This test measures the flexibility of the lower back and hamstring muscles. The test is very similar to the sit and reach test, though no box is required. This following describes the procedures for the V-Sit as used in the President's Challenge Fitness Awards, which is an alternative to their sit and reach test.
equipment required: a tape for marking the ground, marker pen, and ruler. With the tape mark a straight line two feet long on the floor as the baseline, and a measurement line perpendicular to the midpoint of the baseline extending two feet on each side. Use the marker pen to indicate every half-inch along the measurement line - the point where the baseline and measuring line intersect is the zero point.
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 appropriate warm-up. See more details of pre-test procedures.
procedure: The subject removes their shoes and sits on floor with the measuring line between their legs and the soles of their feet placed immediately behind the baseline, heels 8-12" apart. The thumbs are clasped so that hands are together, palms facing down and placed on measuring line. With the legs held flat by a partner, the subject slowly reaches forward as far as possible, keeping the fingers on baseline and feet flexed. After three practice tries, the student holds the fourth reach for three seconds while that distance is recorded. Make sure there are no jerky movements, and that the fingertips remain level and the legs flat. See also video demonstrations of the Sit and Reach Test.
scoring: The score is recorded to the nearest half inch as the distance before (negative) or beyond (positive) the baseline.
validity: This tests only measures the flexibility of the lower back and hamstrings, and is a valid measure of this.
reliability: The reliability will depend on the amount of warm-up allowed, and whether the same procedures are followed each time. Some norm values will be based on no previous warm-up, while others after a full warm-up. The best results will be achieved after a warm up or if the test is proceeded by a test such as the endurance test.
advantages: This test does not require specific testing equipment such as required for the similar sit and reach test. It is an easy and quick test to perform requiring minimal equipment.
disadvantages: Variations in arm, leg and trunk length can make comparisons between individuals misleading. The modified sit and reach test attempts to account for these differences.
other comments: Lower back flexibility is important because tightness in this area is implicated in lumbar lordosis, forward pelvic tilt and lower back pain.
The Test in Action
- The V-Sit test is part of the President's Challenge Fitness Awards.
- Sit and Reach Test Videos and other Flexibility Test Videos
- All about the President's Challenge Fitness Awards.
- General description of the sit and reach test.
- Other flexibility tests.
- See the hamstring flexibility exercises on this list of stretches.
- Buy a sit and reach box