Validity of the modified back-saver sit-and-reach test: a comparison with other protocols

Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2000 Sep;32(9):1655-9. doi: 10.1097/00005768-200009000-00021.


Purpose: Studies have shown that the classical sit-and-reach (CSR) test, the modified sit-and-reach (MSR), and the newly developed back-saver sit-and-reach (BS) test have poor criterion-related validity in estimating low-back flexibility but yielded moderate criterion-related validity in hamstring flexibility. The V sit-and-reach (VSR) test was found to be practical but the validity has not been established. The purpose of this study was to propose a modified back-saver sit-and-reach (MBS) test, which incorporated all advantages of the various protocols, and to compare the criterion-related validity and reliability of all these tests.

Methods: 158 college students (F = 96, and M = 62; age = 20.77 +/- 2.51) performed CSR, VSR, BS (left and right leg), and MBS (left and right leg) tests in a randomized order. Scores from each test were then correlated with the criterion measures.

Results: For all sit-reach tests, intraclass reliability (single trial) was very high (r = 0.89-0.98). MBS yielded significant and highest r with low-back and hamstring criterion for men (r = 0.47-0.67) and women (r = 0.23-0.54). The low-back and right hamstring validity of MBS for men were significantly (P < 0.01) higher than those from BS and CSR, whereas no differences in criterion-related validity were found between the MBS and other protocols in women. The ratings of perceived comfort among the sit-and-reach protocols were significantly different (P < 0.001) from each other. The rating for MBS was observed the most comfortable test as compared with other protocols.

Conclusion: The MBS test is not only a reliable test for hamstring and low-back flexibility, it is also a more practical with improved validity for hamstring and low-back flexibility in men than previous protocols.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Controlled Clinical Trial
  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Back Injuries / prevention & control
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Leg / physiology
  • Low Back Pain / prevention & control
  • Lumbosacral Region / physiology*
  • Male
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology
  • Physical Fitness
  • Pliability*
  • Posture*