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With the aforementioned in mind, let’s look at some of the test exercises that require machines. Note that I have only presented exercise for muscle groups that were not covered in the free weight section. It should be noted that machines could be used for bench pressing, squats, incline bench presses, military presses etc.

Leg Press Objective: to measure the strength of the quadriceps. Age level: age 16 through college level. Reliability: Test-retest reliability coefficients of .89 to .96 have been reported. Validity: Face validity is generally accepted for this test. The test correlates .87 with squats when it is used to evaluate elite athletes. (Cotton, Biasiotto, and Chissom 1974) Equipment: A leg press machine. Directions: Actually, leg presses are a variation of squats done upside down. In other words, with leg presses you get to sit down while you're doing them. That's one reason why I like them…I am lazy. There are other reasons though too. Leg presses are great for isolating the quadriceps and at the same time maintaining good intensity and they require little skill to perform…a great thing when testing. Since they correlate high (.87) with squats, they could be used as a substitute for the squat test, especially if you are testing elite athletes. Here's how you perform them. Sit in a leg press machine with your feet firmly on the pedals. Your knees should be bent to a right angle and your feet should be pointed slightly outwards. When ready, press the weight upward until your legs are almost straight. Note that your knees should not "lock out" when your legs straighten. This will keep you from hyperextending your knees and will allow you to keep maximum resistance on the quadriceps throughout the exercise. Pause at the top of the lift, and then return the weight under control to the starting position. Don’t use to wide of a foot spacing. The wider you go the less stress you will put on the quadriceps…the muscles you are trying to test here. Your leg spacing should be approximately shoulder width apart. Also, point your toes slightly outwards. This will take stress off your knees.

Lat Pulldowns Objective: to measure the strength of the latissimus dorsi.


Resting Between Sets Only a few tests of strength that are practical in terms of time, equipment, and cost are presented here. When special...