Comparison of Back Squat Kinematics Between Barefoot and Shoe Conditions

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The purpose of the study was to compare the kinematics of the barbell back squat between two footwear conditions and to evaluate the results with respect to recommendations put forth in the National Strength and Conditioning Association position statement for proper squat technique. Twenty-five subjects with 5 - 7 years of resistance training experience participated. Selected kinematics were measured during a 60% of 1RM barbell back squat in both barefoot and athletic shoe conditions. Paired-samples T tests were performed to compare the two footwear conditions. Significant differences were found in trunk (50.72±8.27 vs. 46.97±9.87), thigh (20.94±10.19 vs. 24.42±11.11), and shank segment angles (59.47±5.54 vs. 62.75±6.17), and knee joint angles (81.33±13.70 vs. 88.32±15.45) at the peak descent position. Based on the kinematic analysis of the barefoot squat, two kinematic advantages are countered by two disadvantages. Coaches and instructors should acknowledge these results with respect to a performer's capability, and be aware the advantages and disadvantages of barefoot squat from a kinematic perspective.