Test 10: Sit and Reach Test


Video 10 - Canadian Trunk Forward Flexion (Sit and Reach) test

‘All information contained in these videos is taken from the ACSM’s Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription, 10th Edition’

Flexibility is the ability to move a joint through its complete range of motion and is important in both athletic performance and activities for daily living. Flexibility is joint specific; therefore no one test can evaluate total body flexibility, however a commonly included test in a health and fitness assessment is the sit-and-reach test of low-back and hamstring flexibility.


  1. Prior to the test the subject should perform a short warm-up that includes some stretches of the hamstring and lower back.
  2. The subject sits without shoes and the soles of the feel flat against the sit-and-reach box with the zero mark at 15cm. Inner edges of the soles should be 15cm apart.
  3. The client should slowly reach forward with both hands as far as possible, holding this position for approximately 2s. Be sure that the participant keeps the hands parallel and does not lead with one hand, or bounce. Fingertips can be overlapped and should be in contact with the measuring portion of the sit-and-reach box.
  4. The score is the most distant point reached with the fingertips. The best of two trials should be recorded. To assist with the best attempt, the client should exhale and drop the head between the arms when reaching. Testers should ensure that the knees of the subject stay extended, however the knees should not be pressed down by the administrator. The subject should breathe normally during the test and not hold their breath at any point.

Test Interpretation

Normative data according to age and gender can be found in table 4.13 (p105). Please note that this table is based on a sit-and-reach box in which the ‘zero’ point is set at 15 cm, for boxes where the zero point is set at 23cm or 26cm, add 8cm or 11cm respectively to each value.

(11cm needs to be subtracted from each value in table 4.13 for use in this resource)