Validity and Reliability of a Wearable Inertial Sensor to Measure Velocity and Power in the Back Squat and Bench Press

Orange, ST, Metcalfe, JW, Liefeith, A, Marshall, P, Madden, LA, Fewster, CR, and Vince, RV. Validity and reliability of a wearable inertial sensor to measure velocity and power in the back squat and bench press. J Strength Cond Res XX(X): 000–000, 2018—This study examined the validity and reliability of a wearable inertial sensor to measure velocity and power in the free-weight back squat and bench press. Twenty-nine youth rugby league players (18 ± 1 years) completed 2 test-retest sessions for the back squat followed by 2 test-retest sessions for the bench press. Repetitions were performed at 20, 40, 60, 80, and 90% of 1 repetition maximum (1RM) with mean velocity, peak velocity, mean power (MP), and peak power (PP) simultaneously measured using an inertial sensor (PUSH) and a linear position transducer (GymAware PowerTool). The PUSH demonstrated good validity (Pearson’s product-moment correlation coefficient [r]) and reliability (intraclass correlation coefficient [ICC]) only for measurements of MP (r = 0.91; ICC = 0.83) and PP (r = 0.90; ICC = 0.80) at 20% of 1RM in the back squat. However, it may be more appropriate for athletes to jump off the ground with this load to optimize power output. Further research should therefore evaluate the usability of inertial sensors in the jump squat exercise. In the bench press, good validity and reliability were evident only for the measurement of MP at 40% of 1RM (r = 0.89; ICC = 0.83). The PUSH was unable to provide a valid and reliable estimate of any other criterion variable in either exercise. Practitioners must be cognizant of the measurement error when using inertial sensor technology to quantify velocity and power during resistance training, particularly with loads other than 20% of 1RM in the back squat and 40% of 1RM in the bench press.
Address correspondence to Samuel T. Orange,
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Copyright © 2019 by the National Strength & Conditioning Association.

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