A disparity exists between the rates of male and female lower extremity injuries. One factor that may contribute to this disparity is high-risk biomechanical patterns that are commonly displayed by females. It is unknown what biomechanical differences exist between males and females during an overhead squat. This study compared lower extremity biomechanics during an overhead squat and ranges of motion between males and females. An electromagnetic motion tracking system interfaced with a force platform was used to quantify peak lower extremity kinematics and kinetics during the descent phase of each squat. Range of motion measurements were assessed with a standard goniometer. Differences between male and female kinematics, kinetics, and ranges of motion were identified with t tests. Males displayed greater peak knee valgus angle, peak hip flexion angle, peak vertical ground reaction forces, and peak hip extension moments. Males also displayed less active ankle dorsiflexion with the knee extended and hip internal and external rotation than females. No other differences were observed. The biomechanical differences between males and females during the overhead squat may result from differences in lower extremity ranges of motion. Therefore, sex-specific injury prevention programs should be developed to improve biomechanics and ranges of motion.
Timothy C. Mauntel and Darin A. Padua are with the Department of Exercise and Sport Science, Sports Medicine Research Laboratory, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC. Eric G. Post is with the Department of Kinesiology, Wisconsin Injury in Sport Laboratory, University of Wisconsin–Madison, Madison, WI. David R. Bell is with the Department of Kinesiology and Department of Orthopedics and Rehabilitation, Wisconsin Injury in Sport Laboratory, University of Wisconsin–Madison, Madison, WI.