The effects of varying squat technique and intensity levels on the power output within Rugby Union players.
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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The purpose of this study was to investigate the influence of contraction type and movement type on optimal power production of the lower body musculature and identify the load that maximises power output within a squat. Fifteen males (20.7±0.7 years, 93.1±12.1 kg, 179.7±5.6 cm) currently playing for Cardiff Metropolitan RFC volunteered to participate in this research. An initial session was devised to establish each individual’s 1RM (174.7±21.7 kg). In session two, four different squat conditions (Eccentric-Concentric Rebound, Concentric-Only, Eccentric-Concentric Rebound Jump, Concentric-Only Jump) were performed at six different load intensities (30%-80% of 1RM). A load of 30% of 1RM was found to maximise average and peak power for all squat techniques. Optimal average and peak power was achieved through the Eccentric-Concentric Rebound Jump squat technique recording the highest mean peak power output; this technique was found to be significantly more powerful than the other techniques (P<0.05). The influence of the SSC muscle contraction was found to enhance performance for both non-jump (8.3%) and jump conditions (9.3%) compared to the concentric contractions. Movement types involving the ability to jump with the bar was found to be the most influential factor to maximal power production reporting enhancements in mean average power values (12.5% Ecc-Con Rebound and 10.0% Con-Only) and peak power values (20.4% Ecc-Con Rebound and 19.2% Con-Only) across all loads. Most instances were found to be significant (P<0.05). It can be concluded from the findings of this study that power output decreases as load increases for all squat conditions. The results of this study suggest that optimal power production can be achieved through performing an Eccentric-Concentric Rebound Jump squat at a load of 30% of 1 RM; thus, strength and conditioning coached should consider this when conducting power sessions.
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