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THE JOURNAL OF SPORTS MEDICINE AND PHYSICAL FITNESS
A Journal on Applied Physiology, Biomechanics, Preventive Medicine,
Sports Medicine and Traumatology, Sports Psychology
Indexed/Abstracted in: Chemical Abstracts, CINAHL, Current Contents/Clinical Medicine, EMBASE, PubMed/MEDLINE, Science Citation Index Expanded (SciSearch), Scopus
Impact Factor 1,111
The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2016 Mar 25
The geometric curvature of the lumbar spine during restricted and unrestricted squats
Mário H. CAMPOS, Laizi I. ALAMAN, Aldo A. SEFFRIN-NETO, Carlos A. VIEIRA, Marcelo C. DE PAULA, Claudio A. DE LIRA ✉
Faculdade de Educação Física e Dança, Universidade Federal de Goiás, Goiânia, Goiás, Brazil
BACKGROUND: The main purpose of this study was to analyse the behaviour of the geometric curvature of the lumbar spine during restricted and unrestricted squats, using a novel investigative method. The rationale for our hypothesis is that the lumbar curvature has different patterns at different spine levels depending on the squat technique used.
METHODS: Spine motion was collected via stereo-photogrammetric analysis in nineteen participants (11 males, 8 females). The reconstructed spine points at the upright neutral position and at the deepest position of the squat exercise were projected onto the sagittal plane of the trunk, a polynomial was fitted to the data, and were quantified the two-dimensional geometric curvature at lower, central and higher lumbar levels, besides the inclination of trunk and lumbosacral region, the overall geometric curvature and overall angle of the lumbar spine. The mean values for each variable were analysed with paired t-test (P<0.05).
RESULTS: The lumbar presents a flexion from upright neutral posture to deepest point of the movement, but for the lower lumbar the flexion is less intense if the knees travel anteriorly past the toes. The trunk and the lumbosacral region lean forward in both squat techniques and these effects are also reduced in unrestricted squats.
CONCLUSIONS: The data collected in the study are evidence that during barbell squats the lumbar curvature has different patterns at different spinal levels depending on the exercise technique. The lower lumbar spine appears to be less overloaded during unrestricted squats.