Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Kevin Dames, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Peter McGinnis, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Ryan Fiddler, Ph.D.


Training exercises to develop muscular strength and power, such as the weighted jump squat, commonly utilize barbells and dumbbells to increase resistance. Strength coaches often measure improvements in peak force, peak power, and rate of force development to determine effectiveness of a training program. The purpose of this study was to determine if equipment selection (barbells vs. dumbbells) affects peak force, peak power, and/or rate of force development in weighted jump squats. Thirteen physically active, college-aged males (age: 21.6 ± 2.0 years, height: 182.8 ± 9.7 cm, body mass: 87.2 ± 9.0 kg, lean mass: 72.3 ± 8.1 kg) performed weighted jump squats on a force platform while holding 30% of their body weight with dumbbells or a barbell on two separate days. Peak force, peak power, and rate of force development during the concentric phase of each jump were measured. The measures for the squat jumps with the dumbbells were compared to those for the squat jumps with the barbell. Significantly greater (p < .001) peak force and peak power were produced when using dumbbells (25.07 ± 2.20 Bodyweights and 81.083 ± 10.796 W⋅kg-1 ) compared to barbells (24.09 ± 2.17 Bodyweights and 73.66 ± 9.53 W⋅kg-1 ). The results suggest the use of dumbbells over a barbell of the same weight when performing weighted squat jumps, as an athlete may be able to produce more physiological stress with the same weight. Athletes and strength coaches can use this information to optimize programs for improving lower extremity strength and power.