Everything About Sit And Reach Test

What Is Sit And Reach Test?

The sit and reach test is used to measure the flexibility of hamstrings muscles and lower back. Wells and Dillon first described this test in 1952, and now it is one of the most used flexibility tests. Therefore, sit and reach test mainly access the tightness in the hamstrings and the lower back because tightness in the hamstrings and the low back is more frequently linked to muscle stiffness and pain.

This test can help in identifying an individual’s risk for future injury. It’s has been utilized by exercise therapists and fitness coaches to evaluate baseline flexibility before beginning an exercise plan, and it can be repeated after a few weeks to determine the change in progress.

The process of performing this test is very simple and requires very minimum skills to administer. The equipment needed to carry out this test are not very costly, easily affordable. What’s more, it’s also known as a field test, and it’s not difficult to administer in a community with a huge scale of population size.

Equipment Required For Performing Sit And Reach Test

  1. Sit and reach box
  2. Tape
  3. Ruler
  4. Assistant

How To Perform Sit And Reach Test (Procedure)

The procedure for performing sit and reach test is as follows.

  • Warm-up yourself for a minimum of 10 minutes before starting the test. The warm-up includes some gentle stretches.
  • You’ll require a particular sit and reach testing box. If you don’t have the sit and reach testing box, you can make your own testing box. Find a good stable box roughly 30-cm tall. Affix a meter stick on the upper surface of the box, so that 26 cm of the ruler extends across the front edge of the box towards the test subject. The 0 cm mark should lie in front of the patient, and the 26 cm mark should lie at the edge of the box.
  • Remove your shoes and sit on the floor with your legs fully extended, knees straight, and the bottom of the feet against the sit and reach the box.
  • Place your one hand on the top of the other, slowly lean forward at the hips by keeping the knee straight and try to reach across the top of the ruler as far as possible and try to hold the stretch for 2 seconds.

image showing sit and reach test

  • The assistant records the distance (in centimetre) covered by your fingertips.

Note – Record the score to the nearest centimetre or 1/2 inch as the distance covered by the fingertips.

  • After that, rest for a few minutes and repeat the test 3 times.
  • Ask your assistant to calculate and record the average of the three distances to get the final score.

Sit And Reach Test Results

After performing any test, we eagerly wait for the results. Sit and Reach test results helps in comparing your own flexibility of back and hamstrings over time. In addition, you can also compare your scores to the normative data of sit and reach test as shown in the sit and reach test table (scores) or chart below.

Bear in mind, these scores are based on performing the test as explained, and if the test is modified or may not be performed as described above, the results may not be accurate.


The reliability of sit and reach test will depend upon

  • The amount of warm-up permitted before the test and if the same process is followed each time while conducting the test.
  • How strict the test is conducted.
  • How much the individuals is involved or motivated to perform the test.

Mostly sit and reach tests are performed without any warm-up, although the best outcomes will be attained following a warm-up. Always try to perform a standardized warm-up before performing the test.


This test only measures the flexibility of hamstrings and lower back, and it is a legitimate measure of this.


  1. It can be conducted anywhere.
  2. Simple, quick and easy to perform.
  3. Minimum equipment Required.
  4. You can conduct it anywhere as well as you can also perform this test in a community with a large scale of population.


  1. This test is limited to a particular section of the body (lower back and the hamstrings) and may not be related to the other parts of the human body.
  2. You can not perform this test alone. Therefore, an assistant is needed to record the measurement.
  3. Every individual has different arms, trunk and leg. This variation in arm, trunk and leg between the individuals can make the comparison misleading.

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