The Acute Effects of Manipulating Volume and Load of Back Squats on Countermovement Vertical Jump Performance

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Moir, GL, Mergy, D, Witmer, CA, and Davis, SE. The acute effects of manipulating volume and load of back squats on countermovement vertical jump performance. J Strength Cond Res 25(6): 1486-1491, 2011—The acute effects of manipulating the volume and load of back squats on subsequent countermovement vertical jump performance were investigated in the present study. Eleven National Collegiate Athletic Association division II female volleyball players performed 10 countermovement vertical jumps (CMJs) on a force platform 2 minutes after the last squat repetition of a high-load (HL) or high-volume (HV) squat protocol. Two minutes of rest was provided between each CMJ. The HL protocol culminated in the subjects having to perform 3 repetitions with a load equivalent to 90% 1 repetition maximum (1RM) back squat, whereas 12 repetitions with a load equivalent to 37% 1RM were performed in the HV protocol. During an initial familiarization session, knee angles were recorded during a series of CMJs, and these angles were used to control the depth of descent during all subsequent back squats. Jump height (JH) and vertical stiffness (VStiff) were calculated during each of the 10 CMJ, and the change in these variables after the 2 squat protocols was assessed using an analysis of variance model with repeated measures on 2 factors (Protocol [2-levels]; Time [2-levels]). There was no significant difference in JH after the HL and HV protocols (p > 0.05). A significant Protocol × Time interaction for VStiff resulted from the increase after the HL protocol being greater than that after the HV protocol (p = 0.03). The knee angles before the HL and HV protocols were significantly greater than those measured during the initial familiarization session (p = 0.001). Although neither squat protocol provided any benefit in improving JH, the heavy squat protocol produced greater increases in VStiff during the CMJ. Because of the increased VStiff caused by the HL protocol, volleyball coaches may consider using such protocols with their players to improve performance in jumps performed from a run such as the spike and on-court agility.

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