Effect of front and back squat techniques on peak loads experienced by the Achilles tendon

Sinclair, Jonathan Kenneth orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-2231-3732, Edmundson, Christopher James orcid iconORCID: 0000-0003-2275-7584, Atkins, Stephen, Taylor, Paul John orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-9999-8397 and Vincent, Hayley (2015) Effect of front and back squat techniques on peak loads experienced by the Achilles tendon. Baltic Journal of Health and Physical Activity, 7 (3). pp. 7-12.

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A primary technique in the discipline of strength and conditioning the squat has two principal ‘back and front’ variants. Despite the physiological and strength benefits of the squat, the propensity for musculoskeletal injury is high. The current investigation examined the influence of the front and back squat variations on the load experienced by the Achilles tendon.

Achilles tendon loads were obtained from eighteen experienced male participants as they completed both back and front squats. Differences between squat conditions were examined using Bonferroni adjusted (p = 0.0125) paired t-tests.

The results showed that the peak Achilles tendon load was significantly greater in the back squat (2.67 ±0.74 B.W) condition compared to the front squat (2.37 ±0.69 B.W).

Given the proposed relationship between the magnitude of the load experienced by the Achilles tendon and tendon pathology, the back squat appears to place lifters at greater risk from Achilles tendon injury. Therefore, it may be prudent for lifters who are predisposed to Achilles tendon pathology to utilize the front squat in their training.

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