The aim of this study was to quantify how step length and the front tibia angle influence joint angles and loading conditions during the split squat exercise. Eleven subjects performed split squats with an additional load of 25% body weight applied using a barbell. Each subject’s movements were recorded using a motion capture system, and the ground reaction force was measured under each foot. The joint angles and loading conditions were calculated using a cluster-based kinematic approach and inverse dynamics modeling respectively. Increases in the tibia angle resulted in a smaller range of motion (ROM) of the front knee and a larger ROM of the rear knee and hip. The external flexion moment in the front knee/hip and the external extension moment in the rear hip decreased as the tibia angle increased. The flexion moment in the rear knee increased as the tibia angle increased. The load distribution between the legs changed < 25% when split squat execution was varied. Our results describing the changes in joint angles and the resulting differences in the moments of the knee and hip will allow coaches and therapists to adapt the split squat exercise to the individual motion and load demands of athletes.
Pascal Schütz, Renate List, Roland Zemp, Florian Schellenberg, William R. Taylor, and Silvio Lorenzetti are with the Institute for Biomechanics, ETH Zurich, Switzerland. Address author correspondence to Silvio Lorenzetti at email@example.com.