Flexibility assessment methods

Flexibility is a physical quality that can be defined as the range of motion of a joint. It is important to ensure the comfort in daily activities and has therapeutic effect when it comes to low back pain and neuromuscular tensions (FARINATTI & Monteiro, 2000).

There are three categories of flexibility assessment methods:

  • Angular measures: Measured by devices that calculate degrees in the amplitude of a joint specifies, the main ones are goniometer and fleximeter.
  • Linear measures: Made through measures in which calculate the distance from the body point to the location farthest this. A method widely used within this category is the Sit and reach using bank Wells.
  • Dimensionless measures: Made by subjective who determines where the result is the evaluator. Due to its biased as we consider, we will not go into detail about this.

Pollock (1993) reports that the angular measures are probably the most interesting for this assessment.



It is defined by the angle measurements, using the goniometer instrument to perform the evaluations. This method has the advantage of low cost and does not use any invasive method for your measurements. (Ciribelli, Mendonca and FERREIRA, 2005).

The goniometer can be metal or plastic, and may have formed a half circle or full circle and consists of three parts: fixed arm, swing arm and the center of the circle.

The assessment provides dial 0-180 ° commonly and this method was first used by Silver in 1923.

Although still the most widely used angular method requires larger evaluator’s experience not occur changes in income, as the device needs a series of observations.



The fleximeter is a circular device that measures the range of motion of a given joint. He is able to evaluate joints 9 and 32 movements. The unit is secured with a velcro around the joint and fixed at 0 °, the individual performs the movement and is found in its flexibility degrees after 3 attempts (SCHMIDT, 2011). Its accuracy and low cost are good points, however, the evaluation a little longer and not have this device anywhere hamper its routine use.

Sit and Reach

Banco de Wells

To measure the flexibility test was used to sit and reach proposed by Wells and Dillon (1953), where the volunteer properly seated with the soles of the feet supported in own bank with approximately 20 cm high on the bank puts up one tape measure 0-50 cm with hands on each other, the volunteer would perform three movements then trunk flexion with arms outstretched without bending the knees, with the longest distance reached considered (ACHOUR Jr., 1997).

Despite its limitations with respect to know which joint is or not with flexibility within the ideal, is still used in research due to its practicality and being a validated method.

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