Kinesiology of Exercise

Machine Squat

For variety, or if you have trouble doing the barbell squat correctly without pain or discomfort, you should use a squat machine. (In many cases the squat machine will be almost identical to the leg press). For effective execution you can also use a Smith machine, Hack machine or one of the other commercial machines available. Basic execution is the same on all machines regardless of whether you are lying down or standing. 

Major Muscles and Actions Involved

These are the same as in the squat.

Sports Uses

These are the same as in the squat.

Exercise Analysis

  • Be sure that your feet are in front of your center of gravity or the projected line of gravity in the initial position. You must be very flexible and strong in the hip, knee, and ankle joints to place your feet farther under or in line with your body.
  • It is important to not speed up or accelerate in the downward movement. You should use the eccentric return to quickly reverse direction in the bottom position. Doing this helps to build the resiliency of the knee muscles, which are most important in the running and jumping sports as well as in weightlifting. If you accelerate in the downward motion, the eccentric contraction may not be able to stop you and then you must rely more on your knee ligaments to do this. Ligaments can easily be injured when the forces are great enough.
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