In a recent article we touched on the highlighted the superiority of the hexagonal barbell jump squat for power production when compared to the traditional barbell jump squat. In a follow up to this study, the same researchers from Ireland examine the optimal load for producing peak power in professional rugby union players performing the hexagonal barbell jump squat.
Seventeen professional rugby union players from Ireland were put through a range of load for the hexagonal barbell jump squat that included 10%, 20%, 30% and 40% of their box squat 1repetition maximum (1RM). Each of the rugby players had three goes at each load while standing on specialised force plates able to measure the amount and rate of force applied. After running the relevant statistics to see which load produced the most power, the researchers found the range of 10-20% 1RM to be the best.
Considering these were seasoned professional rugby union players with over 2 years history of weight training, it’s reasonable to assume that athletes engaged in similar professional team sports (i.e. rugby league, aussie rules, soccer) may equally benefit from similarly loaded hexagonal barbell jump squats as part of their strength and conditioning program for power development.
It’s important to keep in mind that the benefit offered by the hexagonal barbell jump squat over the traditional barbell jump squat is that it requires less deviation from the natural kinematics and joint contributions of natural unloaded jumping, therefore resulting in improved kinetics.
Turner TS, et al. Optimal loading range for the development of peak power output in the hexagonal barbell jump squat. J Strength Cond Res. 2014 Dec 5. [Epub ahead of print]