This is Brent, and I'm excited to go
we're going to do the Ely test, but first let me explain how I personally would
use this a test like this.
This is a specific flexibility test for a specific muscle group.
This becomes important after I've done a dynamic movement assessment, something
like the overhead squad. The limit of something like an overhead squat, is it
implies joint actions. That is, we are determining what joint action occurred
to get somebody outside of optimal posture. If we have a joint action to
look at, it then only implies a group of muscles. In the Ely test,
what I'm trying to determine is which of my hip flexors are tight. So like, let's
say, I have something like an excessive forward lean. Excessive forward lean is
excessive hip flexion. Excessive hip flexion would imply that my psoas,
iliacus, rectus femoris, or TFL could be tight.
Now I'm going to go to something like my Ely test, Thomas test, or Ober's test, to
determine which of those structures are tight, and which need to be included in
my exercise program.
So here we go. We're starting with the Ely test. I'm going to have my friend Yvette
come out and I'll show you guys how to perform this very simple, very easy, test.
Now first things first, they lie prone. Make sure they're in a comfortable
position. You have your kinetic chain checkpoints lined up.
You don't want to start your assessment already out of alignment.
Next thing I'm going to do, is I'm going to find her PSIS, alright, her posterior
superior iliac spine, and you guys can do that if you haven't done that before, you
can kind of google some pictures and see where those are located.
If you guys have ever seen somebody with their pants hanging a little low in the back,
and they get those two little dimples in the back right here.
Those are pretty close to the PSIS. You can also just feel the ilium, until you
get to these two bony notches, just lateral to the spine.
So what I'm going to do is I'm going to take my index finger and my thumb,
and put those on her PSIS. Next thing I'm going to do, since this is a rectus
femoris test, is I'm going to go ahead and take her foot in neutral position
here, and just try to push it towards her backside.
Now for the most part, I use this as a pass/fail test.
You should be able to get to the heel within a couple inches of the back side,
or actually touching the back side, without any compensation, and with a
fairly soft end feel.
Now, Yvette's not really terribly tight, but she is a little tight, and here is how I can
tell. As I push her towards her backside, I actually feel the pressure of
her PSIS pushing in to my thumb.
So what does that mean? It means she's going into an anterior pelvic tilt. Her
rectus femoris, a hip flexor, is pulling her pelvis this way. So we got
just a little bit of tightness in her rectus femoris. And if I test the
I actually already feel, feel some pressure here, and then you guys will get
to see another compensation start to happen.
She does a couple things here, and I don't know if you guys can see it, but
she actually starts to rotate up this way, as she tries to, as this rectus femoris
tries to pull this side of her pelvis into an anterior pelvic tilt. She
also starts to deflect into abduction a little bit. So I start
feeling pressure in my index finger here, at her PSIS. She starts to rotate up
towards me, and I'm actually seeing just a little bit of deflection this way.
So those are all signs that her rectus femoris is tight. Now, she's not terribly
tight, and I'm pushing pretty hard.
You'll be surprised. You'll find some people and it's like, stuck right here.
Now if I had somebody where I thought the rectus femoris was not only tight, but
a key structure in their dysfunction, something I really wanted to keep track
I do think this test is simple enough, and reliable enough, that I may take a
goniometer to this test.
And all I would do is go through my same exact steps, and when I feel that first
all right Yvette, can you hold that for me? Good. I would have her hold that
My stability arm goes through the center of my knee joint and I can palpate her
joint line here, and then through her greater trochanter, and then the movement
we line up with the lateral malleolus. And I'm going to make this up, because
this is actually not her end range, but that's 62 degrees. Now, what I would
do is, I would then implement my corrective programming and either, at the
end of every session, or maybe at the end of every week, or at the end of every two
weeks, I would go ahead and reassess to make sure that we are getting gains. Of
course, if I'm not getting gains,
there's something wrong with my program and I need to change what I'm doing with
I hope you guys enjoy the simple test. I hope it helps refine your exercise
selection and exercise program. I look forward to talking to you guys again