The squat technique is described as the King of all exercises (Bompa, 2002) as it is an effective exercise that works a variety of muscles including the gluteals, hamstrings, quadriceps and abdominals. This report focused on the lower limb muscles only. Understanding different types of movement is important for sport and exercise to help rehabilitate injuries of athletes. Coaches and trainers may find understanding the squat a good way to prevent injuries as it is an excellent way to build the muscles of the lower limbs.
The four main phases of the squat technique are the starting phase, the downward phase, the holding phase and the upward phase. The aim of this report was to fully understand the squat technique. This report explained which bones, joints and muscles are involved in the squat technique. Along with these, the roles of these muscles were detailed, along with the types of contraction of the muscles and movement of the body.
In the starting phase of the squat technique all the muscles that are contracting are doing so isometrically. An isometric contraction is when the muscle is generating force, yet neither lengthening nor shortening. (Tortora and Derrickson, 2009).
The hip joint is a synovial, ball and socket joint. The hip is a third class lever, which maximizes speed, and consists of the articulating femur and ilium bones (Tortora and Derrickson, 2009). At the starting phase the hip is extended by the contraction in the gluteus maximus, which acts as the main stabaliser and holds the hip joint in position. This muscle originates on the iliac crest, coccyx and sacrum and inserts under the greater trochanter of the femur. The rectus femoris of the quadriceps contract causing the hip to be very slightly flexed (Martini and Nath, 2009). The Sartorius and Rectus Femoris contract to slightly flex the hip to bear the weight of the upper body; this muscle also causes the joint to be slightly abducted from the anatomical position and the central midline of the body. Abduction occurs at the anteroposterior axis. The gluteus medius and tensor fasciae latae contract to abduct the hip joint slightly at about 20 °. The hamstrings are contracting to assist the gluteals which are acting as the supporters and neutralisers in this position. (Seeley et al., 2003).
The knee is a synovial, hinge joint and a third class lever (Tortora and Derrickson, 2009). Full extension at the knee is 180 °, in the starting position the knee is slightly flexed by about 10° to prevent the knee from locking, thus preventing any injury. The Sartorius and Gracilis contract isometrically causing the joint to be slightly flexed. The soleus originates from the tibia and fibula, inserting on to the posterior calcaneus. The quadriceps are the main stabaliser for the knee and co-contract with the hamstrings which also stabalise the knee. (Wynsberghe et al., 1995).
The ankle joint is a synovial hinge joint and is a second class lever, which maximizes force. This joint consists of the articulating bones; the tibia, fibular and Talus (Tortora and Derrickson, 2009). In the starting phase the ankle is slightly dorsiflexed, this is caused by the tibialis anterior isometrically contracting. The tibialis anterior originates on the tibia and inserts on to the first metatarsal bone. The gastrocnemius acts as the stabilizer muscle and contracts isometrically. The soleus is also isometrically contracting in this phase to hold the ankle. (Marieb and Katja, 2010).
In the downward phase all the muscles are contracting eccentrically. An eccentric contraction generates force in the muscles as it lengthens (Marieb and Katja, 2010). During the downward phase the body is moving through the sagittal plane (Martini and Nath, 2009). Hip
On the descent phase flexion occurs at the hip joint. The gluteals act as the agonist muscle and contracts eccentrically whilst the hip flexors, the...