Impact of decline-board squat exercises and knee joint angles on the muscle activity of the lower limbs

J Phys Ther Sci. 2015 Aug;27(8):2617-9. doi: 10.1589/jpts.27.2617. Epub 2015 Aug 21.

Abstract

[Purpose] This study aims to investigate how squat exercises on a decline board and how the knee joint angles affect the muscle activity of the lower limbs. [Subjects] The subjects were 26 normal adults. [Methods] A Tumble Forms wedge device was used as the decline board, and the knee joint angles were measured with a goniometer. To examine the muscle activity of the biceps femoris, rectus femoris, gastrocnemius lateralis, and tibialis anterior of the lower limbs, a comparison analysis with electromyography was conducted. [Results] The muscle activity of the biceps femoris, rectus femoris, gastrocnemius lateralis, and tibialis anterior increased with increased knee joint angles, both for squat exercises on the decline board and on a flat floor. When the knee joint angle was 45°, 60°, and 90°, the muscle activity of the rectus femoris was significantly higher and that of the tibialis anterior was significantly lower during squat exercises on the decline board than on the flat floor. When the knee joint angle was 90°, the muscle activity of the gastrocnemius lateralis was significantly lower. [Conclusion] Squat exercises on a decline board are an effective intervention to increase the muscle activity of the rectus femoris with increased knee joint angles.

Keywords: Decline board; Range of motion; Squat exercise.