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Sports, Volume 11, Issue 4 (April 2023) – 21 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): This review summarizes the effects of acute and chronic endurance, resistance, and high-intensity interval training (HIIT) programs on hemostatic balance in healthy individuals and patients with chronic diseases. The hemostatic response to one session of exercise depends on the intensity, training status, age, and the existence of chronic disease. High-level athletes and well-trained individuals present thromboprotective adaptations. Patients with chronic diseases may receive the most benefits from participating in an exercise program of any type, as their vascular health has a greater potential for improvement. Although more studies are required for clear recommendations, progressive programs combining moderate- and high-intensity exercise might provide the most prominent benefits in regulating hemostatic balance at rest and during exercise, especially for patients with chronic diseases. View this paper
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11 pages, 3955 KiB  
Article
Impact of the Anatomical Accelerometer Placement on Vertical Jump Performance Characteristics
by Damjana V. Cabarkapa, Dimitrije Cabarkapa, Nicolas M. Philipp and Andrew C. Fry
Sports 2023, 11(4), 92; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports11040092 - 21 Apr 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1835
Abstract
With rapid technological development over recent years, the use of wearable athlete monitoring devices has substantially gained popularity. Thus, the purpose of the present study was to examine the impact of the anatomical placement of an accelerometer on biomechanical characteristics of countermovement vertical [...] Read more.
With rapid technological development over recent years, the use of wearable athlete monitoring devices has substantially gained popularity. Thus, the purpose of the present study was to examine the impact of the anatomical placement of an accelerometer on biomechanical characteristics of countermovement vertical jump with and without an arm swing when compared to the force plate as a criterion measure. Seventeen recreationally active individuals (ten males and seven females) volunteered to participate in the present study. Four identical accelerometers sampling at 100 Hz were placed at the following anatomical locations: upper-back (UB), chest (CH), abdomen (AB), and hip (HP). While standing on a uni-axial force plate system sampling at 1000 Hz, each participant completed three non-sequential maximal countermovement vertical jumps with and without an arm swing. All devices recorded the data simultaneously. The following variables of interest were obtained from ground reaction force curves: peak concentric force (PCF), peak landing force (PLF), and vertical jump height (VJH). The findings of the present study reveal that the most appropriate anatomical locations to place the accelerometer device when attempting to estimate PCF, PLF, and VJH during a countermovement vertical jump with no arm swing are CH, AB, and UB, and during a countermovement vertical jump with an arm swing are UB, HP, and UB, respectively. Overall, these findings may help strength and conditioning professionals and sports scientists to select appropriate anatomical locations when using innovative accelerometer technology to monitor vertical jump performance characteristics. Full article
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21 pages, 661 KiB  
Review
High-Intensity Training for Knee Osteoarthritis: A Narrative Review
by Domiziano Tarantino, Tine Theysmans, Rosita Mottola and Jonas Verbrugghe
Sports 2023, 11(4), 91; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports11040091 - 20 Apr 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 4091
Abstract
Knee osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common joint disease worldwide. Exercise therapy has been identified as a first-line treatment option in patients suffering from knee OA. High-intensity training (HIT) is an innovative exercise modality with potential in improving various disease-related outcomes. The purpose [...] Read more.
Knee osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common joint disease worldwide. Exercise therapy has been identified as a first-line treatment option in patients suffering from knee OA. High-intensity training (HIT) is an innovative exercise modality with potential in improving various disease-related outcomes. The purpose of this review is to explore the impact of HIT on knee OA symptoms and physical functioning. A comprehensive search of scientific electronic databases was conducted to identify articles on the effects of HIT on knee OA. Thirteen studies were included in this review. Ten compared the effects of HIT with those of low-intensity training, moderate-intensity continuous training, or a control group. Three evaluated the effects of HIT alone. Eight reported a decrease in knee OA symptoms (especially pain), and eight reported an increase in physical functioning. HIT was shown to improve knee OA symptoms and physical functioning, but also aerobic capacity, muscle strength, and quality of life with minimal or no adverse events. However, compared with other exercise modalities, no clear superiority of HIT was found. HIT is a promising exercise strategy in patients with knee OA; nonetheless, the actual quality of evidence remains very low, and more high-quality studies are needed to confirm these promising outcomes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Optimising Interval Training Prescription (Volume II))
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13 pages, 1429 KiB  
Article
The Positive Effect of Four-Week Combined Aerobic–Resistance Training on Body Composition and Adipokine Levels in Obese Females
by Purwo Sri Rejeki, Adi Pranoto, Ilham Rahmanto, Nabilah Izzatunnisa, Ghana Firsta Yosika, Yetti Hernaningsih, Citrawati Dyah Kencono Wungu and Shariff Halim
Sports 2023, 11(4), 90; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports11040090 - 20 Apr 2023
Cited by 17 | Viewed by 2520
Abstract
Obesity is a metabolic disease that is caused by a lack of physical activity and is associated with an increased risk of chronic inflammation. A total of 40 obese adolescent females with an average age of 21.93 ± 1.35 years and average body [...] Read more.
