Article Data

  • Views 206
  • Dowloads 125

Original Research

Open Access Special Issue

Effects of the ankle angle on the electromyographic activity of the trunk and lower extremities during isometric squat exercises

  • Zhe Cui1
  • Ying-Ying Tang1
  • Myoung-Kwon Kim2,*,

1Department of Physical Therapy, Graduate School, Daegu University, 712-714 Gyeongbuk, Republic of Korea

2Department of Physical Therapy, College of Rehabilitation Sciences, Daegu University, 712-714 Gyeongbuk, Republic of Korea

DOI: 10.31083/j.jomh1805121 Vol.18,Issue 5,May 2022 pp.1-8

Submitted: 07 September 2021 Accepted: 26 October 2021

Published: 31 May 2022

*Corresponding Author(s): Myoung-Kwon Kim E-mail:


Background: Life in modern society has become convenient, but the lack of exercise due to a sedentary lifestyle has led to muscle weakness. The quadriceps femoris is essential for walking, standing, and using stairs in daily life. Muscle weakness can lead directly to impaired function. Squatting is the most representative exercise for effective muscle development and increasing the knee extensor strength. This study examined the effects of ankle angle during wall squats on the muscle activity of the vastus medialis oblique (VMO), vastus lateralis (VL), rectus femoris (RF), biceps femoris (BF), rectus abdominis (RA), and erector spinae (ES) to determine which ankle angle can better strengthen the vastus medialis oblique as a method of rehabilitation training after a knee joint injury. Methods: All subjects (n = 20) performed the following three types of wall squats randomly: (1) GWS (General Wall Squat), (2) WSD 10° (Wall Squat with dorsiflexion 10°), and (3) WSP 10° (Wall Squat with plantarflexion 10°). Each subject completed all three kinds of wall squatting exercises three different times, and the muscle activity data of the VMO, VL, RF, BL, RA, and ES were recorded. Results: Compared to GWS exercise, the VMO and RF muscle activity increased significantly under WSP 10° exercise (p < 0.05), whereas the VL, BF, RA, and ES activity did not increase significantly (p > 0.05). No significant change between WSD 10° and WSP 10° was observed (p > 0.05). Conclusions: WSP 10° can help increase the quadriceps muscle activity. Wall squat exercise with different ankle angles can be used for quadriceps muscle strengthening training for normal people and for recovery training for patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS) patients in the rehabilitation stage.


Electromyography; Wall squat; Vastus medialis oblique

Cite and Share

Zhe Cui,Ying-Ying Tang,Myoung-Kwon Kim. Effects of the ankle angle on the electromyographic activity of the trunk and lower extremities during isometric squat exercises. Journal of Men's Health. 2022. 18(5);1-8.


[1] Bensimhon DR, Kraus WE, Donahue MP. Obesity and physical activity: a review. American Heart Journal. 2006; 151: 598–603.

[2] Kraemer WJ, Ratamess NA, French DN. Resistance training for health and performance. Current Sports Medicine Reports. 2002; 1: 165–171.

[3] Cho M, Kang JY, Oh JH, Wu JG, Choi EB, Park SE, et al. The effects of performing squats on an inclined board on thigh mus-cle activation. Physical Therapy Rehabilitation Science. 2017; 6: 39–44.

[4] Cho M. The effects of modified wall squat exercises on average adults’ deep abdominal muscle thickness and lumbar stability. Journal of Physical Therapy Science. 2013; 25: 689–692.

[5] Escamilla RF. Knee biomechanics of the dynamic squat exercise. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. 2001; 33: 127–141.

[6] Lee TS, Song MY, Kwon YJ. Activation of back and lower limb muscles during squat exercises with different trunk flexion. Jour-nal of Physical Therapy Science. 2016; 28: 3407–3410.

[7] Saeterbakken AH, Fimland MS. Muscle force output and elec-tromyographic activity in squats with various unstable surfaces. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. 2013; 27: 130–136.

[8] Schoenfeld BJ. Squatting kinematics and kinetics and their ap-plication to exercise performance. Journal of Strength and Con-ditioning Research. 2010; 24: 3497–3506.

[9] Fry AC, Smith JC, Schilling BK. Effect of knee position on hip and knee torques during the barbell squat. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. 2003; 17: 629–633.

[10] Escamilla RF, Fleisig GS, Zheng N, Lander JE, Barrentine SW, Andrews JR, et al. Effects of technique variations on knee biome-chanics during the squat and leg press. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. 2001; 33: 1552–1566.

[11] O’Reilly SC, Jones A, Muir KR, Doherty M. Quadriceps weak-ness in knee osteoarthritis: the effect on pain and disability. An-nals of the Rheumatic Diseases. 1998; 57: 588–594.

