Kinesiological Analysis of the Back Squat

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The back squat is widely considered to be one of the most effective exercises used to improve athletic performance, because it requires the coordinated interaction of many muscle groups and strengthens the prime movers needed to support explosive athletic movements such as jumping, running and lifting (Myer, et al., 2014). The aim of the first study was to determine peak velocities for reduced inertia squat exercise at different levels of resistance based on an isometric strength assessment for both men and women (Paulus, 2008, p.

299). The difference in peak velocity between the sexes was the biggest at the lowest resistance level and the difference at the higher resistance levels was less significant (Paulus, 2008, p. 299). The relationship between resistance force and peak lifting velocity can be used to increase the efficiency of the squat by maximizing force output per repetition by varying the resistance as the lifter approaches peak velocity similar to isokinetics with preloading and active instead of reactive resistance (Paulus, 2008, p. 299). The purpose of the second study was to determine the acute effects of back squats on countermovement jump performance across multiple sets using a complicated training protocol (Poulos, 2018, p.

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75). The mean jump height performance was improved compared to CMJs regardless of the intensity used (Poulos, 2018, p. 75). When designing such a complex training protocol, coaches should consider the athlete’s strength level to generate any post-activation potentiation effect across multiple alternating sets to improve jump performance (Poulos, 2018, p. 75).

The main purpose of the back squat is to strengthen the musculature of the lower limbs (Diggin, et al.

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, 2011). The movement phases of the back squat are the down phase and the up phase (Hamilton, Weimar, & Luttgens, 2012). When the spine is kept erect and the head is up, the ankles, knees, and hips are allowed to flex simultaneously as the body is lowered into a squat position (Hamilton, Weimar, & Luttgens, 2012). The lower leg moves at the ankle, the thigh moves at the knee, and the torso moves at the hip (Hamilton, Weimar, & Luttgens, 2012). The spine is kept in an erect position through the cocontraction of the trunk muscles (Hamilton, Weimar, & Luttgens, 2012). Gravity is the force that causes this motion (Hamilton, Weimar, & Luttgens, 2012). When the lowest point of the squat is reached, the ankle, knee and hip are extended forcefully (triple extension) and the body returns to the erect position (Hamilton, Weimar, & Luttgens, 2012). The squat tends to be a simultaneous or synergistic movement of the hips, knees and trunk (Kaehler, 2012). The back squat is widely considered to be one of the most effective exercises used to improve athletic performance, because it requires the coordinated interaction of many muscle groups and strengthens the prime movers needed to support explosive athletic movements such as jumping, running and lifting (Myer, et al., 2014).

When the lifter begins to descend to the bottom position, the knee and hip angles begin to close and the back angle becomes more horizontal (Soleyn, 2013). The angles closing create moment arms along the back, the femur, and the shank (Soleyn, 2013). To return to the standing position, the lifter must create enough moment force at each of the points of rotation to overcome the moment force acting on each point, created by the force of gravity acting on the load (Soleyn, 2013). Each point of rotation accounts for a percentage of the total force that must be created (Soleyn, 2013). This percentage is directly proportional to the relative length of the moment arms affecting each joint, along the levers (Soleyn, 2013). The aim of the research was to determine peak velocities for reduced inertia squat exercises at different levels of resistance based on an isometric strength assessment for both men and women (Paulus, 2008, p. 299). On a pneumatic resistance modified Smith machine, 12 males and 12 females (previously trained college – age participants) performed a maximum isometric resistance assessment with a knee angle of 90°, 110°, 130°, 150°, and 170° (180° = full extension) followed by a dynamic maximum resistance measurement with a resistance of 40, 50, 60, 70, and 80 percent of their lowest maximum isometric strength (Paulus, 2008, p. 299).

The purpose of this study was to determine the acute effects of back squats on countermovement jump performance across multiple sets using a complex training protocol for strength-power potential (Poulos, 2018, p. 75). Fifteen elite volleyball players completed three unloaded countermovement jumps (CMJ) after three repetitions of the back squat, which was either 65 percent or 87 percent of 1-RM, repeated for 10 sets respectively (Poulos, 2018, p. 75). A control session of three CMJs for 10 sets was also repeated (Poulos, 2018, p. 75). There was no interaction between men and women during isometric strength tests with men stronger in all joint positions (P < 0.05) (Paulus, 2008, p. 299). The lowest isometric strength occurred without variation at 90° (Paulus, 2008, p. 299). There was an interaction between men and women for peak lifting velocity during the dynamic lifts (P = 0.021); the men produced higher velocities at all resistance levels (P < 0.05) (Paulus, 2008, p. 299).

The mean jump height performance was improved compared to performing CMJs only regardless of the intensity used (65% 1-RM: +3.3 ± 2.2% [CI: 1.0 to 5.6]; 87% 1-RM: 2.6 ± 1.9% [CI: 0.7 to 4.5]) (Poulos, 2018, p. 75). Those with a higher relative strength were very likely to have a high (97%; ES = 1.51) chance of improving the jump height over 10 sets of the prescribed protocol with an intensity of 87 percent 1-RM and a likely moderate (89%; ES = 0.94) and very likely high (97%; ES = 1.76) chance of improving the maximum concentric impulse (N·s) with intensities of 65 percent and 87 percent 1-RM (Poulos, 2018, p. 75). Performance (jump height and maximum concentric impulse) can be improved over 10 sets of the strength power potentiation complex training prescribed protocol regardless of intensity, with a greater effect observed for the subjects with a higher relative strength and with the 87 percent 1-RM heavy load back squat condition (Poulos, 2018, p. 75).The difference in peak velocity between the sexes was the biggest at the lowest resistance level and the difference at the higher resistance levels was less significant (Paulus, 2008, p. 299).

The relationship between resistance force and peak lifting velocity can be used to increase the efficiency of the squat by maximizing force output per repetition by varying the resistance as the lifter approaches peak velocity similar to isokinetics with preloading and active instead of reactive resistance (Paulus, 2008, p. 299). In practice, coaches should consider the strength level of the athlete when designing such a complex training protocol to generate any post-activation potentiation effect in multiple alternating sets to improve jump performance (Poulos, 2018, p. 75).  Peak speeds at different resistance levels were recorded based on an isometrically obtained strength assessment of reduced inertia squat exercise for both men and women (Paulus, 2008, p. 304). The results of this study are applicable to improving the efficiency of squat exercise by incorporating controlled velocity-based resistance to maximize force output per repetition while keeping free weights preloaded without inertial effects that reduce force during deceleration (Paulus, 2008, p. 304).

Factors that still need to be addressed include the development of a control system and the hardware that can vary the load instantly as the lift approaches peak velocity (Paulus, 2008, p. 304). Because of the interaction between sex and peak lifting velocity, the development of control strategy should take into account the differences between the sexes (Paulus, 2008, p. 304).When examining the effect of the back squat on performance across 10 sets of a complex pair, the mean jump height was improved regardless of the intensity used (Poulos, 2018, p. 82). For the maximum concentric impulse variable, it appears that the use of either intensity produced similar performance results for CMJs in 10 sets (Poulos, 2018, p. 82). The results show the specificity of the effect of the current complex protocol, which probably affects jump height but not concentric impulse, suggesting some changes in the efficiency/strategy of movement. (Poulos, 2018, p. 82).

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Kinesiological Analysis of the Back Squat. (2021, Oct 07). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/kinesiological-analysis-of-the-back-squat-essay

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