Single-Leg Squat Delicacies—The Position of the Nonstance Limb is an Important Consideration

in Journal of Sport Rehabilitation
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Context: The single-leg squat task is often used as a rehabilitative exercise or as a screening tool for the functional movement of the lower limb. Objective: To establish the effect of 3 different positions of the nonstance leg on 3-dimensional kinematics, muscle activity, and center of mass displacement during a single-leg squat. Design: Within-subjects, repeated-measures design. Setting: Movement analysis laboratory. Participants: A total of 10 participants, aged 28.2 (4.42) years performed 3 squats to 60° of knee flexion with the nonstance (1) hip at 90° flexion and knee at 90° flexion, (2) hip at 30° flexion with the knee fully extended, or (3) hip in neutral/0° and the knee flexed to 90°. Main Outcome Measures: Trunk, hip, knee and ankle joint angles, and center of mass displacement were recorded with inertial sensors while muscle activity was captured through wireless electromyography. Results: Most trunk flexion (21.38° [18.43°]) occurred with the nonstance hip at 90° and most flexion of the stance hip (23.10° [6.60°]) occurred with the nonstance hip at 0°. Biceps femoris activity in the 90° squat was 40% more than in the 0° squat, whereas rectus femoris activity in the 0° squat was 29% more than in the 90° squat. Conclusion: The position of the nonstance limb should be standardized when the single-leg squat is used for assessment and be adapted to the aim when used in rehabilitation.

Olivier, Quinn, Benjamin, and Green are with the Department of Physiotherapy, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa. Chiu is with the Department of Medical Physics and Clinical Engineering, Royal Liverpool University Hospital, Liverpool, United Kingdom. Wang is with the Institute of Motion Analysis and Research, Department of Orthopaedic and Trauma Surgery, The University of Dundee, Dundee, United Kingdom.

Olivier (Benita.Olivier@wits.ac.za) is corresponding author.
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