Fitness and strength tests. You probably have not had one since you were in weight lifting class in high school. Still, a strength test doesnâ€™t have to be conducted in a gym by a seasoned personal trainer, you can determine if you lack normal strength by seeing if you pass these everyday tests.
A strength test is important because it provides an indication of your susceptibility to injury. A healthy lifestyle also means one that is free of pain and these strength tests will help you determine if you should be hitting the gym more frequently.
See how you do.
The Gallon Milk Test
Can you carry a gallon of milk easily? Can you get it to the top shelf of your fridge without straining your biceps, wrists and back? Do you need two hands to do this?
A gallon of milk weighs about eight pounds and should be something that you can throw around with quite a bit of ease. Any limitations in lifting a gallon of milk may indicate that you lack strength in your shoulders, back, biceps, chest, core and even knees.
The Kick Test
Are you able to raise your foot as high as your hip when kicking?
This is a test of both flexibility and strength, and any lack of mobility here could mean you need to work on both. If you fail this exercise you should consider enrolling in a yoga class to help you open up your hips and build strength in the legs and core.
The Laundry and Stairs Test
Can you carry a full load of clothes â€“ 8 to 12 pounds â€“ up and down two flights of stairs without straining or needing rest?
If not, you may lack cardiovascular endurance as well as balance and leg strength. To increase your cardiovascular level and leg strength, try to walk up and down the stairs at home or at work as much as possible. If you work on the 10th floor for example, take the elevator to the 8th and walk the rest of the way. You can also hit the stair climber at the gym and use some of the leg equipment to boost your balance and strength.
The 30 Minute Walk
Can you walk at a brisk pace for 30 minutes without getting tired?
Walking is one of the most basic of all exercises, and just 30 minutes per day can help you increase your cardiovascular levels. If you struggle to walk 30 minutes the fix is simple; just start walking every day and enjoy the physical and mental benefits this simple exercise will afford you. It helps to maintain weight, boosts your mood, can lower blood sugar and blood pressure, reduce your risk for cardiovascular disease and more!
The Toe Nail Clipper Test
Are you able to stand up while clipping your toenails without experiencing any discomfort from the stretch? Itâ€™s obvious that you have some flexibility issues if you canâ€™t bend over and grab your toes with lots of discomfort but this strength test may also indicate a potential risk for arthritis and osteoporosis.
The Dance Test
Can you dance for at least 10 minutes to a moderate beat without getting tired?
Dancing is a fun form of exercise that helps to build cardiovascular and mental health. However, not being able to dance for 10 minutes straight might mean you lack cardiovascular health.
If you enjoy dancing and want to improve your cardiovascular strength as well as flexibility, check out a dance group fitness class such as Zumba. This class will help you learn to move those hips, increase your mobility, and even combines a social element that makes you enjoy coming back each session for more.
How Many Did You Pass?
If you are unable to pass any of these basic strength tests consider implementing some exercises that focus on cardiovascular ability, strength and endurance and flexibility. If you are over the age of 45 and struggle with any of these exercises, consider how you can improve your ability to increase your strength by mixing in some of the aforementioned exercises into your weekly routine.