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Leg Recovery Test

The Leg Recovery Test helps you see how your leg muscles have recovered from training, and also how your explosive strength is developing. You can use it to check if you’re ready for speed and strength training. It's a widely-used, easy and safe test you can take anywhere, with no other equipment needed apart from your Polar watch.

In the test you perform three countermovement jumps with a short pause in between each jump. You first squat down rapidly right before launching yourself straight up into the air, as high as possible. This two-way motion gives your muscles spring-like elastic energy for maximal explosive strength. It also makes the test more easily repeatable and less prone to errors.

To get feedback on the recovery of your leg muscles you need to take at least two tests in a 28-day-period to establish a baseline. From the third test onwards in a 28-day-period, you'll get feedback about your leg muscle recovery. Essentially, if you jump to a considerably lower height than what your baseline is, your leg muscles aren't entirely recovered. We recommend taking the test as often as possible as the more results your baseline is calculated from, the more reliable it is.

When giving you verbal feedback the test also takes into account the recovery of your cardio system, provided either by the Recovery Pro feature or the Nightly Recharge feature if you are using either of them.

Performing the test

If you're feeling sick or have an injury, you shouldn't take the test. However, feeling tired from training doesn't stop you from taking the test, as one of the points of taking it is to see how well you've recovered from training. If you've been training a lot and have an increased risk for injury or illness, you can take the Leg recovery test daily to find out when you're good to go for some more serious training.

Have a look at the instructions on your watch in Tests > Leg recovery test > How to once more before starting to see a detailed breakdown of the test with instructions and animations.

When you're ready to start go to Tests > Leg recovery test, and choose Start. You need to perform three jumps. Repeatability is key with this test, so make sure you perform the test each time with the same correct technique.

  1. Stand with your back and legs straight, with your hands on your hips. Play close attention to the placement of your hands as it is crucial for accuracy and repeatability. Always keep your hands on your hips during the test. This ensures each jump is measured correctly.
  2. When you hear a beep. Squat down rapidly and jump explosively straight up, and come down on the balls of the feet, with your legs straight. You have 40 seconds to jump after each beep.
  3. WAIT is displayed before each jump. Wait until JUMP is displayed and you hear a beep before jumping.
  4. Test completed is displayed, after you've successfully performed all three jumps.

Test results

After the test, you'll see the height of each jump, and the average of the three jumps which is used to calculate your baseline. You can view your latest result in Tests > Leg recovery test > Latest result.

Your leg recovery is measured by comparing your test result to your individual baseline, which is the rolling average of your test results from the previous 28 days. Only one result per day is used for baseline calculation. If you do the test several times only your best result of the day is taken into account.

Essentially, if you jump considerably lower than your baseline, your leg muscles aren't entirely recovered. Your leg muscles aren't considered recovered:

  • If your baseline is 28 cm or higher: When your test result is 7% or more less than your baseline.
  • If your baseline under 28 cm: When your test result is 2 centimeters or more less than your baseline.

Your readiness for speed and strength is illustrated with an icon and feedback.

  • Green if you're ready
  • Orange if you're ready with some considerations
  • Red if you're not ready

Your leg muscle recovery information is complemented with information about the recovery of your cardio system. This information is provided by the following features: Injury and illness risk (based on your Cardio Load from Training Load Pro), Recovery Pro, Orthostatic test and Nightly recharge. What this means is that first your watch checks if you're injury & illness risk is activated. If it's not available, your watch checks if you're using Recovery Pro, and after that if you've performed an Orthostatic test and finally if you're using Nightly Recharge. If any of these features spot anything affecting the recovery of your cardio system it'll be taken into account in your feedback.

Detailed analysis in the Flow web service and app

Remember to sync your test result to Polar Flow. To help long-term follow up, we’ve gathered all the test data in one place in the Polar Flow web service. In the Tests page you can see all the tests you’ve performed and compare their results. You can see your long-term progress and easily view changes in your performance.