Effects of Shoes and a Prefabricated Medial Arch Support on Medial Gastrocnemius and Tibialis Anterior Activity while doing Leg Press Exercise in Normal Feet Athletes

Maryam Sheikhi, Soraya Piroozi, Mohsen Mirzaie Khoshalani, Tahere Motiallah, Seyed Hasan Zolanvar


Background: Nowadays, different types of exercise machines are being used in the field of athletic training, recreation, post-injury and post-operation rehabilitation. Leg press is a commonly-used one that retrains muscles and simulates natural functional activities. In this activity, feet are in contact with a footrest to exert muscular forces. In addition, the footrest inserts reactive forces to feet and from the feet load would transfer to structures that are more proximal. Any misalignment in foot structure may interfere its function. Objective: The aim of this study was to assess the effect of shoes and using a prefabricated medial arch support on the activity of Tibialis anterior and medial gastrocnemius muscles while doing leg press exercise in normal feet subjects. Method: 14 men with normal Medial Longitudinal Arch and normal Body Mass Index aged between 18-35 years old, with at least 6 months experience of doing leg press volunteered to participate in this study.  Medial gastrocnemius and Tibialis anterior activity were measured by surface electromyography while doing leg press with 70% of subjects 1 Repetition Maximum.  To increase accuracy, motion was divided into knee flexion and knee extension phases. Peak Amplitude, Time to Peak Amplitude and Root Mean Square variables were used for analysis. Wilcoxon nonparametric test was used to compare the results. Results: No statistically significant difference was found in the electromyographic parameters of Medial gastrocnemius nor Tibialis anterior in any phases of motion, except for an increase in Tibialis anterior time to peak amplitude in shod condition compared with barefoot in knee extension phase of motion (p-value=0.008) and Tibialis anterior RMS in knee flexion phase in orthotic condition compared to shod (p-value=0.03). Conclusion: It seems that in high loads shoes or medial arch supports cannot change electromyographic parameters in Medial gastrocnemius nor Tibialis anterior in any phase of motion while working with leg press device.



Foot Structure, Surface electromyography, Foot Arch Support

Full Text:



Bezerra, E. S., Simão, R., Fleck, S. J., Paz, G., Maia, M., Costa, P. B., . . . Serrão, J. C. (2013). Electromyographic activity of lower body muscles during the deadlift and still-legged deadlift. Journal of Exercise Physiology Online, 16(3), 30-39.

C. Eleanor (2010). Cram's introduction to surface electromyography: Jones & Bartlett Publishers.

Chang, Y.-W., Hung, W., Wu, H.-W., Chiu, Y.-C., & Hsu, H.-C. (2010). Measurements of foot arch in standing, level walking, vertical jump and sprint start. International Journal of Sport and Exercise Science, 2(2), 31-38.

D’Lima, D. D., Patil, S., Steklov, N., & Colwell Jr, C. W. (2011). The 2011 ABJS Nicolas Andry Award:‘Lab’-in-a-knee: in vivo knee forces, kinematics, and contact analysis. Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research®, 469(10), 2953-2970.

de Moura, B. M., de Souza Bezerra, E., da Rosa Orssatto, L. B., Sakugawa, R. L., & Diefenthaeler, F. (2016). Prediction of One Repetition Maximum for 45o Leg Press in Untrained and Trained Elderly Adults.

Escamilla, Zheng, N., Fleisig, G., Lander, J., Barrentine, S., Cutter, G., & Andrews, J. (1997). The Effects of Technique Variations on Knee Biomechanics During the Squat and Leg Press 887. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 29(5), 156.

Escamilla, R. F. (2001). Knee biomechanics of the dynamic squat exercise. Med Sci Sports Exerc, 33(1), 127-141.

Escamilla, R. F., Fleisig, G. S., Zheng, N., Barrentine, S. W., Wilk, K. E., & Andrews, J. R. (1998). Biomechanics of the knee during closed kinetic chain and open kinetic chain exercises. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise(30), 556-569.

Escamilla, R. F., Fleisig, G. S., Zheng, N., Lander, J. E., Barrentine, S. W., Andrews, J. R., . . . Moorman, C. T. (2001). Effects of technique variations on knee biomechanics during the squat and leg press. Med Sci Sports Exerc, 33(9), 1552-1566.

Escamilla, R. F., Francisco, A. C., Kayes, A. V., Speer, K. P., & Moorman 3rd, C. (2002). An electromyographic analysis of sumo and conventional style deadlifts. Med Sci Sports Exerc, 34(4), 682-688.

Ferber, R., & Benson, B. (2011). Changes in multi-segment foot biomechanics with a heat-mouldable semi-custom foot orthotic device.

Franettovich, M. M., Murley, G. S., David, B. S., & Bird, A. R. (2012). A comparison of augmented low-Dye taping and ankle bracing on lower limb muscle activity during walking in adults with flat-arched foot posture. J Sci Med Sport, 15(1), 8-13. doi:10.1016/j.jsams.2011.05.009

Franklin, S., Grey, M. J., Heneghan, N., Bowen, L., & Li, F.-X. (2015). Barefoot vs common footwear: a systematic review of the kinematic, kinetic and muscle activity differences during walking. Gait & posture, 42(3), 230-239.

