The Upper-Body Strength Test from How Fit Are You Really?
The Upper-Body Strength Test
Many women focus only on their biceps and triceps (we get it, who doesn't want arms like Michelle Obama's?). Problem is, they're ignoring key muscles in the chest, shoulders, and upper back that build strength, streamline posture, and prevent injuries, says Rachel Cosgrove, Women's Health fitness advisor and half of the husband-and-wife duo that owns Results Fitness in Newhall, California. Rowing movements—like the ones in this test—are an excellent measure of upper-body strength because they target all the muscles and use your body weight as resistance.
The Test Three-Rep Inverted Row
Think of this exercise as an upside-down pushup: Lie faceup on the floor with your shoulders directly underneath a secure barbell. The bar should be high enough that when you grab it your back is not resting on the ground. Hold the bar with an overhand grip, hands wider than shoulder width.