Gluteus medius strengthening and the use of the Donatelli Drop Leg Test in the athlete.

This technical description details a novel examination and rehabilitation protocol that aims to evaluate and strengthen the posterior segment of the gluteus medius. The gluteus medius, primarily a hip abductor, serves several important functions in the athlete. Weakness of the gluteus medius has been linked to injuries in the shoulder and iliotibial band, as well as ankle instability. Though previously treated as a homogenous muscle, recent studies of the gluteus medius show three segments with distinct function and activation – the anterior, middle, and posterior. Current rehabilitation protocol focuses mainly on the anterior and middle segments, neglecting the posterior. The paper proposes a three-stage protocol for strengthening and rehabilitation of the injured athlete and the Drop Leg Test, which can be applied to identify weakness in the posterior segment of the gluteus medius.