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Gender differences and reliability of selected physical performance tests in young women and men

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Although push-ups and sit-ups are among the most commonly used body-weight exercises to improve and assess strength and fitness, there is a lack of reproducible test protocols in the scientific literature. The aim of this study was to evaluate the test–retest reliability of sit-ups and push-ups and to determine performance differences in muscular endurance (maximal number of repetitions) and power (timed, maximal number of repetitions in 30 s) in young women and men. Thirty-eight women and 25 men, 18–35 years of age, participated in the study. Thirteen women participants performed two test sessions of each test using a test–retest design. A high reliability was noted for both the sit-up and the push-ups tests (intraclass correlation values ranged from 0.92 to 0.95). There were no significant differences between the men and the women in the mean number of sit-ups (42 and 41 repetitions respectively for endurance and 16 and 14 repetitions respectively for power), whereas the men performed significantly more push-ups than the women (39 and 17 repetitions respectively for endurance and 29 and 13 repetitions respectively for power). In conclusion, sit-ups and push-ups are tests with high reliability, which are easy to perform and may therefore be recommended for clinical use to evaluate muscular endurance and power in young men and women. Moreover, the fact that men performed twice as many push-ups as women indicates that, when designing training programme for women, attention should be turned towards strengthening exercises of the upper body.
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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Gender differences and reliability of selected physical performance
tests in young women and men
SOFIA RYMAN AUGUSTSSON
1,2
, ELLEN BERSA
˚S
1
, ELIN MAGNUSSON THOMAS
1,2
,
MARGARETA SAHLBERG
3
, JESPER AUGUSTSSON
2
& ULLA SVANTESSON
1,2
1
Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology/Physiotherapy,
2
Institute of Clinical Sciences, Department of Orthopaedics,
3
Institute
of Clinical Sciences, Department of Pediatrics, Sahlgrenska Academy at Go
¨teborg University, Go
¨teborg, Sweden
Abstract
Although push-ups and sit-ups are among the most commonly used body-weight exercises to improve and assess strength
and fitness, there is a lack of reproducible test protocols in the scientific literature. The aim of this study was to evaluate the
testretest reliability of sit-ups and push-ups and to determine performance differences in muscular endurance (maximal
number of repetitions) and power (timed, maximal number of repetitions in 30 s) in young women and men. Thirty-eight
women and 25 men, 1835 years of age, participated in the study. Thirteen women participants performed two test sessions
of each test using a testretest design. A high reliability was noted for both the sit-up and the push-ups tests (intraclass
correlation values ranged from 0.92 to 0.95). There were no significant differences between the men and the women in the
mean number of sit-ups (42 and 41 repetitions respectively for endurance and 16 and 14 repetitions respectively for power),
whereas the men performed significantly more push-ups than the women (39 and 17 repetitions respectively for endurance
and 29 and 13 repetitions respectively for power). In conclusion, sit-ups and push-ups are tests with high reliability, which
are easy to perform and may therefore be recommended for clinical use to evaluate muscular endurance and power in young
men and women. Moreover, the fact that men performed twice as many push-ups as women indicates that, when designing
training programme for women, attention should be turned towards strengthening exercises of the upper body.
Key words: Endurance, functional test, power, push-ups, reliability, sit-ups
Introduction
When it comes to physical training and exercise,
push-ups and sit-ups are among the most frequently
used body-weight exercises to increase strength and
fitness. They are thought to be convenient and easily
learned, require no equipment and are adaptable to
different fitness levels. In sports, sit-ups and push-
ups are used to improve both muscular power and
muscular endurance. They are also used to evaluate
the effect of training, the eventual risk for injury and
to predict and specify talent (1,2). Moreover, sit-ups
and push-ups are used clinically as tests and
exercises in rehabilitation to increase upper-body
strength and to evaluate the effect of treatment
(1,3,4). Physically demanding professions, such as
fire fighters, military and police, also use sit-ups and
push-ups as work-assessment tools (5), for example,
when recruiting new personal, to evaluate physical
performance, to measure the effect of training and
the risk of injury (611). Additionally, sit-ups and
push-ups are used to evaluate both muscular en-
durance as in maximal number and power as in
timed tests (11,12). Taken together, functional tests
such as push-ups and sit-ups are common practice in
the evaluation of different aspects of physical per-
formance, which is an important target of physical
therapy practise (7,13). However, although sit-ups
and push-ups are frequently used, the evidence of
reliability for these tests is limited.
Several physical fitness test batteries that includes
either the push-up or the sit-ups tests, e.g. the
Eurofit test battery (14), the American College of
Sports Medicine’s (ACSM) guidelines for exercising
(15) and the Canadian Physical Activity, Fitness &
Correspondence: Sofia Ryman Augustsson, Lundberg Laborator y for Orthopaedic Research, Department of Or thopaedics, Sahlgrenska University Hospital,
S-413 45 Go
¨teborg, Sweden. E-mail:sofia.augustsson@orthop.gu.se
Advances in Physiotherapy. 2009; 11: 6470
(Received 28 August 2007; accepted 30 January 2008)
ISSN 1403-8196 print/ISSN 1651-1948 online #2009 Informa UK Ltd.
DOI: 10.1080/14038190801999679
Downloaded By: [Goteborgs University] At: 21:46 22 July 2009
Lifestyle Approach Protocol (CPAFLA) (16) have
been developed and used globally through the years.
