The head-torso-lift test provides indications of a functional disorder (dysfunction) in the lumbar spine (lumbar spine). This form of the hyperextension test shows how flexible and stretchable your spine is.
With a harmonious back bend, the lumbar spine remains long and curved. It is balanced over all segments of the spine. It also requires an active back extensor muscle.


  • The exercise is performed in prone position. Stretch out your legs and place your arms to the side. Bend your elbows to 90° so that your hands are resting on your head. Align your head in the middle, your chin lies on the floor.
  • Now lift your head and upper body as far as possible without applying pressure with your arms or hands. Legs and feet also remain on the floor. To avoid deflection, raise your arms slightly.
  • Measure the distance from chin to floor.


  • If the distance is higher than 30 cm, you are in the green area. 
  • If you are between 15 – 30 cm during execution, you are in the yellow area.
  • If the distance is less than 15 cm, you are in the red area.

This “Testing” gives you information about your status quo in a simplified form. A kind of functional anamnesis. It helps you to get a picture of your functionality and quality of movement in order to filter out your strengths and weaknesses. It should help you to develop a feeling for whether or not your body, joints or muscles are restricted in certain movements. With your results, you can determine which areas need more attention or need more attention first.

Silvester Neidhardt

Extend your knowledge

The spine has a very high mobility (of the trunk) around three axes:
Forward flexion (ventral flexion or inclination), backward flexion (reclination), lateral inclination (lateral flexion) and rotation about the longitudinal axis (rotation).

The undisturbed function of this biological system is only possible if there is a functional balance of all structures involved.

The lower back (the lumbar spine) is most frequently affected by acute back pain (lumbago) or chronic back pain (lumbalgia) as a result of everyday lack of movement, adaptation processes and the resulting dysfunctions.