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Strength Curve Of A Squat

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The famous Dr.Squat himself said many years ago that if any athlete takes the time to understand the mechanism of strength they will radically increase their performance. Dr.Fred Hatfield explains the strength curve of the squat in very simple and easy to understand language.

Firstly it requires a basic understanding that any movement that we make with our bodies requires a force to be completed, like walking. Dr.Squat then goes on to explain that any of these movements that we do with our bodies require strength and that this strength is a constantly changing thing.

The strength curve of a squat is plotted against the two axis of the force against time (measured in milliseconds) so the amount of force generated is plotted against the amount of time it took to generate that strength or force. Obviously this shows a rapidly rising graph which reaches a peak and then tapers off.

Because all strength curves are plotted the same way it is necessary to first explain how to look at a strength curve before we can take a closer look at the strength curve of a squat. The specific explanation of a strength curve can be taken directly from Dr.Hatfields notes.

Without being able to show exactly what a strength curve looks like, just imagine a figure ‘S’ falling forward at about 30% and you have a strength curve. The first part of the movement is basically the eccentric movement like a throw where you take your arm backwards or a squat when you go down.

The changing of direction is done in a split second and this is called "Static" strength or the “amortization phase” of a movement. This leads into the third part of a strength curve which is the start on the concentric contraction like hitting a ball or coming up from a squat.

In sports this movement is extremely fast and probably the slowest in powerlifting as the force to start coming up from a squat can take as long as a second or even longer. This is called your Tmax or the maximum amount of time permitted to perform the movement.

The release of the maximum amount of concentric force you can generate on any movement is called the Fmax. Obviously this needs to be measured in only milliseconds and this plots the top of the ‘S’ and starts to decrease when you have reached your 1RM and your strength is now depleting fast.

Dr.Squat then goes into an exact measure and diagnosis of the squat curve showing how one can use this information to make sure that you are recruiting the maximum amount of muscle fibres in order to increase strength. He explains in simple terminology how your Fmax when divided by your Tmax is going to be the definition of your own explosive strength.

But that is only one of the simple explanations of the many different variables that one can analyse on a strength curve and Dr.Squat explains exactly how to do this by explaining the TTI or the Time/Tension Index also referred to in many bodybuilding circles as TUT or Time Under Tension.


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