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G-35 Free Communication/Poster - Fitness Assessment Saturday, June 1, 2019, 7: 30 AM - 11: 00 AM Room: CC-Hall WA2

A Comparison of Back Squat & Safety Squat Bar on Measures of Strength, Speed, and Power in NCAA Division I Baseball Players

3362 Board #50 June 1 9:30 AM - 11:00 AM

Meldrum, Richard; DeBeliso, Mark FACSM

Author Information
Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise: June 2019 - Volume 51 - Issue 6S - p 919
doi: 10.1249/01.mss.0000563255.51821.ce
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Squat exercise variations are considered a cornerstone of resistance training (RT) programs. Understanding the effectiveness of differing squat exercise variations is important for coaches and athletes in order to optimizing the effectiveness of a RT program.

PURPOSE: The current investigation examined a comparison of the standard Olympic barbell loaded back squat (BS) with a squat performed with the safety squat bar (SSB).

METHODS: Twenty eight Division I male baseball players (19.2±1.1 years, 182.5±5.6 cm, 87.6±5.1 kg) participated in a RT program comprised of two workout sessions a week for nine weeks, performing either a BS or SSB utilizing an autoregulatory progressive resistance periodization protocol, concurrent with their existing, season-specific, RT program. Pitchers (n=14) utilized the SSB bar with the goal of minimizing stress on the shoulder and elbow joints during the execution of the squat. The non-pitchers (n=14) performed the Olympic barbell BS. Lower body strength (estimated 1RM squat: kgs), sprint speed (54.86 m sprint: secs), and vertical jump (VJ: cms) were assessed prior to and following the RT training period.

RESULTS: The VJ had a significant positive improvement from pre to post RT for both the BS (pre: 74.6±8.1, post: 76.5±8.0) and SSB (pre: 72.4±7.6, post: 75.3±8.3) groups (p<0.05). The estimated squat 1RMs had a significant positive improvement from pre to post RT for both the BS (pre: 136.2±11.0, post: 166.1±23.7) and SSB groups (pre: 112.3 ± 14.9, post: 152.6 ± 22.0) (p<0.05). The 54.86 m sprint did not improve significantly from pre to post RT for either the BS (pre: 7.12±0.33, post: 7.05±0.26) or SSB groups (pre: 7.27±0.17, post: 7.19±0.20) (p>0.05). When comparing gain scores between each group there were no significant difference between the BS and SSB groups for either 54.86 m sprint or VJ (p>0.05). However, the estimated squat 1RM gain score for the SSB was significantly greater than the BS group (p<0.05) noting that the effect size of change from pre to post RT was 2.69 and 2.71 standard deviations for the BS and SSB groups respectively.

CONCLUSION: Given that both squat modalities yielded approximately equal improvements in VJ and lower body strength, coaches and athletes can consider the SSB variation of the squat as a viable option for developing lower body strength and power.

Copyright © 2019 by the American College of Sports Medicine