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This small biomechanical study investigated the decline squat by kinematic analysis. The findings support its use as a means of preferentially loading the knee extensor mechanism. The main mechanisms for this would appear to be twofold:
It is an interesting and constructive finding that the angle of decline needs only be sufficient to reduce the effect of the posterior ankle restraints, and that this is best served at angles between 15° and 25° on decline. Also useful is the finding that placement of the contralateral leg did not significantly alter the loading.
A further clinically relevant element is that addition of a backpack effectively increases the knee extensor moment by increasing both the mass as well as distance from the centre of the mass of the trunk to the knee.
The study also supports the modelling by Buff et al in finding that in order to optimise patellar tendon loading, yet minimise the large patellofemoral joint compression loads of a single leg squat performed in this manner, knee flexion is best limited to around 60°.