Novice Female Exercisers Exhibited Different Biomechanical Loading Profiles during Full-Squat and Half-Squat Practice

Xin Li, Ntwali Adrien, Julien S. Baker*, Qichang Mei*, Yaodong Gu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Females with different practice experience may show different body postures and movement patterns while squatting in different depths, which may lead to changes of biomechanical loadings and increase the risks of injuries. Methods: Sixteen novice female participants without squat training experience participated in this study. A 3D motion capture system was used to collect the marker trajectory and ground reaction force data during bodyweight squatting in different depths. The participants’ kinematic data and joint moment were calculated using OpenSim’s inverse kinematics and inverse dynamics algorithm. In this study, authors adapted a model especially developed for squatting and customized the knee joint with extra Degree-of-Freedom (DoF) in the coronal and horizontal plane with adduction/abduction and internal/external rotation. A paired-sample t-test was used to analyze the difference of joint range of motions (ROM) and peak moments between full-squat (F-SQ) and half-squat (H-SQ). One-Dimensional Statistical Parametric Mapping (SPM1D) is used to analyze the difference of joint angle and moment between the process of squatting F-SQ and H-SQ. Results: (1) Compared with H-SQ, F-SQ showed larger ROM in sagittal, coronal, and transverse planes (p < 0.05). (2) SPM1D found that the difference in joint angles and joint moments between F-SQ and H-SQ was mainly concentrated in the mid-stance during squatting, which suggested the difference is greatly pronounced during deeper squat. (3) Peak hip extension moment, knee extension moment, hip adduction moment, and plantar flexion moment of F-SQ were significantly higher than H-SQ (p < 0.05). (4) Difference of hip and knee extension moments and rotation moments between the F-SQ and H-SQ were exhibited during descending and ascending. Conclusions: The study found that novice women had larger range of joint motion during the F-SQ than H-SQ group, and knee valgus was observed during squatting to the deepest point. Greater joint moment was found during F-SQ and reached a peak during ascending after squatting to the deepest point. Novice women may have better movement control during H-SQ. The findings may provide implications for the selection of lower limb strength training programs, assist the scientific development of training movements, and provide reference for squat movement correction, thus reducing the risk of injury for novice women in squatting practice.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1184
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 15 Nov 2021

User-Defined Keywords

  • squat
  • half-squat
  • female exerciser
  • OpenSim
  • biomechanics
  • SPM1D


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