June 16

3 Easy Ways to Assess Your Fitness Level at Home


3 Easy Ways to Assess Your Fitness Level at Home

In this article, you are about to find out how to assess fitness level at home and it can be done easily. Assessing fitness levels is crucial before starting a new fitness program.

If making measurable progress is important or motivating to you, fitness tests can be a great way to keep track of where you are, celebrate how far you’ve come, or give you a reason to keep putting in the effort. Not to mention, a fitness test can be a challenging workout in itself or a way to spice up your usual routine.

First and foremost, it is recommended that you warm-up prior to stretching as the very first fitness assessment assesses flexibility. When assessing fitness level, you will want to make sure that your body is prepared for each fitness assessment. Additionally, measuring your body mass index (BMI) can help you understand your body fat percentage and overall health.

What is a Fitness Assessment?

A fitness assessment is simply just a way for your personal trainer to evaluate your base level of fitness. Every personal trainer will measure different things, but a good rule of thumb to follow is your height, weight, resting blood pressure, heart rate, body composition, upper body strength, endurance levels, flexibility and cardiovascular fitness.

Because there are several components of fitness - such as cardiovascular endurance, muscular strength, muscular endurance, flexibility and body composition - there isn’t one single fitness test, so it pays to think about what you want to improve and choose the test that best matches your focus area. Lifting heavy weights, such as during 1RM testing with squats, deadlifts, and bench presses, is a common method to test muscular strength. After all, it wouldn’t make sense to measure your heaviest squat if you’re working on building your cardio endurance.

Warm-Up to Assess Fitness Level

You can go on a mild jog outside, or run in place in your home, or even do jumping jacks to help improve cardio fitness and get the body heated up.

Heart health metrics To better track your fitness, it helps to first define what that word means to you. From a physiology perspective, fitness could be defined as “how well your heart, lungs, cardiovascular system delivers and uses oxygen,” Dr. Stoner said. The easiest way to assess that is with your heart rate. Most smartwatches on the market measure heart rate relatively reliably.

This is why you see me recommending a heart rate monitor throughout my health & fitness articles. While exercising, you need to focus on good form. This is not about heavy weights today. It’s about flexibility, mobility, balance, stability, and good core strength.

Physical fitness is key to a long life and good health. Your body’s capacity to transport and use oxygen during exercise (VO2 max) is the most precise measure of overall cardiovascular fitness.

This is important, don’t stretch the muscles cold. That can actually hurt your muscles without warming up. Even a good conditioning workout can aid in warming up your body.

Be sure to get in some type of physical activity prior to assess fitness level. This is to make sure you get the most out of each fitness assessment.

Sit-and-Reach Test 

Remember to warm-up, once you feel that you have got the lower body nice and warmed-up, it's time to assess fitness level:

  • Remove your shoes and sit with knees extended. Use a box, yard stick, or tape measure for results. 

  • Place measuring device so that the feet are at the 15" marker. For example, the yard stick would lie on the floor between the legs with the feet in line with the 15" marker. Those who cannot tough their toes will have a reading under 15 and those who can reach beyond their toes will have a score above 15. 

  • Place hands on top of each other with fingers straight. Exhale slowly and reach out as far as possible on the box or tape measure. 

  • Repeat test two more times holding position for at least 2-3 seconds. 

  • Take the best score out of the three attempts and write that down. 

You'll find that this improves flexibility just taking this fitness assessment. That's a side benefit of assess fitness level in terms of flexibility.

Leg Swings to Assess Mobility

For this assessment, all you need to do to assess fitness level is swing the legs back and forth. Core muscles play a crucial role in maintaining balance and stability during leg swings.

This is a bonus fitness assessment, it’s recommended that you don’t use a wall so you know how good your balance is.

Without good mobility, you’ll likely find that it’s hard to keep balance, and without good balance you’ll find that your joints aren’t mobile.

Mobility defined is a range of exercises designed to increase and improve range of motion.