When it comes to the Eurofit test battery, research
has been limited to children and the reliability of
Eurofit’s tests when applied to other sample popu-
lations is limited. One study has been performed on
university students to provide testretest reliability
of the Eurofit test battery (17). However, no test
retest for push-ups and for the maximal number of
sit-ups was performed. Furthermore, protocols for
the sit-ups and push-ups tests in the above men-
tioned physical fitness test batteries are different
from each other, making comparisons difficult. In
the Eurofit test battery, for example, the sit-ups are
measured in 30 s (14), whereas sit-ups are done for
1 min in the ACSM protocol (15). The push-ups
and the sit-ups tests in the protocol by the CPAFLA
on the other hand are performed with no time limits
(16). Also, as opposed to the CPAFLA protocol, in
the ACSM push-ups test, women do not perform
push-ups on their hands and feet. Instead, the
women perform a modified push-up on their hands
and knees (15). Thus, using the ACSM push-ups
test, it is not possible to compare men and women
in terms of physical fitness. Furthermore, according
to the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology
(CSEP), the reliability is assured, but only if the
person administering the tests adheres to the
measurement procedures and tolerances specified
in the CPAFLA and trained by the CSEP (16).
Consequently, the tests might not be reliable if
the tests are supervised by someone other than a
CSEP instructor. Although both the CPAFLA and
the ACSM guarantee the reliability of their test
manuals, no peer-reviewed testretest reliability
study published in a scientific journal has been
performed. Taken together, the reliability of sit-ups
and push-ups is not well established considering
their global use.
It is commonly accepted that there are physiolo-
gical variations between men and women. When the
general population is investigated, men appear to
have an advantage over women in terms of muscular
endurance and strength (8,18). It has previously
been observed that abdominal muscle strength for
women is 7580% compared with men’s, and that
women’s upper-body strength is 55% of men’s
(19,20). These differences in muscle physiology
have been reported to contribute to the differences
seen in gender distribution of sports injuries as well
as work-related injuries (2123). It might therefore
be of importance to investigate strength and mus-
cular endurance in women and men in order to
optimize preventive actions and rehabilitation pro-
grammes. The gender differences reported in earlier
studies have generally been measured using isoki-
netic dynamometers, whereas studies that examine
differences between men and women with regard to
more functional tests such as push-ups and sit-ups
are limited (19,20). Furthermore, on one hand, an
association between decreased physical activity level
and decreased physical performance in young adults
and adolescents has been reported in recent years
(24,25), which supports a continued need for
monitoring physical performance in this population.
On the other hand, in recent years physical fitness
systems and activities have emerged, making people
more physically active (e.g. the Les Mills
TM
Group
Fitness System) (26). Programmes such as Body
Pump
TM
, which is a barbell class workout, have
become popular among women in particular (26). It
is possible that these recent forms of resistance
training that specifically target young women could
contribute to a change in gender differences when it
comes to strength and fitness. Therefore, because of
changes in physical activity patterns among young
women and men it is important to continually
examine gender differences.
The aim of this study was to evaluate the reliability
of the functional tests sit-ups and push-ups, and to
determine performance differences between genders
in young women and men.
Materials and methods
Subjects
University students, from both practical (28/63) and
theoretical programmes (35/63), were asked to
participate in the study. Twenty-five men and 38
women between 18 and 35 years of age participated
in the study. Subjects with illness or injury of the
musculoskeletal system during the past 2 months,
which were thought possibly to affect the test results,
were excluded. Elite athletes (individuals training/
competing at a high level) were also excluded. The
participants’ age, height, weight and physical activity
level were documented, as shown in Table I. The
study was approved by the Ethics Committee at
Go
¨teborg University, Sweden, and written informed
consent was given by each participant.
Table I. Subject characteristics (n63).
Men (n25) Women (n38)
Age 23 (93) 23 (92)
Height (cm) 181 (97) 168 (96)
Weight (kg) 77 (910) 62 (96)
Physical activity level 5 (18) 5 (18)
Mean and standard deviation are given except for physical activity
level where median and range is reported.
Gender differences and reliability of selected physical performance tests 65
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Assessment instruments and procedure
Two different tests, sit-ups and push-ups, were used
to assess the participants’ physical performance.
The sit-ups test was a modification of the Eurofit
test battery manual and the push-ups test a mod-
ification of the American College of Sports Medi-
cine’s (ACSM) guidelines for exercising, tests and
prescription (14,15). Each test session was standar-
dized and began with a warm-up, which consisted of
5 min of ergometer cycling at 100 W of resistance,
and 20 submaximal standing push-ups against a
wall. The sit-ups and push-ups tests were performed
in the same order for all participants. The partici-
pants were given 4 min rest between the different
tests to maximize recovery and to avoid fatigue (20).
Each participant estimated his/her level of physical
activity over the past month using a scale from 1 to
8, where 1 represented no exercise and 8 repre-
sented competitive training six to seven times a
week. The physical activity scale was constructed by
the authors (SA, EB) and has not been tested for
reliability or validity. Thirteen women performed
the tests on two separate occasions within 1 week to
evaluate the reliability of the push-up and sit-ups
tests.
Sit-ups
Starting position. The participant was sitting on the
floor with the knees in 908of flexion and the feet
placed 10 cm apart on the floor. The hands were
clasped behind the neck and the elbows placed
against the knees. The test examiner knelt in front
of the participant, pushing the participant’s feet
lightly against the mat. The sit-ups were performed
on a rubber mat and the participants wore shoes
during the test (Figure 1a).
Procedure. The participants lowered their upper
body until the scapula came in contact with the
mat. The participant’s head was not permitted to
touch the mat (Figure 1b). The participant then
reversed the motion by curling back up to the
starting position. For muscular endurance, the
participant performed as many repetitions as possi-
ble using maximum speed throughout the test. The
test was stopped if two consecutive repetitions were
unsuccessful or if the participant was unable to
continue. An unsuccessful repetition was regarded as
one that deviated from the standard procedure. The
maximum number of sit-ups was documented to
evaluate muscular endurance. To investigate power,
30-s timed sit-ups were also documented.
Push-ups
Starting position. The participant was in a prone
position on toes and hands. The hands were placed
shoulder-width apart with the fingers pointing for-
ward. The elbows were held in full extension and the
feet were placed 10 cm apart. The push-ups were
performed on a rubber mat and the participants
wore shoes during the test (Figure 1c).
