Article

Impact of resistance training status on trunk muscle activation in a fatiguing set of heavy back squats

Citation

Clark DR, Lambert MI, Grigson C & Hunter AM (2021) Impact of resistance training status on trunk muscle activation in a fatiguing set of heavy back squats. European Journal of Applied Physiology, 121 (2), pp. 597-608. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00421-020-04540-0

Abstract
Purpose In this study we measured neural activation (EMG) in four trunk stabilizer muscles and vastus lateralis (VL) in trained and novice participants during a set of squat repetitions to volitional fatigue at 85% 1RM. Methods Forty males were recruited into two groups, novice (NG: n = 21) and experienced (EG: n = 19), according to relative squat 1RM. Participants were tested twice to: (1) determine squat 1RM, and (2) complete a single set of repetitions to volitional fatigue at 85% 1RM. Relative squat 1RM; NG less than 140% body mass, EG body mass > 160% body mass. Neuromuscular activation was measured by EMG for the following: rectus abdominus (RA), external oblique (EO), lumbar sacral erector spinae (LSES), upper lumbar erector spinae (ULES) and VL in eccentric and concentric phase. Completed repetitions, RPE and EMG in repetition 1 and at 20, 40, 60, 80 and 100% of completed repetitions were analysed. Results No group differences were found between number repetitions completed and RPE in repetitions to volitional fatigue at 85% 1RM. Neuromuscular activation increased significantly in all muscle groups in eccentric and concentric phase apart from RA in the eccentric phase. Trunk neuromuscular activation was higher in NG compared to EG and this was significant in EO, LSES and ULES in eccentric phase and LSES in the concentric phase. VL activation increased in both phases with no group differences. Conclusion Trunk neuromuscular activation increases in a fatiguing set of heavy squats regardless of training status. Increased back squat strength through training results in lower neuromuscular activation despite greater absolute external squat loads.

Keywords
Back squat; Strength training; Neuromuscular; Electromyography; Trunk stabilizers

Journal
European Journal of Applied Physiology: Volume 121, Issue 2

StatusPublished
FundersLiverpool John Moores University
Publication date28/02/2021
Publication date online30/11/2020
Date accepted by journal22/10/2020
URLhttp://hdl.handle.net/1893/31980
PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media LLC
ISSN1439-6319
eISSN1439-6327