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J Sci Med Sport. 2013 Jul;16(4):292-6. doi: 10.1016/j.jsams.2012.11.887. Epub 2012 Dec 21.

Greater understanding of normal hip physical function may guide clinicians in providing targeted rehabilitation programmes.

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University of Queensland, Division of Physiotherapy, School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, St Lucia, QLD 4072, Australia.



This study investigated tests of hip muscle strength and functional performance. The specific objectives were to: (i) establish intra- and inter-rater reliability; (ii) compare differences between dominant and non-dominant limbs; (iii) compare agonist and antagonist muscle strength ratios; (iv) compare differences between genders; and (v) examine relationships between hip muscle strength, baseline measures and functional performance.


Reliability study and cross-sectional analysis of hip strength and functional performance.


In healthy adults aged 18-50years, normalised hip muscle peak torque and functional performance were evaluated to: (i) establish intra-rater and inter-rater reliability; (ii) analyse differences between limbs, between antagonistic muscle groups and genders; and (iii) associations between strength and functional performance.


Excellent reliability (intra-rater ICC=0.77-0.96; inter-rater ICC=0.82-0.95) was observed. No difference existed between dominant and non-dominant limbs. Differences in strength existed between antagonistic pairs of muscles: hip abduction was greater than adduction (p<0.001) and hip ER was greater than IR (p<0.001). Men had greater ER strength (p=0.006) and hop for distance (p<0.001) than women. Strong associations were observed between measures of hip muscle strength (except hip flexion) and age, height, and functional performance.


Deficits in hip muscle strength or functional performance may influence hip pain. In order to provide targeted rehabilitation programmes to address patient-specific impairments, and determine when individuals are ready to return to physical activity, clinicians are increasingly utilising tests of hip strength and functional performance. This study provides a battery of reliable, clinically applicable tests which can be used for these purposes.

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