August 21, 2011

The Klatt Test - Simple Tool To Diagnose Lower Body Structural Imbalances

The Klatt test was designed by Lois Klatt, PhD, the director of the Physical Performance Laboratory at Concordia College, River Forest, Illinois, and is used to effectively highlight possible muscular imbalances at the knee, hip, pelvis and lower back.

The Klatt test is quick and simple, and the results generally provide an accurate idea of what needs to be addressed in a training program.

How it's done:

-          The test is to be done barefoot.

-          Start by standing on a platform (can be as low as 2 centimeters for rehabilitation purposes, or if testing the elderly)

-          Extend both arms out in front of you and lock your hands together.

-          Extend one foot out in front of you on a 15 degree angle.

-          Hop off the platform (about 3-4 inches in front of the platform).

-          The evaluator should be monitoring how the knee, hips, and trunk react to the landing.

-          Only one rep is to be performed.

-          Raise the height of the platform to increase the difficulty until at least two imbalances are detected.

The possible outcomes may vary – if the test subject hops:

-          Medially - adductors may be weak

-          Laterally - abductors may be weak

-          Forward - hamstrings may be weak

-          Knee buckles - VMO may be weak

-          Leans forward - glute max may be weak

-          Bends to the side - quadratus lumborum may be weak

As stated above, the results of the Klatt test enable you to effectively prescribe the appropriate exercises to correct imbalances that were revealed, those being:

-          Lunge variations are of higher value if the subject hops medially

-          Glute-ham raises are of higher value if the subject hops laterally

-          Leg curl variations are of higher value if the subject hops forward

-          High step-ups are of higher value if the subject's knees buckle

-          Reverse hyperextensions are of higher value if the subject leans forward

-          Side bends are of higher value if the subject bends sideways

Regular testing is important to have a better understanding of whether or not a program is working, but not should not interfere with the training program itself. This is why the Klatt test is so valuable – it can be performed quickly, and doesn’t negatively affect recovery.

If you have any questions about how to perform the Klatt test, or how to determine the results and what needs to be done to correct imbalances that are revealed from the Klatt test, feel free to contact me at I'm available for online consulting and personalized program design, as well as one on one training if you are located in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).

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