How to Become Physically Fit for The NDA Physical Fitness Examination?

Written by Fojfit  »  Updated on: April 29th, 2024

How to Become Physically Fit for The NDA Physical Fitness Examination?

Are you aspiring for a noble profession that is rooted in service, honor and patriotism? Many young people are highly motivated to pursue National Defence Academy (NDA) exams, out of a burning desire of commitment to safeguarding their nation's sovereignty and upholding its values each year. This joint exam is taken by multiple candidates aiming to join either of the three Defence Forces namely, Indian Air Force (IAF), Indian Navy (INA) and Indian Army Forces (IAF). The guidelines and notifications for NDA exams are released twice by UPSC i.e. NDA I and NDA II. The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) conducts the NDA Physical Fitness Test, where the candidates are tested on multiple areas. The candidates undergo a written test followed with an intelligence and personality test. There are two papers in the written test i.e. Mathematics and The General Ability Test. The candidates can appear for the interview only after clearing the written test.

Physical fitness plays an important role in meeting the eligibility criteria for NDA. A candidate must clear the NDA Preliminary Screening test followed by the SSB Interview where his/her mental and physical fitness is tested through the Physical Training Test. Since, defense entails and requires a candidate to be physically fit and strong, it is essential for them to achieve the required level of fitness to clear the NDA physical fitness examination.

In this article, we are going to delve into Defense exam fitness tips that are highly recommended for any NDA aspirant aiming to clear the NDA physical fitness examination.

How to prepare for the NDA physical fitness examination?

The NDA physical test is a test that assesses your fitness, stamina, willpower, endurance and several other aspects ensuring your ability to cope up with the minimum requirements laid down by the academy. The list below mentions some beneficial tips, carefully designed for all sort of candidates ( beginners to advanced level) who will be appearing for their NDA physical fitness examination after Class 12th:

1. Cardio Exercises

Perform aerobic exercises, including cycling, jumping rope, swimming, Zumba, etc, to improve your overall endurance and stress tolerance. Running is known to be one of the most enduring cardiovascular exercises that efficiently build up your stamina for any sort of physical fitness tests. It improves your overall cardiovascular health that is highly demanding to fulfill an ideal Defense exam regime.

  • As a beginner you should begin with a manageable distance, depending on your current fitness level. For example, make a habit of running for at least 2.5 to 3 kilometers regularly. Furthermore you can gradually increase your distance towards running 5 kilometers after four weeks of consistent practice. You can also keep recording your daily speed and running progress by keeping a Physical Fitness App in your smartphone.
  • If you are an advanced level candidate, you can push yourself further by running a distance of 15 to 20 km each day consistently. Being an advanced level candidate, you can also combine long-distance runs with hill repeats or tempo runs to improve your speed and build endurance.

2. Strength training

You should perform strength training exercises targeted toward your upper and lower body accordingly. It will help you elevate your functional strength, develop mental toughness, and improve physical performance.

For upper body

If you are aiming to strengthen your core by building an overall stability, then you can choose any of these best upper body strength training exercises - push ups, bicep curls, lunges and overhead presses. By engaging with these upper body exercises, you can surely and effectively fulfill the demands of the NDA physical fitness exam.

For Lower body

If you are aiming to improve your lower body coordination, you must focus on lower body strength training including squats, lunges and deadlifts. These exercises are known to be vital for your overall stability and can help strengthen your legs efficiently.

3. Flexibility and mobility training

It is always recommended to include consistent stretching exercises in your NDA physical fitness regime, to help prevent the risk of injury during your fitness journey. By incorporating regular stretching workouts like shoulder stretch, catcow, lunges, knee to chest stretches and Hamstring stretch; you can readily improve your physical performance for the upcoming Defense examination.

For Beginners

  • If you are a beginner and aiming to enhance your overall range of motion through stretching workouts, it is advisable to start with two sets of Catcows and lunges repeatedly.
  • You can also combine these basic warm up stretches with shoulder stretches and knee to chest stretch regime to achieve best results.

For Advanced Level candidates

  • If you are an expert, it is advisable for you to select a ballistic stretching after a proper warm –up and stretch in accordance with your physical stability and mobility.
  • Ballistic stretching is a dynamic form of stretching that uses the momentum of your moving body in an attempt to force it beyond its normal range of motion.
  • Best examples of Ballistic stretches are known to be – Hamstrings, Runner stretches and Hurdle stretches

4. Sleep, Rest and Recovery

When it comes to high functional fitness training in the defense sector, there is a potential risk of muscle injuries, stress and fatigue. It's essential to take rest and get quality sleep to prevent these issues. It's a matter of fact that proper sleep enables your body to release growth hormone, which aids in muscle repair and recovery. Therefore, it's highly recommended to incorporate rest into your physical fitness regime thereby elevating your physical and mental performance during the NDA exam.

5. Balanced diet

Ensuring a balanced intake of nutrient rich food such as an adequate amount of proteins, carbohydrate and healthy fats, which is essential to support various physical training regimes. For example, you can include healthy and nutritious food items such as eggs, cereals, chicken, lean fish, rajma, fruits, green vegetables and milk in your diet. Incorporation of a balanced diet is highly recommended by health experts in order to maximize your physical fitness performance required for passing the NDA physical fitness exam. If you are unable to keep a track of your food intake, then you can check out several physical fitness apps or download them on your phone. You can keep a track of your dietary intake.


Amidst the rigorous training and intense preparation, it's essential to possess an unwavering determination and commitment for serving your country with utmost pride and respect. Always remember that it's all about embracing a lifestyle of discipline, resilience, and self-improvement to achieve measurable goals.

Related Posts