Lower-limb kinematics of single-leg squat performance in young adults
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Purpose: To determine the kinematic parameters that characterize good and poor single-leg squat (SLS) performance. Methods: A total of 22 healthy young adults free from musculoskeletal impairment were recruited for testing. For each SLS, both two-dimensional video and three-dimensional motion analysis data were collected. Pelvis, hip, and knee angles were calculated using a reliable and validated lower-limb (LL) biomechanical model. Two-dimensional video clips of SLSs were blindly assessed in random order by eight musculoskeletal physiotherapists using a 10-point ordinal scale. To facilitate between-group comparisons, SLS performances were stratified by tertiles corresponding to poor, intermediate, and good SLS performance. Results: Mean ratings of SLS performance assessed by physiotherapists were 8.3 (SD 0.5), 6.8 (SD 0.7), and 4.0 (SD 0.8) for good, intermediate, and poor squats, respectively. Three-dimensional analysis revealed that people whose SLS performance was assessed as poor exhibited increased hip adduction, reduced knee flexion, and increased medio-lateral displacement of the knee joint centre compared to those whose SLS performance was assessed as good (p=0.05). Conclusions: Overall, poor SLS performance is characterized by inadequate knee flexion and excessive frontal plane motion of the knee and hip. Future investigations of SLS performance should consider standardizing knee flexion angle to illuminate other influential kinematic parameters.
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