A password will be e-mailed to you.

How To Determine If Your Flexibility Is Good Or Bad

Okay, okay you understand the importance of flexibility.

But how on earth are you supposed to know if you are actually flexible or not? Where do you sit compared to the rest of the population?

If you are still a little unsure about why everyone is talking about how important flexibility is you can check out this post which covers really valuable reasons why you should be stretching.

The below offers you a couple of different testing options that you can run at home to test your flexibility across your whole body. As you would be doing them yourself (and at home) they can have slight variations but the results will be relatively close to identifying your true flexibility rating.

The ratings are collected from Top End Sports and are also closely in line with charts that I regularly review as a personal trainer. They are also put together based on Author’s personal experience.

your flexibility is good or bad

How To Determine If Your Flexibility Is Good Or Bad

Shoulder Joint Flexibility

This measurement is of the shoulder joint flexibility for extension through the joint; hands away from chest behind body.

It is very common to find a high percentage of people come through with tight chest muscles and effectively shoulder problems. As majority of the population is regularly doing stuff in front of their body; typing, writing, reaching, sleeping on the side with shoulder curled into the middle of the body.

This means you often find people with rounded shoulders and postural problems. People who suffer from this problem are limited in the shoulder extension flexibility range. Which means they struggle to get there hands and arms back behind their body.

Testing:

  • Right Shoulder
    • Place your right hand by your side.
    • Bend your elbow and lift your hand up towards your head keeping your arm on your back.
    • Lift your left arm straight up above your body towards the ceiling.
    • Bend elbow and drop hand down towards head.
    • Try to get both hands to touch.
  • Left Shoulder
    • Place your left hand by your side.
    • Bend your elbow and lift your hand up towards your head keeping your arm on your back.
    • Lift your right arm straight up above your body towards the ceiling.
    • Bend elbow and drop hand down towards head.
    • Try to get both hands to touch.

Rating:

  • Excellent: able to grab onto fingers or further.
  • Good: fingers are touching.
  • Fair: fingers are not touching but are less than 3cm apart.
  • Poor: fingertips are great than 3cm apart.

Sit & Reach Test

This measurement is of your flexibility of hamstrings (between bum and back of the knee) and lower back.

Another common problem across the adult population is lower back pain. This can be linked to a large number of things but some people find relief in strengthening their core and glutes. Others find relief in improved flexibility.

Equipment:

  • Step
  • Ruler

Testing:

  • Sit down with legs straight and feet flat up against the step. Knees must be pushing towards the floor.
  • Sit up straight, reach arms above head and straighten your back.
  • Place one hand over the other.
  • Take a deep breath in.
  • As you breath out lower your hands to the top of the step and reach for the toes or past the toes.
    • If you cannot reach past your toes, place ruler facing towards your body with 0cm on your toes/end of the step.
    • If you can reach past your toes, place ruler facing away from your body with 0cm on your toes/end of the step.
  • Repeat 3 times, taking measurement each time.
  • Record the best score of the 3 as final score.

Note: if cannot reach toes and scoring with ruler towards the body, use the score as a negative measurement. The best score therefore will be the one closest to zero.

Rating:

  • Excellent:
    • Men: 17cm +
    • Women: 21cm +
  • Good:
    • Men: 6cm – 16cm
    • Women:11cm – 20cm
  • Average:
    • Men: 0cm – 5cm
    • Women: 1cm – 10cm
  • Fair:
    • Men: -8cm – -1cm
    • Women: -7cm – 0cm
  • Poor:
    • Men: > -9cm
    • Women: > -8cm

Quadriceps & Hip Flexor Test

This test is a measurement of the flexibility of the front of your lower body from hip to knee.

As a population that has a high percentage of people who are participating in sedentary behaviour many are very tight in this area which pulls your hip and can create a hip tilt that can lead to lower back pain. Tightness through the quadriceps (font of the leg/thigh) can also be a leading cause of knee injuries and/or pain.

Testing:

  • Find a bench or a chair about knee height.
  • Face the body away from bench or chair.
  • Lift one foot behind the body and place foot on the bench with ankle on the edge.
  • Other foot is out in front of the body, similar to a lunge position.
  • Ensure hips are square to the front (away from the bench or chair) and that feet are hip width apart.
  • Whilst maintaining a straight back lower the knee towards the floor.
    • If you start to move your chest forward and cannot maintain a straight back then you have come out of the testing position.
  • Find a plank or ruler and have someone place it up against your knee and against the wall.
  • Mark the spot on the wall where the plank/flat object meets.
  • Use a ruler to measure how far away from the top of the bench or seat your mark is.

Rating:

  • The lower you can go the more flexible you are.
  • Therefore and increase in cm’s means you are more flexible.

How is your flexibility? Did you think it was different than it actually is before doing this test?


 

Know someone who would find these tests useful for their health and fitness routine? I would really appreciate it if you sent it on to them. Every Monday I send out a Wondrous email straight to the inbox of those in our community with some kick-ass motivation, aids for your health and fitness and some personal insight that I only get the opportunity to do there. Join the community here.

 

MEET YOUR GOALS

Get clarity minus the BS. Receive advice on the right training for you. So you can feel amazing and confident about yourself.

x