Date of Award

Winter 2018

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)


Human Movement Sciences

Committee Director

Hunter J. Bennett

Committee Member

David P. Swain

Committee Member

Patrick B. Wilson


The squat is a functional, compound and multi-joint exercise that targets several muscles of the lower body and is widely used in both athletics and many exercise programs. This exercise has been the subject of many studies, comparing different squat variations and examining how external gear, such as squat suits and knee wraps impact the exercise. The aim of this study was to assess the effects of wearing neoprene knee sleeves on lower extremity kinematics, kinetics, and muscle activations during weighted back squats. Fifteen resistance trained men and women, aged 28±5 years, from the local fitness community and university campus performed a one-repetition maximum (1-RM) of a deep squat during two separate sessions (5-7 days apart), one session while wearing knee sleeves and one session without; this was counterbalanced. A deep squat was classified as calf-hamstring contact in the bottom of the squat. Post 1-RM testing, two sets of three repetitions at a submaximal weight (80% 1-RM) were performed, one with deep squats (D) and one with parallel squats (P). A ten-camera motion capture system was used to collect three-dimensional (3D) kinematics and electromyography (EMG) was used to record muscle activity of the vastus medialis, rectus femoris, gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, and biceps femoris. Between sleeve and no-sleeve conditions, no significant differences were found in subject’s 1-RMs or in ratings of perceived exertion (RPE) during 1RMs or submaximal lifts. No significant differences were found in knee joint angles at maximum depth or in knee moments or powers during descent, maximum depth, or ascent. Only integrated gluteus maximus (GM) activation during ascent (full depth to standing) was significantly greater during no-sleeve (1.35±0.52 %MVIC*seconds) compared to the sleeve (0.98±0.48 %MVIC*seconds) condition (p=0.05; Cohen’s d = 0.74) during 1-RM testing. For submaximal sets, a significant main effect was found for external rotation moments during descent, where moments were larger for the sleeve compared to no-sleeve condition (p=0.05; d = 0.67). No other kinematic or kinetic differences were found between conditions. Similar to maximal sets, greater integrated GM activation was found without sleeves (0.53±0.19 % MVIC*seconds) compared to sleeves (0.44±0.13 % MVIC*seconds) (p=0.04; d = 0.55). No other differences were found in muscle activations during maximum or sub-maximum squats. Comparing the sub-maximal squat depths, peak knee flexion angles were significantly greater (p


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