Chain-loaded variable resistance warm-up improves free-weight maximal back squat performance

Minas A Mina, Anthony J Blazevich, Giakas Giannis, Laurent B Seitz, Anthony D Kay

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticlepeer-review


The acute influence of chain-loaded variable resistance exercise on subsequent free-weight one-repetition maximum (1-RM) back squat performance was examined in 16 recreationally active men. The participants performed either a free-weight resistance (FWR) or chain-loaded resistance (CLR) back squat warm-up at 85% 1-RM on two separate occasions. After a 5-min rest, the participants attempted a free-weight 1-RM back squat; if successful, subsequent 5% load additions were made until participants failed to complete the lift. During the 1-RM trials, 3D knee joint kinematics and knee extensor and flexor electromyograms (EMG) were recorded simultaneously. Significantly greater 1-RM (6.2 ± 5.0%; p < .01) and mean eccentric knee extensor EMG (32.2 ± 6.7%; p < .01) were found after the CLR warm-up compared to the FWR condition. However, no difference (p > .05) was found in concentric EMG, eccentric or concentric knee angular velocity, or peak knee flexion angle. Performing a CLR warm-up enhanced subsequent free-weight 1-RM performance without changes in knee flexion angle or eccentric and concentric knee angular velocities; thus a real 1-RM increase was achieved as the mechanics of the lift were not altered. These results are indicative of a potentiating effect of CLR in a warm-up, which may benefit athletes in tasks where high-level strength is required.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)932-939
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Journal of Sport Science
Issue number8
Early online date18 Jul 2016
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2016


  • 1-RM
  • PAP
  • accommodating resistance
  • preconditioning
  • strength training


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