Obesity is a metabolic disease that is caused by a lack of physical activity and is associated with an increased risk of chronic inflammation. A total of 40 obese adolescent females with an average age of 21.93 ± 1.35 years and average body mass index (BMI) of 30.81 ± 3.54 kg/m2 were enrolled in this study, randomized, and divided into four groups, i.e., control (CTL; n = 10), moderate intensity aerobic training (MAT; n = 10), moderate intensity resistance training (MRT; n = 10), and moderate intensity combined aerobic–resistance training (MCT; n = 10). The enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) kits method was used to analyze the adiponectin and leptin levels between pre-intervention and post-intervention. Statistical analysis was conducted using a paired sample t-test, while correlation analysis between variables used the Pearson product–moment correlation test. Research data showed that MAT, MRT, and MCT significantly increased adiponectin levels and decreased leptin levels compared to the CTL (p ≤ 0.05). The results of the correlation analysis of delta (∆) data showed that an increase in adiponectin levels was significantly negatively correlated with a decrease in body weight (BW) (r = −0.671, p ≤ 0.001), BMI (r = −0.665, p ≤ 0.001), and fat mass (FM) (r = −0.694, p ≤ 0.001) and positively correlated with an increase in skeletal muscle mass (SMM) (r = 0.693, p ≤ 0.001). Whereas, a decrease in leptin levels was significantly positively correlated with a decrease in BW (r = 0.744, p ≤ 0.001), BMI (r = 0.744, p ≤ 0.001), and FM (r = 0.718, p ≤ 0.001) and negatively correlated with an increase in SMM (r = −0.743, p ≤ 0.001). In summary, it can be concluded that our data show that adiponectin levels increased and leptin levels decreased after the intervention of aerobic, resistance, and combined aerobic–resistance training. Full article
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11 pages, 639 KiB  
Article
Low Pre-Season Hamstring-to-Quadriceps Strength Ratio Identified in Players Who Further Sustained In-Season Hamstring Strain Injuries: A Retrospective Study from a Brazilian Serie A Team
by Filipe Veeck, Cassio V. Ruas, Matheus Daros Pinto, Rafael Grazioli, Gustavo Pacheco Cardoso, Thiago Albuquerque, Lucas Schipper, Henrique Gonçalves Valente, Victor H. Santos, Márcio Dornelles, Paulo Rabaldo, Clarice S. Rocha, Bruno Manfredini Baroni, Eduardo Lusa Cadore and Ronei Silveira Pinto
Sports 2023, 11(4), 89; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports11040089 - 20 Apr 2023
Viewed by 2065
Abstract
A common pre-season injury prevention assessment conducted by professional football clubs is the hamstring-to-quadriceps (H:Q) strength ratio calculated by peak torque (PT). However, it is debatable whether players that present low pre-season H:Q ratios are more susceptible to further sustaining in-season hamstring strain [...] Read more.
A common pre-season injury prevention assessment conducted by professional football clubs is the hamstring-to-quadriceps (H:Q) strength ratio calculated by peak torque (PT). However, it is debatable whether players that present low pre-season H:Q ratios are more susceptible to further sustaining in-season hamstring strain injuries (HSI). Based upon retrospective data from a Brazilian Serie A football squad, a particular season came to our attention as ten out of seventeen (~59%) professional male football players sustained HSI. Therefore, we examined the pre-season H:Q ratios of these players. H:Q conventional (CR) and functional (FR) ratios, and the respective knee extensor/flexor PT from the limbs of players further sustaining in-season HSI (injured players, IP) were compared to the proportional number of dominant/non-dominant limbs from uninjured players (UP) in the squad. FR and CR were ~18–22% lower (p < 0.01), whereas quadriceps concentric PT was ~25% greater for IP than UP (p = 0.002). Low scores of FR and CR were correlated (p < 0.01) with high levels of quadriceps concentric PT (r = −0.66 to −0.77). In conclusion, players who sustained in-season HSI had lower pre-season FR and CR compared to UP, which appears to be associated with higher levels of quadriceps concentric torque than hamstring concentric or eccentric torque. Full article
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11 pages, 620 KiB  
Article
An Intense Bout of Acute Aerobic Exercise, but Not a Carbohydrate Supplement, Improves Cognitive Task Performance in a Sample of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) Student Athletes
by Megan Sax van der Weyden, Joel Martin, Jose Rodriguez and Ali Boolani
Sports 2023, 11(4), 88; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports11040088 - 20 Apr 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1590
Abstract
Background: There are contradictory findings in the literature on whether an acute bout of aerobic exercise leads to a post-exercise improvement in cognitive function (CF). Moreover, participants used in the published literature are not representative of the racial make-up of sport or tactical [...] Read more.
Background: There are contradictory findings in the literature on whether an acute bout of aerobic exercise leads to a post-exercise improvement in cognitive function (CF). Moreover, participants used in the published literature are not representative of the racial make-up of sport or tactical populations. Methods: A randomized crossover design was incorporated, with participants randomly consuming water or a carbohydrate sports drink within the first 3 min of a graded maximal exercise test (GMET) conducted in a laboratory. Twelve self-identified African American participants, (seven males, five females, age = 21.42 ± 2.38 years, height = 174.94 ± 12.55 cm, mass = 82.45 ± 33.09 kg) completed both testing days. Participants completed the CF tests immediately pre- and post-GMET. CF was assessed with the Stroop color and word task (SCWT) and concentration task grid (CTG). Participants completed the GMET when they reported a score of 20 on the Borg ratings of perceived exertion scale. Results: Time to complete the SCWT incongruent task (p < 0.001) and CTG performance (p < 0.001) significantly improved post-GMET in both conditions. VO2max was positively correlated with pre- and post-GMET SCWT performance. Conclusions: The findings of our study suggest that an acute bout of maximal exercise significantly improves CF. Additionally, cardiorespiratory fitness is positively associated with CF in our sample of student athletes from a historically Black college and university. Full article
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9 pages, 255 KiB  
Article
Blood Lactate and Maximal Lactate Accumulation Rate at Three Sprint Swimming Distances in Highly Trained and Elite Swimmers
by Maria Mavroudi, Athanasios Kabasakalis, Anatoli Petridou and Vassilis Mougios
Sports 2023, 11(4), 87; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports11040087 - 19 Apr 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 3587
Abstract
We examined the blood lactate response, in terms of the maximal post-exercise concentration (Lamax), time to reach Lamax, and maximal lactate accumulation rate (VLamax), to swimming sprints of 25, 35, and 50 m. A total of 14 [...] Read more.
