Peak power, ground reaction forces, and velocity during the squat exercise performed at different loads

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This study examined the changes in peak power, ground reaction force and velocity with different loads during the performance of the parallel squat movement. Twelve experienced male lifters (26.83 ± 4.67 years of age) performed the standard parallel squat, using loads equal to 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, and 90% of 1 repetition maximum (1RM). Each subject performed all parallel squats with as much explosiveness as possible using his own technique. Peak power (PP), peak ground reaction force (PGRF), peak barbell velocity (PV), force at the time of PP (FPP), and velocity at the time of PP (VPP) were determined from force, velocity, and power curves calculated using barbell velocity and ground reaction force data. No significant differences were detected among loads for PP; however, the greatest PP values were associated with loads of 40 and 50% of 1RM. Higher loads produced greater PGRF and FPP values than lower loads (p < 0.05) in all cases except between loads equal to 60-50, 50-40, and 40-30% of 1RM for PGRF, and between loads equal to 70-60 and 60-50% of 1RM for FPP. Higher loads produced lower PV and VPP values than lower loads (p < 0.05) in all cases except between the 20-30, 70-80, and 80-90% of 1RM conditions. These results may be helpful in determining loads when prescribing need-specific training protocols targeting different areas of the load-velocity continuum.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)658-664
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of strength and conditioning research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 1 2006


  • Force-velocity relationship
  • Optimal loading
  • Power
  • Weight training

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

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