Marine Corps Physical Fitness Exercises

by Kristin Davis

About Kristin Davis

Kristin Davis has been writing since 2004, specializing in the health and fitness fields. She has written for online and print publications including Fitness Monthly and Creative Circle. Davis has certification through the International Fitness Professionals Association as a personal trainer.



The Physical Fitness Test (PFT) is an evaluation that the United States Marine Corps executes on a semi-annual basis. During the Physical Fitness Test, there are a number of exercises that all marines are required to perform. Marines that are in Special Operations of Recon are required to perform the PFT testing along with another similar program that requires more reps, but almost the exact same exercises.

3-Mile Run

As part of the Physical Fitness Test, each Marine must complete a 3-mile run that is timed and scored. One-hundred points, which is a perfect score for the exercise, is given to females who finish the run in less than 21 minutes and men who finish the run in less than 18 minutes. One point is deducted from the total score for each 10 seconds beyond the allotted time in which the marine finishes the run.

Abdominal Crunches

During the abdominal crunch portion of the Physical Fitness Test, the marine must begin with his shoulder blades and buttocks on the floor. A set of perfect repetitions are required to score points for this exercise. A perfect repetition occurs when, beginning with your arms pressed firmly against your ribs or chest, you raise your shoulder blades and touch your thighs with your elbows or arms before returning to the starting position. To achieve a perfect score, 100 perfect repetitions are required. A minimum of 40 repetitions are needed to score in the exercise.


Only the male marines are required to do the pull-ups exercises. The marine must begin the exercise in a hanging position with his elbows locked, and then pull his chin entirely over the bar. Marines who are able to perform 20 pull-ups are awarded with a perfect score. A minimum of three full pull-ups are required for the marine to receive a score for this exercise.

Flexed-Arm Hang

Just as the males are the only marines required to do pull-ups, only the females perform the flexed-arm hang. To do the exercise, the marine grabs the pull-up bar and situates herself in the flexed-elbow position, where she will hang for a specified amount of time. To achieve a perfect score of 100 points, the marine must be able to hang from the bar for a minimum of 1 minute, 10 seconds. A minimal 15-second flexed-elbow hand is required to be awarded points for this exercise.

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