Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
ISSN: 1303 - 2968   
Ios-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Androit-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2022) 21, 182 - 190   DOI:

Research article
Comparison between the Original- and a Standardized Version of a Physical Assessment Test for the Dorsal Chain - A Cohort-Based Cross Sectional Study
Anna Gabriel1, , Florian Kurt Paternoster2, Andreas Konrad2,3, Thomas Horstmann1, Torsten Pohl1
Author Information
1 Conservative and Rehabilitative Orthopedics, Technical University of Munich, Munich, Germany
2 Biomechanics in Sports, Technical University of Munich, Munich, Germany
3 Institute of Human Movement Science, Sport and Health, Graz University, Graz, Austria

Anna Gabriel
✉ Conservative and Rehabilitative Orthopedics, Technical University of Munich, Georg Brauchle-Ring 60/62, 80992 Munich, Germany
Publish Date
Received: 02-02-2022
Accepted: 17-03-2022
Published (online): 01-06-2022
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This cohort-based cross-sectional study compares the original (OV) and a newly developed standardized version (SV) of the Bunkie Test, a physical test used to assess the dorsal chain muscles. Twenty-three participants (13 females, 10 males; median age of 26 ± 3 years) performed the test, a reverse plank, with one foot on a stool and the contralateral leg lifted. In the SV, the position of the pelvis and the foot were predefined. The test performance time (s) and surface electromyography (sEMG) signals of the dorsal chain muscles were recorded. We performed a median power frequency (MPF) analysis, using short-time Fourier transformation, and calculated the MPF/time linear regression slope. We compared the slopes of the linear regression analysis (between legs) and the performance times (between the OV and SV) with the Wilcoxon test. Performance times did not differ between SV and OV for either the dominant (p = 0.28) or non-dominant leg (p = 0.08). Linear regression analysis revealed a negative slope for the muscles of the tested leg and contralateral erector spinae, with a significant difference between the biceps femoris of the tested (-0.91 ± 1.08) and contralateral leg (0.01 ± 1.62) in the SV (p = 0.004). The sEMG showed a clearer pattern in the SV than in the OV. Hence, we recommend using the SV to assess the structures of the dorsal chain of the tested leg and contralateral back.

Key words: Bunkie Test, musculoskeletal diagnostics, physical performance test, myofascial system, superficial backline, surface electromyography

           Key Points
  • The standardized Bunkie Test assesses the dorsal chain muscles.
  • It targets mainly the muscles of the tested leg and the contralateral lower back.
  • In contrast, for the original test version the surface electromyography results were inconsistent.
  • For consistent, standardized results, we recommend standardizing the foot and pelvis position precisely during the test.
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