Test Description: The Forward Reach Test is a part of the Star Excursion Balance Test (SEBT), which is a quick and reliable tool developed and used to evaluate neuromuscular characteristics including balance, lower extremity coordination, flexibility, and strength. The Forward Reach Test has concluded in multiple research articles that side-to-side reach differences can predict lower extremity injury. Please watch the video to get a visual demonstration of how to perform the test. Below you will find a description of how to do so.
Test Instructions: Get set-up balancing on one leg with a piece of tape placed at your toes. Place an object on a surface that easily slides, you will be using this object to measure your forward reach. While maintaining single leg balance, good form, and your heel on the ground reach with your opposite leg to slide the object forward as far as you can. Once you get your final score, use another piece of tape to mark the distance and ideally measure it in centimeters. Perform on the other side, write down your scores below.
Some rules to remember with this assessment. The trial is discarded and repeated if you (1) fail to maintain single-leg balance, (2) lift or move the stance foot from the ground (3) touch down with the reaching foot, or (4) fail to return the reaching foot to the starting position. You're allowed 6 practice trials to get used to the test. Your final score is the greatest reach of 3 trials, your right leg score will be when you perform the test standing on your right.
Norms/References: A side-to-side difference greater than or equal to 4cm = 2.5 times more likely to sustain a lower extremity injury (results from a study investigating high school basketball athletes).
"Star Excursion Balance Test as a Predictor of Lower Extremity Injury in High School Basketball Players." Phillip J. Plisky, Mitchell J. Rauh, Thomas W. Kaminski, and Frank B. Underwood. Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy 2006 36:12, 911-919