Procedure. In a continuous motion, the torso was
lowered by bending the elbow joints to 908of flexion
(Figure 1d). Keeping the midsection tight and the
head held in neutral position, the participant there-
after pressed him/herself back up to full elbow
extension. For muscular endurance, the participant
performed as many repetitions as possible using
maximum speed throughout the test. The test was
stopped if two consecutive repetitions were unsuc-
cessful or if the participant was unable to continue.
An unsuccessful repetition was regarded as one,
which deviated from the standard procedure. The
maximum number of push-ups was documented to
evaluate muscular endurance. To investigate power,
30-s timed push-ups were also documented.
Statistical method
Independent-samples t-tests were used to compare
men and women with regard to the number of sit-
ups and push-ups. The meaningfulness of the group
differences was determined by calculating eta-
squared (h
2
). Intraclass correlation coefficient
(ICC
2,2
) was used for analyses of the testretest
reliability and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were
calculated. Differences between the number of
repetitions of sit-ups and push-ups performed at
testretest were computed using paired-samples t-
tests. The level of significance was set at pB0.05.
Results
Testretest for sit-ups
The ICC
2,2
value for the maximal number of sit-ups
was 0.92 with a 95% CI of 0.730.98. The ICC
2,2
value of 30-s timed sit-ups was 0.93 with a 95% CI
of 0.770.98. The mean number (9SD) of maximal
sit-ups for the 13 participants was 48 (925) on
the first occasion and 53 (938) on the second
occasion, with no significant difference between test
and retest (p0.295). The mean number of 30-s
timed sit-ups for the 13 participants was 14
(94) on the first occasion and 13 (93) on the
second occasion, with no significant difference
between test and retest (p0.085).
66 S. Ryman Augustsson et al.
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Testretest for push-ups
The ICC
2,2
value for push-ups was 0.95 with a 95%
CI of 0.850.99. The ICC
2,2
value of the 30-s timed
push-ups was 0.93 with a 95% CI of 0.620.96. The
number of push-ups for the 13 participants was 17
(99) on the first occasion and 19 (910) on the
second occasion, with no significant (p0.131)
difference between test and retest. The mean num-
ber of the 30-s timed push-ups for the 13 partici-
pants was 14 (97) on the first occasion and 15 (96)
on the second occasion, with no significant (p
0.222) difference between test and retest.
Gender comparison for sit-ups
The mean number of sit-ups was 42 (917) for men
and 41 (923) for women. There were no significant
differences between the number of sit-ups per-
formed by the men and women (p0.898; h
2
0.0002) (Figure 2). The mean number of 30-s timed
sit-ups was 16 (93) for men and 14 (94) for
women, with no significant difference between men
and women (p0.110; h
2
0.038) (Figure 3).
Gender comparison for push-ups
The mean number of push-ups for men was 39 (9
13) and for women 17 (910), with a significant
difference between men and women (pB0.001;
h
2
0.504) (Figure 2). The mean number of 30-s
timed push-ups was 30 (98) for men and 13 (96)
for women (pB0.001; h
2
0.615) (Figure 3).
Discussion
The main observation in this study was that both the
tests of maximal number as well as the 30-s timed
push-ups and sit-ups showed high testretest relia-
bility (ICC
2,2
values above 0.90 for all tests). An
ICC value below 0.40 has been described as ‘‘poor’’,
and from 0.40 to 0.75 as ‘‘fair’’ to ‘‘good’’ and above
0.75 has been described as ‘‘excellent’’ (27). ICC
values of 0.92 or above were noted in this study,
which indicates that excellent reliability was at-
tained. There is a lack of studies investigating the
testretest reliability of sit-ups and push-ups in
young women and men. Previous studies that have
examined the testretest of sit-ups and push-ups are
either timed or modified from normal position
(17,28). These differences in study design make
the comparison with other studies difficult to make
when it comes to the testretest reliability. However,
the 30-s sit-ups test in our study can be compared
with the 30-s sit-ups test in the study by Tsiglis et al.
(17), who reported excellent reliability (ICC value of
0.83) in young women and men. Similarly to the
Figure 1. Positions of the tests: (a) starting position and (b) finish of the sit-ups, (c) starting position and (d) finish of the push-ups.
Gender differences and reliability of selected physical performance tests 67
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results of our study, Suni et al. (28) reported
excellent (ICC value of 0.88) testretest reliability
for a modified push-ups test on middle-aged men
and women. Hence, the result in our study supports
previous studies that both sit-ups and push-ups are
reliable tests. Furthermore, the results of our study
suggest that the tests are highly reliable for both
muscular endurance and power testing in young
adults who are physically active on average twice per
week.
In our study, we measured the maximal number of
push-ups (with a mean numbers of 39 and 17
respectively for men and women) and sit-ups (with
a mean numbers 42 and 41 repetitions respectively
for men and women) as well as 30-s timed push-ups
(with a mean numbers 30 and 13 respectively for
men and women) and sit-ups (with a mean numbers
16 and 14 respectively for men and women). There
was a significant difference between men and women
in the push-ups test, but no differences were found
in the sit-ups test, regardless if whether the tests were
timed or maximally performed. The result indicates
that younger women’s muscular strength in the
upper body is less then younger men’s, and that
women
men
120
100
80
60
40
20
0
60
25
16
52 push-ups max number
situps max number
Figure 2. Box plot showing median and quartile distances for the number of sit-ups and push-ups in men (n25) and women (n38). Y-
axis represents the number of repetitions. The central horizontal line within each box is the median 50th percentiles. Open circles represent
individual outliers of 90th percentiles, and asterisks denote ‘‘far-out’’ outliers. The presence of extreme values did not influence the results.
womenmen
40
30
20
10
0
48
41
6
51
push-ups 30 sec timed
situps 30 sec timed
Figure 3. Box plot showing median and quartile distances for the number of 30-s timed sit-ups and push-ups in men (n25) and women
(n38). Y-axis represents the number of repetitions. The central horizontal line within each box is the median 50th percentiles. Open
circles represent individual outliers of 90th percentiles. The presence of extreme values did not influence the results.
