Musculoskeletal modelling based estimates of load dependent relative muscular effort during resistance training exercises.Sports Biomech. 2021 Oct 11 [Online ahead of print]SB
The purpose of this study was to investigate the relative muscular effort (RME) of the hip and knee extensor and ankle plantarflexor muscle groups during the back squat (BS) and split squat (SS) exercises across four external load conditions. Motion capture and force plate data were collected as participants performed the BS and SS at 0%, 25%, 50%, and 75% of their body-mass. These data were used to calculate net joint moments (NJM) at the hip, knee, and ankle of the front leg during the SS and the matched leg during the BS. A musculoskeletal model, which accounted for force-length-velocity properties of 52 muscles, was used to estimate the maximal possible NJM (NJMmax) of the hip and knee extensor and ankle plantarflexor muscle groups. RME was calculated as the ratio between NJM and NJMmax, and compared across exercises and loads. The results indicated that while hip extensor RME increased across all loads, the increases in hip extensor RME were disproportionately greater during the SS at loads of 50% and 75%. Knee extensor RME increased linearly across loads and did not differ between exercises. These results provide coaches and athletes with detailed information about how to optimise resistance training specificity.