Faculty Mentors

Dr. Mike Martino


Purpose: The purpose of this study is to identify the effect of the gastrocnemius on the posterior chain by comparing traditional Sit-and-Reach Test (TSRT) performance in the standard 90 degree of ankle dorsiflexion position with the R.S. Smith Sit-And-Reach Design (SSRT) placing the ankle at 35 degrees of ankle plantar flexion.

Methods: The researchers tested a total of 169 participants. All participants completed an informed consent prior to the tests. After completing a five-minute elliptical warm-up, participants performed three trials of each SRT variation. The highest score of each test was recorded. The researchers used a paired t-test to determine statistical significance.

Results: The participants achieved a mean distance of 24.98±9.28 cm in the TSRT and 27.83±10.10 cm in the SSRT. The results showed a significant difference between SRT performance in the standard 90 degrees of ankle dorsiflexion position and the modified ankle position of 35 degrees of ankle plantar flexion, with the significance level set at p<0.001.

Conclusion: The flexibility of the gastrocnemius has a significant effect on the posterior chain. Therefore, when analyzing TSRT performance, gastrocnemius flexibility must also be taken into account. Several studies have been published on the premise that the TSRT evaluates low back and hamstring flexibility. Future studies should indicate that the test is assessing low back, hamstring and gastrocnemius flexibility.



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