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J Sports Sci Med. 2010 Jun 1;9(2):206-13. eCollection 2010.

The acute effects of back squats on vertical jump performance in men and women.

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Exercise Science Department, East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania , USA.


The aim of the present study was to investigate the acute effects of performing back squats on subsequent performance during a series of vertical jumps in men and women. Twelve men and 12 women were tested on three separate occasions, the first of which was used to determine their 1-repetition maximum (1-RM) parallel back squat. Following this, subjects performed a potentiation and a control treatment in a counterbalanced order. The potentiation treatment culminated with subjects performing parallel back squats with a load equivalent to 70% 1- RM for three repetitions, following which they performed one countermovement vertical jump (CMJ) for maximal height every three minutes for a total of 10 jumps. During the control treatment, subjects performed only the CMJs. Jump height (JH) and vertical stiffness (VStiff) were calculated for each jump from the vertical force signal recorded from a force platform. There were no significant changes in JH or VStiff following the treatments and no significant differences in the responses between men and women (p > 0.05). Correlations between normalized 1-RM back squat load and the absolute change in JH and VStiff were small to moderate for both men and women, with most correlations being negative. Large variations in response to the back squats were noted in both men and women. The use of resistance exercises performed prior to a series of vertical jumps can result in improvements in performance in certain individuals, although the gains tend to be small and dependent upon the mechanical variable measured. There does not seem to be any differences between men and women in the response to dynamic potentiation protocols. Key pointsSubstantial individual responses were noted in both men and women in response to the PAP protocol used in the present study.The choice of dependent variable influences the ef-ficacy of the PAP protocol, with JH and VStiff demonstrating disparate responses in individual sub-jects.Such individual responses may render such PAP protocols impractical for strength and conditioning practitioners as the protocols are likely to require in-dividualizing to each athlete.


Back squats; potentiation; vertical jump; vertical stiffness


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