Manual Muscle Testing for an Active Population: Lower Body

by Brent Brookbush DPT, PT, COMT, MS, PES, CES, CSCS, ACSM H/FS

Dr. Brent Brookbush tests the Gluteus Medius using a Manual Muscle Test modified for an active population Gluteus Medius Manual Muscle Testing

For an introduction to manual muscle testing (for an active population) including definitions of specific terminology, "why?" manual muscle testing, basic procedures, comparing traditional versus Brookbush Institute recommended scoring, amount of external resistance, what muscles should be tested, length/tension relationships, defining a “good assessment,” and best use check out: Manual Muscle Testing: Introduction

For Upper Body Manual Muscle Testing for an Active Population: Manual Muscle Testing: Upper Body

The intent of this article is to provide a review of common lower body manual muscle tests including technique, test position, definition of a "strong" result, common compensation, over-active synergists, provocative testing and implicated techniques.

Commonly Assessed Lower Body Muscles

Gluteus Medius Manual Muscle Test (1-4, 7-8, 10)

  1. Explain to your patient/client what the assessment entails.
  2. Instruct your patient/client to assume a side-lying position, with the bottom leg bent to roughly 60° of hip flexion and 60° of knee flexion.
  3. Approaching the patient from behind, place the hand closest to the hip on the iliac crest.  This hand will aid in stabilizing the clients pelvis and decreasing  contribution of the lateral flexors of the lumbar spine.
  4. Instruct your patient to lift (abduct) their top leg

    • The test may be more provocative with a bias toward hip extension (past neutral) and hip external rotation (approximately 10°).

  5. If necessary manually guide the client/patient into the appropriate test position.
  6. Instruct your patient/client to hold this position, as