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The Optimal Back Squat Load for Potential Osteogenesis

Ebben, William P.1; Garceau, Luke R.2; Wurm, Bradley J.2; Suchomel, Timothy J.3; Duran, Kasiem4; Petushek, Erich J.5

The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: May 2012 - Volume 26 - Issue 5 - p 1232–1237
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e3182305321
Original Research

Ebben, WP, Garceau, LR, Wurm, BJ, Suchomel, TJ, Duran, K, and Petushek, EJ. The optimal back squat load for potential osteogenesis. J Strength Cond Res 26(5): 1232–1237, 2012—The osteogenic potential of exercise is reported to be partially a function of the magnitude of training loads. This study evaluated the ground reaction force (GRF) and rate of force development (RFD) of the eccentric and concentric phases of the back squat at 3 different loads. Twelve subjects performed the back squat on a force platform with loading conditions of 80, 100, and 120% of their 1 repetition maximum (RM). Back squats performed at 120% of the 1RM produced the highest GRF in both the eccentric and concentric conditions. No significant differences were found between RFD for any of the loading conditions. Performing the back squat at loads of 120% of the estimated 1RM, accomplished with reduced range of motion, results in higher GRF than the back squat performed at 80 or 100% of the 1RM. Thus, supermaximal back squat loads in excess of the 1RM, with decreased range of motion, may be a useful part of a resistance training program designed to maximize osteogenic potential.

1Department of Health, Exercise Science and Sport Management, University of Wisconsin-Parkside, Kenosha, Wisconsin

2Department of Physical Therapy, Program in Exercise Science, Marquette University, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

3Department of Kinesiology, University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, Oshkosh, Wisconsin

4Department of Health and Human Performance, Concordia University Wisconsin, Mequon, Wisconsin

5Department of Health, Physical Education, and Recreation, Northern Michigan University Marquette, Michigan

Address correspondence to Dr. William P. Ebben,

© 2012 National Strength and Conditioning Association