This test measures the flexibility of the lower back and hamstring muscles, similar to what is measured with the sit and reach test. The test involves touching the floor with the finger-tips for 10 seconds. The test is part of the Kraus-Weber fitness test protocols, a series of six medical fitness test measures the strength and flexibility of key postural (core) muscles. See also the similar toe touch test, which measures the distance from fingertips to the ground.
purpose: To measure the flexibility of the lower back and hamstring muscles. Lower back flexibility is important because tightness in this area is implicated in lumbar lordosis, forward pelvic tilt and lower back pain.
equipment required: stopwatch
pre-test: Explain the test procedures to the subject. Perform screening of health risks and obtain informed consent. Prepare forms and record basic information such as age, height, body weight, gender and test conditions. See more details of pre-test procedures.
procedure: The subject stands erect, bare-footed, hands at sides and feet together. The subject then is asked to lean down slowly to touch the floor with their finger-tips for 10 seconds. Bouncing and jerking is not allowed. The examiner holds the knees straight in order to prevent any bending.
scoring: This test is graded on a pass-fail basis. The test is passed if the subject holds the position correctly for ten seconds. The Kraus-Weber test comprises 6 exercises - being unable to perform even one of the six exercises results in failing the test overall.
advantages: this is a very simple test to conduct, which can be performed quickly with minimal equipment.
comments: A modified scoring system is sometimes used which scores the test from 0-10 depending on the number of seconds that the body is held in the appropriate position.
- Kippers V, Parker AW. Toe-touch test. A measure of its validity. Phys Ther. 1987 Nov;67(11):1680-4.
The Test in Action
- The test is part of the Kraus-Weber fitness test protocols
- Stand & Reach — stand on a raised surface and bend forwards with straight legs. Measure how far past the toes the fingers can reach.
- Toe Touch — measure distance from fingertips to ground.
- Schober test — measures the flexibility of the lumbar spine based on the stretching of the skin over the lumbar spine while bending forwards.
- More about the Kraus-Weber fitness tests
- General description of the sit and reach test.
- Other flexibility tests.
- See the hamstring flexibility exercises on this list of stretches.