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Load-velocity relationship in variations of the half-squat exercise: Influence of execution technique

Pérez-Castilla, Alejandro; García-Ramos, Amador; Padial, Paulino; Morales-Artacho, Antonio, J.; Feriche, Belén

The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: September 06, 2017 - Volume Publish Ahead of Print - Issue - p
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000002072
Original Research: PDF Only

Previous studies have revealed that the velocity of the bar can be used to determine the intensity of different resistance training exercises. However, the load-velocity relationship seems to be exercise dependent. This study aimed to compare the load-velocity relationship obtained from two variations of the half-squat exercise (traditional vs. ballistic) using two execution techniques (eccentric-concentric vs. concentric-only). Twenty men performed a submaximal progressive loading test in four half-squat exercises: eccentric-concentric traditional-squat, concentric-only traditional-squat, countermovement jump (i.e. ballistic squat using the eccentric-concentric technique), and squat jump (i.e. ballistic squat using the concentric-only technique). Individual linear regressions were used to estimate the one-repetition maximum (1RM) for each half-squat exercise. Thereafter, another linear regression was applied to establish the relationship between relative load (%RM) and mean propulsive velocity (MPV). For all exercises, a strong relationship was observed between %RM and MPV: eccentric-concentric traditional-squat (R2 = 0.949), concentric-only traditional-squat (R2 = 0.920), countermovement jump (R2 = 0.957), and squat jump (R2 = 0.879). The velocities associated with each %RM were higher for the ballistic variation and the eccentric-concentric technique than for the traditional variation and concentric-only technique, respectively. Differences in velocity among the half-squat exercises decreased with the increment in the relative load. These results demonstrate that the MPV can be used to predict exercise intensity in the four half-squat exercises. However, independent regressions are required for each half-squat exercise since the load-velocity relationship proved to be task specific.

Department of Physical Education and Sport, Faculty of Sport Sciences, University of Granada, Granada, Spain.

Corresponding author: Amador García-Ramos, Faculty of Sport Sciences, University of Granada, Ctra. Alfacar, s/n, 18011, Granada (Spain), Phone: (+34) 677815348, Fax: (+34) 958244369, E-mail:

Copyright © 2018 by the National Strength & Conditioning Association.