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Hip and Knee Kinetics During a Back Squat and Deadlift

Choe, Kevin H.1,2; Coburn, Jared W.2; Costa, Pablo B.2; Pamukoff, Derek N.2

The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: October 17, 2018 - Volume Publish Ahead of Print - Issue - p
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000002908
Original Research: PDF Only

Choe, KH, Coburn, JW, Costa, PB, and Pamukoff, DN. Hip and knee kinetics during a back-squat and deadlift. J Strength Cond Res XX(X): 000–000, 2018—The back-squat and deadlift are performed to improve hip and knee extensor function. The purpose of this study was to compare lower extremity joint kinetics (peak net joint moments [NJMs] and positive joint work [PJW]) between the back-squat and deadlift. Twenty-eight resistance-trained subjects (17 men: 23.7 ± 4.3 years, 1.76 ± 0.09 m, 78.11 ± 10.91 kg; 11 women: 23.0 ± 1.9 years, 1.66 ± 0.06 m, 65.36 ± 7.84 kg) were recruited. One repetition maximum (1RM) testing and biomechanical analyses occurred on separate days. Three-dimensional biomechanics of the back-squat and deadlift were recorded at 70 and 85% 1RM for each exercise. The deadlift demonstrated larger hip extensor NJM than the back-squat {3.59 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 3.30–3.88) vs. 2.98 (95% CI: 2.72–3.23) Nm·kg−1, d = 0.81, p < 0.001}. However, the back-squat had a larger knee extensor NJM compared with the deadlift (2.14 [95% CI: 1.88–2.40] vs. 1.18 [95% CI: 0.99–1.37] Nm·kg−1, d = 1.44 p < 0.001). More knee PJW was performed during the back-squat compared with the deadlift (1.85 [95% CI: 1.60–2.09] vs. 0.46 [95% CI: 0.35–0.58] J·kg−1, d = 2.10, p < 0.001). However, there was more hip PJW during the deadlift compared with the back-squat (3.22 [95% CI: 2.97–3.47] vs. 2.37 [95% CI: 2.21–2.54] J·kg−1, d = 1.30, p < 0.001). Larger hip extensor NJM and PJW during the deadlift suggest that individuals targeting their hip extensors may yield greater benefit from the deadlift compared with the back-squat. However, larger knee extensor NJM and PJW during the back-squat suggest that individuals targeting their knee extensor muscles may benefit from incorporating the back-squat compared with the deadlift.

1Department of Kinesiology and Nutrition Sciences, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Las Vegas, Nevada; and

2Department of Kinesiology, Center for Sport Performance, California State University Fullerton, Fullerton, California

Address correspondence to Kevin H. Choe,

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