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How can I test the strength of my butt muscles?

Rick Olderman
Physical Therapy

To test the strength of your gluteal (butt) muscles, you'll need a partner, preferably a physical therapist, to help you. First, lie down on your stomach with legs extended. Have your friend put one hand firmly on the gluteals and one hand firmly on the hamstrings. Now raise your leg straight up. You will notice the muscles jump (or contract) when testing. Which muscles fire first, the hamstrings or the gluteal muscles?

Chances are it was the hamstrings. The gluteals should either turn on first or at least close to the same time as the hamstrings. Now check the other side. What are the results? Now try to contract the gluteus muscles first. Is it easy or difficult?

Next, while still lying on your stomach, squeeze both rear cheeks together. Does one feel more firm than the other? Does one lag a little prior to reaching its full contraction? Does your back arch in order to squeeze the gluteals? Is one side larger than the other?

Last, still lying on your stomach, bend your knee then lift your leg off the table. Is this easy or difficult? Are you using your hamstrings to do this? Does this hurt your back? Have your friend push down on the thigh. Does it fall easily? If any of these issues is happening, then your gluteals could be weak, an indication of poor gluteus function.

Fixing You: Hip & Knee Pain: Self-treatment for IT band friction, arthritis, groin pain, bursitis, knee pain, PFS, AKPS, and other diagnoses

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Fixing You: Hip & Knee Pain: Self-treatment for IT band friction, arthritis, groin pain, bursitis, knee pain, PFS, AKPS, and other diagnoses

Hip and knee pain are often a result of poor pelvic muscle performance in combination with poor walking habits. This combination creates tracking problems in the hip socket or excessive rotation at...

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.