Thomas Test

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tyciol
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Thomas Test

Post by tyciol » Sat Jan 23, 2010 4:06 am

http://www.exrx.net/Testing/FlexFunctio ... sTest.html

It talks about false positives on this test and how to avoid them. It mentions the lower back should touch, so basically this means removing the arch right?

By rounding the spine like this, what we are doing is posteriorly rotating our pelvis, right? Whereas if we were not contracting our abs or pulling on our leg then the hips could posteriorly rotate under the weight of the free leg and the arch would increase and our lower back would move further away from the bench.

Now something I am wondering about here: how would having a muscular posterior chain in various areas affect this test? Or heck, for those with a deal of body fat (either due to excess % or genetic predisposition to store it in certain areas) that's mass too (though perhaps more giving than muscle) so could that influence this?

Like for example, if you have a muscular/fat back or glutes or maybe lats, would that make it more difficult to touch your lower back down? Would you need to flex your spine to a greater degree to make the lower back touch down?

Similarly speaking, if those aforementioned areas were small and someone had a very muscular lower back (hypertrophied erector spinae) or they stored a lot of lower back fat, wouldn't that make the lower back touch down earlier?

Another issue is this: how do we tell how far down the hanging leg (the one with the hip flexor being stretched) is? The further down the knee goes, the more it is stretched, right? What if some people allow that hip to hyperextend?

The more your press your lower back down, the more the spine rounds and posteriorly rotates the pelvis, the greater degree of hip extension (and subsquent lengthening of the hip flexors) is needed to maintain position.

Is performing the Thomas Test one way people could attempt to stretch their hip flexors? Like perhaps, if that's not tiring, have a partner apply resistance as they try to flex at the hip or possibly to extend the knee? I imagine moving at the knee would help to shift the tension of the stretch between the rectus femoris (which is also a quadricep knee extensor) and the rest of the hip flexors.

Or maybe someone could use an ankle weight or if they had some sort of loop to dankle a weight from (I imagine a kettlebell handle wouldn't fit all size shoes). For safety reasons obviously a dumbbell is out of the question.

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Post by frogbyte » Mon Jan 25, 2010 12:36 pm

The intent is a test of hip flexor mobility? Seems like the sort of thing that you need to look at holistically - if the person has an over-arched lower back that'll make everything off balance.

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Post by robertscott » Mon Jan 25, 2010 3:29 pm

yeah you can do it as a stretch, not just a test. The problem with trying to add weight is that if you use a weight that's too heavy you'll resist against it and it won't work. Even light weights in that situation can be too heavy.

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Post by KPj » Fri Jan 29, 2010 12:50 pm

All the issues mentioned by the OP are great reasons to just go to a specialist to get checked i.e. it's not all that easy. The untrained eye can miss loads of significant findings.
frogbyte wrote:The intent is a test of hip flexor mobility? Seems like the sort of thing that you need to look at holistically - if the person has an over-arched lower back that'll make everything off balance.
Technically, Hip flexor 'tone' (or, stiffness), although you can also use it to check length. You need to check muscles passively to check length (if they're short or not). There's a significant difference between short and stiff...

With regards to over-arching the lower back - that's why the knee is pulled towards the chest. This flexes the lower back and rules out compensation via lumbar extension. It doesn't neccessarily need to touch the table, but the hips need to be in a neutral position, and this position needs to be maintained throughout.

Thomas test can tell you about most of the hip flexors - Psoas, Rectus Femoris, TFL, depending on what you do with the leg/hip i.e. bend the knee, abduct the hip, etc... Again, I would stress that these tests are for pro's to do. They're a lot more complicated than they look. It's an area that i've been interested in for a good couple of years now and, although I try these things on anyone who'll let me, I never take my findings seriously. The more I understand how they work, the more ways I discover that I could get it wrong...

Lastly, i'm sure it could potentially be usefull as a partner assisted stretch but, there's loads of much easier ways to stretch the hip flexors. I would just stick with those...

KPj

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Post by robertscott » Fri Jun 11, 2010 5:28 am

ya ya really very sensible i am...

...you're not fooling anyone ya dirty spammer!

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Re: Thomas Test

Post by coldstone » Thu Oct 13, 2011 7:38 am

What means this test? What's the point from it and the main thing is the result from it?

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Re: Thomas Test

Post by stuward » Thu Oct 13, 2011 8:01 am

coldstone wrote:What means this test? What's the point from it and the main thing is the result from it?
Google is your friend.

http://www.physio-pedia.com/index.php5? ... homas_Test" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

"The most important aspect of this test is that the range of motion [5] of the hip is measured as the various diseases may shown as patellofemoral pain syndrome [6], lower back pain[7], osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis[8]. "

Using the test as a stretch improves the range of motion in the hip flexors. These are often chronically short in many people that sit a lot. Tony Gentlecore went through it in a 2 part blog a while ago:
http://www.tonygentilcore.com/blog/thom ... are-part-i" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
http://www.tonygentilcore.com/blog/thom ... re-part-ii" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
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Re: Thomas Test

Post by acanta » Thu Nov 17, 2011 12:35 am

I wish I knew of this test/stretch before. I've been having issues with my left hip flexer and I think a large part of the trouble is because I got into a bad habit of never stretching before/after my workouts. I think all stretching is essentially a test. With each stretch you can learn so much about your body's state. In my case, I've learned my lack of stretching creates injuries. Perhaps regularly testing and stretching is the best prevention.

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Re: Thomas Test

Post by stuward » Thu Nov 17, 2011 6:36 am

acanta wrote:I wish I knew of this test/stretch before. I've been having issues with my left hip flexer and I think a large part of the trouble is because I got into a bad habit of never stretching before/after my workouts. I think all stretching is essentially a test. With each stretch you can learn so much about your body's state. In my case, I've learned my lack of stretching creates injuries. Perhaps regularly testing and stretching is the best prevention.
Can you describe the injuries you've had?
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Re: Thomas Test

Post by acanta » Fri Dec 09, 2011 5:09 pm

I had acute trauma in my hip flexor from running. Happened about 4 or 5 years ago. I used go for these tough runs without stretching and it caused some painful damage. That's why I now make a point to stretch before and after every workout.

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Re: Thomas Test

Post by richardsalvo » Thu Jul 13, 2017 9:10 am

What is Thomas Test?

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