Honors Program

Honors in Exercise Science

Date of Award


Thesis Professor(s)

Kimitake Sato

Thesis Professor Department

Kinesiology, Leisure and Sport Sciences

Thesis Reader(s)

Kimitake Sato, Michael Ramsey, George Beckham


This present study was intended to investigate muscle activation patterns throughout the barbell back squat and determine if there are any differences found in EMG responses among individuals wearing weightlifting shoes and barefooted individuals. The hypothesis was that weightlifting shoes would generate significantly greater muscle activation patterns throughout the barbell back squat due to the rigid structure and raised heal in the shoe design. EMG patterns from six superficial lower extremity muscles were recorded from 12 subjects (means: 22.67 ± 2.39 age, 172,28 ± 14.04 cm height, 74.88 ± 16.11 kg mass), each meeting a specific inclusion criteria. Data collection occurred over three subject visits to determine one repetition maximum [1RM] (Day 1), conduct maximal contraction tests (Day 2), and finally to perform squat tests with the two footwear conditions (Day 3). Data was collected at 80% of the participants’ 1RM utilizing both weightlifting shoes and barefoot conditions, and EMG activity was recorded for data analysis. Paired-sample T-tests were calculated to check for any significant differences among footwear conditions, and 2X2 ANOVA testing was used to determine if any significant changes occurred among footwear conditions in the eccentric and concentric portions of the barbell back squat. The study found two main components. The first was that several muscles showed differences between eccentric and concentric phases in regards to average muscle activity. However, none of the observed muscles showed significant differences between the two footwear conditions in regard to EMG activity.


East Tennessee State University

Document Type

Honors Thesis - Open Access

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.


Copyright by the authors.