Vary Stance to Reduce Knee Strain
Reducing stress and strain on the knees is a good idea, even for those with no history of knee problems.
One study examined how varying foot placement affects the tibio-femoral compressive forces and tensile forces in the cruciate ligaments.
Wide-stance squats and leg presses were shown to decrease posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) stress, while a narrow stance significantly increased it, as did placing feet low on the leg-press plate.
The angle of the foot (turned out or toes pointed straight ahead) did not significantly affect knee forces.
It is particularly interesting to note that neither exercise, regardless of variation, produced tension in the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), the site most commonly associated with knee problems.
Source: Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, Supplement, May, 1997.
This appeared in ACE FitnessMatters, ACE's official magazine.
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