68 S. Ryman Augustsson et al.
Downloaded By: [Goteborgs University] At: 21:46 22 July 2009
the women’s abdominal strength is similar to the
men’s, regardless of which methods are being used
(timed or maximally performed). Hence, these
findings suggest that both sit-ups and push-ups can
be used to test muscular power as in a timed test, but
also for muscular endurance as in the maximal
number of repetitions. Differences between men
and women in terms of muscular endurance and
strength have been reported in earlier studies
(8,11,18). It has been noted that women’s upper-
body strength averages 55% of men’s and that the
lower-body strength averages 72% of men’s (20).
However, gender differences can partly be explained
by total body weight and fat-free mass, and when
comparing strength expressed relative to body-
weight or fat-free mass, the differences become
smaller (20). Considering push-ups represent a
training exercise in which strength is expressed
relative to bodyweight, one would assume that
gender differences in performance would be rela-
tively small. In our study, however, the men per-
formed more than twice as many push-ups as the
women, which is in agreement with previous ob-
servations (8,11,29). Women’s upper-body muscular
endurance averages no more than 44% of men’s in
the present study. Since one of the key risk factors
for work-related injuries, as well as training injuries,
appears to be inadequate physical fitness (8,12), it
might be of importance to study fitness status in the
general population. The results of the present study
(that men are twice as strong as women in the upper
body when it comes to both local muscular endur-
ance and power) suggests that upper-body training
in women may be important to prevent work- and
sports-related injuries. Interestingly, there were on
the other hand no differences between genders
regarding sit-ups performance. This result is in
contrast with earlier studies in which it has been
estimated that abdominal muscle strength in young
women is approximately 7080% compared with
young men (12,18,19). One explanation for the fact
that women performed as many sit-ups as men in
our study could be that the women performed
physical activities involving the abdominal muscles
as much or even to a greater extent than the men. We
have noted that until a few years ago women’s
physical conditional programmes (aerobics and re-
sistance training) frequently contained sit-ups,
whereas exercises for the upper body such as push-
ups were less common. It is therefore possible that
the lack of upper-body training resulted in poorer
performance for women than for men when exam-
ining upper-body strength and endurance in the
present study. When it comes to abdominal strength,
the gender difference was non-existent, perhaps
because of a more similar training regimen among
women and men. However, we only investigated the
amount of physical activity and not the form of
physical activity, which would have been interesting
to know. Furthermore, the sample size in the present
study is modest, which could be a limitation of the
study, although it is not significantly smaller than
other studies of similar nature (2,3032). As a
general principle, a larger sample size will give a
more reliable estimate of the change in measurement
error.
However, the values present in our study could be
used as an indication that young women tend to be
relatively strong in the abdominal area and in fact
equally strong compared with young men, but
unfortunately young women do not even have half
the strength and endurance in the upper body
compared with young men. It is well known that
gender differences in strength and endurance can be
reduced when women perform strength and endur-
ance training and that the greatest improvements
have been seen in local muscular endurance (8). As
mentioned in the introduction section, recent forms
of strength and conditioning programmes that target
women in particular are continuously developed,
which might lead to changes in gender differences.
However, in our study, we do not have the results to
support this theory and the gap in upper-body
strength between men and women still is rather
large.
There are several variants of both the sit-up and
push-up exercises proposed in the literature, which
makes comparisons between studies difficult to
make. We chose to standardize the sit-ups test, as a
modification of the Eurofit test battery (14), and the
push-ups test, as a modification of the ACSM’s
guidelines (15) and according to the normal position
(33), to attain a high-quality standardization.
It is not certain that the subjects in the present
study are fully representative of the normal popula-
tion; men and women aged 1835 years. The values
obtained may be slightly overestimated because the
participants were partly recruited from health-re-
lated education programmes. It is also likely that
participants who are enrolled in this type of study
may have a greater interest in physical activity and
are perhaps more enthusiastic in testing their max-
imum capacity compared with less physically active
persons. Another limitation is that the tests used in
the present study are only applicable for young and
relatively fit women and men. However, the values
can be applied to young men and women aged 1835
and who are physically active on average twice per
week.
In conclusion, sit-ups and push-ups are tests with
high testretest reliability. They are easy to perform
and, furthermore, require no special equipment and
Gender differences and reliability of selected physical performance tests 69
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may therefore be recommended for clinical use. The
results of a discriminate analysis indicated that
women do not differ from men in the mean number
of sit-ups. Also, the fact that men performed twice as
many push-ups as women indicates that, when
designing training programmes for women, attention
should be turned towards strengthening exercises of
the upper body.
Acknowledgements
This study was supported by a grant from Swedish
National Centre for Research in Sports and a grant
from the Adlerbert assistance fund.
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70 S. Ryman Augustsson et al.
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... Maximal push-ups can provide a measure of upper-body muscular endurance [17,18], and have high trial-to-trial reliability (ICC = 0.95) [45]. For this department, pushups were performed in time with a metronome at a cadence of 80 beats per minute. ...
... Maximal push-ups can provide a measure of upper-body muscular endurance [17,18], and have high trial-to-trial reliability (ICC = 0.95) [45]. For this department, push-ups were performed in time with a metronome at a cadence of 80 beats per minute. ...
