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Sports, Volume 11, Issue 7 (July 2023) – 17 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): In research, the Nordic Hamstring Exercise (NHE) has long been considered an eccentric exercise. However, we noted that knee flexor force was greater for a fast stretch-shortening type (NHESSC) compared to standard slow eccentric NHE (NHEECC). Although the participants were highly trained athletes familiar with the NHEECC, none of them had prior experience of performing the NHESSC. It is therefore intriguing that 86% (18/21) of the participants still reached higher peak knee flexor force using the NHESSC variation. Furthermore, during testing, it was noticeable that there was room for improvement when it came to executing the NHESSC in many participants. The fast NHESSC could therefore be an interesting alternative to standard slow NHEECC, as it may offer potential advantages for sprint performance, as well as hamstring injury prevention and rehabilitation. View this paper
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13 pages, 2278 KiB  
Article
The Effect on Flexibility and a Variety of Performance Tests of the Addition of 4 Weeks of Soleus Stretching to a Regular Dynamic Stretching Routine in Amateur Female Soccer Players
Sports 2023, 11(7), 138; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports11070138 - 19 Jul 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2011
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of 4 weeks of soleus stretching on ankle flexibility and dynamic balance, as well as selected monitoring and performance tests in soccer. Forty-five healthy female soccer players were randomly divided into a regular [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of 4 weeks of soleus stretching on ankle flexibility and dynamic balance, as well as selected monitoring and performance tests in soccer. Forty-five healthy female soccer players were randomly divided into a regular stretching group, a regular stretching group with soleus stretching, and a control group. Dynamic stretching protocols were performed for 4 weeks during three sessions per week as part of routine exercises. The regular group stretched three muscle groups (i.e., gastrocnemius, quadriceps, and hamstrings), while the regular + soleus group also stretched the soleus muscle. Before and after the stretching intervention, the ankle range of motion test, Y-balance test, drop jump test, dynamic knee valgus test, and Illinois Agility Running Test were performed. Ankle ROM, Y-balance, and DJ significantly improved in both intervention groups compared to controls. Only the regular + soleus group showed improvement in the Illinois Agility Running Test. Additionally, athletes performing the additional soleus stretching had greater improvements in ankle ROM and DJ but not in DKV or Y-balance. The results showed that adding soleus stretching into regular protocols can provide benefits for female soccer players in terms of performance parameters. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomechanics and Sports Performances)
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13 pages, 679 KiB  
Review
Salivary Markers Responses in the Post-Exercise and Recovery Period: A Systematic Review
Sports 2023, 11(7), 137; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports11070137 - 18 Jul 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1264
Abstract
The use of saliva to monitor immune and hormonal responses in training, competitions, and during recovery is an easy and non-invasive alternative means of collecting samples compared to serum collection. Saliva can provide insight into a number of interesting biomarkers such as cortisol, [...] Read more.
The use of saliva to monitor immune and hormonal responses in training, competitions, and during recovery is an easy and non-invasive alternative means of collecting samples compared to serum collection. Saliva can provide insight into a number of interesting biomarkers such as cortisol, testosterone, immunoglobulins, alpha-amylase, and melatonin, among others. High-intensity and exhaustive exercises, such as training or competition, provide variations in immune, protein and hormonal markers. An adequate recovery period, calming down, and recovery methods can contribute to a fast normalization of these markers, decreasing illness, as well as the likelihood of overtraining and injuries, but their effectiveness is still inconclusive. The aim of this review was to investigate the evidence of salivary markers in post-exhaustive exercise during the recovery period. This study is a systematic review from three electronic databases with studies from 2011 to 2021 within healthy humans. The search found 213 studies, and after applying the inclusion and exclusion criteria, while excluding duplicated studies, 14 studies were included in this review. The most cited salivary markers were cortisol and testosterone, as well as their ratio, alpha-amylase and IgA. Half of the studies applied a variety of recovery methods that showed controversial results over salivary markers’ impact. However, they showed an impact on the markers from the exercise, which was still dependent on exercise intensity, methodology, and duration. Full article
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11 pages, 263 KiB  
Article
Determination of the Prevalence of Knee and Hip Clinical Osteoarthritis in the Active Professional Male Footballer and Its Association with Pain, Function, Injury and Surgery
Sports 2023, 11(7), 136; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports11070136 - 18 Jul 2023
Viewed by 1295
Abstract
Objective: To comment on and explore (1) the prevalence of clinical knee and hip osteoarthritis (OA); (2) the association between pain or function and clinical knee or hip OA; (3) the association between injury or surgery and clinical knee or hip OA. Methods: [...] Read more.
