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, 13 (1), 1-14
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Criterion-Related Validity of Sit-and-Reach Tests for Estimating Hamstring and Lumbar Extensibility: A Meta-Analysis

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Review

Criterion-Related Validity of Sit-and-Reach Tests for Estimating Hamstring and Lumbar Extensibility: A Meta-Analysis

Daniel Mayorga-Vega et al. J Sports Sci Med.

Abstract

The main purpose of the present meta-analysis was to examine the scientific literature on the criterion-related validity of sit-and-reach tests for estimating hamstring and lumbar extensibility. For this purpose relevant studies were searched from seven electronic databases dated up through December 2012. Primary outcomes of criterion-related validity were Pearson´s zero-order correlation coefficients (r) between sit-and-reach tests and hamstrings and/or lumbar extensibility criterion measures. Then, from the included studies, the Hunter- Schmidt´s psychometric meta-analysis approach was conducted to estimate population criterion- related validity of sit-and-reach tests. Firstly, the corrected correlation mean (rp), unaffected by statistical artefacts (i.e., sampling error and measurement error), was calculated separately for each sit-and-reach test. Subsequently, the three potential moderator variables (sex of participants, age of participants, and level of hamstring extensibility) were examined by a partially hierarchical analysis. Of the 34 studies included in the present meta-analysis, 99 correlations values across eight sit-and-reach tests and 51 across seven sit-and-reach tests were retrieved for hamstring and lumbar extensibility, respectively. The overall results showed that all sit-and-reach tests had a moderate mean criterion-related validity for estimating hamstring extensibility (rp = 0.46-0.67), but they had a low mean for estimating lumbar extensibility (rp = 0. 16-0.35). Generally, females, adults and participants with high levels of hamstring extensibility tended to have greater mean values of criterion-related validity for estimating hamstring extensibility. When the use of angular tests is limited such as in a school setting or in large scale studies, scientists and practitioners could use the sit-and-reach tests as a useful alternative for hamstring extensibility estimation, but not for estimating lumbar extensibility. Key PointsOverall sit-and-reach tests have a moderate mean criterion-related validity for estimating hamstring extensibility, but they have a low mean validity for estimating lumbar extensibility.Among all the sit-and-reach test protocols, the Classic sit-and-reach test seems to be the best option to estimate hamstring extensibility.End scores (e.g., the Classic sit-and-reach test) are a better indicator of hamstring extensibility than the modifications that incorporate fingers-to-box distance (e.g., the Modified sit-and-reach test).When angular tests such as straight leg raise or knee extension tests cannot be used, sit-and-reach tests seem to be a useful field test alternative to estimate hamstring extensibility, but not to estimate lumbar extensibility.

Keywords: Concurrent validity; field test; flexibility; lineal test; range of motion; systematic review.

Figures

Figure 1.
Figure 1.
Flow chart of studies selection process.
Figure 2.
Figure 2.
Scatter plots of sample size and criterion-related validity coefficients (r) for estimating hamstring extensibility: (a) Classic sit-and-reach; (b) Modified sit-and-reach; and (c) Back-saver sit-and-reach. Dashed line represents median values of validity coefficients
Figure 3.
Figure 3.
Scatter plots of sample size and criterion-related validity coefficients (r) for estimating lumbar extensibility: (a) Classic sit-and-reach; (b) Modified sit-and-reach; and (c) Back-saver sit-and-reach. Dashed line represents median values of validity coefficients

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