Article
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Fire academy training classes may have trainees with a range of different fitness capabilities. Documentation of trainee fitness could indicate the need for flexibility in physical training emphases. Therefore, data from six academy classes (males = 274; females = 31) were analyzed, including: Illinois agility test (IAT), push-ups, pull-ups, leg tucks, multistage fitness test, backwards overhead 4.54 kg medicine ball throw (BOMBT), 10-repetition maximum deadlift, and 18 kg kettlebell farmers carry. A one-way ANOVA, with the Bonferroni post hoc test, calculated between-class fitness differences. Normative fitness test data were produced via percentile ranks. Classes 5 and 6 had the most females (n = 15). Class 1 completed the IAT faster than all classes (p ≤ 0.009). Classes 1 and 4 had a further BOMBT distance than Classes 5 and 6, and Class 3 outperformed Class 6 (p ≤ 0.044). Class 4 completed more leg tucks than Class 5 (p = 0.047). Class 1 had a greater deadlift than Classes 3, 4, and 6, and Class 2 outperformed Classes 3–6 (p ≤ 0.036). Class 3 was slower in the farmers carry compared to all classes (p ≤ 0.002). Percentile rankings showed that most females (48–100%) were in the 0–29% rank. Staff should implement individualized programs where appropriate for trainees as cohort fitness differences exist. Female trainees may need targeted maximal strength and power development.
... An unsuccessful repetition was regarded as one that deviated from the standard procedure. The maximum number of push-ups was documented to evaluate muscular endurance (Augustsson et al., 2009). ...
... The participants were instructed to hold the position as long as they could. Coefficients of inter-tester reproducibility for holding time ranged from 0.66 to 0.89 in earlier studies (Augustsson et al., 2009). ...
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The aim of this research was to examine the association between motor abilities and achievement in artistic swimmers at the national competition level. Thirty-five junior synchro swimmers (age 16 to 18 years old, height 165.49±3.57cm, and weight of 53±4.23kg) took part in the research. Motor ability evaluation comprised eleven tests for overall and two tests for specific motor abilities. The data analysis was done in SPSS 20.0. The results show a statistically significant association between the predictor system and the criteria (p=.00). The technical execution score was correlated with several physical fitness variables. A multiple regression analysis revealed that push-ups, balance with open eyes, and T2 accounted for a large part (.69%) of the variance in the final score. The results of this research are practically applicable in more qualitative preparation of synchro swimmers and achieving maximal results.
... This protocol followed established methods (6,27,28,31,(36)(37)(38). Tests of maximal push-up have high trial-to-trial reliability (intra-class correlation coefficient [ICC] = 0.95) (56). Recruits began in the "up" position, with the body taut and straight, the hands positioned approximately shoulder-width apart, and the fingers pointed forwards (31). ...
... Abdominal muscular endurance was assessed via the sit-up test, where recruits completed as many repetitions as possible in 60 seconds via established methods (6,21,28,38). Maximal situp tests have high trial-to-trial reliability (ICC = 0.92) (56). The recruits laid on their backs with their knees flexed to 90°, heels flat on the ground, and arms crossed over the chest. ...
Article
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Law enforcement agencies often conduct academy training classes that include recruits hired by both the larger hosting agency (HA), and by smaller participating agencies (PA). HAs that need to fill more positions may have recruits with a wide range of fitness levels. Smaller agencies may be more selective in their hiring as they do not have as many available positions. This study compared HA and PA recruit fitness prior to academy. Retrospective analysis was conducted on 11 academy classes, incorporating 742 HA recruits (602 males, 140 females) and 99 PA recruits (82 males, 17 females). The following fitness tests were administered prior to academy: push-ups and sit-ups completed in 60 seconds, vertical jump; 2-kg medicine ball throw, 75-yard pursuit run, and 20-m multistage fitness test. A univariate analysis of variance, with sex as a covariate, analyzed each fitness test to determine any differences between HA and PA recruits. Effect sizes were also calculated. There were significant differences in push-up (p = 0.034, d = 0.22) and situp (p < 0.001, d = 0.47) repetitions between HA and PA recruits. PA recruits completed ~8% and ~12% more repetitions, respectively. There were trivial differences between HA and PA recruits in the other fitness tests, although HA recruits tended to have a wider range of fitness levels. The push-up and sit-up differences may provide some indication that PA were more selective in their hiring. Nonetheless, staff should recognize that individual fitness differences may exist in recruits from different agencies prior to academy training.
... Ten different types of field-tests (Table 1; for more details, please check Appendix A) were applied based on previous literary data and research [1,3,5,[12][13][14][15][16]. The current competitive performance variable (elaborated and used by the Hungarian Tennis Federation for several years) was also used, which represented the average values of the points won in matches by each participant. ...
... The aim was to do as many arm-flexions and extension (push-ups) as possible within the 30-s time frame. Only the correctly executed push ups were recorded and used for later analysis [14]. The ICC for this test was 0.85 (0.80-0.90). ...
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Background: The purpose of the study was to examine whether neuromuscular fitness contributes significantly to the success of eAlite junior tennis players of differing ages and sexes. Methods: The 160 participants, who were elite Hungarian junior tennis players (aged 11-17), were separated into four groups within this study, and 10 different types of field tests were used. Results: A moderate significant correlation was found between the results of the 5 m run (r = -0.42; r = -0.45), standing long jump (r = 0.39; r = 0.56), overhand ball throw (r = 0.44; r = 0.53), serve (r = 0.39; r = 0.64), amount of push-ups in 30 seconds (r = 0.32; r = 0.48), 10 × 5 m run in a shuttle run (r = -0.34; r = -0.45), the spider run (r = -0.34; r = -0.52), and competitive tennis success among U14 and U18 girls. A significant correlation between the overhead medicine ball throw test value (r = 0.47) and the current competitive performance was found only among U18 elite female tennis players. In contrast, no correlation was found between the values of the U14 and U18 male tennis players and their current competitive performance. Conclusions: Additional studies are needed to identify interventions that can increase sport-specific neuromuscular fitness with the ultimate goal of achieving better performance.
... Men performed twice as many push-ups as women indicates that, when designing training program for women, attention should be turned toward strengthening exercises of the upper body. [19] The higher the shoulder-wrist flexibility score, the less flexible the participants are. A significant difference (P = 0.0465) was noted between genders. ...
