Research Review: The Influence of Hip Strength on Lower Limb, Pelvis, and Trunk Kinematics and Coordination Patterns During Walking and Hopping in Healthy Women

By Jinny McGivern DPT, PT, Certified Yoga Instructor

Edited by Amy Martinez DPT, PT

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

Original Citation: Smith, J. A., Popovich Jr, J. M., & Kulig, K. (2014). The influence of hip strength on lower-limb, pelvis, and trunk kinematics and coordination patterns during walking and hopping in healthy women. journal of orthopaedic & sports physical therapy, 44(7), 525-531. - ARTICLE

Introduction: 

A growing body of research is demonstrating that impaired muscular control of the hip, pelvis and trunk affect lower extremity (LE) kinematics and kinetics in multiple planes (1-5). This 2014 study by U.S. researchers demonstrated a correlation between hip weakness, increased frontal plane trunk motion, and significantly altered LE, trunk and pelvis coordination during weight bearing tasks. Human movement professionals should consider assessing and addressing any noted weakness of hip abductors and extensors in individuals exhibiting LE dysfunction.

Compensation of the trunk in response to weakness in hip extensors/abductors. (Image: Courtesy of http://www.thestudentphysicaltherapist.com/online-courses/online-courses/trendelenburg-test)

Study Summary

Study DesignCross-sectional correlation study
Level of EvidenceIII Evidence from non-experimental descriptive studies, such as comparative studies, correlation studies and case-control studies
Participant CharacteristicsDemographics

  • Age:

    • Strong Group (SG): 23.44 ± 3.54 years
    • Weak Group (WG): 24.10 ± 3.31 years

  • Gender: female
  • Characteristics:

    • Height:

      • SG: 1.66 ± 0.06 meters
      • WG: 1.67 ± 0.05 meters

    • Weight:

      • SG: 58.57 ± 5.32 kg
      • WG: 61.16 ± 6.49 kg

  • Number of participants: 19 (SG= 10, WG=9)

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Participants were assigned to either the SG or WG based on normalized peak torque if both hip abduction (ABD) and extension (EXT) in their dominant limb fell outside of a 95% confidence interval.

Exclusion Criteria:

  • History of injury or surgery in the lower