We examined the blood lactate response, in terms of the maximal post-exercise concentration (Lamax), time to reach Lamax, and maximal lactate accumulation rate (VLamax), to swimming sprints of 25, 35, and 50 m. A total of 14 highly trained and elite swimmers (8 male and 6 female), aged 14–32, completed the 3 sprints in their specialization stroke with 30 min of passive rest in between. The blood lactate was measured right before and continually (every minute) after each sprint to detect the Lamax. The VLamax, a potential index of anaerobic lactic power, was calculated. The blood lactate concentration, swimming speed, and VLamax differed between the sprints (p < 0.001). The Lamax was highest after 50 m (13.8 ± 2.6 mmol·L–1, mean ± SD throughout), while the swimming speed and VLamax were highest at 25 m (2.16 ± 0.25 m·s–1 and 0.75 ± 0.18 mmol·L–1·s–1). The lactate peaked approximately 2 min after all the sprints. The VLamax in each sprint correlated positively with the speed and with each other. In conclusion, the correlation of the swimming speed with the VLamax suggests that the VLamax is an index of anaerobic lactic power and that it is possible to improve performance by augmenting the VLamax through appropriate training. To accurately measure the Lamax and, hence, the VLamax, we recommend starting blood sampling one minute after exercise. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health and Performance of Water Based Exercise and Sports)
12 pages, 525 KiB  
Article
Relationship between Football-Specific Training Characteristics and Tibial Bone Adaptation in Male Academy Football Players
by Ian Varley, Craig Sale, Julie P. Greeves, John G. Morris, Caroline Sunderland and Chris Saward
Sports 2023, 11(4), 86; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports11040086 - 19 Apr 2023
Viewed by 1605
Abstract
We examined the relationship between football-specific training and changes in bone structural properties across a 12-week period in 15 male football players aged 16 years (Mean ± 1 SD = 16.6 ± 0.3 years) that belonged to a professional football academy. Tibial scans [...] Read more.
We examined the relationship between football-specific training and changes in bone structural properties across a 12-week period in 15 male football players aged 16 years (Mean ± 1 SD = 16.6 ± 0.3 years) that belonged to a professional football academy. Tibial scans were performed at 4%, 14% and 38% sites using peripheral quantitative computed tomography immediately before and 12 weeks after increased football-specific training. Training was analysed using GPS to quantify peak speed, average speed, total distance and high-speed distance. Analyses were conducted with bias-corrected and accelerated bootstrapped 95% confidence intervals (BCa 95% CI). There were increases in bone mass at the 4% (mean ∆ = 0.15 g, BCa 95% CI = 0.07, 0.26 g, g = 0.72), 14% (mean ∆ = 0.04 g, BCa 95% CI = 0.02, 0.06 g, g = 1.20), and 38% sites (mean ∆ = 0.03 g, BCa 95% CI = 0.01, 0.05 g, g = 0.61). There were increases in trabecular density (4%), (mean ∆ = 3.57 mg·cm−3, BCa 95% CI = 0.38, 7.05 mg·cm−3, g = 0.53), cortical dentsity (14%) (mean ∆ = 5.08 mg·cm−3, BCa 95% CI = 0.19, 9.92 mg·cm−3, g = 0.49), and cortical density (38%) (mean ∆ = 6.32 mg·cm−3, BCa 95% CI = 4.31, 8.90 mg·cm−3, g = 1.22). Polar stress strain index (mean ∆ = 50.56 mm3, BCa 95% CI = 10.52, 109.95 mm3, g = 0.41), cortical area (mean ∆ = 2.12 mm2, BCa 95% CI = 0.09, 4.37 mm2, g = 0.48) and thickness (mean ∆ = 0.06 mm, BCa 95% CI = 0.01, 0.13 mm, g = 0.45) increased at the 38% site. Correlations revealed positive relationships between total distance and increased cortical density (38%) (r = 0.39, BCa 95% CI = 0.02, 0.66), and between peak speed and increased trabecular density (4%) (r = 0.43, BCa 95% CI = 0.03, 0.73). There were negative correlations between total (r = −0.21, BCa 95% CI = −0.65, −0.12) and high-speed distance (r = −0.29, BCa 95% CI = −0.57, −0.24) with increased polar stress strain index (38%). Results suggest that despite football training relating to increases in bone characteristics in male academy footballers, the specific training variables promoting adaptation over a 12-week period may vary. Further studies conducted over a longer period are required to fully elucidate the time-course of how certain football-specific training characteristics influence bone structural properties. Full article
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16 pages, 1963 KiB  
Article
Resting Blood Pressure in Master Athletes: Immune from Hypertension?
by Mike Climstein, Joe Walsh, Mark DeBeliso, Tim Heazlewood, Trish Sevene, Luke Del Vecchio and Kent Adams
Sports 2023, 11(4), 85; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports11040085 - 18 Apr 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 3441
Abstract
Ageing is associated with decreased physical activity, obesity and increased risk of hypertension (HTN). Master athletes (MA) have either pursued a physically active lifestyle throughout their life or initiated exercise or sport later in life. We assessed resting blood pressure (BP) in male [...] Read more.
