Assessing Muscular Strength


Grip Strength

Adjust a hand dynamometer to fit your hand size. Squeeze it as hard as possible. You may bend or straighten the arm, but do not touch the body with your hand, elbow, or arm. Perform with both right and left hands.


Evaluating Leg Muscle Power Test

Long Jump

Lie on a mat and have your partner mark your body length (height) from head to toe on the mat. Perform a standing long jump the distance of your body height if possible. Make two jumps and measure the better of the two. Your score is the distance jumped in inches.


One Repetition Maximum

(1RM) is generally considered to be the best method of measuring strength. 1RM refers to the amount of weight you can lift one time and one time only. Your 1RM for the bench press is generally considered to be a good indicator of upper body strength and your 1RM for the leg press is considered to be a good measure of lower body strength.

Note: you can determine 1RM for virtually any resistance exercise. The following procedure allows you to estimate your 1RM for the bench press and the leg press. This method allows you to determine your 1RM without excessive effort and without doing testing sessions over several days.

Use a weight machine for the leg press and bench press. Machine exercises are generally considered to be safer for 1RM testing than free weights.

Estimate how much weight you can lift two or three times. Be conservative; it is better to start with too little weight than too much. This procedure will NOT work if you select a weight heavier than you can lift ten times. If you lift more than ten times, the procedure should be done again on another day when you are rested.

CAUTION: Use correct form to perform these exercises. Read the exercise descriptions and watch the quick time movie to be sure you are doing the exercises correctly. Do not arch the back when doing the bench press.

Perform each exercise with the weight you have selected. Do as many repetitions as you can up to 10.

Click on the Fitness Profile button and enter the weight you lifted and the number of repetitions you performed to determine your 1RM.

Strength per pound of body weight is often considered to be a better measure of strength than the absolute amount you can lift. For this reason your strength per pound of body weight is also calculated for you.