Hurdle Step

Hurdle Step Test


Before assessment, test administrator adjusts hurdle to height of subject's tibial tuberosity (also distance of marks during In-line Lunge).



Stand with feet together and toes touching base of hurdle. Place dowel on back of shoulders and hold in position to each side.


While maintaining upright posture, step over hurdle while maintaining foot alignment with ankle, knee, and hip. Touch floor with heel while keeping weight on extended supporting leg. Return to starting position while maintaining foot alignment with ankle, knee, and hip. Repeat with opposite leg.


Test administrator assesses subject's completion of movement using following criteria:

  • Ankle, knee and hip remain aligned in sagittal plane
  • No to minimal lumbar spine movement
  • Dowel remains parallel to hurdle
  • Foot does not contact hurdle
  • Balance is maintained throughout movement

Note any performance issues and record scores for both sides.


Allow up to 3 trials on each leg. A string or jump rope pulled between step risers or tied onto verticals can substitute for hurdle.

This test is part of Functional Movement Screening (FMS). Score of 2 or less, discontinue exercise and loads involving single-leg pattern until corrected.


Bilateral stability and mobility

Functional Mobility (step leg)

  • Hip Flexion
    • Foot is not raise up high enough to clear hurdle
    • Hip rotates outward in attempt to clear hurdle
  • Knee Flexion
    • Foot travels upward and hits underside of hurdle
  • Ankle Dorsal Flexion
    • Foot does not raise to clear hurdle
      • when ankle is higher than hurdle

Functional Mobility (stance leg)

Dynamic Stability (stance leg)

  • Ankle, Knee, Hip
  • Pelvic stabilizers
    • Anterior pelvic rotation


  • Requires dynamic stability


Score Criteria
3 As discribed
2 Compromised
1 Fail
0 Pain

If pain is felt during this movement, score 0 and refer out for orthopedic evaluation.

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