Back to Research Articles
Lower Extremity Biomechanics During a Regular and Counterbalanced Squat
Authors: Scott K. Lynn and Guillermo J. Noffal
To compare the mechanics and muscular activation of a regular squat with a counterbalanced squat. It was to see if a counterbalanced squat could produce a movement that was more hip dominated as compared to the knee dominant movement of the regular squat. This would alter rehabilitation protocols and lead to musculoskeletal disease-injury prevention. This also serves as a model of how to learn the mechanics of the squat.
The counter balance squat induced a higher hip activation (Gluteus Maximus) then the regular squat (higher knee activation- Rectus Femoris). It was also found that women had a higher hamstring activation doing both squats in comparison to men.
What this means to you
For athletes who want to learn a squat that is more hip dominant, it is crucial to involve the counterbalance movement. This again emphasizes the Glut Max instead of the Rectus Femoris. Therefore, if you wanted to shift the focus to knee flexor strengthening, you should squat with a posterior weight shift. However, most sports demand strong hip extensors for optimal performance. This movement should also be executed by older adults as a preventative measure that COULD PREVENT OSTEOARTHRITIS. Performing an exercise that maximizes hip movement can slow down or stop the degeneration of the joint.
Regular Squat Counterbalanced Squat
Scott K. Lynn and Guillermo J. Noffal. “Lower Extremity Biomechanics During a Regular and Counterbalanced Squat.” The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. 26 (September 2012). 2417-2425.