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.