For many athletes, the phrase “physical fitness exam” conjures up grade school memories of pull-ups, shuttle runs, and sit-ups. Those who passed received a certificate with the Presidential seal suitable for framing.
The NFL scouting combine has raised the stakes of fitness exams, testing NFL draft hopefuls each February in Indianapolis with the 225-pound bench press, 40-yard-dash, vertical jump, and other challenges designed to measure strength, speed, and explosiveness. How athletes perform in the so-called “Underwear Olympics” can influence where they’re drafted and thus how much money they earn in their initial contracts.
Most of us will never try out for the NFL and have only vague memories of a grade-school classmate pinning our feet to the ground as we crunched for 60 seconds. Both of those famous tests, which measure strength and speed, don’t always provide a barometer of fitness elements such as mobility, stability, flexibility, and body composition.
Here are five tests that will show you where you measure up not just when it comes to strength and cardio fitness, but also in those other elements. How you fare should give you insight into how efficiently you move and how susceptible you might be to injury.
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