Muscle Extensibility Testing for the Lower Extremity – A Review for the Personal Trainer

by Dr Scott Cheatham, DPT, PhD, ATC, CSCS, NSCA-CPT
Personal Training Quarterly June 2020
Vol 7, Issue 1


The purpose of this article is to provide personal trainers with a review of common muscle extensibility tests of the lower extremity.

Lower extremity muscle extensibility deficits can affect joint mobility and be a problem in the active population by increasing injury risk (6). Researchers have reported a correlation between muscle extensibility deficits and injuries to the hamstrings (17), quadriceps (8,27), and Achilles tendon (15,18). The personal trainer may need to address muscle extensibility deficits with their clients in order to decrease the likelihood of injury (4,6).

One way personal trainers can determine if a client has muscle extensibility deficits is through muscle extensibility tests. These tests are often used to screen clients and confirm the presence of extensibility deficits prior to prescribing a flexibility and mobility program (6,7). Understanding specific tests may help the personal trainer to better identify deficits and focus the intervention programs to address those issues. The purpose of this article is to provide a review of common muscle extensibility tests of the lower extremity.

This article originally appeared in Personal Training Quarterly (PTQ)—a quarterly publication for NSCA Members designed specifically for the personal trainer. Discover easy-to-read, research-based articles that take your training knowledge further with Nutrition, Programming, and Personal Business Development columns in each quarterly, electronic issue. Read more articles from PTQ »

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Scott W. Cheatham, PhD, DPT, ATC, CSCS, NSCA-CPT

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