Int J Sports Med 2017; 38(14): 1083-1089
DOI: 10.1055/s-0043-118341
Training & Testing
© Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Lower Limb Force, Velocity, Power Capabilities during Leg Press and Squat Movements

Johnny Padulo*
1   University eCampus, Novedrate, Italy
2   Faculty of Kinesiology, University of Split, Split, Croatia
Gian Mario Migliaccio*
3   Sport Science Lab, Italy
Luca Paolo Ardigò
4   School of Exercise and Sport Science, Department of Neurosciences, Biomedicine and Movement Sciences, University of Verona, Verona, Italy
Bruno Leban
5   Department of Mechanical, Chemical and Materials Engineering, University of Cagliari, Cagliari, Italy
Marco Cosso
3   Sport Science Lab, Italy
Pierre Samozino
6   Université Savoie Mont Blanc, Laboratoire Interuniversitaire de Biologie de la Motricité, EA 7424, F-73000 Chambéry, France
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Publication History

accepted after revision 27 July 2017

Publication Date:
19 October 2017 (online)


The aim was to compare lower-limb power, force, and velocity capabilities between squat and leg press movements. Ten healthy sportsmen performed ballistic lower-limb push-offs against 5-to-12 different loads during both the squat and leg press. Individual linear force-velocity and polynomial power-velocity relationships were determined for both movements from push-off mean force and velocity measured continuously with a pressure sensor and linear encoder. Maximal power output, theoretical maximal force and velocity, force-velocity profile and optimal velocity were computed. During the squat, maximal power output (17.7±3.59 vs. 10.9±1.39 W·kg−1), theoretical maximal velocity (1.66±0.29 vs. 0.88±0.18 m·s−1), optimal velocity (0.839±0.144 vs. 0.465±0.107 m·s−1), and force-velocity profile (−27.2±8.5 vs. −64.3±29.5 N·s·m−1·kg−1) values were significantly higher than during the leg press (p=0.000, effect size=1.72–3.23), whereas theoretical maximal force values (43.1±8.6 vs. 51.9±14.0 N·kg−1, p=0.034, effect size=0.75) were significantly lower. The mechanical capabilities of the lower-limb extensors were different in the squat compared with the leg press with higher maximal power due to much higher velocity capabilities (e.g. ability to produce force at high velocities) even if moderately lower maximal force qualities.

* Both authors contributed equally to this work