In-Depth Article Review (2)

Tyler Jaso


“Which muscles are activating/signaling more throughout the movement of the back squat”


  • Electromyography is a measurement of electrical activity within the muscle tissue of the human body
  • The back squat being performed in this study is a multi-joint lower body push movement
  • This study addresses which muscles are more commonly stimulated while an individual is performing the squatting movement with specific loads placed on the bar
  • Six muscles were tested during this study on the front and back side of the legs


  • Fourteen men and fourteen women participated in this study
  • Subjects were required to have at least one year of resistance training experience


  • Participants were asked to attend two training sessions (spaced a minimum of 48 hours apart)
  • A three-minute row warm up was performed, followed by a dynamic warm up before individuals tested their one rep maximum during the first session
  • The second session was used to place electrodes on the skin and perform multiple sets and reps at a prescribed percentage to retrieve that data needed to complete the study
  • Muscle activity results were compared between males and females for this study


  • Men displayed a significantly higher amount of muscle activity in the hamstring muscles during the lowering portion of the squat than women
  • No other significant differences between the other muscle sites were recorded


  • It has been noted that electromyography activity increases as load increases
  • A plausible explanation may be that the relative weight placed on the bar for men was slightly higher than that of the women
  • Women display significantly lower amounts of hamstring activity than men, which has been linked to women tearing their ACL two to eight times more than men
  • Resistance training movements that better target/isolate the hamstring muscles are the Nordic hamstring curl, kettlebell swing, or any multi-joint hamstring curl variation


  • At SLC Strength and Conditioning, we help train a lot of individuals how are recreationally running, as well as competitively running. This could also pertain to sports, hiking, and cycling as well. With that being said, the muscles on the back side of your body are muscles that help propel you forward when running or performing any one of these activities. To help avoid injuries down the road, SLC Strength provides its members with an opportunity to see a lot of hamstring work and “back side of the body” work in all of its programming. This particular programming gives our members a better chance at feeling good while performing and decreasing the risk of injury for both males and females