Ageing is associated with decreased physical activity, obesity and increased risk of hypertension (HTN). Master athletes (MA) have either pursued a physically active lifestyle throughout their life or initiated exercise or sport later in life. We assessed resting blood pressure (BP) in male and female World Masters Games (WMG) athletes. This was a cross-sectional, observational study which utilized an online survey to assess the blood pressure (BP) and other physiological parameters. Results: a total of 2793 participants were involved in this study. Key findings included differences between genders with males reporting higher resting SBP (+9.4%, p < 0.001), resting DBP (+5.9%, p < 0.001) and mean arterial pressure (+6.2%, p < 0.001). Significant differences (p < 0.001) were also identified when comparing WMG athletes’ resting BP results (genders combined) to the general Australian population with WMG athletes having a lower SBP (p < 0.001, −8.4%) and DBP (p < 0.001, −3.6%). Additionally, 19.9% of males and 49.7% of female WMG participants were normotensive whereas 35.7% of the general Australian population were normotensive. Only 8.1% of the WMG athletes (genders combined) were found to be HTN compared to 17.2% in the general Australian population. These findings reflect a low prevalence of HTN in WMG participants and support our hypothesis of a low prevalence of HTN in an active, but aged cohort of MA. Full article
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13 pages, 474 KiB  
Article
An Enjoyable Workplace Combined Exercise Program for Health Promotion in Trained Employees: Yoga, Pilates, and Circuit Strength Training
by Konstantina Karatrantou, Christos Batatolis, Petros Chatzigiannis, Theodora Vasilopoulou, Anastasia Melissopoulou, Panagiotis Ioakimidis and Vassilis Gerodimos
Sports 2023, 11(4), 84; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports11040084 - 14 Apr 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2759
Abstract
Corporate wellness has become an important public health priority through the designing and implementation of different workplace exercise interventions. The objectives of this study were to investigate: (a) the effectiveness of a 4-month workplace combined yoga, Pilates, and circuit strength training program (outside [...] Read more.
Corporate wellness has become an important public health priority through the designing and implementation of different workplace exercise interventions. The objectives of this study were to investigate: (a) the effectiveness of a 4-month workplace combined yoga, Pilates, and circuit strength training program (outside work shift) on health indices, functional capacity, and physical fitness in office employees; and (b) the employees’ enjoyment following the program. Fifty physically active office employees (26–55 years old) were equally divided into training (TG) and control groups (CG). The TG followed a 4-month (3 times/week, 50–60 min/training) combined yoga, Pilates, and circuit strength training program. Health indices (body composition, body mass, circumferences, musculoskeletal pains), functional capacity (flexibility, balance), and physical fitness (strength, aerobic capacity) were measured before and after the 4-month time period. After the completion of the program, the TG participants’ enjoyment was assessed. The TG significantly improved (p < 0.001) all health, functional capacity (11.3–82.0%), and physical fitness indices (33.9%), except for aerobic capacity, which did not change (p > 0.05). Furthermore, a great percentage of employees (84%) reported high levels of enjoyment. This program could be effectively and safely used in workplace settings as an enjoyable intervention to improve specific health, functional capacity, and physical fitness indices in office employees. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Exercise Interventions for Health Promotion across the Life Span)
12 pages, 2353 KiB  
Article
Comparison between Match and Training Session on Biomarker Responses in Handball Players
by Zoran Nikolovski, Nikola Foretić, Dario Vrdoljak, Dora Marić and Mia Perić
Sports 2023, 11(4), 83; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports11040083 - 12 Apr 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1677
Abstract
A variety of loads are placed upon an athlete in team sports (e.g., training, match, or competitions). However, the volume of the training load plays an important role in match success. Therefore, the aim of this study was to compare the differences in [...] Read more.
A variety of loads are placed upon an athlete in team sports (e.g., training, match, or competitions). However, the volume of the training load plays an important role in match success. Therefore, the aim of this study was to compare the differences in biomarker dynamics during the match and during training, and to evaluate if such training represents a good stimulus for an athlete to adapt to match stress. Ten male handball players (average age of 24.1 ± 3.17 years, body height of 1.88 ± 0.64 m, and body mass of 94.6 ± 9.6 kg) took part in this study. Their saliva cortisol, testosterone, and alpha-amylase were sampled during the match and training (sessions of 90 min duration, respectively). The results showed that cortisol had higher values after the match (0.65 µg/dL) than after training (0.32 µg/dL) (p = 0.05; ES = 0.39). Testosterone concentrations had a steeper increase during a match (65%) than after training (37%). Alpha-amylase levels did not differ significantly between the match and training (p = 0.77; ES = −0.06). Overall, the results showed that the environment of a match was more stressful for the athletes; therefore, a match provoked a stronger endocrine response in the studied markers. Therefore, we concluded that a match seemed to be a stronger trigger for all of the measured biomarker responses. Full article
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17 pages, 1039 KiB  
Article
Does Obesity Affect Neuromuscular and Cardiovascular Adaptations after a 3-Month Combined Exercise Program in Untrained Premenopausal Middle-Aged Women?
by Konstantina Karatrantou and Vassilis Gerodimos
Sports 2023, 11(4), 82; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports11040082 - 12 Apr 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2176
Abstract
Previous studies indicated different acute adaptations between obese and lean individuals, while there is limited information with conflicting results regarding long-term adaptations. The aim of this study was to compare the efficacy of a 3-month integrated combined training between obese and lean middle-aged [...] Read more.
