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The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2021 Sep 09

DOI: 10.23736/S0022-4707.21.12588-5


lingua: Inglese

The impact of foot angle on lower limb muscles activity during the back squat and counter movement jump

Francesco ROLLI 1, 2, Jacopo A. VITALE 3 , Lorenzo PUGLIESE 2, Gennaro BOCCIA 4, Antonio LA TORRE 2, 3, Lysander POLLITT 1

1 Carnegie School of Sport, Leeds Beckett University, Leeds, UK; 2 Department of Biomedical Sciences for Health, Università degli Studi di Milano, Milano, Italy; 3 Laboratory of Movement and Sport Science, IRCCS Istituto Ortopedico Galeazzi, LaMSS, Milano, Italy; 4 Department of Clinical and Biological Sciences, University of Turin, Turin, Italy


BACKGROUND: Squatting is a core exercise for many purposes. However, there is still controversy surrounding the practice of targeting specific muscle groups when performing the back squat with different stance widths or foot positions. Therefore, this study aimed to assess lower limb muscle activation during different form of back squat when adopting three different foot angles.
METHODS: Eight male active participants (age 24.0±0.8 years, height 1.80±0.63m and mass 85.8±8.7kg) performed maximal isometric squat, back squat with an overalod of 80% of 1 repetition maximum, and countermovement jump (CMJ) when adopting three foot rotation angles: parallel (0°); +10° outward (external rotation); +20° outward (external rotation). We calculated the root mean square of the electromyographic signals recorded from eight participant's dominant leg muscles.
RESULTS: During the descending phase of the back squat, the 20° external foot rotation elicited greater activation of the biceps femoris (+35%; p = 0.027) and gastrocnemius medialis (+70%; p = 0.040) compared to parallel foot. There were no significant differences among the other muscles and exercise conditions.
CONCLUSIONS: The +20° foot position increased BF and GasM muscle activity only during the downward phase of the back squat. Strength coaches should consider the present findings when selecting specific resistance exercises aiming to improve athletes' strength and physical fitness.

KEY WORDS: Electromyographic activity; Resistance training; Rehabilitation; Foot position; Strength

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