Relationship of Hip and Trunk Muscle Function with Single Leg Step-Down Performance: Implications for Return to Play Screening and Rehabilitation

Jeremy M. Burnham, Michael C. Yonz, Kaley E. Robertson, Rachelle McKinley, Benjamin R. Wilson, Darren L. Johnson, Mary Lloyd Ireland, Brian Noehren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Objectives Evaluate the relationship of hip and trunk muscle function with the Single Leg Step-Down test (SLSD). Study design Laboratory study. Setting Biomechanics Laboratory. Participants 71 healthy participants with no history of anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) or lower extremity injury in the last 3 months completed this study (38 males, 33 females; mean 25.49 ± 0.62 years). Main outcomes Hip abduction (HABD), external rotation (HER), and extension (HEXT) peak isometric force were measured. Trunk endurance was measured with plank (PL) and side plank (SPL) tests. SLSD repetitions in 60-s and dynamic knee valgus (VAL) were recorded. Results PL, SPL, HABD, HER, and HEXT were positively correlated with SLSD repetitions. PL (r = 0.598, p < 0.001) was most correlated with SLSD repetitions, and regression demonstrated that PL (p = 0.001, R2 = 0.469) was a predictor of SLSD repetitions. VAL trended toward negative correlation with PL and SPL. Sex-specific differences were present, with PL, SPL, HABD, and HER showing stronger relationships with SLSD in females. Conclusion Hip and trunk muscle function were positively correlated with SLSD performance, and these relationships were strongest in females. PL predicted performance on the SLSD. Further research is needed to investigate the utility of SLSD as a screening or return-to-play test for lower extremity conditions such as ACL injury and patellofemoral pain.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)66-73
Number of pages8
JournalPhysical Therapy in Sport
StatePublished - Nov 1 2016

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study has been approved by the University of Kentucky Office of Research Integrity and Institutional Review Board.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Elsevier Ltd


  • ACL
  • Hip
  • Return to play
  • Sex differences
  • Step down
  • Trunk

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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