Previous studies indicated different acute adaptations between obese and lean individuals, while there is limited information with conflicting results regarding long-term adaptations. The aim of this study was to compare the efficacy of a 3-month integrated combined training between obese and lean middle-aged untrained premenopausal women. In total, 72 women (36 obese/36 lean) were divided into four groups: (a) obese exercise (OB-EG), (b) obese control (OB-CG), (c) lean exercise (L-EG), and (d) lean control (L-CG). The exercise groups followed a 3-month (3 times/week) integrated combined aerobic and strength training program. Health indices (body composition, body circumferences, blood pressure, respiratory function), functional capacity (flexibility, balance), and physical fitness (strength, aerobic capacity) were measured before and after the 3-month time period. Participants’ enjoyment was also assessed following the program. OB-EG and L-EG significantly improved (p < 0.05) similarly across all functional capacity and physical fitness indices (10–76%; depending on the evaluation index), except balance and strength indices of the non-preferred limb where OB-EG showed greater improvement (reducing the existing pre-training strength/balance asymmetries) than L-EG. Furthermore, both obese and lean individuals showed similarly high levels of enjoyment. This program could be effectively used in fitness settings causing similar neuromuscular and cardiovascular adaptations in obese and lean women. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Exercise Interventions for Health Promotion across the Life Span)
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10 pages, 2019 KiB  
Article
Low Energy Availability (LEA) and Hypertension in Black Division I Collegiate Athletes: A Novel Pilot Study
by Troy Purdom, Marc Cook, Heather Colleran, Paul Stewart and Lauren San Diego
Sports 2023, 11(4), 81; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports11040081 - 7 Apr 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2126
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between low energy availability (LEA) and nutritional content with high blood pressure (HBP) in African American Division I athletes. Twenty-three D1 African American pre-season athletes were recruited to participate. HBP was defined as [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between low energy availability (LEA) and nutritional content with high blood pressure (HBP) in African American Division I athletes. Twenty-three D1 African American pre-season athletes were recruited to participate. HBP was defined as >120 systolic blood pressure (BP) and <80 diastolic BP. Athletes self-reported nutritional intake using a non-consecutive 3-day food recall which was then reviewed by a sports dietitian. LEA was evaluated as total energy intake—total daily energy expenditure (TDEE), which was predicted. Additionally, micronutrients were evaluated. A statistical analysis relied on Spearman correlation (R), standardized mean difference with 95% confidence interval, mean ± SD, and odds ratios (OR). Correlation values were categorized: 0.20–0.39 = low; 0.40–0.69 = moderate; 0.70–1.0 = strong. A moderate relationship was observed between HBP and LEA (R = 0.56) with 14/23 having HBP. Of the 14 athletes observed with HBP, 78.5% (11/14) were calorically deficient (−529 ± 695 kcal) with an OR of 7.2. Micronutrient intake deficiencies were ubiquitous among the 23 HBP athletes: poly-unsaturated fatty acid −29.6%; omega-3 −26.0%; iron −46.0%; calcium −25.1%; and sodium −14.2%, amongst others. LEA and micronutrient deficiencies may contribute to HBP in Black D1 athletes, which has been shown to be the most common modifiable risk factor to decrease the risk of sudden cardiac death. Full article
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5 pages, 206 KiB  
Editorial
The Changing Landscape in Upper Limb Sports Rehabilitation and Injury Prevention
by Eleftherios Paraskevopoulos, George M. Pamboris and Maria Papandreou
Sports 2023, 11(4), 80; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports11040080 - 7 Apr 2023
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2065
Abstract
This editorial aims to feature authors who intend to submit their research to this Special Issue of Sports entitled “Clinical Advances in Upper Limb Sports Rehabilitation and Injury Prevention” in areas that need special consideration [...] Full article
10 pages, 554 KiB  
Article
Nine Months of Hybrid Intradialytic Exercise Training Improves Ejection Fraction and Cardiac Autonomic Nervous System Activity
by Christoforos D. Giannaki, Stefania S. Grigoriou, Keith George, Christina Karatzaferi, Paris Zigoulis, Eleftherios Lavdas, Dimitrios Chaniotis, Ioannis Stefanidis and Giorgos K. Sakkas
Sports 2023, 11(4), 79; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports11040079 - 31 Mar 2023
Viewed by 1754
Abstract
Cardiovascular disease is the most common cause of death in hemodialysis (HD) patients. Intradialytic aerobic exercise training has a beneficial effect on cardiovascular system function and reduces mortality in HD patients. However, the impact of other forms of exercise on the cardiovascular system, [...] Read more.
