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Bret Contreras, Andrew D. Vigotsky, Brad J. Schoenfeld, Chris Beardsley and John Cronin

The back squat and barbell hip thrust are both popular exercises used to target the lower body musculature; however, these exercises have yet to be compared. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to compare the surface electromyographic (EMG) activity of the upper and lower gluteus maximus, biceps femoris, and vastus lateralis between the back squat and barbell hip thrust. Thirteen trained women (n = 13; age = 28.9 years; height = 164 cm; mass = 58.2 kg) performed estimated 10-repetition maximums (RM) in the back squat and barbell hip thrust. The barbell hip thrust elicited significantly greater mean (69.5% vs 29.4%) and peak (172% vs 84.9%) upper gluteus maximus, mean (86.8% vs 45.4%) and peak (216% vs 130%) lower gluteus maximus, and mean (40.8% vs 14.9%) and peak (86.9% vs 37.5%) biceps femoris EMG activity than the back squat. There were no significant differences in mean (99.5% vs 110%) or peak (216% vs 244%) vastus lateralis EMG activity. The barbell hip thrust activates the gluteus maximus and biceps femoris to a greater degree than the back squat when using estimated 10RM loads. Longitudinal training studies are needed to determine if this enhanced activation correlates with increased strength, hypertrophy, and performance.

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Jason Lake, Mike Lauder, Neal Smith and Kathleen Shorter

This study compared differences between ballistic jump squat (B) and nonballistic back squat (NB) force, velocity, power, and relative acceleration duration, and the effect that the method used to identify the positive lifting phase had on these parameters. Ground reaction force and barbell kinematics were recorded from 30 resistance trained men during B and NB performance with 45% 1RM. Force, velocity, and power was averaged over positive lifting phases identified using the traditional peak barbell displacement (PD) and positive impulse method. No significant differences were found between B and NB mean force, and mean power, but B mean velocity was 14% greater than the NB equivalent. Positive impulse mean force was 24% greater than PD mean force, and B relative acceleration duration was 8.6% greater than the NB equivalent when PD was used to identify the end of the positive lifting phase. These results challenge common perceptions of B superiority for power development.

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Bret Contreras, Andrew D. Vigotsky, Brad J. Schoenfeld, Chris Beardsley and John Cronin

Front, full, and parallel squats are some of the most popular squat variations. The purpose of this investigation was to compare mean and peak electromyography (EMG) amplitude of the upper gluteus maximus, lower gluteus maximus, biceps femoris, and vastus lateralis of front, full, and parallel squats. Thirteen healthy women (age = 28.9 ± 5.1 y; height = 164 ± 6.3 cm; body mass = 58.2 ± 6.4 kg) performed 10 repetitions of their estimated 10-repetition maximum of each respective variation. There were no statistical (P = .05) differences between full, front, and parallel squats in any of the tested muscles. Given these findings, it can be concluded that the front, full, or parallel squat can be performed for similar EMG amplitudes. However, given the results of previous research, it is recommended that individuals use a full range of motion when squatting, assuming full range can be safely achieved, to promote more favorable training adaptations. Furthermore, despite requiring lighter loads, the front squat may provide a similar training stimulus to the back squat.

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Loren Z.F. Chiu, Brian K. Schilling, Andrew C. Fry and Lawrence W. Weiss

Displacement-based measurement systems are becoming increasingly popular for assessment of force expression variables during resistance exercise. Typically a linear position transducer (LPT) is attached to the barbell to measure displacement and a double differentiation technique is used to determine acceleration. Force is calculated as the product of mass and acceleration. Despite the apparent utility of these devices, validity data are scarce. To determine whether LPT can accurately estimate vertical ground reaction forces, two men and four women with moderate to extensive resistance training experience performed concentric-only (CJS) and rebound (RJS) jump squats, two sessions of each type in random order. CJS or RJS were performed with 30%, 50%, and 70% one-repetition maximum parallel back squat 5 minutes following a warm-up and again after a 10-min rest. Displacement was measured via LPT and acceleration was calculated using the finite-difference technique. Force was estimated from the weight of the lifter-barbell system and propulsion force from the lifter-barbell system. Vertical ground reaction force was directly measured with a single-component force platform. Two-way random average-measure intraclass correlations (ICC) were used to assess the reliability of obtained measures and compare the measurements obtained via each method. High reliability (ICC > 0.70) was found for all CJS variables across the load-spectrum. RJS variables also had high ICC except for time parameters for early force production. All variables were significantly (p < 0.01) related between LPT and force platform methods with no indication of systematic bias. The LPT appears to be a valid method of assessing force under these experimental conditions.

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Ty B. Palmer, Jose G. Pineda and Rachel M. Durham

, or hip joints. All participants reported being consistently engaged in a structured weight training program that involved lower body resistance training (which included the back squat exercise) 1–8 hours per week for a minimum of at least 6 months prior to the study. This study was approved by the

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Francisco Luis Pestaña-Melero, G. Gregory Haff, Francisco Javier Rojas, Alejandro Pérez-Castilla and Amador García-Ramos

HG , Nosaka K , Haff GG . Reliability and validity of the load–velocity relationship to predict the 1RM back squat . J Strength Cond Res . 2017 ; 31 ( 7 ): 1897 – 1904 . PubMed doi:10.1519/JSC.0000000000001657 27669192 10.1519/JSC.0000000000001657 8. Brzycki M . Strength testing

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Zachary M. Gillen, Lacey E. Jahn, Marni E. Shoemaker, Brianna D. McKay, Alegra I. Mendez, Nicholas A. Bohannon and Joel T. Cramer

Sci Sports Exerc . 2002 ; 34 ( 4 ): 689 – 694 . PubMed ID: 11932580 11932580 30. Mina MA , Blazevich AJ , Tsatalas T , Giakas G , Seitz LB , Kay AD . Variable, but not free-weight, resistance back squat exercise potentiates jump performance following a comprehensive task