Reliability and validity of two isometric squat tests

Anthony J Blazevich, Nicholas Gill, Robert U Newton
Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research 2002, 16 (2): 298-304
The purpose of the present study was first to examine the reliability of isometric squat (IS) and isometric forward hack squat (IFHS) tests to determine if repeated measures on the same subjects yielded reliable results. The second purpose was to examine the relation between isometric and dynamic measures of strength to assess validity. Fourteen male subjects performed maximal IS and IFHS tests on 2 occasions and 1 repetition maximum (1-RM) free-weight squat and forward hack squat (FHS) tests on 1 occasion. The 2 tests were found to be highly reliable (intraclass correlation coefficient [ICC](IS) = 0.97 and ICC(IFHS) = 1.00). There was a strong relation between average IS and 1-RM squat performance, and between IFHS and 1-RM FHS performance (r(squat) = 0.77, r(FHS) = 0.76; p < 0.01), but a weak relation between squat and FHS test performances (r < 0.55). There was also no difference between observed 1-RM values and those predicted by our regression equations. Errors in predicting 1-RM performance were in the order of 8.5% (standard error of the estimate [SEE] = 13.8 kg) and 7.3% (SEE = 19.4 kg) for IS and IFHS respectively. Correlations between isometric and 1-RM tests were not of sufficient size to indicate high validity of the isometric tests. Together the results suggest that IS and IFHS tests could detect small differences in multijoint isometric strength between subjects, or performance changes over time, and that the scores in the isometric tests are well related to 1-RM performance. However, there was a small error when predicting 1-RM performance from isometric performance, and these tests have not been shown to discriminate between small changes in dynamic strength. The weak relation between squat and FHS test performance can be attributed to differences in the movement patterns of the tests

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