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Revista Brasileira de Medicina do Esporte

Print version ISSN 1517-8692

Abstract

ARAUJO, Claudio Gil Soares de  and  ARAUJO, Denise Sardinha Mendes Soares de. Flexitest: inappropriate use of condensed versions. Rev Bras Med Esporte [online]. 2004, vol.10, n.5, pp. 381-384. ISSN 1517-8692.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1517-86922004000500005.

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Flexibility, defined as the maximal passive mobility of a given joint movement is one of the health-related physical fitness variables, representing an important factor for body and movement performance, either in sports or scenic modalities, where the gracefulness and beauty of movements is relevant. Among the several flexibility measurement and evaluation methods, one of the most used is the Flexitest that includes 20 joint movements graduated between 0 to 4 points. However, some professionals have used condensed versions of only four or six movements empirically selected. The objective of this study is to evaluate the practical and scientific validity of condensed versions use in replacement of the Flexitest full version. METHODS: Flexitest data were used in 3,116 individuals namely: 1,847 men and 1,269 women with ages ranging from 5 to 88 years. From step-by-step progressive regression analyses four and six movements that best estimated the Flexindex (sum of the 20 movements scores) separately for children and adolescents, young adults, adults and aged adults from both genders were selected. RESULTS: Despite the high determination coefficients obtained in the regression analyses, slightly better for six movements, standard errors of estimate ranged from 2.7 to 3.8 points (3.8 and 3.9, respectively, for men and women with no division by age group), exceeding what is expected as measurement error and similar to what is observed as result of a specific training program. CONCLUSION: Except for very specific and unusual situations, the use of condensed Flexitest versions of four or six movements is not appropriate even if specific for age range and gender.

Keywords : Flexibility; Evaluation; Physical exercise; Sports; Kinanthropometry.

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