Fu, F. Q., Wang, S., Shu, Y., Li, J. S., Popik, S., & Gu, Y. D. (2016). A Comparative Biomechanical Analysis the Vertical Jump Between Flatfoot and Normal Foot. Paper presented at the Journal of Biomimetics, Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering.

Gibson, R., & Habing, T. G. (1994). Leg press: Google Patents.

Keller, T., Weisberger, A., Ray, J., Hasan, S., Shiavi, R., & Spengler, D. (1996). Relationship between vertical ground reaction force and speed during walking, slow jogging, and running. Clinical Biomechanics, 11(5), 253-259.

Kelly, L. A., Cresswell, A. G., Racinais, S., Whiteley, R., & Lichtwark, G. (2014). Intrinsic foot muscles have the capacity to control deformation of the longitudinal arch. Journal of The Royal Society Interface, 11(93), 20131188.

Kennedy, P. M., & Inglis, J. T. (2002). Distribution and behaviour of glabrous cutaneous receptors in the human foot sole. The Journal of physiology, 538(3), 995-1002.

Lack, S., Barton, C., Malliaras, P., Twycross-Lewis, R., Woledge, R., & Morrissey, D. (2014). The effect of anti-pronation foot orthoses on hip and knee kinematics and muscle activity during a functional step-up task in healthy individuals: A laboratory study. Clinical Biomechanics, 29(2), 177-182.

Larson, M. A. (2013). Comparison of EMG Latencies of the Tibialis Anterior and Soleus in Barefoot and Shod Conditions During Walking.

Letafatkar, A., Zandi, S., Khodayi, M., & Vashmesara, J. B. (2013). Flat Foot Deformity, Q Angle and Knee Pain are Interrelated in Wrestlers.

Lloyd, D. G., & Besier, T. F. (2003). An EMG-driven musculoskeletal model to estimate muscle forces and knee joint moments in vivo. Journal of Biomechanics, 36(6), 765-776.

Murley, G. S., & Bird, A. R. (2006). The effect of three levels of foot orthotic wedging on the surface electromyographic activity of selected lower limb muscles during gait. Clinical Biomechanics, 21(10), 1074-1080.

Murley, G. S., Menz, H. B., & Landorf, K. B. (2009). Foot posture influences the electromyographic activity of selected lower limb muscles during gait. J Foot Ankle Res, 2(1), 35-35.

Murphy, D., Connolly, D., & Beynnon, B. (2003). Risk factors for lower extremity injury: a review of the literature. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 37(1), 13-29.

Nigg, B. M. (2001). The role of impact forces and foot pronation: a new paradigm. Clinical journal of sport medicine, 11(1), 2-9.

Qaqish, J., & McLean, S. (2010a). Foot Type and Tibialis Anterior Muscle Activity during Stance Phase of Gait. International Journal of Physiotherapy & Rehabilitation, 1(1), 19-29.

Qaqish, J., & McLean, S. (2010b). Foot type and tibialis anterior muscle activity during the stance phase of gait: A pilot study. . International Journal of Physiotherapy & Rehabilitation, 1(1), 19-29.

Ritchie, C., Paterson, K., Bryant, A. L., Bartold, S., & Clark, R. A. (2011). The effects of enhanced plantar sensory feedback and foot orthoses on midfoot kinematics and lower leg neuromuscular activation. Gait & posture, 33(4), 576-581.

Sacco, I. C., Akashi, P. M., & Hennig, E. M. (2010). A comparison of lower limb EMG and ground reaction forces between barefoot and shod gait in participants with diabetic neuropathic and healthy controls. BMC musculoskeletal disorders, 11(1), 24.

Sporndly-Nees, S., Dasberg, B., Nielsen, R. O., Boesen, M. I., & Langberg, H. (2011). The navicular position test - a reliable measure of the navicular bone position during rest and loading. Int J Sports Phys Ther, 6(3), 199-205.

Stevens, J. (2014). Re:“Body mass index categories in observational studies of weight and risk of death” and “Editorial: body mass index and risk of death”. American Journal of Epidemiology, kwu299.

Tenforde, A. S., Yin, A., & Hunt, K. J. (2016). Foot and ankle injuries in runners. Physical medicine and rehabilitation clinics of North America, 27(1), 121-137.

Tomaro, J., & Burdett, R. C. (1993). The effects of foot orthotics on the EMG activity of selected leg muscles during gait. journal of orthopaedic & sports physical therapy, 18(4), 532-536.

Wawrzyniak, J. R., Tracy, J. E., Catizone, P. V., & Storrow, R. R. (1996). Effect of closed chain exercise on quadriceps femoris peak torque and functional performance. Journal of athletic training, 31(4), 335.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.7575/aiac.ijkss.v.5n.2p.31


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

2013-2023 (CC-BY) Australian International Academic Centre PTY.LTD.

International Journal of Kinesiology and Sports Science

You may require to add the 'aiac.org.au' domain to your e-mail 'safe list’ If you do not receive e-mail in your 'inbox'. Otherwise, you may check your 'Spam mail' or 'junk mail' folders.