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.
How often should I take the test?
We recommend taking the test as often as possible. You can take it every day if you wish as the more results your baseline is calculated from, the more reliable the test is.
Preparing for 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.
Performing the test
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- WAIT is displayed before each jump. Wait until JUMP is displayed and you hear a beep before jumping.
- Test completed is displayed, after you've successfully performed all three jumps.
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 on your watch in Tests > Leg recovery test > Latest result. The test results are stored in your watch for at least 28 days.
If the difference between your lowest and highest jump is more than 10 centimeters, the median of your jumps is used to calculate your result instead of the average. The purpose of this is to eliminate unrealistically high or low jumps from your result.
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 textual 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.
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. 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 in the order listed below. What this means is that first your watch checks if you're injury & illness risk is activated. If it's not available it 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.
Injury and illness risk (based on your Cardio Load from Training Load Pro): If your short-term training load (strain) is much higher than usually (tolerance) you’ll get an injury and illness risk alert. When you’re overreaching you’re more prone to sports related injuries. You may also fall ill more easily. Injury & illness risk helps you spot periods when your strain may be a bit too high, and when continuing with a high load level may lead to injury or illness. If your Injury & illness risk is activated we do not recommend any form of speed or strength or intensive cardio training.
Recovery Pro: Recovery Pro is a unique recovery tracking solution that lets you know if your cardio system is recovered and ready for cardio training. Recovery Pro works together with Training Load Pro that gives you a holistic view on how your training sessions strain different systems. Recovery Pro then tells you how your body is coping with this strain, and how it affects your daily readiness for cardio training, and short and long-term recovery.
Orthostatic test: The Orthostatic test is a generally used tool for monitoring the balance between training and recovery. It allows you to track how your body responds to training. In addition to training induced changes, there are many other factors that can affect your Orthostatic test results, such as mental stress, sleep, latent illness and environmental changes (temperature, altitude) to mention a few. The test is based on measuring heart rate and heart rate variability. Changes in heart rate and heart rate variability reflect changes in the autonomic regulation of the heart.
Nightly recharge: Nightly Recharge™ is an overnight recovery measurement that shows you how well you recover from the demands of your day. Your Nightly Recharge status is based on two components: how you slept (sleep charge) and how well your autonomic nervous system (ANS) calmed down during the early hours of your sleep (ANS charge). Both components are formed by comparing your last night to your usual levels from the past 28 days. Your watch automatically measures both sleep charge and ANS charge during the night.
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.
The test failed, what happened?
The test fails when your watch cannot recognize a jump. This may happen if you wait too long between jumps (You have 40 seconds to jump after each beep). If you jumped but it wasn't detected, then your hands may have slipped from your hips when jumping. Play close attention to the placement of your hands as it is crucial for accuracy and repeatability.