Speed-strength performance can be defined as the execution of a movement that requires the development of large forces and high movement speeds.
Obviously, strength training has a positive impact on strength and speed. Recently, a study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research took a look at two exercises – the back squat and leg press – and compared their relative effects on sprint and jump performance.
“Both exercises train nearly the same muscles of the lower extremities, but in some aspects, they are different. The leg press has less requirements concerning balancing the weight, and therefore, less muscle activity contributes toward stabilization compared with the squat.” (Wirth, K, et.al.)
“Despite the maximal force production through many of the same muscles, squat and leg-press exercises are distinctly different and produce different specific neuromuscular adaptations because of diverse movement patterns.”
“Compared with the squat,… the hip extensors are not trained within the extension range” of the leg press exercise.
In this study, the authors found that the back squat exercise improved sprint and jump performance more effectively than the leg press, because of the better transfer effects.
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