European Journal of Human Movement (Dec 2015)

Total energy costs of 3 Tabata-type calisthenic squatting routines: Isometric, Isotonic and Jump

  • Christopher Scott,
  • Eryn Nelson,
  • Sarah Martin,
  • Brian Ligotti

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 35


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Introduction: We examined the total energy costs – aerobic and anaerobic, exercise and recovery – of three Tabata-style squat routines: isotonic, isometric and plyometric (jump). Our intent was to determine which format elicited the greatest overall cost. Materials and Methods: Four male and three female subjects volunteered (23.7 ± 2.6 years, 170.1 ± 10.3 cm, 68.2 ± 14.6 kg). Isotonic and jump squats were completed in 20 second bouts at a cadence of 2 seconds per squat (10 repetitions each) followed by 10 seconds of recovery; isometric squats were held for the entirety of each 20 second exercise period followed by 10 seconds of recovery – exercise and recovery bouts were repeated 8 times for a total of 4 minutes. Results and Discussion: Jump squats had the greatest overall energy cost at 160.7 ± 56 kJ (38.4 ± 13.4 kcal) followed by isotonic squats at 112.4 ± 24 kJ (26.9 ± 5.7 kcal) ; there was no statistical difference between the two. Isometric squats at 62.4 ± 6 kJ (14.9 ± 1.4 kcal) were significantly lower than both isotonic and jump squats (p < 0.05). From an exercise program design standpoint isometric exercises do not appear to represent an appropriate format when attempting to maximize energy costs.