FitPointz Library

FIA Members/Students have access to the Fitpointz Library of Exercises (a new exercise is added every month).

  • Barbell Squat (currently available below)
  • Barbell Bench Press
  • Overhead Barbell Shoulder Press
  • Barbell Lunge
  • High Cable CrossoverBack Raises
  • Standing Barbell Calf Raises
  • Oblique Crunch
  • Dumbbell Lateral Raise
  • Bent Leg Crunch
  • Leg Extension
  • Dumbbell Front Arm Raise
  • Hamstring Curls
  • Straight Arm Dumbbell Pullover
  • Triceps Extension
  • Forearm Curl Exercises
  • Dumbbell Flye
  • Wide Grip Lat Pulldown
  • Wide & Narrow Grip Chin Up
  • Wide Arm Push Up and Close Arm Push Up
  • Upright Row

Each exercise has an in depth kinesiological and bio mechanical analysis of the muscles used during the exercise and informative description of how to both perform and assist in the actual performance of the exercise. The full library of exercises can be found at members online under the sub menu Fitpoint Archive. Gain up to 8 CECs per registration period for free.

FIA Students also have access to the best Exercise and Flexibility library in the world! This exclusive use for FIA Personal Trainer students means you will now be able to view over 1,500+ of the most popular exercises being performed as part of your Online Personal Trainer course and includes:

  • Exercise name
  • Exercise description - 4 subcategories - preparation, movements, pre requisites and benefits
  • Each exercise is categorized into muscle groups, modality, difficult level and equipment (extensive search functions)
  • Some exercises have progressions
  • Exercises have pictures and a video clip

 

Exercise: Barbell Squat

Client Instruction:

                

Starting Position

  • Position your body under a safety rack and slowly lift and rest the bar onto your shoulders making sure the bar is off your neck (support maybe needed)
  • Grasp the bar with your palms facing forward about 10-15 cm outside of your shoulders
  • Position your feet slightly wider than shoulder width apart, feet flat on the floor with your toes pointed out at approximately 30 degrees
  • Keep your chin up and eyes focused straight ahead
  • Maintain a flat back position throughout the move with an arch at the base of the spine. The abdominals should be tightened along with the spinal extensors to support the spine in both phases of the exercise

Down Phase

  • From this starting position, inhale deeply and begin to lower your hips in a controlled manner towards the ground as if sitting in a low chair
  • Aim for a position where the top of your thighs are slightly lower than parallel
  • Avoid any excessive forward lean of the trunk during the descent

Up Phase

  • From this squat position commence with a powerful drive to accelerate out of the bottom position. Straighten your hips, knees and ankles back towards the starting position
  • Shoulders, knees and hips should be aligned over the ankle
  • Keep your heels firmly planted on the floor
  • Upon passing the sticking point (about 30 degrees above parallel) begin to slowly expel air through your mouth

Muscle Analysis Chart

Up Phase
Joint Action Contraction  Muscle Group Specific Muscles
Hip joint Extension       Concentric Hip Joint Extensors gluteus maximus, semimembranosus, semitendinosus and the biceps femoris
Knee Joint  Extension       Concentric Knee Joint Extensors rectus femoris, vastus medialis, vastus intermedius and the vastus lateralis
Ankle Joint  Plantar Flexion       Concentric Ankle Joint Plantar Flexors gastrocnemius, soleus, tibialis posterior, flexor hallucis longus, flexor digitorum, peroneus longus and the peroneus brevis
         

                                                                               

Down Phase

In the down phase of the exercise the weight is lowered slowly with gravity. The muscles that concentrically contracted to lift the weight are the same muscles that are eccentrically contracting to lower the weight.

