- Forces in continuum mechanics are analyzed as 0-currents of geometric measure theory. The representation of forces by stresses is discussed and the flat norm of a force is expressed in terms of stress fields. An analogous treatment expresses the Sobolev norm of a force in terms of stress fields. In both cases, one obtains bounds on the stress fields that are in equilibrium with a given force. The analysis is universal in the sense that it is independent of any constitutive relation.