Back Squat Potentiates Both Vertical and Horizontal Jump Performance in Collegiate Ice Hockey Players

Cale Bechtel, Joshua A. Cotter, Evan E. Schick


Background: Back squats (BSQ) have been shown to transiently improve performance in explosive vertical movements such as the vertical jump (VJ). Still, understanding of this phenomenon, termed post-activation potentiation (PAP), remains nebulous as it relates to explosive horizontal movements. Objective: Therefore, the purpose of the present investigation was to assess whether heavy BSQ can potentiate both VJ and horizontal jump (HJ) performance. Method: Nine male ice hockey players from the Long Beach State ice hockey team performed five testing sessions separated by 96-hours. The first testing session consisted of a one repetition maximum (1-RM) BSQ to determine subsequent testing loads. The four subsequent testing sessions, which were randomized for order, consisted of five repetitions of BSQ at 87% 1-RM followed by horizontal jump (BSQ-HJ), five repetitions of BSQ at 87% 1-RM followed by vertical jump (BSQ-VJ), horizontal jump only (CT-HJ) and vertical jump only (CT-VJ). During the potentiated conditions, rest intervals were set at five minutes between the BSQ and either VJ or HJ. Alpha-level was set a priori at 0.05. Results: The results indicate that both vertical (p=0.017) and horizontal (p=0.003) jump were significantly increased (VJ= +5.51cm, HJ= +11.55cm) following a BSQ.  Conclusion: These findings suggest that BSQ may improve both vertical and horizontal jump performance in athletes who participate in sports emphasizing horizontal power, such as ice hockey.


Plyometric Exercise; Muscle Strength; Resistance Training; Back Squat; Acute Exercise

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