[12] Qiao YJ, Kim KR, Kim MK. Effects of Altering Foot Position on Quadriceps Femoris Activation during Wall Squat Exercises. Journal of the Korean Society of Physical Medicine. 2021; 16: 23–31.

[13] Jun I, Lee Y, Shin C. The Effects of Isometric Extension at Dif-ferent Knee Angles on Vastus Medialis Electromyographic Ac-tivity in Patients with Knee Joint Osteoarthritis. Journal of Phys-ical Therapy Science. 2012; 24: 855–857.

[14] Hart JM, Pietrosimone B, Hertel J, Ingersoll CD. Quadriceps ac-tivation following knee injuries: a systematic review. Journal of Athletic Training. 2010; 45: 87–97.

[15] Palmieri-Smith RM, Thomas AC, Wojtys EM. Maximizing quadriceps strength after ACL reconstruction. Clinics in Sports Medicine. 2008; 27: 405–424.

[16] Singh GK, Srivastava S. Preferential strengthening of VMO muscle during selected biomechanical rehabilitative exercises of automotive workers with patellofemoral pain syndrome. Work. 2018; 60: 135–141.

[17] Escamilla RF, Francisco AC, Fleisig GS, Barrentine SW, Welch CM, Kayes AV, et al. A three-dimensional biomechanical anal-ysis of sumo and conventional style deadlifts. Medicine and Sci-ence in Sports and Exercise. 2000; 32: 1265–1275.

[18] Jaberzadeh S, Yeo D, Zoghi M. The Effect of Altering Knee Po-sition and Squat Depth on VMO : VL EMG Ratio during Squat Exercises. Physiotherapy Research International. 2016; 21: 164–173.

[19] Murray N, Cipriani D, O’Rand D, Reed-Jones R. Effects of Foot Position during Squatting on the Quadriceps Femoris: an Elec-tromyographic Study. International Journal of Exercise Science. 2013; 6: 114–125.

[20] Escamilla RF, Zheng N, Imamura R, Macleod TD, Edwards WB, Hreljac A, et al. Cruciate ligament force during the wall squat and the one-leg squat. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. 2009; 41: 408–417.

[21] Lee Y. The influence of unstable modified wall squat exercises on the posture of female university students. Journal of Physical Therapy Science. 2015; 27: 2477–2480.

[22] Lee JC, Gim MA. Effect of General Squat and Wall Squat Exer-cises on the Muscle Activity of the Vastus Medialis Oblique and Vastus Lateralis. Journal of International Academy of Physical Therapy Research. 2017; 8: 1248–1254.

[23] Kim BJ. Comparison of Quadriceps Femoris Muscle Activations during Wall Slide Squats. Journal of the Korean Society of Phys-ical Medicine. 2012; 7: 541–550.

[24] Marchetti PH, Jarbas da Silva J, Jon Schoenfeld B, Nardi PSM, Pecoraro SL, D’Andréa Greve JM, et al. Muscle Activation Differs between Three Different Knee Joint-Angle Positions during a Maximal Isometric Back Squat Exercise. Journal of Sports Medicine (Hindawi Publishing Corporation). 2016; 2016: 3846123.

[25] Purdam CR, Cook JL, Hopper DM, Khan KM, VIS tendon study group. Discriminative ability of functional loading tests for ado-lescent jumper’s knee. Physical Therapy in Sport. 2003; 4: 3–9.

[26] Macrum E, Bell DR, Boling M, Lewek M, Padua D. Effect of limiting ankle-dorsiflexion range of motion on lower extremity kinematics and muscle-activation patterns during a squat. Journal of Sport Rehabilitation. 2012; 21: 144–150.

[27] Jonsson P, Alfredson H. Superior results with eccentric com-pared to concentric quadriceps training in patients with jumper’s knee: a prospective randomised study. British Journal of Sports Medicine. 2005; 39: 847–850.

[28] Purdam CR, Jonsson P, Alfredson H, Lorentzon R, Cook JL, Khan KM. A pilot study of the eccentric decline squat in the man-agement of painful chronic patellar tendinopathy. British Journal of Sports Medicine. 2004; 38: 395–397.

[29] Richards J, Selfe J, Sinclair J, May K, Thomas G. The effect of different decline angles on the biomechanics of double limb squats and the implications to clinical and training practice. Jour-nal of Human Kinetics. 2016; 52: 125–138.

[30] Kongsgaard M, Aagaard P, Roikjaer S, Olsen D, Jensen M, Lang-berg H, et al. Decline eccentric squats increases patellar tendon loading compared to standard eccentric squats. Clinical Biome-chanics. 2006; 21: 748–754.

