Kendall Muscle Grading System

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The following table provides a summary of the Kendall Muscle Grading system. For more information on manual muscle testing and assessing strength, please see: Assessing Muscle Strength.

Table 1. Kendall Muscle Grading System levels[1]
Description Grade
No movement No contraction felt or seen in the muscle Zero 0
Tendon becomes prominent or feeble contraction felt in muscle with no visible movement Trace 1 T
Supported in horizontal plane Movement through partial range of motion Poor - 2- 1
Movement through complete range of motion for the muscle being tested Poor 2 2
Holds against slight pressure in test position Poor + 2+ 3
Tested in an antigravity position Moves through partial range of motion against gravity Poor + 2+ 3
Gradual release from test position occurs Fair - 3- 4
Holds test position (no added pressure) Fair 3 5
Holds test position against slight pressure Fair + 3+ 6
Holds test position against slight to moderate pressure Good - 4- 7
Holds test position against moderate pressure Good 4 8
Holds test position against moderate to strong pressure Good + 4+ 9
Holds test position against strong pressure Normal 5 10

References [edit | edit source]

  1. Kendall FP, Kendall McCreary E, Geise Provance P, McIntyre Rodgers M and Romani WA. Muscles Testing and Function with Posture and Pain - Fifth Edition. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins, 2005.