Being able to determine differences between limbs (e.g. in strength, balance or flexibility) is very important. Too often both the tests, and the treatments/exercises, used consider both legs as being equivalent. So they do double leg squats, and sit and reach for flexibility. But most athletes have a dominant leg, and jump off one leg, and may only have injured one side. So it is very important to have ways of comparing one leg against another. And the speedflexer allows this in a quick and simple way.
It is also important to be able to identify specific hamstring flexibility – as opposed to just touching your toes – which involves your back and hips and not just your hamstrings. And the speedflexer allows this in a quick and simple way.
We know that deficits in flexibility between legs are worth being aware of, and that they can be addressed using many different exercise programmes (not just stretching, but also for example a gradually progressive strength training programme). Monitoring flexibility might be particularly useful to watch for early signs of overtraining, under recovery, or sudden changes related to adolescent growth spurts for example.
We also know that the degree of flexibility will vary according to the demands and training of athletes. For example, the elite dancers we measured had an average flexibility of 91degrees…and some a lot higher…
Dr. Kieran O’Sullivan
PhD M Manip Ther B Physio SMISCP MISOM
Department of Clinical Therapies,
University of Limerick
@kieranosull / @paineddotcom
Sit & Reach
The graph below shows the comparisons between using the Sit and Reach box and the SpeedFlexer.
A study of 32 students – check student number 3, 16 and 25.
Student number 3 achieved 20 in the Sit and Reach, which is excellent, yet when you measure it on the SpeedFlexer he had only 65 on his left leg and 85 on his right leg which is a massive imbalance of 20.
Student number 16 was the best at Sit and Reach at 28, he has only 75 on his left leg using the SpeedFlexer. He balanced but was still short of the magic number 90.
Look at student number 25; who was quite good on the SpeedFlexer but was way down on Sit and Reach at just 12.
SpeedFlexer gives a reading of each leg in isolation, and shows any imbalance.
Imbalances is the biggest cause of injuries.
To increase your speed, you need to increase your flexibility.
GRAPH SHOWING A SERIES OF 10 PLAYERS WHO SCORED 20 ON THE SIT AND REACH TEST BUT ON THE SPEEDFLEXER TESTING APPARATUS THE INDIVIDUAL SCORES ARE MUCH CLEARER IDENTIFIED AND PROBLEM AREAS BETTER ILLUSTRATED.
GRAPH SHOWING THE SCORES OF 10 PLAYERS WHO SCORED VERY HIGH SCORES (BETWEEN 22 AND 28) ON THE SIT AND REACH TEST. IN THE SPEEDFLEXER TEST ONLY ONE REACHED THE REQUIRED 90 DEGREES AND THAT WAS ON ONE LEG (PLAYER 8 RIGHT LEG).
GRAPH SHOWING 5 PLAYERS WHO SCORED VERY SIMILAR LOW ON THE SIT AND REACH TEST AND ARE CLEARLY IDENTIFIED AS BEING VERY DIFFERENT WITH THE USE OF THE SPEEDFLEXER TEST.
LOOK AT PLAYER 1 LOOK AT PLAYER 5
Quick Comparison Graph
2 Players equal 2 Players very good 2 Players poor Desired flexibility
at Sit and Reach Test at Sit & Reach Test at Sit & Reach Test for Sport