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ACFT Hand Release Push Up Standards 2024

ACFT Hand Release Push Up
ACFT Hand Release Push Up

The hand-release push-up exercise is a variation of the standard push-up, emphasizing the full range of motion and proper form.

In the Army, the hand-release push-up is one of the six events in the Army Combat Fitness Test (ACFT), the current US Army Fitness Test. 

It measures the soldier’s overall physical fitness levels. Other events included in the ACFT exercise are as below:

The ACFT Push-up standards outline the minimum requirements, by age and gender, needed to pass the hand-release push-up Army Combat Fitness Test event.

ACFT Hand Release Push Up Standards 2024

Below is a table with the minimum push-up requirements by age and gender. Refer here to see the comprehensive ACFT Scoring Chart.

Male Hand-release Push-up Standards

Age RangeMaximum Points (100)Minimum Points (60)
Over 624310

Female Hand-release Push-up Standards

Age RangeMaximum Points (100)Minimum Points (60)
17-2153 reps10 reps
22-2650 reps10 reps
27-3148 reps10 reps
32-3647 reps10 reps
37-4141 reps10 reps
42-4636 reps10 reps
47-5135 reps10 reps
52-5630 reps10 reps
57-6124 reps10 reps
Over 6224 reps10 reps

The ACFT Hand release push-up measures the muscular endurance of a soldier’s upper body, and it’s also an essential exercise for improving the soldier’s core strength.

What is the main difference between a Hand-Release Push-Up and a Traditional push-up?

The main difference between these two exercises is in their execution.

Traditional push-up: 

  • The soldier assumes a prone position with both hands flat on the ground; they then lower their body by bending their elbows until their chest touches the ground. 
  • They will then fully extend their elbows to push their body back to the starting position.

Hand-Release Push-Up: 

  • The soldier will assume a prone position just like in the traditional push-up; they will then lower their body with hands flat on the ground, bending their elbows until their upper body (chest) touches the ground.
  • The critical difference is in the “hand-release” portion, which requires soldiers to release their hands and arms from the floor or ground by fully extending their elbows (front leaning rest) and lifting their upper body.

Hand Release Push-up instructions:

ACFT Hand Release Push Up
ACFT Hand Release Push Up
  • Start on the floor with your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.
  • Keep your legs fully extended and your feet together.
  • Keep your abdominal and lower body tight.
  • Position your elbows at a 45-degree angle instead of flaring them out.
  • This is your starting position.
  • Momentarily relax, briefly releasing your hands and feet from contact with the ground.
  • Immediately return your hands and feet to the ground.
  • Forcefully push up – this completes your first repetition.
  • Return to the starting position.
  • Repeat for the recommended number of repetitions.

How do you train for ACFT hand-release push-ups?

Training for ACFT hand-release push-ups requires you to focus on exercises that build your upper-body strength and muscular endurance (these are the components tested in this event).

The Army recommends the following exercises to help build your upper body strength and increase muscular endurance:

Supine Chest Press: 

  • This fitness exercise requires lying on the ground with kettlebell weights held at shoulder level. 
  • This exercise will target your chest muscles. 

8-count T Push-up: 

  • This exercise slightly differs from the regular push-up. 
  • You will move your body in a T-shape while holding a plank position. 

Incline Bench: 

  • This is a regular exercise in the gym; you will use an inclined bench to perform a chest press, working on your chest muscles just in time for the abdominal hand release push-up. 


  • To perform this exercise, you will hold a plank position while alternately raising your arms and legs; this will help with your core and improve your overall balance. 

Requirements for doing the Hand release push-up exercise

For beginners, there are a few basic requirements to ensure its safety and effectiveness:

  • Endurance: Ensure you can endure over 20 seconds on each push-up with one arm and 10 seconds for two arm push-ups.
  • Breathing: You should be able to regulate your breathing to avoid shortness of breath.
  • Guidance: If you need help starting, seek help from an experienced trainer or guiding partner.
  • Concentration: Avoid unnecessary distractions while doing the exercise.

Simple Steps for Beginners

To do the hand-release push-up at home, follow the steps below:

  1. Warm-up: Begin with some simple arm and leg muscle exercises; this will be important to help you avoid injuries.
  2. Basic Push-Ups: After the warm, do some basic push-ups, keeping your face more than 10 centimeters away from the floor.
  3. Relax: After doing ten or more push-ups, stretch your legs out behind and let your body form a moon-shaped curve.
  4. Hand-Release: Slowly release your hands, maintain balance, and once the set time is over, repeat the exercise.

This sequence may resemble a combination of push-ups and planks, but it’s a more advanced exercise.

What are the Benefits of This Exercise?

The hand-release push-up  exercise is one of the hardest to do, and it has a lot of benefits, as follows:

  • Blood Circulation: Regulates the amount of blood in your body and limits blood clots, helping blood to circulate.
  • Flexibility and Balance: The hand-release push-up creates elasticity and flexibility in your body, helping you in other exercises to keep your balance longer.
  • Appearance: Improve your appearance, especially in the waist and back area, allowing you not to hunch back and have belly fat; your body will become firmer.
  • Weight Loss: It helps to reduce body weight faster and more effectively than conventional exercises, which is this advanced exercise’s main feature.

Mistakes to Avoid

The hand-release push-up has a lot of benefits; however, be cautious when doing these exercises to avoid injury.

Be careful of the following:

Injury to the Chest Area

  • When doing the hand release push-up, your chest will have a lot of contact with the ground, and when you do not know how to balance correctly, the chest will immediately collide with the floor, which can cause damage to your chest and lungs.


  • This exercise requires endurance and long-term planning, so you need steady breathing to prolong the exercise time.

Floors and Practice Space

  • Do not practice on a floor with many cracks and tight spaces, as it may cause pain and injury to your body.

I hope this article has been of great help to you.

ACFT Hand Release Push Up Score Sheet

Hand Release Push-Up Score Chart
Hand Release Push-Up Score Chart
George N.