Are you a regular person at the gym? If so, how do you measure your fitness level? Is it about how fast you run or how much weight you can lift? Well, when it comes to an effective fitness plan, you don’t leave the metrics to chance. That’s why, in this quick guide, we share with you the top 10 ways to measure your fitness levels effectively. These methods will help you come up with realistic fitness goals. For, you can track them using the available scientific gadgets. Here is the list: –
These exercises strengthen and stabilize your core. This straightforward activity aligns your neck, head, spine, and legs in a raised position. Yet, the real test of your fitness level is how long you can hold this position. There are many types of planks for varying degrees of fitness. That is the forearm plank for beginners. Then, we have a straight arm and the side plank for those with more experience. Ideally, it would be best if you did one plank level for at least two minutes before progressing to the next one.
- Head Turning
Is your neck as flexible as it should be? Use the head turning exercise to know this. Here, you’ll need someone to stand behind you and observe your head as you turn it from one side to the other. That is, when you turn facing right, your observer should take note of what facial features he can see on the side. He should then compare his right view with the left one, taking note of which side of the neck is more flexible or rigid. Then, you can include relevant exercises and stretches to improve your neck’s flexibility.
- Vertical Jump Test
Do you play basketball, volleyball, or soccer? If so, you should know your vertical jump capacity. Indeed, all these sports need power in your vertical jumping ability. For, when we jump, we engage all our muscle fibers. Hence, it is more about your strength, not endurance. To perform the vertical jump test, you have to stand near a plain wall. Stretch your hands to touch the wall. Use chalk on your fingers to mark how far your hands reach. Then, jump as high as you can, to make a second mark on the wall. Measure the difference between these two marks. Men should aim for a jump of between 61 cm to 70 cm, while women strive for a rise of 51 cm to 60 cm.
We use push-ups to gauge our upper body strength. Also, this exercise is a powerful technique for building muscles. Unlike the vertical jump, push-ups measure endurance. Hence, the real test here is how many push-ups you can do in a specific period. When combined with weights, it helps to regulate your upper body strength. Note, push-ups rely on stable and robust core ability. Hence, you can start with planks before progressing to this exercise.
Note that we now have supplements that help you gain weight as you do your push-ups. For, unlike a poor diet that makes you put on fat, the supplements increase your muscle mass. In turn, they strengthen your upper body even further.
- Wall Sits
Wall-Sits assess both the strength and endurance of the leg muscles. Hence, it involves leaning against a wall in a seated position. The exercise aims at tightening the thigh muscles. So, ensure you are sitting in a proper chair angle, before starting the stopwatch. Men should aim for at least 76 seconds in this position. In contrast, women should last at least 46 seconds in the wall sit.
- Loop the Loop
Do you live a rather sedentary lifestyle? By spending most of your daytime at your desk, you risk developing a poor posture. For with time, your shoulder muscles may tighten up, and your joints become less mobile. To avoid this, practice the loop-the-loop exercise. It will increase your shoulder moves on all sides. The exercise involves raising your right arm while in a standing or sitting position. Then, bring your forearm towards you, reaching the shoulder blades. Then, lift your left arm through your back to try and meet the right hand. Aim at getting your fingers to touch. For, a gap of more than two inches is quite unhealthy.
- Waist to Hip Ratio
Did you know that a person with a pear shape is less likely to get heart disease and diabetes than one who has an apple body shape? Yes, the lesser fat you have near the heart, the healthier you are. Hence, the waist to hip ratio gauges how much fat you have around your waist in comparison to your hip circumference. Men should strive for a 0.9 score while women should maintain a 0.8 ratio.
- 12 Minute Run Or Walk
The 12-minute run or walk measures your cardiovascular fitness. Initially invented by Kenneth Cooper in the 1960s, this test concentrated on running. Yet, due to massive interest in the test, you can now do it as a walking exercise. One has to aim at maintaining a steady pace throughout the 12 minutes. You can do the exercise on a treadmill or a level track. Start with a five minutes warm-up. Then escalate to and maintain a fast yet comfortable pace. A steady speed of at least 1.4 miles per hour is best.
- Resting Heart Rate
As you engage in aerobics, your resting heart rate should also go down. For, a robust cardiovascular system has a heart beating at 60 or less. At this rate, your heart is circulating more blood per beat. In contrast, seek medical help whenever your RHR gets above 101. To know your RHR, place two fingers at any of your main artery areas. That is, at your neck, jawline, or wrist. Then, for the next 1 minute, starting with zero, count the number of heartbeats you feel. It is recommended to measure your resting heart rate first thing in the morning.
- Wet Footprint Exercise
This exercise looks at how well you make your strides. Indeed, reduced pronation and supination can result in foot problems, including plantar fasciitis, heel spurs, and bunions. To do the exercise, you’ll need long cardboard to walk on. Then, dip your feet in the water before stepping over the cardboard in your regular stride. Observe the footprints on the carton.
An ideal pace will show your toes, heel, and forefoot prints in a single band. But if you have high arches, only your toes and heels will make the print. In contrast, a low span will have your entire foot printed on the cardboard. Aim at exercises and proper footwear to improve your steps.
A healthy lifestyle is about fitness and proper diet. More important, you should be able to maintain this fit life by monitoring it daily. The above ten fitness exercises are quick ways to track your health. Should you lag in any of the tests, ensure you adjust your workouts and diet accordingly.