Back squat velocity to assess neuromuscular status of rugby league players following a match

Dean E. Callaghan, Joshua H. Guy, Crystal O. Kean, Aaron T. Scanlan, Alexander H.M. Kertesz, Nathan Elsworthy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: Back squat mean concentric velocity (MV) and countermovement jump (CMJ) performance were examined in sub-elite rugby league players post-match to monitor changes in neuromuscular status (NMS) from baseline. Relationships between changes in back squat MV and CMJ performance variables were used to compare back squat MV to an established method to monitor NMS. Design: Longitudinal observational design. Methods: 18 male sub-elite rugby league players (mean ± SD, 20.5 ± 2.4 yr; 180.0 ± 6.7 cm; 93.3 ± 11.2 kg) performed 3 repetitions of CMJ and back squat with an individualised, pre-determined load at −2 h (baseline), +30 min, +24 h, and +48 h in relation to a match. Back squat MV, CMJ height, CMJ peak power, and CMJ peak velocity were measured with a linear position transducer. Results: Significant (p < 0.05), small to large decreases (ES = 0.52–1.24) were observed in back squat MV up to +48 h post-match. Significant (p < 0.05), small to moderate decreases (ES = 0.52–0.70) in CMJ height were also observed up to +24 h post-match, returning to baseline at +48 h. CMJ peak power and peak velocity post-match changes were not significant compared to baseline (p > 0.05). Significant positive correlations were found between changes in back squat MV and CMJ height at +30 min (r = 0.59; p = 0.009) and +48 h (r = 0.51; p = 0.03). Conclusions: These findings suggest back squat MV may be a suitable alternative or addition to CMJ testing for monitoring NMS in rugby league players.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)36-40
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Science and Medicine in Sport
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2021
Externally publishedYes


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