Joint Action Contraction  Muscle Group Specific Muscles
Hip joint Flexion       Eccentric Hip Joint Extensors gluteus maximus, semimembranosus, semitendinosus and the biceps femoris
Knee Joint  Flexion       Eccentric Knee Joint Extensors rectus femoris, vastus medialis, vastus intermedius and the vastus lateralis
Ankle Joint  Dorsi Flexion       Eccentric Ankle Joint Plantar Flexors gastrocnemius, soleus, tibialis posterior, flexor hallucis longus, flexor digitorum, peroneus longus and the peroneus brevis
         
General Kinesiological Analysis

In the up phase of a squat the hip joint is extended by the concentric contraction of the gluteus maximus, semimembranosus, semitendinosus and the biceps femoris. The knee joint is extended by the concentric contraction of the rectus femoris, vastus medialis, vastus intermedius and the vastus lateralis. The ankle joint is plantar flexed by the concentric contraction of the gastrocnemius, soleus, tibialis posterior, flexor hallucis longus, flexor digitorum, peroneus longus and the peroneus brevis. While not included in this analysis, the adductors muscles located on the medial thigh can contribute to the hip joint extension in the squat.

Advanced Kinesiological Analysis

The prime movers causing extension of the hip joint are the gluteus maximus, semimembranosus, semitendinosus and the biceps femoris. The prime movers in knee joint extension are the rectus femoris, vastus medialis, vastus intermedius and the vastus lateralis. The prime movers in ankle joint plantar flexion are the gastrocnemius and the soleus. The assistant movers are the tibialis posterior, flexor digitorum, flexor hallucis longus, peroneus longus and the peroneus brevis.

In the up phase of the squat, the hip joint muscles neutralize any unwanted medial and lateral rotation that can occur from the contraction of the hamstring muscle group and the gluteus maximus. The vastus medialis and the vastus lateralis are located on either side of the patella, and as such during extension of the knee joint engage in counter current pulling action on the patella. Problems associated with pre-patella pain are often the result of a muscle imbalance between the vastus medialis and the vastus lateralis as they pull on the patella. The ankle joint is plantar flexed by the contraction of the gastrocnemius and the soleus. These muscles insert into the calcaneous via the Achilles tendon. Their line of pull generally does not force them to cause any secondary actions. However, when the tibialis posterior, flexor digitorum and the flexor hallucis longus contract in plantar flexion they can also cause inversion of the ankle. Alternatively, when the peroneus longus and the peroneus brevis assist in plantar flexion they also can cause eversion of the ankle. When all these muscles contract together to cause plantar flexion, they neutralize this additional unwanted inversion and eversion movements at the ankle joint.

The gluteus maximus, semimembranosus, semitendinosus and the biceps femoris all have origins on the pelvis. The pelvic girdle consists of the two pelvic bones and the sacrum (base of the spine). The pelvic girdle can move forward and back, sideways and rotate. When these large muscles of the hip contract to cause a movement of the femur, the pelvic girdle must be stabilized to prevent movement that would prevent these muscles from having an anchor. The abdominals and the spinal extension muscles (located posterior spine) pull in a counter balance manner to ensure that the trunk is held in a fixed position and fully stabilized.

In squat exercises there is an apparent paradox when examining the contraction of the quadriceps and the hamstrings. In the up phase of a squat, the quadriceps contract to cause extension of the knee joint while the hamstrings are contracting to cause extension of the hip joint. It may be surprising to find that all these muscles are active, as they are responsible for causing different actions. It would seem plausible that both these muscle groups should neutralize the others movements, with no resultant movement. This contradiction has been defined as “Lombards Paradox”.

Lombards paradox states that in hip joint extension, the lever arms of the hamstrings in hip joint extension are greater than the lever arms for the rectus femoris (quadriceps) in hip joint flexion. Assuming that the force generated within these two muscles is equal, the torque of the hamstrings for hip joint extension is greater than the torque of the rectus femoris in hip joint flexion. Similarly, the lever arm of the rectus femoris in knee joint extension is greater than the lever arm of the hamstrings for knee joint flexion. The torque produced by the rectus femoris in knee joint extension overrides the torque produced by the hamstrings in knee joint flexion. The lever arm differences at the hip and knee joints allows the muscles to perform their movements through the full range of motion.

