Comparison of lower extremity EMG between the 2-leg squat and modified single-leg squat in female athletes

J Sport Rehabil. 2010 Feb;19(1):57-70. doi: 10.1123/jsr.19.1.57.


Purpose: To compare EMG activity of selected hip and knee muscle groups in female athletes performing a modified single-leg squat and the 2-leg squat using the same relative intensity.

Methods: Eleven Division I female athletes from a variety of sports (soccer, softball, and track) completed the study. EMG measurements were taken as the subjects completed 3 parallel repetitions at 85% of their 3-repetition maximum on each exercise. Mean and mean peak EMG data from the gluteus medius, hamstrings, and quadriceps and the quadriceps:hamstrings EMG ratio were compared between the 2 exercises.

Results: Statistically higher mean (P < .01) and mean peak (P < .05) gluteus medius and mean and mean peak (P < .01) hamstring EMG activity occurred during the modified single-leg squat. The 2-leg squat produced higher mean and mean peak (P < .05) quadriceps activity and a higher quadriceps:hamstrings EMG ratio (P < .01).

Conclusion: Muscle-recruitment patterns appear to differ between the 2 types of squat exercises when performed at the same relative intensity by female athletes.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Electromyography
  • Female
  • Hip / physiology
  • Humans
  • Isometric Contraction / physiology
  • Knee / physiology
  • Leg / physiology*
  • Muscle Strength / physiology
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology*
  • Posture / physiology
  • Resistance Training / methods*
  • Weight Lifting / physiology*
  • Young Adult