Effects of age and sex on the results of an ankle plantar-flexor manual muscle test

Phys Ther. 2005 Oct;85(10):1078-84.


Background and purpose: The ability to perform 20 or more one-leg heel-rises is considered a "normal" grade for muscle strength (force-generating capacity of muscle) of the ankle plantar flexors, regardless of age and sex. Because muscle strength is closely related to age and sex, the "normal" test criterion was re-evaluated in different groups categorized by age and sex.

Subjects and methods: One hundred eighty sedentary volunteers (21-80 years of age) without lower-limb lesions performed as many repetitions of one-leg heel-rise as possible. Lunsford and Perry criteria were used to determine completion of the test.

Results: The age and sex of the participants influenced the maximal repetitions of heel-rise, and the repetitions decreased with age and in female subjects.

Discussion and conclusion: The muscle strength of the ankle plantar flexors, as measured by manual muscle testing, varied with age and sex. Clinicians should consider the variances of age and sex when they perform manual muscle testing of the ankle plantar flexors.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aging
  • Ankle* / physiology
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Isometric Contraction* / physiology
  • Knee Joint / physiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Movement / physiology
  • Muscle, Skeletal* / physiology
  • Physical Therapy Modalities
  • Range of Motion, Articular* / physiology
  • Reference Values
  • Regression Analysis
  • Sex Factors
  • Taiwan