Comparison of intersegmental tibiofemoral joint forces and muscle activity during various closed kinetic chain exercises

Am J Sports Med. 1996 Nov-Dec;24(6):792-9. doi: 10.1177/036354659602400615.


The purpose of this study was to analyze intersegmental forces at the tibiofemoral joint and muscle activity during three commonly prescribed closed kinetic chain exercises: the power squat, the front squat, and the lunge. Subjects with anterior cruciate ligament-intact knees performed repetitions of each of the three exercises using a 223-N (50-pound) barbell. The results showed that the mean tibiofemoral shear force was posterior (tibial force on femur) throughout the cycle of all three exercises. The magnitude of the posterior shear forces increased with knee flexion during the descent phase of each exercise. Joint compression forces remained constant throughout the descent and ascent phases of the power squat and the front squat. A net offset in extension for the moment about the knee was present for all three exercises. Increased quadriceps muscle activity and the decreased hamstring muscle activity are required to perform the lunge as compared with the power squat and the front squat. A posterior tibiofemoral shear force throughout the entire cycle of all three exercises in these subjects with anterior cruciate ligament-intact knees indicates that the potential loading on the injured or reconstructed anterior cruciate ligament is not significant. The magnitude of the posterior tibiofemoral shear force is not likely to be detrimental to the injured or reconstructed posterior cruciate ligament. These conclusions assume that the resultant anteroposterior shear force corresponds to the anterior and posterior cruciate ligament forces.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Electromyography
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Knee Joint / physiology*
  • Leg / physiology
  • Male
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology*
  • Weight Lifting / physiology*