Article
Full-text available
Background: In a nationwide survey conducted in the Indian Council of Medical Research- INdia DIABetes study (Phase-1) 2014 on physical activity and inactivity patterns, overall, 392 million individuals in India are physically inactive. Physically active medical students tend to recommend physical activity for patients or at-risk individuals in their future practice. Exercise is a subset of physical activity that is planned, structured, and repetitive which helps in achieving physical fitness. Aim and Objectives: The aim of the study was to assess the prevalence of physical activity (PA) and physical fitness among medical students and to correlate both. Materials and Methods: This is a cross-sectional study, in which physical activity level was assessed using Global Physical Activity Questionnaire. Physical fitness using Harvard step test, hand grip dynamometer, sit-up and push-up test, shoulder – flexibility test, body mass index, and body adiposity index was assessed among 150 medical students in a tertiary care hospital. Results: Physical activity level when analyzed, 16% of students performed low PA, 74% belonged to moderate PA Group, and 10% in high PA group. When mean metabolic equivalent of task min/week attained by study population in three domains of physical activity (work/travel/recreation) was analyzed, results showed no significant difference between males and females in different domains of physical activity. Conclusion: Although the students met the recommended physical activity as per the World Health Organization, physical fitness was not achieved up to the desired level. No correlation was noted between physical activity and physical fitness among medical students.
... Pushups are another body weight exercise used to assess muscular endurance. ICCs reported for the test-retest reliability of push-ups (ICC: 0.95) are very similar to median ICC for sit-ups reported in this review (median ICC: 0.91) [30]. All ICCs for the 20-m multistage shuttle run test were ≥ 0.90. ...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose While several studies have examined the reliability of the EUROFIT test battery, the findings are conflicting. Therefore, this paper aimed to conduct a review of studies that explored the reliability of the EUROFIT test battery. Methods Seven databases were searched to find studies that investigated the reliability of the EUROFIT test battery. From all included studies, intra-class correlation coefficients for the nine tests used in EUROFIT were extracted. The COSMIN checklist was used to evaluate the methodological quality of the studies. Results Six excellent quality studies were included in the review. The following findings were observed in the included studies: (a) the flamingo balance test has moderate-to-good reliability; (b) plate tapping, handgrip strength, sit-ups, bent-arm hang, 10 × 5-m agility shuttle run, and the 20-m multistage shuttle run have moderate-to-excellent reliability; and (c) the sit-and-reach and standing board jump tests have good-to-excellent reliability. Conclusion Overall, the findings of this review suggest that the EUROFIT can be used as a reliable battery of tests to assess physical fitness in research and practice. Still, as there were only six included studies, more research in different populations is needed. Future studies are also required to explore the influence of variables (e.g., familiarization with the exercise tests) that may impact the reliability of the EUROFIT test battery.
... The effect of gender differences was not evaluated. Because the groups were divided according to their performance on the tests, one could expected performance differences depending on gender (Augustsson, et al., 2009;Cheuvront, Carter, Deruisseau, & Moffatt, 2005). The lack of controlled breathing conditions may also be a limitation in HRV measurements. ...
Article
Full-text available
The main aim of the present study was to determine the short- and ultra-short-term heart rate variability (HRV) during different physical and physiological tests and to compare HRV to different performance levels. The latter aim was to compare participants’ short- and ultra-short-term heart rate variability before-duringpost- tests. Our hypothesis was that there would be a significant difference between test performance and HRV parameters, and the high performing group would have significantly higher HRV parameters than the low performing group. Fifty-three healthy men (Mage=26.9±4 years, Mheight=177.9±5.7 cm; Mweight=77.8±8.7 kg) were recruited in the current study. We completed the data collection procedure for each participant in four consecutive days. On day-1, anthropometric measurements were conducted and then participants performed isokinetic tests. On day-2, participants performed anaerobic tests; on day-3 equilibrium tests, and on day-4 aerobic capacity tests. The HRV records of all participants were obtained before, during and after all these tests. Based on the participants’ performance, they were divided into two groups: participants in G1 had lower performance and those in G2 higher performance. A two-way repeated measures ANOVA yielded significant differences in HRV values obtained in the four different tests. There was a significant difference between fitness test performance and the variation of short- and ultra-short-term HRV parameters. Also, significant differences in HRV values before, during, and after the testing were observed.
... Ancak Augustsson ve ark. tarafından benzer yaş grubunda cinsiyetin fiziksel performans üzerine etkilerini araştırmak için yapılan çalışmada mekik testi ortalama skoru erkekler için 16±93, kadınlar için 14±40 olarak belirtilmiş ve cinsiyetler arası istatistiksel olarak anlamlı bir fark saptanmamıştır [29]. ...
Article
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Çalışmamızın amacı sporcu sağlığı ve rehabilitasyon dersini alan fizyoterapi ve rehabilitasyon bölümü üçüncü sınıf öğrencilerinin fiziksel uygunluk test sonuçlarını ve fiziksel uygunluk testlerine bakış açılarını incelemekti. Çalışmaya 64 gönüllü öğrenci katıldı. Araştırmacılar tarafından hazırlanan sorular yardımıyla öğrencilerin fiziksel uygunluk kavramına ilişkin görüşleri incelendi. Öğrencilerin fiziksel uygunluk performansları Flamingo denge testi, durarak uzun atlama testi, disklere dokunma testi, otur-uzan testi, bükülü kolla tutunma testi, mekik testi ve 10x5 mekik koşu testi kullanılarak değerlendirildi. Bulgular: Çalışmaya 43 kız (%67.2) ve 21 erkek (%32.8) öğrenci katıldı. Öğrencilerin yaş ortalaması 20.95±0.97 yıldı. Öğrencilerin cinsiyetlerine göre test skorları karşılaştırıldığında otur-uzan testi dışındaki tüm testlerde istatistiksel olarak anlamlı fark bulundu (p<0.05). Flamingo denge testi ve disklere dokunma testinde kız öğrenciler daha iyi performans gösterirken diğer testlerde erkek öğrenciler daha iyiydi. Kız öğrencilerin vücut kütle indeksi değerleri ile bükülü kolla tutunma ve durarak uzun atlama skorları arasında istatistiksel olarak anlamlı negatif yönlü ilişki saptandı (r1:-0.497, r2:-0.463; p<0.01). Çalışmamızın sonuçları öğrencilerin fiziksel uygunluk düzeyleri ile mesleki uygulamaları fiziksel olarak karşılayabilme yeterliliği arasında bağ kurmadıklarını ve fiziksel uygunluk test skorlarının kendi yaş gruplarına benzer olduğunu gösterdi.
