Potentiation Effects of Half-Squats Performed in a Ballistic or Nonballistic Manner

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This study examined and compared the acute effects of ballistic and nonballistic concentric-only half-squats (COHSs) on squat jump performance. Fifteen resistance-trained men performed a squat jump 2 minutes after a control protocol or 2 COHSs at 90% of their 1 repetition maximum (1RM) COHS performed in a ballistic or nonballistic manner. Jump height (JH), peak power (PP), and allometrically scaled peak power (PPa) were compared using three 3 × 2 repeated-measures analyses of variance. Statistically significant condition × time interaction effects existed for JH (p = 0.037), PP (p = 0.041), and PPa (p = 0.031). Post hoc analysis revealed that the ballistic condition produced statistically greater JH (p = 0.017 and p = 0.036), PP (p = 0.031 and p = 0.026), and PPa (p = 0.024 and p = 0.023) than the control and nonballistic conditions, respectively. Small effect sizes for JH, PP, and PPa existed during the ballistic condition (d = 0.28–0.44), whereas trivial effect sizes existed during the control (d = 0.0–0.18) and nonballistic (d = 0.0–0.17) conditions. Large statistically significant relationships existed between the JH potentiation response and the subject's relative back squat 1RM (r = 0.520; p = 0.047) and relative COHS 1RM (r = 0.569; p = 0.027) during the ballistic condition. In addition, large statistically significant relationship existed between JH potentiation response and the subject's relative back squat strength (r = 0.633; p = 0.011), whereas the moderate relationship with the subject's relative COHS strength trended toward significance (r = 0.483; p = 0.068). Ballistic COHS produced superior potentiation effects compared with COHS performed in a nonballistic manner. Relative strength may contribute to the elicited potentiation response after ballistic and nonballistic COHS.