A variation of the traditional squat (SQ) rebound technique (REBOUND) including a momentary pause ∼2 seconds (PAUSE) between eccentric and concentric phases has been proposed. Although there is a consensus about the lower acute effects on performance of this PAUSE variant compared with traditional REBOUND technique, no information exists about the differences in longitudinal adaptations of these SQ executions.
A total of 26 men were randomly assigned into the PAUSE (n = 13) or REBOUND (n = 13) groups and completed a 10-week velocity-based training using the SQ exercise, only differing in the technique. Neuromuscular adaptations were assessed by the changes in the 1-repetition maximum strength and mean propulsive velocity achieved against the absolute loads (in kilograms) common to pretest and posttest. Functional performance was evaluated by the following tests: countermovement jump, Wingate, and sprint time at 0 to 10, 10 to 20, and 0 to 20 m.
Whereas both groups showed significant increases in most of the neuromuscular tests (P < .05), the PAUSE (effect size [ES] = 0.76-1.12) presented greater enhancements than REBOUND (ES = 0.45-0.92). Although not significant, improvements in Wingate and sprint time at 0 to 10 and 0 to 20 m were higher for PAUSE (ES = 0.31-0.46) compared with REBOUND (ES = 0.10-0.29). Conversely, changes on countermovement jump and sprint time at 10 to 20 m were superior for REBOUND (ES = 0.17-0.88) than for PAUSE (ES = 0.09-0.75).
Imposing a pause between eccentric and concentric phases in the SQ exercise could be an interesting strategy to increase neuromuscular and functional adaptations in sport actions that mainly depend on concentric contractions. Moreover, sport abilities highly dependent on the stretch-shortening cycle could benefit from the REBOUND or a combination of the 2 techniques.