7 Ultimate Fitness Tests for Women
The Test: Leg Matrix
Do all four moves back-to-back without rest. If you stop or can't do the move with proper form, that's the end of the test. Track your success through reps: On your first try, do 10 reps of each move. Wait two days, then repeat with 15 reps. Then test two days later with 24 reps.
Squat: Stand with feet hip-width apart, hands behind your head (a), and lower until your thighs are parallel to the ground (b). Push through your heels to return to standing.
Lunge: Stand with hands behind head (a), then step forward with your left foot and lower until your right knee almost touches the floor (b). Return to start; repeat on the other side.
Squat jump: Lower into a squat as described to the left (a), then jump off the ground as high as you can (b). Land softly, and immediately lower into another squat and repeat.
Split jump: Lower into the lunge described to the left (a). Jump as high as you can and switch legs in the air (b). Land softly, then lower into your next rep on the opposite side (c).
Excellent Can complete 24 reps of each move with proper form without stopping
Good Can complete 10 or 15 reps of each move with proper form without stopping
Below Average Cannot do 10 reps of each move with proper form without stopping
Amp Your Endurance
Boost both your aerobic and muscular endurance by adding intervals—high-intensity work followed by low-intensity recovery—into your strength training. You'll torch more calories in less time and train your body to push harder for longer. Try this three-week plan from Dos Remedios: During week one, do each of your strength exercises for 20 seconds, then rest for 40 seconds. In week two, work for 30 seconds and rest for 30 seconds. For week three, follow a 40-second work and 20-second rest interval.
Whether you're dodging people in a crowded airport or sidestepping a sidewalk puddle, your split-second actions (and reactions) are considered by some to be the epitome of fitness. "Agility is the culmination of all your basic biomotor abilities—coordination, speed, balance, power, and conditioning—working together to respond quickly in any situation," says Craig Friedman, director of the performance innovation team at Athletes' Performance in Phoenix.
The Test: Four-Point Touch
Place four markers in a square, five yards apart. Stand in the middle with your knees and hips bent (a), and set a timer to 15 seconds. Move as fast as you can to the front left marker and touch it with your left hand (b). Return to the center, then repeat to the front right marker. Continue this pattern, moving clockwise, trying to touch as many as possible in 15 seconds.
Excellent If you touch nine or more markers
Good If you touch six to eight markers
Below Average If you touch fewer than six markers
Add Pep to Your Step
Incorporating plyometrics—like power skips—into your workout can boost agility, reports a new study. Add two sets of 10 reps to your routine three times a week: Skip as high as you can by raising your right knee to hip height and keeping your left leg straight. Land on the ball of your left foot, and repeat, alternating legs.