Preferences help
enabled [disable] Abstract
Number of results
2016 | 14 | 2 | 13 - 20
Article title


Title variants
Languages of publication
The barbell squat is a fundamental strength and conditioning exercise, with two principal variants; back and front. Whilst previous studies have examined the mechanical differences of the front and back squat, there is no information comparing the distributions of muscle forces between these variants. This study aimed to compare estimated forces developed by the primary skeletal muscles used in the front and back squat. Twenty-five male participants were recruited with 6.24 ±2.21 years of experience in squat lifting and 1 repetition maximum values of 127.5 ±18.8 and 90.6 ±14.4 kg for the back and front squat lifts. Participants completed both back and front squats at 70% of their front squat 1 repetition maximum. Muscle forces were determined during dynamic situations using motion capture data, in addition to sagittal plane kinematics. Differences between squat conditions were examined using a multivariate analysis of variance. The kinematic analysis showed that the back squat was associated with significantly (p < 0.05) greater flexion of the trunk. Examination of muscles forces indicated that erector spinae forces were also significantly (p < 0.05) larger in the back squat. No significant differences were identified for skeletal muscle forces elsewhere (p > 0.05). Our results indicate that neither the front nor back squat provides any marked difference in muscle force production, aside from that isolated to the lower back. These findings lead the conclusion that neither the front nor back squat conditions confer any additional benefits over the other in terms of the skeletal muscle force output.
  • Division of Sport, Exercise and Nutritional Sciences School of Sport Tourism and Outdoors University of Central Lancashire, Preston, Lancashire, PR1 2HE.
  • Division of Sport, Exercise and Nutritional Sciences School of Sport Tourism and Outdoors University of Central Lancashire, Preston, Lancashire, PR1 2HE.
  • Division of Sport, Exercise and Nutritional Sciences School of Sport Tourism and Outdoors University of Central Lancashire, Preston, Lancashire, PR1 2HE.
  • Allied Health Research Unit, School of Health Sciences, University of Central lancashire
  • Baechle, T.R., Earle, R. (2008). Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning. Champaign: Human Kinetics.
  • Clark, D.R., Lambert, M.I., Hunter, A.M. (2012). Muscle activation in the loaded free barbell squat: A brief review. J Strength Cond Res, 26, 1169–1178.
  • Delp, S.L. Loan, J.P., Hoy, M.G., Zajac, F.E., Topp, E.L., Rosen, J.M. (1990). An interactive graphics-based model of the lower extremity to study orthopaedic surgical procedures. IEEE Trans Biomed Eng, 37, 757–767.
  • Delp, S.L., Anderson, F.C., Arnold, A..S, Loan, P., Habib, A., John, C.T., Thelen, D.G. (2007). OpenSim: open-source software to create and analyze dynamic simulations of movement. IEEE Trans Biomed Eng, 54, 1940–1950.
  • Diggin, D., O’Regan, C., Whelan, N., Daly, S., McLoughlin, V., McNamara, L., Reilly, A. (2011). A biomechanical analysis of front versus back squat: injury implications. Port Journal Sport Sci, 11, 643–646.
  • Escamilla, R.F., Fleisig, G.S., Zheng, N., Barrentine, S.W., Wilk, K.E., Andrews, J.R. (1998). Biomechanics of the knee during closed kinetic chain and open kinetic chain exercises. Med Sci Sports Exerc, 30, 556–569.
  • Escamilla, R.F. (2001). Knee biomechanics of the dynamic squat exercise. Med Sci Sports Exerc, 33, 127–141.
  • Gullett, J.C., Tillman, M.D., Gutierrez, G.M., Chow, J.W. (2009). A biomechanical comparison of back and front squats in healthy trained individuals. J Strength Cond Res, 23, 284–292.
  • Russell, P.J., Phillips, S.J. (1989). A preliminary comparison of front and back squat exercises. Res Q Exercise Sport, 60: 201–208.
  • Sinclair, J., Taylor, P.J., Hobbs, S.J. (2013). Alpha level adjustments for multiple dependent variable analyses and their applicability – A review. Int Journal Sport Sci Eng, 7, 17–20.
  • Sinclair, J., McCarthy, D., Bentley, I., Hurst, H.T., Atkins, S. (2014). The influence of different footwear on 3-D kinematics and muscle activation during the barbell back squat in males. Eur J Sport Sci. DOI: 10.1080/17461391.2014.965752.
  • Stuart, M.J., Meglan, D.A., Lutz, G.E., Growney, E.S., An, K.N. (1996). Comparison of intersegmental tibiofemoral joint forces and muscle activity during various closed kinetic chain exercises. Am J Sports Med, 24, 792–799.
  • Thelen, D.G., Anderson, F.C., Delp, S.L. (2003). Generating dynamic simulations of movement using computed muscle control. J Biomech, 36, 321–328.
  • Wilk, K.E., Escamilla, R.F., Fleisig, G.S., Barrentine, S.W., Andrews, J.R., Boyd, M.L. (1996). A Comparison of Tibiofemoral Joint Forces and Electromyographic Activity During Open and Closed Kinetic Chain Exercises. Am J Sports Med, 24, 518–527.
  • Zajac, F.E. (1989). Muscle and tendon: properties, models, scaling, and application to biomechanics and motor control. Crit Rev Biomed Eng, 17, 359–411.
Document Type
Publication order reference
YADDA identifier
JavaScript is turned off in your web browser. Turn it on to take full advantage of this site, then refresh the page.