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Validity and Reliability of the PUSH Wearable Device to Measure Movement Velocity During the Back Squat Exercise

Balsalobre-Fernández, Carlos; Kuzdub, Matt; Poveda-Ortiz, Pedro; Campo-Vecino, Juan del

Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research: July 2016 - Volume 30 - Issue 7 - p 1968–1974
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000001284
Original Research

Balsalobre-Fernández, C, Kuzdub, M, Poveda-Ortiz, P, and Campo-Vecino, Jd. Validity and reliability of the PUSH wearable device to measure movement velocity during the back squat exercise. J Strength Cond Res 30(7): 1968–1974, 2016—The purpose of this study was to analyze the validity and reliability of a wearable device to measure movement velocity during the back squat exercise. To do this, 10 recreationally active healthy men (age = 23.4 ± 5.2 years; back squat 1 repetition maximum [1RM] = 83 ± 8.2 kg) performed 3 repetitions of the back squat exercise with 5 different loads ranging from 25 to 85% 1RM on a Smith Machine. Movement velocity for each of the total 150 repetitions was simultaneously recorded using the T-Force linear transducer (LT) and the PUSH wearable band. Results showed a high correlation between the LT and the wearable device mean (r = 0.85; standard error of estimate [SEE] = 0.08 m·s−1) and peak velocity (r = 0.91, SEE = 0.1 m·s−1). Moreover, there was a very high agreement between these 2 devices for the measurement of mean (intraclass correlation coefficient [ICC] = 0.907) and peak velocity (ICC = 0.944), although a systematic bias between devices was observed (PUSH peak velocity being −0.07 ± 0.1 m·s−1 lower, p ≤ 0.05). When measuring the 3 repetitions with each load, both devices displayed almost equal reliability (Test–retest reliability: LT [r = 0.98], PUSH [r = 0.956]; ICC: LT [ICC = 0.989], PUSH [ICC = 0.981]; coefficient of variation [CV]: LT [CV = 4.2%], PUSH [CV = 5.0%]). Finally, individual load-velocity relationships measured with both the LT (R 2 = 0.96) and the PUSH wearable device (R 2 = 0.94) showed similar, very high coefficients of determination. In conclusion, these results support the use of an affordable wearable device to track velocity during back squat training. Wearable devices, such as the one in this study, could have valuable practical applications for strength and conditioning coaches.

1Department of Physical Education, Sport and Human Movement, Autonomous University of Madrid, Spain; and

2PUSH, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Address correspondence to Carlos Balsalobre-Fernández, carlos.balsalobre@icloud.com.

Copyright © 2016 by the National Strength & Conditioning Association.