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Ballistic Half Squat Increase Explosive Squat Strength

In the world of bodybuilding, lifters are taught to squat with their ass to the floor. The half squat is looked down upon and is known as Ego Lifting. If you’re doing half squats every workout, then your not going to get the optimal results in leg development but a new study in the prestigious Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research reports that combining half squats and full squats can lead to optimal increases in leg strength. If you’re looking to build explosive leg power than you need to teach your body how to be explosive by training explosively. A recent study examined the effects of concentric only half squats on sprinting performance. Their study indicated that three concentric-only half squat repetitions at 90% 1RM concentric only half squat strength (90° of knee flexion) produced an improvement 50m sprint time whereas three eccentric only half squat repetitions at 90% 1RM concentric only half squat strength displayed no change in performance. Previous research has indicated that using supramaximal loads with partial lifts may enhance maximal force production. Training with partial lifts may increase peak force, and impulse in the range of motion being trained as compared to only training with a full range of motion lifts.

Researchers examined and compared the acute effects of ballistic and non-ballistic concentric-only half-squats on squat jump performance. 15 resistance-trained men performed a squat jump two minutes following:

– a control protocol or

-Two concentric-only half-squats at 90% of their 1RM concentric-only half-squats performed in a ballistic or non-ballistic manner.

The concentric-only half-squats protocol consisted of five repetitions at 30%, three repetitions at 50%, three repetitions at 70%, and culminated with two repetitions at 90% 1RM of the subject’s previously established 1RM concentric-only half-squats.

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At the end of the study, ballistic concentric-only half-squats produced superior effects compared to concentric-only half-squats performed in a non-ballistic manner.

At the end of the study, ballistic concentric-only half-squats produced superior effects compared to concentric-only half-squats performed in a non-ballistic manner. These findings are in agreement with previous research that has indicated that ballistic movements produce greater power outputs than the same exercise completed in a non-ballistic manner. This is why many coaches incorporate such activities as hang cleans and power cleans in their workout programs to increase overall explosive power. This notion is supported by previous research that suggested that ballistic exercise causes the threshold of recruitment of given motor units to be lower as compared to slower, ramped contractions and that the motor neuron pool can be activated to its fullest extent within milliseconds due to the large neural drive associated with ballistic movements. The ballistic concentric-only half-squats produced statistically greater jump height, peak power, than the control and non-ballistic conditions, respectively. It is suggested that if ballistic concentric-only half-squats potentiation complexes should be incorporated into a strength-power and explosive speed training block.

Suchomel TJ, Sato K, DeWeese BH, Ebben WP, Stone MH. Potentiation effects of half-squats performed in a ballistic or non-ballistic manner. J Strength Cond Res. 2015 Nov 4.

Dechechi, C., Lopes, C., Galatti, L. R., & Ribeiro, R. (2013). Post activation potentiation for lower limb with eccentric and concentric movements on sprinters. International Journal of Sports Science, 3(1), 1-3.

Zatsiorsky V. Science and Practice. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics, 1995.

Seitz LB, Trajano GS, and Haff GG. The back squat and the power clean: elicitation of different degrees of potentiation. Int J Sports Physiol Perform 9: 643-649, 2014.

Lake JP, Lauder MA, Smith NA, and Shorter KA. A comparison of ballistic and non ballistic lower-body resistance exercise and the methods used to identify their positive lifting phases. J Appl Biomech 28: 431-437, 2012.

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