Strength Testing with Single Leg Squat Test

assessment Feb 15, 2018

Why The Single-Leg Squat Test Is Important

The single-leg squat (also known as a single leg sit to stand test) is a test used to assess dynamic hip control and lower limb function and has practical relevance to any sport involving landing, cutting, or running (Stickler, Finley, & Gulgin, 2015). It is an easy and convenient assessment that requires little equipment to perform making it a popular objective test for health and fitness professionals.

It particularly is used to measure the strength of the lower limb, with particular focus on quadriceps and gluteal muscle groups, as well as the hip stabilizers and the balance and control of these muscles.

How To Perform The Single-Leg Squat Test

The patient or client is instructed to sit on a bench or chair adopting a position of approximately 90° of knee flexion.

The non-tested leg is held freely in space with no contact between the ground or testing leg permitted and the client can adopt a position of having their hands out in front of their body or resting their hands on their hips. (Alenezi, Herrington, Jones, & Jones, 2014). During the SLS, the hip abductor muscles serve to limit pelvic drop and hip adduction, reducing abnormal forces on lower limb joints (Hollman et al., 2009).

On the assessor's cue the client attempts to perform as many Single Leg Squat Test as possible until failure without touching their opposite foot on the ground. 

Why Use Single Leg Squat Testing?

Research on this test has revealed the following:

  • Patellofemoral pain is linked to the presence of increased hip adduction in female athletes during the SLS, suggesting hip control and/or strength deficits (Noehren, Hamill, & Davis, 2013)
  • Links between poor hip abductor strength and low back and/or lower limb injury in collegiate athletes (Leetun, Ireland, Willson, Ballantyne, & Davis, 2004)
  • Better quality of life at one and three years post-ACL reconstruction in those who could achieve at least 21 repetitions during the SLS (Culvenor et al., 2016)

Are you using Single Leg Squat Testing with your patients and clients?

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