... Indeed, during the push-up test, recruits were not allowed to drop their knees to rest. Sex disparities may also be less in the sit-up test compared to the push-up test (Ryman Augustsson et al., 2009). This could mean any disparities in upper-body strength (Bloodgood et al., in press;Cesario et al., 2018;Lockie et al., 2019d;Lockie et al., 2020a) and tolerance to environmental stressors (Burse, 1979) may be lessened for female recruits, limiting variation across the seasons. ...
Article
The purpose of this research was to determine whether different seasons could influence fitness test performance in law enforcement recruits. Retrospective examination was conducted on data from four classes, which included 375 recruits (302 males, 73 females) from an agency. The classes were fitness tested during four different seasons in southern California (Fall: n=89, temperature=22-28°C, humidity=20-32%; Winter: n=84, temperature=18-26°C,humidity=8-11%; Spring: n=102, temperature=22-29°C, humidity=23-50%; Summer: n=100, temperature=21-25°C, humidity=39-71%). Fitness testing occurred in the week prior to academy and included: the vertical jump (VJ); push-ups and sit-ups completed in 60 s; and the 20-m multistage fitness test (20MSFT). A one-way ANOVA was used with Bonferroni post hoc (p<0.05) adjustment to calculate any between-class differences. There were no significant between-class differences for the VJ (p=0.197) and sit-ups (p=0.352). Winter and Summer recruits completed 16% and 19% significantly more push-up repetitions than Spring recruits (p≤0.029). Winter recruits completed 16-22% significantly more MSFT shuttles than Fall, Spring and Summer classes recruits (p≤0.009, 16%, 22%, and 18%, respectively). Variability in fitness test performance across the seasons may be due to class-to-class fitness variations in recruits. However, recruits in the Winter class were clearly superior in the 20MSFT, which is an aerobic maximal running test. Hotter temperatures can increase cardiovascular strain, while humidity can decrease sweat evaporation rates, which can impact a test such as the 20MSFT. Law enforcement staff may need to consider ambient temperatures and humidity during fitness tests due to potential negative effects on recruit performance.
Conference Paper
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Introduction Push-up exercises are widely used in programmes for upper body strengthening. Practitioners propose variants of this exercise (EV), altering the position of hands and feet (Lear & Gross 1998). However, there are a few research data, which describe the relative dynamic and muscular coordination changes throughout those EV. The purpose of this study was the recording of muscular activity and dynamic behaviour and the investigation of their differentiation during push-up EV.
Article
This study involved a retrospective examination of physical fitness, training outcomes, and injury rates among personnel in the Fitness Training Unit (FTU). Personnel were assigned to the FTU based on low performance on push-ups, sit-ups, and/or a 1-mile run (N = 44 men, 95 women) and received an augmented physical fitness program before basic combat training (BCT). They were compared with 712 men and 379 women who took the same test but were not assigned to the FTU and went directly to BCT. FTU and non-FTU personnel trained in the same battalions. Army Physical Fitness Test scores and BCT outcomes (discharged or completed BCT in 8 weeks) were obtained from unit training records. Injuries during BCT were documented from a review of the medical records. On entry to BCT, FTU women had similar 2-mile run times compared with non-FTU women (21.6 vs. 21.5 minutes, respectively; p = 0.86); FTU men were considerably slower on the 2-mile run than non-FTU men (20.3 vs. 17.3 minutes; p < 0.01). FTU women and non-FTU women had similar graduation success (60% vs. 68%, respectively; p = 0.14) and time-loss injury rates (1.3 vs. 1.4 people injured/100 person-days, respectively; p = 0.90). FTU men were less likely to graduate than non-FTU men (55% vs. 82%; p < 0.01) and more likely to suffer a time-loss injury (1.2 vs. 0.7 people injured/100 person-days; p < 0.01). Efforts should be directed toward providing a sufficient training stimulus to improve the aerobic fitness level of men (as well as women) in the FTU.
Article
This study compared self-ratings of components of physical fitness with objective measures of physical fitness. We made comparisons in two groups of male infantry soldiers (n = 96 and n = 276) and one group of older male military officers (n = 241). To obtain self-ratings of physical fitness, we asked subjects, "Compared to others of your age and sex, how would you rate your (a) endurance, (b) sprint speed, (c) strength, (d) flexibility?" Subjects responded to each of the four questions on a five-point scale. Self-ratings of endurance were systematically related to three measures of aerobic capacity, including VO2max, peak VO2, and two-mile run time (r = 0.29 to 0.53). Self-ratings of sprint speed showed only weak relationships to measures of anaerobic capacity assessed by the Wingate test, push-ups, and sit-ups (r = 0.10 to 0.17). Strength ratings were systematically related to measures of maximal strength (r = 0.28 to 0.53). Upper body strength measures were more closely associated with the self-ratings of strength than were measures of lower body strength. Responses to the flexibility question were systematically related to measures of hip/low back flexibility (r = 0.30 and 0.48) but not to other measures of flexibility. Apparently, physically active subjects can approximately classify their aerobic capacity, muscle strength, and some types of flexibility.
