Manual Muscle Testing: Hip Abduction

Muscles Involved:

Gluteus Medius

Gluteus minimus

Patient Positioning

  • Grades 3 to 5 - Patient in side lying with test side up
  • Grades 0-2 - Patient is supine ('gravity minimal' position)

Therapist Position

  • Therapist stands behind patient in side lying or on test side in supine
  • Provide stabilization at the pelvis in side lying
  • Palpation over hip abductors in supine.

To Test

  • Patient actively abducts the hip
  • For grades 4 and 5 provide resistance over lateral knee in the direction opposite to abduction[1]
  • To satisfy grade 5 'normal muscle' performance criteria, the patient must have the ability to move through complete range of motion (active resistance testing) OR maintain an end point range (break testing) against maximum resistance.


  1. Hislop H, Avers D, Brown M. Daniels and Worthingham's muscle Testing-E-Book: Techniques of manual examination and performance testing. Elsevier Health Sciences; 2013 Sep 27.