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How can I measure my lower-back flexibility?

Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine
To measure your lower-back flexibility, sit on the floor with your legs straight out in front of you and slightly spread apart. With one hand on top of the other and fingertips lined up, lean forward and reach for your feet. Women 45 and under should be able to reach two to four inches past their feet. Older women should be able to reach to the soles. Men age 45 and under should be able to reach to the soles. Older men should be able to come within three to four inches of the soles.
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YOU: On A Diet Revised Edition: The Owner's Manual for Waist Management

For the first time in our history, scientists are uncovering astounding medical evidence about dieting -- and why so many of us struggle with our weight and the size of our waists. Now researchers...

A quick but non-objective way to measure your lower-back flexibility is by sitting and reaching forward towards your toes. If your hamstrings feel super tight as you’re trying to reach, stretching them each day for 30 seconds will aid in increasing lower back flexibility. Often lower back pain, and hamstring tightness go hand in hand.

To stretch the hamstring lay on your back and pull one leg up half way towards your chest, holding it with both hands. Holding this position, extend your lower leg and push your heel towards the ceiling. Hold this position for 20-30 seconds on each side.


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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.