Are you Fit to Run? - Thomas Test: Thigh

Strength, flexibility and balance help you run better and avoid injury. Take these six simple tests to assess yours



by Sam Murphy

 5 of 8 
Thomas test thigh

Why is it important?

The Thomas Test is a flexibility test that assesses the range of movement through the anterior chain (the muscles at the front of your body). "The hip flexors attach to the lumbar spine. If they are tight, they can trigger the lumbar spine into extension, putting stress on the back," says Giles. "They need to be long and strong."

How to test it

You'll need someone to assess your position. Sit on the edge of a sturdy table, bringing one knee into your chest. Lie back, allowing the other leg to hang off the surface with the foot dangling. Don't arch your back, keep your head on the bench, your torso in line with your legs and wrap your arms round your knee. There are two aspects of the position to check. First, check the angle of the thigh of the hanging leg from the side (above). Is it parallel with or lower than the table top? The most desirable thigh position in this test is five degrees below horizontal with back flat, head down and knee pulled into the chest.

Thigh Angle               Points
5° below horizontal      5
Horizontal                    4
Horizontal + 5°             3
Horizontal + 10°           2
Horizontal + >10°         1

Scored 3 or less?

If you fared poorly in Test 1, stretch the hip flexors daily, holding for 60 seconds. For a superior stretch, attach a resistance band around your ankle and lie face down with a foam roller or rolled-up towel just above your knee. Use the other end of the resistance band to draw your foot towards your bottom, pressing the hip downwards. "Follow each stretch with a movement that utilises the increased range, such as lunges with a straight back leg," says Giles. Dynamic stretches such as leg swings can also be useful, but be vigilant that you are flexing and extending the hip and not the lumbar spine.


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Thomas Test: Shin

 
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Discuss this article

Not too sure.  Running involves a symbiotic relationship between the organic machine composed of muscles, tendons and ligaments and the ethereal consciouness that desires the sense of fluid motion that running provides. It is an artform that involves the flow of locomotor muscles whilst the agonist, antagonist and synergistic actions of stabilising muscles anonymously endevour to provide the platform for the driving momentum  On this basis it is logical that tests such as those detailed in  Kelvin Giles' Physical Competence Assessment Manual which test the integrety of the machine should provide a reliable and valid tool in assessing ones fitness to run. However, the greyness of this mortal coil invariably means that some disparity and divergence exists between the art of running and the mechanistic prediction of ability and capacity such that the various assessment tools whilst indicative they fail to be predictive. Therefore runners should always consume the fall out of such analysis with a liberal garnish that allows the contextualisation and interpretation of the tools prediction with common sense and reflection upon what those annoying and noxious signals emenating from those tingling sense organs heralding the coming of compression hosiery.
Posted: 29/06/2011 at 13:58

You should meet Ricky Bennison.
Posted: 29/06/2011 at 14:16

Just what i was going to say....
Posted: 29/06/2011 at 21:56

Ooh not meeting Ricky Bennison...the other bit.!! (who's ricky bennison
Posted: 29/06/2011 at 21:58

Mighty Lexi wrote (see)
Ooh not meeting Ricky Bennison...the other bit.!! (who's ricky bennison

Mighty Lexi wrote (see)
Ooh not meeting Ricky Bennison...the other bit.!! (who's ricky bennison

Hits head against wall...
Posted: 29/06/2011 at 22:04

. wrote (see)
Hits head against wall...


Are you sure it didn't strike the wall?

<ducks>


Posted: 29/06/2011 at 22:43

Man, you need to get out more!
Posted: 30/06/2011 at 08:39

But who the heck is Ricky Bennison?

Any clues is the person a lad or ladette??? I mean is the person a man or woman?

Karen, GOOGLE it!


Posted: 01/07/2011 at 19:27

is he the prisoner who run half marathon every day in his cell, then he won a gold medal at the olympics for the marathon.  when interviewed later he sad "i was very happy to run with people again" lol.
Posted: 02/07/2011 at 21:15

eden bassy wrote (see)
is he the prisoner who run half marathon every day in his cell, then he won a gold medal at the olympics for the marathon.  when interviewed later he sad "i was very happy to run with people again" lol.

 The mind boggles!
Posted: 02/07/2011 at 22:12

This is Ricky

Enjoy


Posted: 02/07/2011 at 22:16

Saffy sweety pea wrote (see)

This is Ricky

Enjoy

RW gold. 
Posted: 02/07/2011 at 22:40

Oh yes
Posted: 02/07/2011 at 22:42

For anyone wanting skim highlights, I don't appear till page 7. 
Posted: 02/07/2011 at 22:54

Ricky Bennison wrote (see)
It occurs to that the term striking in regard to a runners landing foot insinuates a deliberate attempt to apply force to the ground. As the ambition of the landing foot is to land with minimal impact on the ground surely the term striking is a misnomer with negative potentialy harmful connotations especialy in regard to people injuring themselves by hitting the ground overly hard with there foot .


LOL it must been a full moon.

Saffy sweety pea wrote (see)

This is Ricky

Enjoy


 Turns to page seven


Posted: 02/07/2011 at 23:24

Damn it the bat has returned I'm off.
Posted: 02/07/2011 at 23:40

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