Cardiovascular disease is the most common cause of death in hemodialysis (HD) patients. Intradialytic aerobic exercise training has a beneficial effect on cardiovascular system function and reduces mortality in HD patients. However, the impact of other forms of exercise on the cardiovascular system, such as hybrid exercise, is not clear. Briefly, hybrid exercise combines aerobic and strength training in the same session. The present study examined whether hybrid intradialytic exercise has long-term benefits on left ventricular function and structure and the autonomous nervous system in HD patients. In this single-group design, efficacy-based intervention, twelve stable HD patients (10M/2F, 56 ± 19 years) participated in a nine-month-long hybrid intradialytic training program. Both echocardiographic assessments of left ventricular function and structure and heart rate variability (HRV) were assessed pre, during and after the end of the HD session at baseline and after the nine-month intervention. Ejection Fraction (EF), both assessed before and at the end of the HD session, appeared to be significantly improved after the intervention period compared to the baseline values (48.7 ± 11.1 vs. 58.8 ± 6.5, p = 0.046 and 50.0 ± 13.4 vs. 56.1 ± 3.4, p = 0.054 respectively). Regarding HRV assessment, hybrid exercise training increased LF and decreased HF (p < 0.05). Both conventional Doppler and tissue Doppler imaging indices of diastolic function did not change after the intervention period (p > 0.05). In conclusion, long-term intradialytic hybrid exercise training was an effective non-pharmacological approach to improving EF and the cardiac autonomous nervous system in HD patients. Such exercise training programs could be incorporated into HD units to improve the patients’ cardiovascular health. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Exercise Interventions for Health Promotion across the Life Span)
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11 pages, 1234 KiB  
Article
Thermoregulatory, Cardiovascular and Perceptual Responses of Spectators of a Simulated Football Match in Hot and Humid Environmental Conditions
by Johannus Q. de Korte, Thijs M. H. Eijsvogels, Maria T. E. Hopman and Coen C. W. G. Bongers
Sports 2023, 11(4), 78; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports11040078 - 31 Mar 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1499
Abstract
Major sporting events are often scheduled in thermally challenging environments. The heat stress may impact athletes but also spectators. We examined the thermal, cardiovascular, and perceptual responses of spectators watching a football match in a simulated hot and humid environment. A total of [...] Read more.
Major sporting events are often scheduled in thermally challenging environments. The heat stress may impact athletes but also spectators. We examined the thermal, cardiovascular, and perceptual responses of spectators watching a football match in a simulated hot and humid environment. A total of 48 participants (43 ± 9 years; n = 27 participants <50 years and n = 21 participants ≥50 years, n = 21) watched a 90 min football match in addition to a 15 min baseline and 15 min halftime break, seated in an environmental chamber (Tair = 31.9 ± 0.4 °C; RH = 76 ± 4%). Gastrointestinal temperature (Tgi), skin temperature (Tskin), and heart rate (HR) were measured continuously throughout the match. Mean arterial pressure (MAP) and perceptual parameters (i.e., thermal sensation and thermal comfort) were scored every 15 min. Tri (37.3 ± 0.4 °C to 37.4 ± 0.3 °C, p = 0.11), HR (76 ± 15 bpm to 77 ± 14 bpm, p = 0.96) and MAP (97 ± 10 mm Hg to 97 ± 10 mm Hg, p = 0.67) did not change throughout the match. In contrast, an increase in Tskin (32.9 ± 0.8 °C to 35.4 ± 0.3 °C, p < 0.001) was found. Further, 81% of participants reported thermal discomfort and 87% a (slightly) warm thermal sensation at the end of the match. Moreover, the thermal or cardiovascular responses were not affected by age (all p-values > 0.05). Heat stress induced by watching a football match in simulated hot and humid conditions does not result in substantial thermal or cardiovascular strain, whereas a significant perceptual strain was observed. Full article
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12 pages, 273 KiB  
Article
Ability of Countermovement Jumps to Detect Bilateral Asymmetry in Hip and Knee Strength in Elite Youth Soccer Players
by Hailey L. Wrona, Ryan Zerega, Victoria G. King, Charles R. Reiter, Susan Odum, Devon Manifold, Karyn Latorre and Timothy C. Sell
Sports 2023, 11(4), 77; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports11040077 - 31 Mar 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2805
Abstract
Clinicians frequently assess asymmetry in strength, flexibility, and performance characteristics as a method of screening for potential musculoskeletal injury. The identification of asymmetry in countermovement jumps may be an ideal method to reveal asymmetry in other lower extremity characteristics such as strength that [...] Read more.