[31] Boren K, Conrey C, Le Coguic J, Paprocki L, Voight M, Robin-son TK. Electromyographic analysis of gluteus medius and glu-teus maximus during rehabilitation exercises. International Jour-nal of Sports Physical Therapy. 2011; 6: 206–223.

[32] Kim DW, Kim TH. Effects of abdominal hollowing and abdomi-nal bracing during side-lying hip abduction on the lateral rotation and muscle activity of the pelvis. Journal of Exercise Rehabilita-tion. 2018; 14: 226–230.

[33] Choi Y, Kang H. The effects of sling exercise using vibration on trunk muscle activities of healthy adults. Journal of Physical Therapy Science. 2013; 25: 1291–1294.

[34] Kendall FP, McCreary EK, Provance PG, Rodgers MM, Ro-mani WA. Muscles: Testing and function, with posture and pain (Kendall, Muscles). Lippincott Williams & Wilkins: Nether-lands. 2005.

[35] Knoll MG, Davidge M, Wraspir C, Korak JA. Comparisons of Single Leg Squat Variations on Lower Limb Muscle Activation and Center of Pressure Alterations. International Journal of Ex-ercise Science. 2019; 12: 950–959.

[36] Criswell E. Cram’s introduction to surface electromyography. 2nd edn. Jones & Bartlett Publishers: Canada. 2010.

[37] Stevens VK, Coorevits PL, Bouche KG, Mahieu NN, Vander-straeten GG, Danneels LA. The influence of specific training on trunk muscle recruitment patterns in healthy subjects during sta-bilization exercises. Manual Therapy. 2007; 12: 271–279.

[38] Richards J, Thewlis D, Selfe J, Cunningham A, Hayes C. A biomechanical investigation of a single-limb squat: implications for lower extremity rehabilitation exercise. Journal of Athletic Training. 2008; 43: 477–482.

[39] Zwerver J, Bredeweg SW, Hof AL. Biomechanical analysis of the single-leg decline squat. British Journal of Sports Medicine. 2007; 41: 264–268.

[40] Yoon WR, Park SH, Jeong CH, Park JH, Yoon SH. Effects of Center of Pressure on Muscle Activations and Joint Range of Mo-tion of Lower Extremities during Squat. Korean Journal of Sport Biomechanics. 2018; 28: 37–43.

[41] Cook JL, Khan KM, Kiss ZS, Purdam CR, Griffiths L. Repro-ducibility and clinical utility of tendon palpation to detect patel-lar tendinopathy in young basketball players. British Journal of Sports Medicine. 2001; 35: 65–69.

[42] Kitamura T, Kido A, Ishida Y, Kobayashi Y, Tsukamoto S, Tanaka Y. Muscle Activity Pattern with A Shifted Center of Pres-sure during the Squat Exercise. Journal of Sports Science and Medicine. 2019; 18: 248–252.

[43] Lee D, Lee S, Park J. Impact of decline-board squat exercises and knee joint angles on the muscle activity of the lower limbs. Journal of Physical Therapy Science. 2015; 27: 2617–2619.

Abstracted / indexed in

Science Citation Index Expanded (SciSearch) Created as SCI in 1964, Science Citation Index Expanded now indexes over 9,200 of the world’s most impactful journals across 178 scientific disciplines. More than 53 million records and 1.18 billion cited references date back from 1900 to present.

Journal Citation Reports/Science Edition Journal Citation Reports/Science Edition aims to evaluate a journal’s value from multiple perspectives including the journal impact factor, descriptive data about a journal’s open access content as well as contributing authors, and provide readers a transparent and publisher-neutral data & statistics information about the journal.

Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) DOAJ is a unique and extensive index of diverse open access journals from around the world, driven by a growing community, committed to ensuring quality content is freely available online for everyone.

SCImago The SCImago Journal & Country Rank is a publicly available portal that includes the journals and country scientific indicators developed from the information contained in the Scopus® database (Elsevier B.V.)

Publication Forum - JUFO (Federation of Finnish Learned Societies) Publication Forum is a classification of publication channels created by the Finnish scientific community to support the quality assessment of academic research.

Scopus CiteScore 0.7 (2021) Scopus is Elsevier's abstract and citation database launched in 2004. Scopus covers nearly 36,377 titles (22,794 active titles and 13,583 Inactive titles) from approximately 11,678 publishers, of which 34,346 are peer-reviewed journals in top-level subject fields: life sciences, social sciences, physical sciences and health sciences.

Norwegian Register for Scientific Journals, Series and Publishers Search for publication channels (journals, series and publishers) in the Norwegian Register for Scientific Journals, Series and Publishers to see if they are considered as scientific. (

Submission Turnaround Time