Hand-Release Push-Up Test

The push-up fitness test is a measure of upper body strength and endurance. This variation of the push-up test requires the participant to perform the maximum number of push-up in two-minutes, while performing a particular hand-release technique. This test forms part of the new US Army Combat Fitness Test (ACFT) that was introduced in 2020. See the general push-up test procedure.

equipment required

A stopwatch or clock with a second-hand is required for timing two minutes. A block of foam or some other object is sometimes placed under the chest to standardize how far the chest is lowered.


The purpose of the push-up test and the test procedures should be fully explained to the participant before starting. Make sure that they have no pre-existing ailments that will affect the test result or will get worse by participating in the test. Record basic information about the subject, such as age, height, body weight, gender and test conditions. Get them to perform a warm-up including upper body stretches and swinging of the arms. Explain the push-up technique required and get the participant to practice a few reps so that you can give feedback about what is required.


Begin in the 'down' position with the chest resting on the ground, the hands shoulder width apart, the feet may be up to 12 inches apart (see standard push-up technique). When instructed the participant starts by raising the body, keeping the back and knees straight, until the arms are straight, then returns back to the starting position. After each full push-up, the hands are lifted off the ground, so there is a visible gap seen between the palms and the ground. This action is repeated, and the test continues for two minutes. Pausing to rest is permitted only in down position.


Record the total number of correctly completed push-ups. For the push-up to be counted, the body must remain in a straight line and move as a unit while performing each rep, as well as the hands completely coming off the ground when in the down position.


In a different version of this test, called the T-Pushup, the participant spreads the arms out to the side (rather than just lifting them off the ground as in the procedure above) when in the down position, making a 'T' position.




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