Allied Health Faculty Publications


Comparison of the Deep Squat Pose to the Sit-Reach and Functional Movement Screen Active Straight-Leg Raise

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Journal of Yoga and Physiotherapy







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The five health-related components of physical fitness include cardiovascular endurance, muscular strength, muscular endurance, flexibility, and body composition. In terms of flexibility, there are currently a wide variety of tests and assessments used to measure flexibility. For example, the sit-reach test (SRT) has been used for decades in physical education, sport, and the military to assess low back and hamstring flexibility Hodgdon [1]. Despite its popularity, research suggests that although the SRT is an effective assessment of hamstring flexibility, it is not an effective assessment of low back flexibility [2,3]. As a result, alternative tests and assessments are often used to assess lower body flexibility. For example, the Functional Movement Screen (FMS) was developed in 1995 to evaluate the execution efficiency of specific movement patterns Cook [4]. One of the assessments included in the FMS is the active straight leg raise (ASLR), which evaluates both low back and hip mobility (both flexion and extension) as well as hamstring flexibility. Although not normally used as a formal assessment tool, research has shown yoga to be an effective means for improving flexibility Md Iftekher et al. [5]. Additionally, regular participation in yoga is associated with both short-term and long-term relief from chronic low back pain Cramer et al. [6]. One of the more popular poses in yoga for promoting improved mobility in the ankles, knees, hips and low back is the deep squat pose (DSP), also referred to as the Garland or Malasana pose. Similarly, Myer et al. [7] reported the squat is arguably one of most important movement patterns in terms of improving athletic performance, reducing injury risk, and supporting lifelong physical activity. Figure 1 provides a visual depiction of the SR, ASLR, and DSP.

The purpose of this study to was evaluate the effectiveness of the DSP as a formal method of assessing flexibility in the low back and hamstrings as compared to the ASLR and SRT.


Physical fitness, cardiovascular endurance, muscular strength, muscular endurance, sit reach test, straight leg raise