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Abdominal muscle testing: A comparison of three methods

17 May 1994


The purpose of this study was to investigate the abdominal manual muscle testing protocols proposed by Kendall et al. and Clarkson et al. to determine if these testing grades were significantly different from each other, and if they correlated with a maximum isometric contraction. Fifty healthy male and female volunteers, between the ages of 21 and 67, participated in this study. Subjects began the testing procedure with a maximum isometric contraction (X= 12. 68 kilograms). Subjects were randomized using a counterbalanced design for the remainder of the testing. Subjects performed Clarkson et aI.'s hook-lying sit-up, Kendall et aI.'s trunk-curled sit-up, and Kendall et al.'s leg lowering test. Spearman's rank correlation coefficient was used to evaluate the data (p < .05). Results indicated a significant correlation between Kendall et al.'s trunk-curled sit-up and Clarkson et al.'s hook-lying sit-up. No significant correlation was found between Kendall et aI.'s leg lowering test and either of the two sit-up tests. No significant difference was found between the maximum isometric contraction and the three abdominal manual muscle tests. This study indicates that Kendall et aI.'s trunk-curled sit-up and Clarkson et aI.'s hook-lying sit-up provide us with the same manual muscle testing grades suggesting that these two tests are interchangeable. We have found that Kendall et aI.'s leg lowering test appears to provide lower scores.


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