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Sit and Reach Test


One of the more common flexibility assessments is a sit and reach test, which is an exercise that is going to measure the flexibility of the lower back and the hamstring muscles.

The hamstrings and lower back are very important to your freedom of movement and general posture. It's important to work to keep the muscles in these areas free and flexible. The sit and reach test is a great way to achieve this.

What is the point?

The point of the Sit & Reach test is to help you to understand whether your hamstrings and lower back muscles are too tight. Therefore, whether you need to do a lot more stretching to loosen them.

What do you need?

  • A measuring tape
  • A box or "sit and reach" table

You can perform the test almost anywhere, you do not need a partner.

How do you do the test?

  • Sit comfortably on the floor with your legs straight out
  • Place measuring tape, with 0cm at the base of box/table, parallel with one of your legs
  • Put soles of your feet, shoulder width apart, against the box/table
  • Make sure knees are locked/straight - this is what determines hamstring flexibility
  • (when knees become bent during the test, results will be inaccurate)
  • With hands stretched towards your feet, lean forward and reach with finger tips as far as possible
  • If possible reach beyond end of your toes over the top of the box
  • You get three chances to stretch forward and then the fourth is measured

The distance that your fingers touch on the tape measure (or beyond) will therefore be your resultant score (if you don't make it to the toes then you will get a negative distance subtracted from 0).

You must make sure however that there are no jerky movements while doing this and you are able to hold this distance for at least two counts.

What results you'll get :

Scoring is as follows

Very Poor Poor Fair Average Good Excellent Superior
Male -20cm + -19 to -9cm -8 to -1cm 0 to 5cm 6 to 16cm 17 to 27cm 27cm +
Female -15cm + -14 to -8cm -7 to 0cm 1 to 10cm 11 to 20cm 21 to 30cm 30cm +

Make sure you also perform some warm-up exercises before doing the assessment as it will make the muscles and ligaments more elastic and help with your score.

What is being measured again?

These test measures the flexibility and strength of the hamstrings and lower back.




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