The straight leg raise or straight leg lift is a hamstring muscle flexibility test. While the subject is lying on their back, the straight leg is raised as far as possible, and the angle of the leg from the horizontal is measured.
purpose: to assess the range of hip flexion of each leg with the knee fully extended.
equipment required: goniometer with extended arms and spirit level (optional), and a firm table.
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, test conditions. Perform an adequate warm-up. See more details of pre-test procedures.
procedure: The subject lies supine on a flat bench. At least two testers are required, one to raise the leg while the other takes a measurement with the goniometer. The tester moving the leg places one hand on the front of the leg slightly below the knee, and the other hand at the heel. The leg is forced into full extension prior to lifting the leg and kept in full extension (without the pelvis lifting off the bench) throughout the movement. The straight leg is raised as far as possible. At the point of maximum stretch, measure the angle of displacement of the leg from the horizontal. The fulcrum of the goniometer is held over the greater trochanter of the leg being tested, while the moving arm is aligned with the midline of the femur, using the lateral epicondyle as a reference point. Two separate trials are performed with the mean of the two recorded as the hip flexion score. The procedure is repeated for both legs.
scoring: The angle of displacement from the horizontal is measured by the goniometer. The measurement unit is degrees.
comments: The opposite leg must be held firmly down by another tester or by using a strap, so that there is no flexion at the hip joint.
- More flexibility tests
- Flexibility Test Videos
- About testing with a goniometer
- See also the hamstring flexibility exercises on this list of stretches
- goniometers available for sale