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The nature of public safety jobs often reflects sudden strenuous exertion at a moment's notice. In the 1970s, police and fire departments became acutely aware of high numbers of on-the-job injuries and illnesses related to coronary heart disease. Disability payments for premature cardiovascular problems were being linked to cardiovascular risk factors accrued while on the job. This prompted public safety departments to initiate fitness programs for their employees. The fitness level of public safety personnel is not high. Job-related benefits have been linked to consistent physical training; high aerobic capacity, high muscular strength and endurance, above-average lean body weight, and minimal body fat are necessary for efficient job performance. In light of the physical benefits gained through regular exercise, pioneer departments began exercise programs for their personnel. These included the fire departments in Lawrence, Kansas, Alexandria, Virginia and Los Angeles, and the Dallas police department. Mealey documents psychologic improvements with exercise. Pioneer fitness programs such as that of the Los Angeles fire department have noted evidence of risk-factor reduction following institution of a mandatory program. The Alexandria department has instituted mandatory entrance requirements for their recruits, such as a no-smoking policy while on the job and mandatory exercise participation. Many community departments are not able to justify the institution of fitness programs. They may cite cost, lack of space, or lack of administrative support for the inability to initiate these programs. Legal and union ramifications may also deter the effort of program implementation. Considerations when implementing programs should involve cost of equipment, space, employee input, and determination of mandatory versus voluntary status. Preliminary medical screening and fitness evaluations should reliably evaluate an employee's physical ability to perform job-related tasks. The tests should be performed on a regular basis during employment. It is important, therefore, to convey the benefits of exercise to administrators. Frequent exercise testing should record progress of participants during exercise training and goals should be constantly updated. Pioneer programs should be used as models to follow when implementing a public safety physical training program. However, individual departments should evaluate the needs of their own personnel with respect to equipment, exercise schedule and type, and place of training.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)
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Maximal voluntary strength of the trunk muscles was measured in 57 male elite athletes (soccer players, wrestlers, tennis players, and gymnasts), 14 female elite gymnasts, and in a normal group of 87 conscripts. Mean ages in the different groups ranged from 18-22 yr. An isokinetic (constant velocity) technique was used to record maximal torque produced by trunk and hip muscles during flexion, extension, and lateral flexion over the range of motion. The constant angular velocities used were 15 deg.s-1 and 30 deg.s-1, respectively. Isometric strength was measured in a straight body position (0 deg. of flexion). The measurements were made with the subjects in a horizontal position with the pivot point at the hip and at the lumbar (L2-L3) level. All male athlete groups showed higher peak torque values than the normals. The differences were largest in hip extension and trunk flexion. The male gymnasts also showed significantly higher peak values in hip flexion as compared to all other categories. There was no difference in strength per kg body weight between female gymnasts and untrained males, except in trunk extension. The position for peak torque occurred earlier in the movements for the athletes, especially for the gymnasts in extension movements and for the tennis players in flexion movements. In isometric contractions essentially the same strength differences were present as in the slow isokinetic contractions. In lateral flexion wrestlers and tennis players showed significantly higher strength in movements toward the nondominant side. Thus, differences were present between the athletes and the normals, some of which appeared to be sport specific and related to long-term systematic training.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
Article
In two studies, the reliability of 3 balance, 2 flexibility, and 4 muscular strength tests proposed as test items were investigated in a health-related fitness (HRF) test battery for adults. Methodological study. A health promotion research institute. In study A, volunteers (n=42) from two worksites participated. In study B, a population sample (n=510) of 37-to 57-year-old men and women was selected. Intraclass correlation coefficient of repeated measures was used to assess inter-rater reliability. The degree of measurement error was expressed as the standard error of measurement. The mean difference with 95% confidence intervals between the testing days or test trials was used to assess test-retest or trial-to-trial reproducibility. The coefficient of variation(CV=[SD/mean] x 100%) from day to day was also calculated. The following tests appeared to provide acceptable reliability as methods for field assessment of HRF: standing on one leg with eyes open for balance, side-bending of the trunk for spinal flexibility, modified push-ups for upper body muscular function, and jump and reach and one leg squat for leg muscular function. This reliability assessment provided useful information on the characteristics of potential test items in a HRF test battery for adults and on the limitations of its practical use. Testers must be properly trained to ensure reliable assessment of HRF of adults.
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A population-based longitudinal study conducted in northwest England for a 12-month period involving adults aged 18-75 years. To determine physical factors related to employment that predict a new episode of low back pain. Most epidemiologic studies that have examined the relation between occupation and back pain have been cross-sectional or retrospective in design. Because workers who have experienced low back pain may have changed jobs or work activities, it is important to use longitudinal studies that define "exposures" before the onset of symptoms. From adults registered with two general practices in northwest England, 1412 people who were currently in employment and free of low back pain were identified. A lifetime occupational history was recorded for all participants, with details of activities performed in each occupation. Data on consultations for low back pain during the follow-up year were collected through computerized medical records, whereas those who had not consulted with low back pain were sent another questionnaire at the end of the 1-year follow-up. An increased risk of a new episode of low back pain was found in those whose jobs involved lifting/pulling/pushing objects of at least 25 lbs, or whose jobs involved prolonged periods of standing or walking. Risks were, in general, greater in women, for a first ever episode of back pain and for back pain that led to a general practice consultation. No clear relation between years of exposure to such factors and magnitude of risk was evident. Occupational activities, particularly in women, such as working with heavy weights or lengthy periods of standing or walking, were associated with the occurrence of low back pain. Short-term influences may be more important in the occurrence of new episodes rather than cumulative lifetime exposure, and emphasize that such morbidity may be avoidable.
Article
Current literature recommends incorporating push-up progressions into upper extremity rehabilitation for advanced training of the scapular stabilizers. No documentation exists to demonstrate changes in the level of muscle activation when push-up progressions are performed. The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of difficulty level for push-ups on electrical activity of the scapular stabilizing synergists. Sixteen subjects performed five repetitions for each of the three conditions in a push-up progression. Electromyographic data collected on the serratus anterior, upper trapezius, and lower trapezius revealed a statistically significant interaction effect between the serratus anterior and upper trapezius and push-up condition when the feet were elevated. No significant interaction was found between push-up condition and the lower trapezius. This study supports the clinical use of push-up progressions to facilitate activation of the serratus anterior and the upper trapezius during upper extremity rehabilitation.