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Instructions for the APFT Push-Up Event 2023

APFT Push-up instructions
APFT Push-up instructions

The APFT push-up instructions refer to the specific guidelines and procedures you must follow when performing the push-up event during the Army Physical Fitness Test.

  • These APFT push-up instructions outline the standards for the correct execution of the push-up exercise, how the Army will measure the event, and what they require to count a repetition as valid.
  • The APFT Push-Up Event is crucial to physical fitness testing in various military and civilian training programs. 
  • Proper execution and understanding of the guidelines are essential for performance and safety. 


  • The push-up event measures the endurance of the chest, shoulder, and triceps muscles. 
  • It evaluates the strength, stability, and flexibility of the upper body.

The OIC, the NCOIC, or the event supervisor must read the following before beginning the push-up event:

APFT Push-Up Instructions

Starting Position:

Guidelines for getting into the position include the following:

  • On the command, ‘Get set,’ assume the front-leaning rest position by placing your hands where they are comfortable for you.
  • Your feet may be together or up to 12 inches apart (measured between the feet).
  • When viewed from the side, your body should form a generally straight line from your shoulders to your ankles.

Proper hand placement and foot alignment are essential for a successful performance.


  • On the command ‘Go,’ begin the push-up by bending your elbows and lowering your entire body as a single unit until your upper arms are at least parallel to the ground.
  • Then, return to the starting position by raising your entire body until your arms are fully extended.
  • Your body must remain rigid in a generally straight line and move as a unit while performing each repetition.
  • You must return to and pause in the correct starting position before continuing. Your performance will be terminated if you rest on the ground or raise either hand or foot from the ground.
  • You may reposition your hands and/or feet during the event as long as they remain in contact with the ground at all times.

Tip: Engaging the core muscles can help maintain body alignment throughout the exercise.

Counting Repetitions:

  • At the end of each repetition, the scorer will state the number of repetitions you have completed correctly.
  • If you fail to keep your body generally straight, to lower your whole body until your upper arms are at least parallel to the ground, or to extend your arms completely, that repetition will not count, and the scorer will repeat the number of the last correctly performed repetitions.

Authorized Rest Positions and Timing:

  • An altered, front-leaning rest position is the only authorized rest position. You may sag in the middle or flex your back. When flexing your back, you may bend your knees, but not to such an extent that you are supporting most of your body weight with your legs. If this occurs, your performance will be terminated.
  • No restarts are allowed after the first 10 push-ups have been performed and counted. The test will continue, and any incorrectly performed push-ups will not be counted.
  • Correct performance is important. You will have two minutes to do as many push-ups as possible.

Additional Checkpoints:

  • During the push-up event, scorers sit or kneel 3 feet from the soldier’s left or right shoulder at a 45-degree angle.
  • Your chest may touch the ground during the push-up if the contact does not provide an advantage. You cannot bounce off the ground.
  • If a mat is used, your entire body must be on the mat. Sleeping mats are not authorized for use.
  • Your feet will not be braced during the push-up event.
  • You may do the push-up event with your fists.
  • You may not cross your feet while doing the push-up event.
  • You may not take any APFT event in bare feet.
  • You should not wear glasses while performing the push-up event.

Preparation and Safety Guidelines

  • Warm up before the event to prepare your muscles.
  • Hydrate properly.
  • Consider practicing push-ups under similar conditions before the test day.
  • Use proper technique to prevent injury.

Conclusion of APFT Push-Up Instructions

In conclusion, the OIC/NCOIC, or the event supervisors, ask, “What are your questions about this event?”

George N.