Assessing Athlete’s Lower Back and Hamstring Flexibility With Sit and Reach Test

The objective of this test is to monitor the development of the athlete’s lower back and hamstring flexibility.

Required resources

To undertake this test you will require:

  • ‘Sit & reach’ table or a bench with a ruler
  • Assistant.

How to conduct the test

The sit and reach test is conducted as follows:

Sit and Reach Test
  • The starting position is sitting on the floor with shoes removed, feet flat against the table, and legs straight 
  • Reach forward and push the fingers along the table as far as possible
  • The distance from the finger tips to the edge of the table represents the score for that person
  • As the ‘sit and reach’ table has an overhang of 15 cm, a person who reaches 10 cm past their toes scores 25 cm
  • It is important to have several warm-up attempts first, and to record the best score.


Analysis of the result is by comparing it with the results of previous tests. It is expected that, with appropriate training between each test, the analysis would indicate an improvement.

Normative data for the sit & reach test

The following are national norms for 16 to 19 year olds.

Target group

This test is suitable for active individuals but not for those where the test would be contraindicated.


Reliability would depend upon how strict the test is conducted and the individual’s level of motivation to perform the test.


There are published tables to relate results to potential level of fitness and the correlation is high.


Mackenzie, Brian. 2005. 101 Performance Evalution Test. Electric World Plc. London.
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