks. Partner holds feet. Arms are crossed with hands placed on opposite shoulders and elbows held close to chest. Keeping this arm position, student raises the trunk curling up to touch elbows to thighs and then lowers the back to the floor so that the scapulas (shoulder blades) touch the floor, for one curl-up. To start, a timer calls out the signal "Ready? Go!" and begins timing student for one minute. The student stops on the word "stop."
Instruct helpers to count aloud the number of repetitions.
"Bouncing" off the floor is not permitted. The curl-up should be counted only if performed correctly.
This event measures speed, quickness and agility.
Shuttle run testing
Mark two parallel lines 30 feet apart and place two blocks of wood or similar object behind one of the lines. Students start behind opposite line. On the signal "Ready? Go!" the student runs to the blocks, picks one up, runs back to the starting line, places block behind the line, runs back and picks up the second block and runs back across starting line.
Shuttle run tip
Be sure the participants understand the importance of running through the finish line.
Shuttle run scoring
Blocks should not be thrown across the lines. Scores are recorded to the nearest tenth of a second.
This event measures heart/lung endurance.
Endurance run/walk testing
On a safe, one-mile distance, students begin running on the count "Ready? Go!" Walking may be interspersed with running. However, the students should be encouraged to cover the distance in as short a time as possible.
Endurance run/walk tip
Use a large enough running area so that no more than eight laps are necessary to complete a mile. Help participants learn proper pacing for the mile by having them run at the mile pace for short distances during warm-up time.
If you are not using a track that is measured in miles, then you will need to convert from that measurement into miles. Refer to the conversion chart below for converting to miles when using a 400 meter track or 440 yards.
Endurance run/walk scoring
Always review students' health status before administering this test. Give students ample instruction on how to pace themselves. Allow them to practice running this distance against time, as well as sufficient time for warming up and cooling down before and after the test. Times are recorded in minutes and seconds.
Alternative distances for younger children are 1/4 mile for 6-7 years old, and 1/2 mile for 8-9 years old. The same objective and testing procedure are used as with the mile run.
Conversion for Miles
On a 400 meter track
1 mile = 4 laps + 9 meters
3/4 mile = 3 laps + 6.75 meters
1/2 mile = 2 laps + 4.5 meters
1/4 mile = 1 lap + 2.25 meters
On a 440 yard track
1 mile = 4 laps
3/4 mile = 3 laps
1/2 mile = 2 laps
1/4 mile = 1 lap
Right angle push-ups testing
The student lies face down on the mat in push-up position with hands under shoulders, fingers straight, and legs straight, parallel, and slightly apart, with the toes supporting the feet. The student straightens the arms, keeping the back and knees straight, then lowers the body until there is a 90-degree angle at the elbows, with the upper arms parallel to the floor. A partner holds her / his hand at the point of the 90-degree angle so that the student being tested goes down only until her / his shoulder touches the partner's hand, then back up. The push-ups are done to a metronome (or audio tape, clapping, drums) with one complete push-up every three seconds, and are continued until the student can do no more in rhythm (has not done the last three in rhythm) or has reached the target number for the PPFA.
Right angle push-ups tip
As with the pull-up, spend as little time in the starting position beforehand in order to increase the number of repetitions. Any extra movement may also decrease the number of repetitions.
Right angle push-ups scoring
Record only those push-ups done with proper form and in rhythm.
Right angle push-ups rationale
The student's body weight has less effect on right angle push-ups than it does on pull-ups. This makes right angle push-ups a better indicator of the range of strength and endurance found in students, whereas many are unable to do any pull-ups. Pull-ups remain an option for students at higher levels of strength and endurance.
Sit and reach testing
A specially constructed box (see below) with a measuring scale marked in centimeters, with 23 centimeters at the level of the feet. Student removes shoes and sits on floor with knees fully extended, feet shoulder-width apart and soles of the feet held flat against the end of the box. With hands on top of each other, palms down, and legs held flat, student reaches along the measuring line as far as possible. After three practice reaches, the fourth reach is held while the distance is recorded.
Sit and reach tip
Participants are most flexible after a warm-up run. Best results may occur immediately after performing the endurance run.
Sit and reach rules
Legs must remain straight, soles of feet against box and fingertips of both hands should reach evenly along measuring line. Scores are recorded to the nearest centimeter.
The LINK below shows all of the qualifying standards needed for students to receive The Presidential Physical Fitness Award, The National Physical Fitness Award, and The Participant Physical Award. <back>