Effect of Gender on the Quadriceps-to-Hamstrings Coactivation Ratio During Different Exercises

HARPUT G., SOYLU A. R., Ertan H., ERGUN N., Mattacola C. G.

JOURNAL OF SPORT REHABILITATION, vol.23, no.1, pp.36-43, 2014 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 23 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2014
  • Doi Number: 10.1123/jsr.2012-0120
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.36-43
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


Context: Coactivation ratio of quadriceps to hamstring muscles (Q:H) and medial to lateral knee muscles (M:L) contributes to the dynamic stability of the knee joint during movement patterns recommended during rehabilitation and important for daily function. Objective:To compare the quadriceps-to-hamstring and medial-to-lateral knee muscles' coactivation ratios between men and women during the following closed kinetic chain exercises performed on a balance board:forward lunge, side lunge, single-leg stance, and single-leg squat. Design:Cross-sectional. Participants:20 healthy subjects (10 female and 10 male). Main Outcome Measures:Surface electromyography was used to measure the activation level of quadriceps (vastus lateralis and medialis) and hamstrings (biceps femoris and medial hamstrings) during forward-and side-lunge, single-leg-stance, and single-leg-squat exercises. Subjects were instructed during each exercise to move into the test position and to hold that position for 15 s. EMG was recorded during the 15-s isometric period where subjects tried to maintain a "set" position while the foot was on a balance board. Analysis of variance was used for statistical analysis. Results:There was a significant exercise-by-gender interaction for Q:H ratio (F-3,(48) = 6.63, P = .001), but the exercise-by-gender interaction for M:L ratio was not significant (F-3,F-48 = 1.67, P = .18). Women showed larger Q:H ratio in side-lunge exercises than men (P = .002). Both genders showed larger M:L and lower Q:H ratio in a single-leg-stance exercise than in the other exercises. Conclusions:The results indicate that the forward -and side-lunge and single-leg-squat exercises should not be recommended as exercise where a balanced coactivation between quadriceps and hamstring muscles is warranted. Single-leg-stance exercise could be used when seeking an exercise where the ratio is balanced for both women and men.