Clinicians frequently assess asymmetry in strength, flexibility, and performance characteristics as a method of screening for potential musculoskeletal injury. The identification of asymmetry in countermovement jumps may be an ideal method to reveal asymmetry in other lower extremity characteristics such as strength that otherwise may require additional testing, potentially reducing the time and burden on both the athlete and clinicians. The present study aims to examine the ability of asymmetry in both the single-leg and two-leg countermovement jump tests to accurately detect hip abduction, hip adduction, and eccentric hamstring strength asymmetry. Fifty-eight young male elite soccer players from the same professional academy performed a full battery of functional performance tests which included an assessment of hip adductor and abductor strength profiles, eccentric hamstring strength profiles, and neuromuscular performance and asymmetries during countermovement jumps. Bilateral variables attained from both the single-leg and two-leg countermovement jump tests included concentric impulse (Ns), eccentric mean force (N), and concentric mean force (N) computed by the VALD ForceDecks software. Average maximal force (N) was calculated bilaterally for the strength assessments. Asymmetry was calculated for each variable using 100 × |(right leg − left leg)/(right leg)| and grouped into three categories: 0 to <10%, 10% to <20%, and 20% or greater. Analyses were performed for the two higher asymmetry groups. The accuracy to detect strength asymmetry was assessed as the sensitivity, specificity, and predictive values for positive and negative tests. The outcomes from the accuracy assessments suggest that the single-leg countermovement jump concentric impulse variable at the 20% threshold is indicative of a youth male soccer player having hip adduction strength asymmetry while also demonstrating more accuracy and applicability than the two-leg countermovement jump concentric impulse variable. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Monitoring Load, Recovery, and Performance in Soccer Players)
19 pages, 7242 KiB  
Systematic Review
A Systematic Review of Flywheel Training Effectiveness and Application on Sport Specific Performances
by Andrea Buonsenso, Marco Centorbi, Enzo Iuliano, Giulia Di Martino, Carlo Della Valle, Giovanni Fiorilli, Giuseppe Calcagno and Alessandra di Cagno
Sports 2023, 11(4), 76; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports11040076 - 30 Mar 2023
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 4676
Abstract
The objective of this systematic review was to examine the effectiveness of flywheel training, which allows for the replication of specific sports movements, overloading both the concentric and eccentric phases. Inclusion criteria were injury prevention outcomes; ability in terms of strength, power, sprinting, [...] Read more.
The objective of this systematic review was to examine the effectiveness of flywheel training, which allows for the replication of specific sports movements, overloading both the concentric and eccentric phases. Inclusion criteria were injury prevention outcomes; ability in terms of strength, power, sprinting, jumping and change of direction; competitive athletes; and RCTs. Exclusion criteria were a lack of a control group and lack of baseline and/or follow-up data. The databases used were Web of Science, Scopus, PubMed, Cochrane Library, and Sage. The revised Cochrane risk-of-bias tool was used to assess the quality of the selected RCTs. The Oxford Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine 2011 Levels of Evidence was used. A PICOS (participants, intervention, comparators, study outcomes, and study design) approach was used to evaluate eligibility. A total of 21 RCTs with 8 to 54 participants in each study analyzed flywheel technology and its application in nine sports. The results showed that flywheel training is a good strategy to improve sports performance, providing variation in training methodologies and athletes’ adherence. Further studies are needed to define guidelines on training modality, weekly frequency, volume, and inertia load. Only a few studies have applied the flywheel device directly to overload specific multidirectional movements at different joint angles. This method is not exempt from criticalities, such as the cost and the ability to carry out only individual training. Full article
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11 pages, 1895 KiB  
Article
Leg Dominance—Surface Stability Interaction: Effects on Postural Control Assessed by Smartphone-Based Accelerometry
by Arunee Promsri, Kotchakorn Bangkomdet, Issariya Jindatham and Thananya Jenchang
Sports 2023, 11(4), 75; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports11040075 - 30 Mar 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2003
Abstract
The preferential use of one leg over another in performing lower-limb motor tasks (i.e., leg dominance) is considered to be one of the internal risk factors for sports-related lower-limb injuries. The current study aimed to investigate the effects of leg dominance on postural [...] Read more.
The preferential use of one leg over another in performing lower-limb motor tasks (i.e., leg dominance) is considered to be one of the internal risk factors for sports-related lower-limb injuries. The current study aimed to investigate the effects of leg dominance on postural control during unipedal balancing on three different support surfaces with increasing levels of instability: a firm surface, a foam pad, and a multiaxial balance board. In addition, the interaction effect between leg dominance and surface stability was also tested. To this end, a tri-axial accelerometer-based smartphone sensor was placed over the lumbar spine (L5) of 22 young adults (21.5 ± 0.6 years) to record postural accelerations. Sample entropy (SampEn) was applied to acceleration data as a measure of postural sway regularity (i.e., postural control complexity). The results show that leg dominance (p < 0.001) and interaction (p < 0.001) effects emerge in all acceleration directions. Specifically, balancing on the dominant (kicking) leg shows more irregular postural acceleration fluctuations (high SampEn), reflecting a higher postural control efficiency or automaticity than balancing on the non-dominant leg. However, the interaction effects suggest that unipedal balancing training on unstable surfaces is recommended to reduce interlimb differences in neuromuscular control for injury prevention and rehabilitation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sports Injury: Prevention and Rehabilitation)
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29 pages, 2024 KiB  
Review
The Acute and Chronic Effects of Resistance and Aerobic Exercise in Hemostatic Balance: A Brief Review
by Apostolos Z. Skouras, Dimitrios Antonakis-Karamintzas, Andreas G. Tsantes, Athanasios Triantafyllou, Georgios Papagiannis, Charilaos Tsolakis and Panagiotis Koulouvaris
Sports 2023, 11(4), 74; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports11040074 - 27 Mar 2023
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 8532
Abstract
Hemostatic balance refers to the dynamic balance between blood clot formation (coagulation), blood clot dissolution (fibrinolysis), anticoagulation, and innate immunity. Although regular habitual exercise may lower the incidence of cardiovascular diseases (CVD) by improving an individual’s hemostatic profile at rest and during exertion, [...] Read more.
