Adolescent growth is not associated with changes in flexibility

Clin J Sport Med. 1999 Jan;9(1):24-9. doi: 10.1097/00042752-199901000-00005.


Objective: To determine whether adolescent growth is associated with a decrease in flexibility.

Design: Longitudinal cohort study of urban high school students.

Main outcome measures: Flexibility of hamstring muscles (popliteal angle), quadriceps muscles (quadriceps angle), lumbar extensor muscles (Schober test), and combined lower extremity-trunk muscles (Sit and Reach test).

Results: There was no relation between growth and changes in flexibility for the lumbar flexor muscles, hamstring muscles, or muscles involved in the Sit and Reach test. Although there was a slight decrease in flexibility of the quadriceps muscle with increases in growth, the very low r2adj value (0.01-0.06) strongly suggests that growth plays only a small role in determining the flexibility of individuals.

Conclusion: These results strongly suggest that growth is not a cause of decreased flexibility during the peripubescent period.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent / physiology*
  • Back / physiology
  • Female
  • Growth / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology*
  • Physical Fitness
  • Regression Analysis
  • Thigh / physiology