Honors Program

University Honors

Date of Award


Thesis Professor(s)

Kimitake Sato

Thesis Professor Department

Kinesiology, Leisure and Sport Sciences

Thesis Reader(s)

Duane Williams, Reed Jacob


The purpose of this study was to compare muscle activation in eight superficial lower limb muscles during execution of barbell back squats while in barefoot and athletic shoe conditions. It was hypothesized that greater muscle activity would be seen when squats were performed in barefoot conditions. Six participants were included in the study (means: 21.33±1.53 years, 170.45±11.33cm height, 69.85±12.46kg mass, 3.4±1.40 years training). Each met specific inclusion criteria. Participants came in three separate days for data collection (Day 1 – 1 repetition maximum [1RM] was determined, Day 2 – maximum voluntary contraction tests were held, Day 3 – squat tests performed with two footwear conditions). Squat tests were performed at 60, 70, and 80% of participants’ 1RM for each footwear condition and EMG data was recorded for these tests. Paired-sample T-tests were used to see if any differences were present between footwear conditions during eccentric and concentric phases of the squat, regardless of intensity. To test for differences between eccentric and concentric phases of the squat by intensity, 2x3 repeated measure ANOVAs were performed. Results showed some statistical difference between footwear conditions for two muscles in eccentric phase and no statistical significance for difference in concentric phase when compared without regard to intensity. When comparing footwear conditions at each intensity, main effects, as well as statistical significance, were found between footwear conditions in the eccentric phase. Main effects, but no statistical significance, were found in the concentric phase. The results indicate that EMG activity is greater for certain lower extremity muscles during the eccentric portion of a squat when under barefoot conditions.

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.


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