Joosung Kim

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Comments

Submitted to the Graduate School of Bridgewater State University in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Degree of Master of Science.

Degree Program

Athletic Training

Degree Type

Master of Science


The squat is considered as one of the most popular exercises prescribed by therapists, athletic trainers, researchers, coaches, and athletes for injury prevention and strength and conditioning. People commonly associate the squat exercise as the back squat. However, the front squat has been advocated to reduce the stress to the lower back while increasing the leg strength. The proper front squat technique and the changes in the spine and lower extremity joints in response to load mass are still unclear. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to examine the lower body kinematic comparisons between front and back squat exercises in response to loads. Eight experienced varsity male lifters (age 20 ± 0.8 years) participated in this study. Each participant performed four trials of back and front squat exercises at three different loads (65%, 75%, and 85% of 1 repetition maximum). A standard two-dimensional kinematic analysis was conducted, and video trials were captured at 60 Hz. A two-way (2 types of squat x 3 different loads) repeated measures ANOVA was conducted at α = 0.05 and followed up by Bonferroni adjustment if a significant difference was found. The result showed that there was a statistically significant diffrence in the knee flexion, trunk inclination, and angluar velocity of spine between both squat execises. Therefore, this study provides a crucial understanding about the front and back squat movements in response to different loads and suggests the importance of prescribing strengthening exercise targeting the knee joint in the front squat and the trunk stability in the back squat.


Tong-Ching Tom Wu (Thesis Director)

Pamela Russell

Suanne Maurer-Starks