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A comparison of free weight squat to Smith machine squat using electromyography.
J Strength Cond Res. 2009 Dec; 23(9):2588-91.JS

Abstract

The purpose of this experiment was to determine whether free weight or Smith machine squats were optimal for activating the prime movers of the legs and the stabilizers of the legs and the trunk. Six healthy participants performed 1 set of 8 repetitions (using a weight they could lift 8 times, i.e., 8RM, or 8 repetition maximum) for each of the free weight squat and Smith machine squat in a randomized order with a minimum of 3 days between sessions, while electromyographic (EMG) activity of the tibialis anterior, gastrocnemius, vastus medialis, vastus lateralis, biceps femoris, lumbar erector spinae, and rectus abdominus were simultaneously measured. Electromyographic activity was significantly higher by 34, 26, and 49 in the gastrocnemius, biceps femoris, and vastus medialis, respectively, during the free weight squat compared to the Smith machine squat (p < 0.05). There were no significant differences between free weight and Smith machine squat for any of the other muscles; however, the EMG averaged over all muscles during the free weight squat was 43% higher when compared to the Smith machine squat (p < 0.05). The free weight squat may be more beneficial than the Smith machine squat for individuals who are looking to strengthen plantar flexors, knee flexors, and knee extensors.

Authors+Show Affiliations

College of Kinesiology, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK, Canada.No affiliation info availableNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Comparative Study
Journal Article
Randomized Controlled Trial

Language

eng

PubMed ID

19855308

Citation

Schwanbeck, Shane, et al. "A Comparison of Free Weight Squat to Smith Machine Squat Using Electromyography." Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, vol. 23, no. 9, 2009, pp. 2588-91.
Schwanbeck S, Chilibeck PD, Binsted G. A comparison of free weight squat to Smith machine squat using electromyography. J Strength Cond Res. 2009;23(9):2588-91.
Schwanbeck, S., Chilibeck, P. D., & Binsted, G. (2009). A comparison of free weight squat to Smith machine squat using electromyography. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 23(9), 2588-91. https://doi.org/10.1519/JSC.0b013e3181b1b181
Schwanbeck S, Chilibeck PD, Binsted G. A Comparison of Free Weight Squat to Smith Machine Squat Using Electromyography. J Strength Cond Res. 2009;23(9):2588-91. PubMed PMID: 19855308.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - A comparison of free weight squat to Smith machine squat using electromyography. AU - Schwanbeck,Shane, AU - Chilibeck,Philip D, AU - Binsted,Gordon, PY - 2009/10/27/entrez PY - 2009/10/27/pubmed PY - 2010/3/2/medline SP - 2588 EP - 91 JF - Journal of strength and conditioning research JO - J Strength Cond Res VL - 23 IS - 9 N2 - The purpose of this experiment was to determine whether free weight or Smith machine squats were optimal for activating the prime movers of the legs and the stabilizers of the legs and the trunk. Six healthy participants performed 1 set of 8 repetitions (using a weight they could lift 8 times, i.e., 8RM, or 8 repetition maximum) for each of the free weight squat and Smith machine squat in a randomized order with a minimum of 3 days between sessions, while electromyographic (EMG) activity of the tibialis anterior, gastrocnemius, vastus medialis, vastus lateralis, biceps femoris, lumbar erector spinae, and rectus abdominus were simultaneously measured. Electromyographic activity was significantly higher by 34, 26, and 49 in the gastrocnemius, biceps femoris, and vastus medialis, respectively, during the free weight squat compared to the Smith machine squat (p < 0.05). There were no significant differences between free weight and Smith machine squat for any of the other muscles; however, the EMG averaged over all muscles during the free weight squat was 43% higher when compared to the Smith machine squat (p < 0.05). The free weight squat may be more beneficial than the Smith machine squat for individuals who are looking to strengthen plantar flexors, knee flexors, and knee extensors. SN - 1533-4287 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/19855308/A_comparison_of_free_weight_squat_to_Smith_machine_squat_using_electromyography_ L2 - https://doi.org/10.1519/JSC.0b013e3181b1b181 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -