Modifications to the Standard Sit-and-Reach Flexibility Protocol.
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OBJECTIVE: To present several modifications of the standard sit-and-reach protocol. BACKGROUND: Many exercises designed to increase strength and aerobic capacity tend to decrease the flexibility of the erector spinae and hamstrings musculature. Less-than-ideal flexibility in these soft tissues may increase the risk of injury during training, competition, or activities of daily living. The most widely used measures of flexibility have been either the stand-and-reach or the sit-and-reach, but both are limited to a single measure. DESCRIPTION: Using the new multitest flexometer, we were able to take 6 flexibility measures beyond the stand-and-reach test: standard active sit-and-reach, standard passive sit-and-reach, modified active sit-and-reach with external rotators slackened, modified passive sit-and-reach with external rotators slackened, modified active sit-and-reach with the hamstrings, gastrocnemii, and external rotators slackened, and modified passive sit-and-reach with the hamstrings, gastrocnemii, and external rotators slackened. CLINICAL ADVANTAGES: This modified sit-and-reach protocol allows the indirect assessment of the influence of the 4 major muscle groups that affect sit-and-reach scores: erector spinae, hip rotators, hamstrings, and gastrocnemii.
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