The relationship of gluteus medius strength and endurance to stability, targeting and agility

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Stobart, Lori P. Graumann
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PURPOSE: To examine gluteus medius strength and endurance in relation to lower limb stability, targeting and agility. METHODS: 57 participants performed isometric and dynamic gluteus medius strength and endurance tests of both lower limbs. Lower limb dominance was determined using the Waterloo Footedness Questionnaire-Revised (WFQ-R). Strength and endurance of gluteus medius were compared to single-leg performance of a stork stand, a lateral foot targeting task and a hopping test of agility. RESULTS: Body mass normalized isometric gluteus medius strength was found to be weakly and inversely correlated to agility score for both dominant limbs (r=-0.262, p=0.026) and non-dominant limbs (r=-0.335, p=0.006) with a lower agility score indicating better agility performance. For non-dominant limbs only, body mass normalized isometric gluteus medius strength correlated negatively to targeting speed (r=-0.229, p=0.045) and isometric gluteus medius endurance measured as percentage drop in strength over time correlated weakly and positively to the amount of body sway demonstrated during a single-leg stork stand task (r=0.253, p=0.030). CONCLUSION: Gluteus medius strength may be weakly related to improved agility performance while gluteus medius endurance may weakly relate to improved single-leg static balance performance. It is likely that other factors such as neuromuscular training have a much larger influence on stability, targeting ability and agility than the strength and endurance of the hip abductors alone.
gluteus medius, hip abductors, functional performance, sex differences, limb dominance