Mend Physical Therapy Blog and Injury Information

Slosh Tubes vs. Barbell Utilization During Back Squat

February 22, 2018


The back squat is one of the most efficient and effective exercises for lower quarter strength development.  This exercise can be performed with dumbbells, barbell, or a slosh tube.  Slosh tubes are a recent addition to resistance training equipment made up of a PVC pipe filled up to 1/4 to 1/2 with either water or sand.  The movement of the water or sand creates a higher demand on our core muscles and balance system.  A recent study highlights the benefits of using a slosh tube for weight training exercises.

Ditroilo studied elite Gaelic footballers under 4 squat conditions: barbell eyes open, barbell eyes closed, slosh tube eyes open, and slosh tube eyes closed (J Sports Sci. 2018).  Authors used EMG to study the activation levels of abdominal and low back musculature as well as a force platform during each trial.  The authors found increased oblique and multifidus recruitment under the slosh tube condition.  They concluded utilization of the slosh tube elicited greater levels of core muscle activation as well as a greater balance challenge to the squatting athletes enhancing proprioception.