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Back Saver Sit and Reach Flexibility Test

Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA and Alexandra Williams, MA

Sit and Reach Hamstring Flexibility Assessment

sit and reach assessmentWe were approached by eHow and asked to create a video to address the question: “What muscles get stretched when performing the back saver sit and reach test?”

Actually the back saver test is a modification of the sit and reach test. Both are flexibility assessments, though the former tests one leg at a time; the latter has both legs extended simultaneously. For the back saver, you sit on the floor with one leg extended in front of you and the other bent with that foot planted throughout.  Then you reach both hands toward your feet and mark how far you go. How low low low can you go? How low can you go?

So, what muscles get stretched in this test designed to test flexibility? For $100 per vowel and $200 per consonant, let’s go with H-a-m-s-t-r-i-n-g-s. We have a winnah! Hamstring flexibility helps with gait, posture and hip placement;  such flexibility helps protect your back. So that’s the “saver” part of the story.
Take a look at this short video we did for eHow demonstrating how to get the most out of the sit and reach test. Don’t we look deluxe when professional videographers shoot us with two cameras?

Good Form to Test Hamstrings

How flexible are your hammies? Are you doing the test correctly or imitating Quasimodo and hunching over? As our video shows, you want to lift long through the spine and press your tailbone back, not under. Lengthen your arms toward your toes without “turtling” (having your neck disappear into your shoulders). If you do this incorrectly and slump or roll in an effort to get closer to your toes–as most people do– then you’re not really involving the hamstrings any more. You’re simply stretching your upper back, which is already pretty stretched out on most people. So do stay long and lifted through your torso. If you have good form, then raise your hands to wave as if you’ve been back saved!

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About Fun and Fit

Get practical exercise advice, your fitness questions answered, and cutting edge health edu-tainment that is accessible and doable from long time fitness experts, Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA and Alexandra Williams, MA. We have taught on land, sea, and airwaves for 3 decades on 4 continents. From writing to speaking, emceeing to hosting a radio show, reviewing products to teaching classes, we believe that little steps turn into big paths. Move a little more than the day before. FitFluential Ambassadors and award-winners both online and off.

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6 Responses to Back Saver Sit and Reach Flexibility Test

  1. Julia Shanon June 20, 2013 at 7:23 pm #

    will we get fatigue if we are doing this exercise?
    Julia Shanon recently posted..Grow Your Own Stem Cells at Home?My Profile

  2. Tamara June 21, 2013 at 5:27 am #

    I love this stretch! My hamstrings are super tight and it’s embarrassing how little I have to move into the stretch to feel it!
    My pet peeve is a hunched back when stretching; think tall and long through the torso! Great video ladies!
    Tamara recently posted..Girls night out | An evening with the 30 Top Vancouver Mom Bloggers 2013My Profile

  3. Debbie @ Live from La Quinta June 21, 2013 at 7:28 am #

    Do I get any points for know that the answer was hamstrings before I watched the video? :-)

    How do I get a pro to shoot my vids?
    Debbie @ Live from La Quinta recently posted..I am an Official KindRunner! Plus Vegan Sofritas at Chipotle!My Profile

  4. Jody - Fit at 55 June 22, 2013 at 11:56 am #

    I do this stretch all the time. At 55, it takes me a bit longer to warm up & get there like 15-20 minutes longer than in my 40′s & even longer than younger than that when I could just wham bam thank you mam do it! ;)
    Jody – Fit at 55 recently posted..Running Shoes, Bathing Suits, GIVEAWAY WINNERS & Link LoveMy Profile

  5. Yum Yucky June 27, 2013 at 1:24 pm #

    you girls are so dang awesome. Love all your videos. But totally thought Kymberly was gonna spank Alexandra on that tailbone reference. Sisters need to be smacked sometimes. Sibling rivalry ‘n all…. No?
    Yum Yucky recently posted..5 Greedy Etiquette Tips For a Restaurant Fro-DownMy Profile

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