Relationships between knee valgus, hip-muscle strength, and hip-muscle recruitment during a single-limb step-down

J Sport Rehabil. 2009 Feb;18(1):104-17. doi: 10.1123/jsr.18.1.104.


Context: Reduced strength and activation of hip muscles might correlate with increased weight-bearing knee valgus.

Objective: To describe relationships among frontal-plane hip and knee angles, hip-muscle strength, and electromyographic (EMG) recruitment in women during a step-down.

Design: Exploratory study.

Setting: Laboratory.

Participants: 20 healthy women 20 to 30 years of age.

Interventions: Frontal-plane hip and knee angles were measured. Gluteus maximus and medius recruitment were examined with surface EMG. Hip-abduction and -external-rotation strength were quantified with handheld dynamometry.

Main outcome measurements: The authors analyzed correlation coefficients between knee and hip angles, gluteus maximus and medius EMG, and hip-abduction and -external-rotation strength.

Results: Hip-adduction angles (r = .755, P = .001), gluteus maximus EMG (r = -.451, P = .026), and hip-abduction strength (r = .455, P = .022) correlated with frontal-plane projections of knee valgus.

Conclusions: Gluteus maximus recruitment might have greater association with reduced knee valgus in women than does external-rotation strength during step-down tasks. Gluteus medius strength might be associated with increased knee valgus.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Electromyography
  • Female
  • Hip Joint / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Knee Joint / physiology*
  • Leg / physiology*
  • Muscle Strength / physiology*
  • Muscle Strength Dynamometer
  • Posture
  • Statistics as Topic
  • Weight-Bearing / physiology*