The Science Behind Michael Jackson's Gravity-Defying Smooth Dance Move

The action-packed "Smooth Criminal" music video was made for Jackson's famous 1988 film "Moonwalker".

Michael Jackson first debuted his gravity-defying leanings in the "Smooth Criminal" music video.

Feet planted on the floor, spine straight, he leaned forward 45 degrees, in a move that should have ruptured his Achilles tendon, caused a full faceplant, or both.

According to NPR, most normal people can bend 20 degrees, while trained dancers can bend 25 to 30 degrees. How did Jackson and his dancers accomplish this?

Well, mostly they cheated. They wore specially designed shoes with slots on the soles, which closed with a hitch that attached to the floor.

This support kept them from falling further and put pressure on the dancers' tendons and calves. However, researchers determined that there was still considerable pressure on the Achilles.

Hence it took commendable core and lower body strength to perform this stunt. Therefore, the answer lies not only in invention but also in strength training and conditioning.

According to CNN, Axon patented the shoe in 1993. Although the latter helped uncover the mystery, his moves continue to inspire dancers to explore the limits of what is physically possible.