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Back Squat Repetition Max Test

This is a specific repetition maximum (RM) test for the lower body (see the general description of 1RM fitness tests), using the squat exercise. Another max strength exercise for the lower body is the max deadlift test. You might want to pair this test with the bench press upper body max test.

purpose: to measure lower body maximum strength

equipment required: various free weights and a barbell, squat rack.

pre-test: Explain the test procedures to the subject. Perform screening of health risks and obtain informed consent. Prepare forms and record basic information such as age, height, body weight, gender and test conditions. See more details of pre-test procedures.

procedure: After an adequate warm up, the subject stands under the bar, with feet shoulder-width apart. The knees should be in line with the toes. Take the weight on your shoulders, then bend at the knees and hips to lower the body. Ensure the head and neck are in a neutral position with eyes facing forward (avoid rounding of the spine). Lower the body until the knees are at a right angle, then push back up to a standing position. Move in a slow, smooth and continuous movement.

squat max-liftsquat max-lift

the test: start with a 'check' 3-rep test with the weight of 40lbs or less, to check for correct technique. Then one repetition is performed for each weight in an ascending sequence. Less than 1 minute rest is allowed between reps. If a weight is failed, another attempt may be made.

scoring: the maximum weight lifted is recorded. To standardize the score it may be useful to calculate a score proportional to the person's bodyweight.

advantages: the required equipment is readily available in most gymnasiums, and the test is simple to perform.

disadvantages: This test should only be performed by those with a good squat technique. If the subject is not able to show the correct technique during the warm-up, the test should not proceed.

comments: The results of this test may be specific to the equipment used so is best to use the same equipment for test-retest measures. The warm-up procedure should also be recorded and repeated with further testing. If any variation in technique was allowed, this should be recorded on the results sheet for referral when the test is repeated.

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