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Roald Otten, Johannes L. Tol, Per Holmich and Rodney Whiteley

Study Design:



Gluteus medius (GM) muscle dysfunction is associated with overuse injury. The GM is functionally composed of 3 separate subdivisions: anterior, middle, and posterior. Clinical assessment of the GM subdivisions is relevant to detect strength and activation deficits and guide specific rehabilitation programs. However, the optimal positions for assessing the strength and activation of these subdivisions are unknown.


The first aim was to establish which strength-testing positions produce the highest surface electromyography (sEMG) activation levels of the individual GM subdivisions. The second aim was to evaluate differences in sEMG activation levels between the tested and contralateral (stabilizing) leg.


Twenty healthy physically active male subjects participated in this study. Muscle activity using sEMG was recorded for the GM subdivisions in 8 different strength-testing positions and analyzed using repeated-measures analysis of variance.


Significant differences between testing positions for all 3 GM subdivisions were found. There were significant differences between the tested and the contralateral anterior and middle GM subdivisions (P < .01). The posterior GM subdivision showed no significant difference (P = .154).


Side-lying in neutral and side-lying with hip internal rotation are the 2 positions recommended to evaluate GM function and guide specific GM rehabilitation.