The sit and reach test is a common test to measure flexibility and specifically the flexibility of the hamstrings and lower back. The results from the test will allow you to monitor your flexibility progress, This is achieved by using a sit and reach box that has measurements on top, this is where you will get your flexibility test readings from.
If you are a member of a gym, they almost certainly will have a sit and reach box to enable you to conduct this test. This test can be done by yourself or you could ask the fitness instructor at the gym, a friend or gym user to help you out.
Before performing the test, you will need to ensure your muscles are warm completing a short warm-up with specific attention being paid to your lower back (erector spinae) and hamstrings. A 10-minute warm-up will be more than adequate and ensure you are not performing the test with cold muscles.
To complete this test you will need to remove your shoes and sit on the floor.
- With your legs outstretched and knees touching the floor or held by the instructor if available, ensure your soles are flat against the box.
- Reaching forwards with hands on top of each other and palms facing down, often it helps if you have something to push at the end of your fingertips in order to measure your exact reach (remember not to thrust the object forwards and avoid jerky movements).
The score is recorded to the nearest centimetre as the distance reached by the hand. The table here gives you a general guide for expected scores).
Before commencing the test have a look at the box and check where the ‘0’ mark is, this will be where your feet will be at the front of the box. Some boxes start at different points, commonly they start at 30 cm if this is the case and you reach 44 cm you have achieved a distance of +14cm.
Complete the test 3 times to get an average reading, record your readings and compare against normal values and future tests to monitor progress in your flexibility.
Sit and Reach Test Tracking Sheets
Tracking a clients progress is crucial to understand if they are progressing. I have provided examples of a sit and reach flexibility tracking sheet which I have used with my own clients.
Google Docs Version
Note: Make a copy to edit you own version