The most powerful muscle that causes hip joint extension is the gluteus maximus. This is the largest fleshy muscle in the body. The gluteus maximus demonstrates the body’s link system. From a standing position with the feet parallel, when the gluteus maximus contracts there is an obvious lateral rotation of the hip joint. Further lateral rotation of the hip joint is prevented by the feet being in contact with the ground. In this position the force of the lateral rotation of the hip joint is transmitted to the tarsal bones, resulting in inversion of the ankle joint and a decrease in the arching of the spine. The gluteus maximus is generally recruited in large hip joint extension movements. Studies have reported that the hip joint must be flexed in excess of 45 degrees from the trunk unless there is a strong resistance. This can be seen when cyclists lean forward over the handle bars of the bike to decrease the angle between the hip joint and the trunk to recruit the gluteus maximus to a greater extent. When climbing stairs, old people lean forward for exactly the same reason.

Exercise Variations:

Back squat (narrow and wide stance)

In the back squat with a narrow and wide stance, the three vasti muscles are stressed significantly. The rectus femoris, semimembranosus, semitendinosus and the biceps femoris are recruited only moderately. 

Front squat (free standing and with smith machine)

In the front squat variations the three vasti muscles are again recruited significantly, with the hamstrings used only moderately. 

Hack squat machine (different feet positions)

The hack squat completed on a machine recruits the vastus lateralis, vastus intermedius, adductor magnus and adductor brevis significantly. The hamstrings are recruited moderately as well as the vastus medialis and the rectus femoris.

Hack squat (free weight barbell)

The hack squat requires the barbell to be secured behind the buttock of the client. A normal squat follows this starting position. In this exercise, the four quadriceps muscles are recruited maximally. The hamstrings and adductors are used minimally.

In studies that have reported the muscle recruitment pattern for the squat variations, all were performed with the client only descending to 90 degrees of knee flexion. This indicates that for more hamstring and gluteus maximus involvement, it might be preferable to go deeper in the squat beyond 90 degrees. This must be approached with caution, as the deeper a client goes in the squat, the greater potential for injury. It is important that if deep squats are prescribed they are completed after a series of progressive exercises that strengthen all associated structures around the knee joint to enable it to cope with the additional stress. 

Stability Ball Exercise Variations

The client can stand with their back facing a stability ball. The client can extend the right hip back into hyperextension so the top of the right foot makes contact with the top of the stability ball. From this starting position the client squats down on the left leg by flexing to 90 degrees before reversing the movement by extending the hip and knee joint. After the required number of repetitions are completed the same movements should be repeated with the left extended back on the ball and the right leg performing the squat.

The client can stand with a stability ball secured between their lower back and wall. The client’s feet should be a shoulder distance apart with the toes pointing forward. From this starting position the client will roll their shoulders back and squat to 90 degrees of hip and knee flexion. Once in the terminal position the client will extend the hip and knee joints and return back to the starting position. While the squat is taking place the stability ball will move up and down between the wall and the client’s back.

 

Disclaimer: No responsibility is accepted for any loss or damage suffered as a result of the use of the above information or any reliance on it. Users should satisfy themselves as to their own or clients medical and physical condition before adopting/using the information or recommendations made. No responsibility or liability is accepted for any loss or damage suffered by any person as a result of adopting the above information or recommendations.



© 2008 Fitness Institute Australia

Disclaimer: No responsibility is accepted for any loss or damage suffered as a result of the use of the above information
or any reliance on it. Users should satisfy themselves as to their own or clients medical and physical condition before adopting/using
the information or recommendations made. No responsibility or liability is accepted for any loss or damage suffered
by any person as a result of adopting the above information or recommendations.

Further information 1300 136 632 Phone +61 02 9212 7185 or Fax +61 02 9211 0002
Suite 505/410 Elizabeth Street Surry Hills 2010 Sydney Australia


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