Research conducted at Lindenwood University-Belleville’s Exercise Science Lab was recently published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research.
The study, Analysis of Factors Related to Back Squat Concentric Velocity, was conducted by Lindenwood professors of exercise science Dr. Lindy Rossow and Dr. Chris Fahs, along with Associate Professor of Exercise Science Dr. Michael Zourdos from Florida Atlantic University.
According to the researchers, the purpose of the study was to determine the relationships between one-repetition maximum back squat bar velocity and femur length, training experience, strength, and sprint time in college athletes.
“Measuring bar velocity during barbell exercises can be a useful metric for prescribing resistance training loads and for predicting the one-repetition maximum,” said Fahs. “However, it is not clear whether either anthropometric factors such as limb length or training experience influences bar velocity. So, that’s what we looked to find out.”
For the study, 13 college football and eight college softball players performed a 36.6 meter sprint followed by a one-repetition maximum back squat, while average concentric velocity and peak concentric velocity were measured. Height, body mass, years of squat training experience, squat frequency, and femur length were also measured.
The research revealed that average concentric velocity was not related to training age, squat frequency, femur length, or relative strength. However, the research indicated that peak concentric velocity was related to the 36.6-meter sprint time, relative squat average, and relative peak power.
The researchers said that these results suggest that college athletes using velocity to regulate squat training may not necessarily need to modify velocity ranges based on limb length or training age. Additionally the research indicated that peak velocity during a one-repetition maximum back squat may be a useful indicator of an athlete's relative power output ability and speed. Therefore, coaches may consider measuring velocity during strength testing as a surrogate measure for speed and power.