Hemostatic balance refers to the dynamic balance between blood clot formation (coagulation), blood clot dissolution (fibrinolysis), anticoagulation, and innate immunity. Although regular habitual exercise may lower the incidence of cardiovascular diseases (CVD) by improving an individual’s hemostatic profile at rest and during exertion, vigorous exercise may increase the risk of sudden cardiac death and venous thromboembolism (VTE). This literature review aims to investigate the hemostatic system’s acute and chronic adaptive responses to different types of exercise in healthy and patient populations. Compared to athletes, sedentary healthy individuals demonstrate similar post-exercise responses in platelet function and coagulatory and fibrinolytic potential. However, hemostatic adaptations of patients with chronic diseases in regular training is a promising field. Despite the increased risk of thrombotic events during an acute bout of vigorous exercise, regular exposure to high-intensity exercise might desensitize exercise-induced platelet aggregation, moderate coagulatory parameters, and up-regulate fibrinolytic potential via increasing tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) and decreasing plasminogen activator inhibitor (PAI-1) response. Future research might focus on combining different types of exercise, manipulating each training characteristic (frequency, intensity, time, and volume), or investigating the minimal exercise dosage required to maintain hemostatic balance, especially in patients with various health conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Strength and Power Training in Individual and Team Sports)
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12 pages, 2248 KiB  
Article
Architectural and Mechanical Changes after Five Weeks of Intermittent Static Stretch Training on the Medial Gastrocnemius Muscle of Active Adults
by Morgan Lévenéz, Matthieu Moeremans, Cédric Booghs, Florent Vigouroux, Clément Leveque, Walter Hemelryck and Costantino Balestra
Sports 2023, 11(4), 73; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports11040073 - 27 Mar 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2025
Abstract
We investigated the effects of intermittent long-term stretch training (5 weeks) on the architectural and mechanical properties of the muscle–tendon unit (MTU) in healthy humans. MTU’s viscoelastic and architectural properties in the human medial gastrocnemius (MG) muscle and the contribution of muscle and [...] Read more.
We investigated the effects of intermittent long-term stretch training (5 weeks) on the architectural and mechanical properties of the muscle–tendon unit (MTU) in healthy humans. MTU’s viscoelastic and architectural properties in the human medial gastrocnemius (MG) muscle and the contribution of muscle and tendon structures to the MTU lengthening were analyzed. Ten healthy volunteers participated in the study (four females and six males). The passive stretch of the plantar flexor muscles was achieved from 0° (neutral ankle position) to 25° of dorsiflexion. Measurements were obtained during a single passive stretch before and after the completion of the stretching protocol. During the stretch, the architectural parameters of the MG muscle were measured via ultrasonography, and the passive torque was recorded by means of a strain-gauge transducer. Repeated-measure ANOVA was applied for all parameters. When expressed as a percentage for all dorsiflexion angles, the relative torque values decreased (p < 0.001). In the same way, architectural parameters (pennation angle and fascicle length) were compared for covariance and showed a significant difference between the slopes (ANCOVA p < 0.0001 and p < 0.001, respectively) suggesting a modification in the mechanical behavior after stretch training. Furthermore, the values for passive stiffness decreased (p < 0.05). The maximum ankle range of motion (ROM) (p < 0.01) and the maximum passive torque (p < 0.05) increased. Lastly, the contribution of the free tendon increased more than fascicle elongation to the total lengthening of the MTU (ANCOVA p < 0.001). Our results suggest that five weeks of intermittent static stretch training significantly change the behavior of the MTU. Specifically, it can increase flexibility and increase tendon contribution during MTU lengthening. Full article
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12 pages, 928 KiB  
Article
Relative Individual Sprint in Most Demanding Passages of Play in Spanish Professional Soccer Matches
by Juan Ángel Piñero, Marcos Chena, Juan Carlos Zapardiel, Alberto Roso-Moliner, Elena Mainer-Pardos, Miguel Lampre and Demetrio Lozano
Sports 2023, 11(4), 72; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports11040072 - 23 Mar 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2548
Abstract
(1) Background: The objective of this research was to analyse the most demanding passages (MDP) considering the sprint variable relative to the maximum level of sprint ability of each player as a function of player position, final outcome and part of the match [...] Read more.
(1) Background: The objective of this research was to analyse the most demanding passages (MDP) considering the sprint variable relative to the maximum level of sprint ability of each player as a function of player position, final outcome and part of the match during the competitive phase of a professional soccer season. (2) Methods: Global positioning system (GPS) data were collected from 22 players according to their playing position in the last 19 match days of the Spanish La Liga professional soccer in the 2020/2021 season. MDP were calculated from 80% of the maximum sprint speed of each player. (3) Results: Wide midfielders covered the greatest distance at >80% of the maximum speed (2.4 ± 1.63 seg) and the longest duration (21.91 ± 13.35 m) in their MDP. When the whole team was losing, it demonstrated greater distances (20.23 ± 13.04 m) and longer durations (2.24 ± 1.58 seg) compared to games in which it was winning. When the team ended up drawing, the relative sprint distance covered in the second half was significantly greater than in the first (16.12 ± 21.02; SD = 0.26 ± 0.28 (−0.03/−0.54). (4) Conclusions: Different demands of MDP, according to the sprint variable relative to the maximum individual capacity in competition, are required when contextual game factors are considered. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Physical Fitness Profile in Soccer Players)
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