A comparison of three different methods for the measurement of hamstring flexibility

  • S.J. Fish
  • N.T. Dragt
  • L. Lategan
  • J.M. Loots


Various tests are utilized within the field of sport science and biokinetics to measure hamstring flexibility. Within this explorative study, three methods were compared and the results correlated in order to establish the interchangeable use of these methods. A parametric comparative experimental research design was utilized. Forty male soccer players with a mean age of 21.29 years (± 2.48) were used as subjects. The subjects were divided into three groups and tested on 3 separate days, 4 days apart. The same researcher performed the testing to prevent intra-tester variability. The various techniques used to determine hamstring muscle flexibility were: (1) the straight leg raise method (SLR), (2) the active knee extension method (AKE), and (3) the hip roll method. Descriptive statistics was used to determine group means, modes, medians, standard deviations, etc. and single factor analysis of variance (ANOVA) was used to determine the significance of the potential differences at a 0.01 significance level. Hamstring flexibility for the right leg was 87.25° (± 7.81) for the SLR (or 2.75° knee flexion), 42.052° of knee flexion (± 7.24) for the hip roll method, and 49.13° of knee flexion for the AKE method. Hamstring flexibility for the left leg was 86.95° (± 7.82) for the SLR (or 3.05° of knee flexion), 41.3° of knee flexion (± 6.599) for the hip roll method, and 45.95° of knee flexion for the AKE method. The results of the present study indicated significant differences (p<0.01) between all three the methods and for both the left leg and the right leg. In conclusion, the authors suggested that the AKE method and hip roll method would produce comparable values for hamstring flexibility, but that the values obtained by using the SLR method would differ substantially from these two methods. The authors attributed this to the fact that the AKE method and hip roll method eliminated unwanted pelvic and lumbar movements during hamstring flexibility testing, while the SLR method failed to do so.
Key words: Hamstring flexibility, straight leg-raise method, active knee, and extension method, hip roll method.

(Af. J. Physical, Health Education, Recreation and Dance: 2003 Special Edition: 121-135)

Journal Identifiers

print ISSN: 2411-6939