This particular way to assess fitness level is designed to see how good your balance and range of motion is in terms of staying still during the leg swings.

How to Assess Mobility and Balance with Leg Swings

Here’s how to do this fitness assessment:

  • Swing the right leg for 30 seconds

  • Swing the left leg for 30 seconds

You’ll find that you will figure out quickly how mobile and stable your lower body is from assessing your fitness level.

All of you who have came across this article, understand that one of the trainers who’ve inspired me to become one, Tony Horton of P90X2…

He has a workout called Recovery and Mobility, and he knows the benefits of leg swings. This is important to assess mobility. So start doing leg swings and do them OFTEN.

Overhead Squat

The overhead squat assessment is utilized to see your basic movement control, mobility, and muscular strength. In order to squat properly (basically sitting and standing without external support) there must be sufficient level of balance, flexibility, stability, and mobility.

Here’s how to perform the overhead squat:

  • Hold a towel above the head with arms straight.

  • Stand with feet hip-width apart with toes pointing straight forward.

  • Squat as low as possible in a 2-0-2 tempo (two seconds down, no pause at either end range, and 2 seconds up)

  • Keep both feet completely on ground throughout squat movement.

  • Perform at least 3 to 5 squats or more.

  • Make note of any abnormalities from anatomical neutral for the head/neck, shoulders, shoulder blades, middle and lower spine. You can use a mirror for this.

The primary intent of the overhead squat test is to observe overall range of motion, balance, and movement/postural control (mobility/stability).

Push-Up Assessment

The pushup test is to be utilized to determine basic upper body push strength, control and stability. Push-ups are also a good test for muscular endurance, measuring how long muscles can continue to work without fatiguing.

Always Ask a healthcare professional or fitness professional for guidance if you need advice. Especially if you don't know how to do push-ups. There are many benefits to performing the pushup test.

Benefits of Push-Up Assessment

Push-ups are a fantastic bodyweight exercise that offer a wide range of benefits for your overall health and fitness. Here are some of the key benefits of incorporating push-ups into your workout routine:

Strengthens Upper Body Muscles: Push-ups primarily target the muscles in the chest, shoulders, and triceps. They also engage the muscles in the core, back, and legs to a lesser extent. Regularly performing push-ups can help you build strength in these muscle groups.

Improves Core Stability: Push-ups require you to engage your core muscles to maintain proper form throughout the exercise. This helps improve core stability and can contribute to better posture and balance.

How to Assess Upper Body Strength

Here’s how to assess fitness level for upper body strength:

  • Perform the push-up movement (horizontal adduction with elbow extension) while standing. Use a wall, this is to ensure the proper movement pattern.
  • Get on the floor. Position hands so that both wrists are out from and level with the chest (not shoulders) and so that both hands point forward in the same direction with elbows directly above wrists.
  • Keep fingers spread wide apart with just enough space under palms for a pencil to fit or slide under the hands (as if trying to screw the hands into position into the ground).
  • Start with the chest off the ground and shoulders just below level of elbows then push-up until the elbows are not quite fully extended.
  • Maintain neutral spine throughout the entire push-up.

This assessment should take no longer than 2 to 3 minutes. You are not expected to get the 2-0-2 tempo push-ups. If you can, awesome, you have amazing upper body strength and core control.

The Takeaway: Assess Body Composition

These are all easy fitness assessments you can do anywhere, anytime, and it assesses upper body strength, lower body control and mobility, more importantly, there are two more assessments you can do easily!

Find some space in your home, open up at least a half hour in your schedule, and you can do each fitness assessment. These fitness assessments can help track fitness progress over time.

The takeaway is all of these fitness assessments can and will aid you in seeing where you are at in terms of mobility, flexibility, balance, strength, and upper body control.

Each of these fitness assessments can be done at home, a gym is not at all required. Just make sure to warm-up prior to performing each fitness assessment.

Feel comfortable to comment below any takeaways and how this has helped you assess your fitness level.

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