Lower limb muscle and joint forces during front and back squats performed on a smith machine Academic Article uri icon


  • BACKGROUND: Comparison of knee loads on a Smith machine, which utilised in for maintenance of health and rehabilitation, has not been attempted. OBJECTIVE: This study compared lower limb muscle and knee joint forces during front and back squats performed on a Smith Machine. METHODS: Eleven participants performed front and back squats with loads at 40%, 60% and 80% of their back squat 1-RMs. Ground reaction forces and three-dimensional full body motion were collected and used for modelling lower limb muscle and knee joint forces. RESULTS: Larger loads increased tibiofemoral compressive force during back squat at 80% compared to 40% (p< 0.01; d= 1.58) and to 60% (p< 0.01; d= 1.37). Patellofemoral compressive (p= 0.96) and tibiofemoral shear forces (p= 0.55) were not influenced by external load or type of squat. Gluteus medius and minimus produced more force at 80% compared to 60% (p= 0.01; d= 1.10) and to 40% (p< 0.01; d= 1.87) without differences for other muscles (p= 0.09–0.91). CONCLUSIONS: Greater external load was associated with increase in gluteus medius and minimus force and with increased tibiofemoral compressive force without effects on tibiofemoral shear force, patellofemoral compressive force or other lower limb muscle forces.

publication date

  • 2020