Beighton Scale Tests

I also had a question regarding …… the Beighton Laxity Score. At what point do we start to assume “congenitally lax” in a persons assessment and go through the Beighton Testing Criteria? Specifically though, how many mobility/flexibility assessments do we perform before we say to ourselves “this person might have congenital laxity, i need to use the Beighton Tests”.

First of all, congenital laxity can be a major, major problem from a medical perspective.  Movement-based and athletic implications aside, hypermobility may not always be benign.

The Beighton Scale, which I learned initially as the (Mariano) Rocabado’s Hypermobility Screen is as below with an interval scoring system.

1. Extend the first finger (2nd digit) over the back of the hand—if 90 degrees or greater score:

1 point left
1 point right

2. Flex the thumb toward the forearm—if the thumb touches the forearm
1 point left
1 point right

3. Extend the arm—if 10 degrees or more of hyperextension at the elbow
1 point left
1 point right

4. Extend the leg—if 10 degrees or more of hyperextension at the knee
1 point left
1 point right

5. Flex at the waist—if you are able to touch your palms to the floor score:
1 point

Total your points and compare below:
1-3 points—low flexibility
4-6 points—moderate flexibility
7-9 points—high flexibility

When do you go to this in part of your initial evaluation?  The easy cop out answer is you’ll probably just know.

If this is an initial session, I would still always stick with the SFMA for a painful individual and FMS for a non-painful individual.  For folks that appear to be major stability problems, the non-painful weak links are still going to guide your exercise selection and/or soft tissue interventions.

When you have someone able to do a back handspring for Multi-Segmental Extension or is giving you solid 1’s in the Trunk Stability Push-Up or Rotary Stability screens, doing the hypermobility tests will give you an idea of really how good you are going to get.

Keep in mind that there is nothing wrong with hypermobility as long as you bring hyperstability with it.  It may take a very long time, but if you follow the red lights, yellow lights, and green lights of the FMS and the SFMA, I think even a low Beighton score can still yield a very functional or athletic individual.

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  • July 23, 2010

Leave a Reply 7 comments Reply

Given your allusion to proffesional experiance – “you’ll probably just know”, is it justifyable then to stay with the 5 point screen as opposed to qualifying it with the 9 point one for efficiency and simplicities sake?

Charlie Reply

I am confused with this 5 vs. 9 points. There are 5 moves, but with rights and lefts, the scoring is based on 9. Reply

In other words, do not score both left and right. I know of a number of high profile baseball S&C coaches who will only test the dominant side of things (5 moves) and if they get a 3 or 4 then, to them, they pass. I guess it comes down to what population your work with primarily.

Rafidah Reply

i have scored 9 points on this,any advice or info for that?

Charlie Reply

Minimize mobility training and train long excursions with as heavy as weight as possible.

stephanie Reply

I’m a 5. What dies that mean?

Charlie Reply

It means you should go through a movement screen and train hard for your goals.

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