Effect of load, cadence, and fatigue on tibio-femoral joint force during a half squat

Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1989 Oct;21(5):613-8.


Ten male university student volunteers were selected to investigate the 3D articular force at the tibio-femoral joint during a half squat exercise, as affected by cadence, different barbell loads, and fatigue. Each subject was required to perform a half squat exercise with a barbell weight centered across the shoulders at two different cadences (1 and 2 s intervals) and three different loads (15, 22 and 30% of the one repetition maximum). Fifty repetitions at each experimental condition were recorded with an active optoelectronic kinematic data capture system (WATSMART) and a force plate (Kistler). Processing the data involved a photogrammetric technique to obtain subject tailored anthropometric data. The findings of this study were: 1) the maximal antero-posterior shear and compressive force consistently occurred at the lowest position of the weight, and the forces were very symmetrically disposed on either side of this halfway point; 2) the medio-lateral shear forces were small over the squat cycle with few peaks and troughs; 3) cadence increased the antero-posterior shear (50%) and the compressive forces (28%); 4) as a subject fatigues, load had a significant effect on the antero-posterior shear force; 5) fatigue increased all articular force components but it did not manifest itself until about halfway through the 50 repetitions of the exercise; 6) the antero-posterior shear force was most affected by fatigue; 7) cadence had a significant effect on fatigue for the medio-lateral shear and compressive forces.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Femur / physiology
  • Humans
  • Knee Joint / physiology*
  • Male
  • Tibia / physiology
  • Weight Lifting