Objective: To comment on and explore (1) the prevalence of clinical knee and hip osteoarthritis (OA); (2) the association between pain or function and clinical knee or hip OA; (3) the association between injury or surgery and clinical knee or hip OA. Methods: Participants were recruited from FIFPRO members. A total of 101 footballers consented to answer (1) a developed questionnaire, (2) patient-reported outcome measures, and (3) be evaluated by their team physician for clinical knee or hip OA. Results: Of the 53% evaluated for clinical knee and hip OA, a prevalence of 9.43% and 7.55% of knee and hip OA, respectively, was found. There was a significant and strong association between knee (p = 0.033; Cramers v Value = 0.523) and hip pain (p = 0.005; Cramers v Value = 0.602) and clinical OA. A significant association existed between Hip dysfunction and Osteoarthritis Outcome short form Scores and clinical OA of the hip (p = 0.036). The odds of clinical knee OA were 1.5 and 4.5 times more after one or more injuries or surgeries, respectively. There was no association between playing position and clinical OA. Conclusion: There is a low prevalence of a clinical knee or hip OA in the active professional male footballer. Pain may be a valid symptom to predict or monitor knee or hip OA. Validated assessment tools should be utilised to identify a negative effect on function. The odds of developing clinical OA in the knee with the number of injuries or surgeries. The hip presents with earlier clinical signs of OA compared to the knee. Full article
11 pages, 449 KiB  
Article
Translation and Adaptation of the Adult Developmental Coordination Disorder/Dyspraxia Checklist (ADC) into Asian Uzbekistan
Sports 2023, 11(7), 135; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports11070135 - 17 Jul 2023
Viewed by 910
Abstract
Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) is a neurodevelopmental condition that emerges in childhood and its symptoms continue through adulthood. The Adult Developmental Coordination Disorders/Dyspraxia Checklist was the first instrument used to screen adults with possible DCD. The psychometric characteristics of the Uzbek version of [...] Read more.
Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) is a neurodevelopmental condition that emerges in childhood and its symptoms continue through adulthood. The Adult Developmental Coordination Disorders/Dyspraxia Checklist was the first instrument used to screen adults with possible DCD. The psychometric characteristics of the Uzbek version of the scale were explored. An independent translation of the questionnaire from the original version into the Uzbek language was made. The sample comprised 301 Uzbekistan adults, aged between 17 and 42 years old (M = 20.66; SD = 2.26). Analyses were performed using R software (4.1.0). Descriptive analysis, exploratory factor analysis, and evidence of reliability in terms of internal consistency were assessed using the psych package (2.1.6), intraclass correlation coefficients were assessed using the irr package (0.84.1), and weighted Kappa were assessed using vcd package (1.4-10). To analyse the factor structure of the ADC scale, when applied to an Uzbekistan sample, exploratory factor analysis (EFA) was performed. In the Uzbek version, a one-factor structure was identified, and moderated psychometric properties were found, which makes it a possible alternative to the original scale when applied to adults. This Uzbek version reduces respondents’ fatigue since it is smaller than the original one. More studies are needed to confirm the cut-off scores of this new version. Full article
10 pages, 246 KiB  
Article
Injury Prevalence among Young Elite Baseball Players
Sports 2023, 11(7), 134; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports11070134 - 17 Jul 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1160
Abstract
This study aimed to describe the injury profiles of young Korean baseball players according to position and age as the proportion and distribution of injuries based on playing position and age remains unclear. A total of 271 elite youth baseball players aged 8 [...] Read more.
This study aimed to describe the injury profiles of young Korean baseball players according to position and age as the proportion and distribution of injuries based on playing position and age remains unclear. A total of 271 elite youth baseball players aged 8 to 16 years were divided into two groups: elementary school (ES) (n = 135) and middle school (MS) (n = 136). The participants’ basic, baseball practice, and injury information were collected. Injuries in the MS group were not limited to the elbow and shoulder, and injury prevalence varied by age group and baseball position. The most injured body region in the ES group was the elbow joint, regardless of the position. In contrast, the most injured body region in the MS group was the lower back, except for infielders whose elbows were the most injured. Additionally, the MS group was more likely to experience injuries to the lower back (OR = 4.27, 95% CI = 2.47–7.40), shoulder (OR = 1.93, 95% CI = 1.08–3.43; p = 0.024), and knee (OR = 2.15, 95% CI = 1.17–3.94; p = 0.012). Our findings indicate that excessive practice and a lack of rest during MS (growth spurt period) can significantly increase the risk of lower back problems in young baseball players. Full article
16 pages, 680 KiB  
Review
The Participation of Trans Women in Competitive Fencing and Implications on Fairness: A Physiological Perspective Narrative Review
Sports 2023, 11(7), 133; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports11070133 - 17 Jul 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 4380
Abstract
Debate has surrounded whether the participation of trans women in female sporting categories is fair, specifically the retained male physiological advantage due to increased testosterone compared to cisgender females. Recently, individual sporting organisations have been investigating and assessing policies regarding trans women athlete [...] Read more.
Debate has surrounded whether the participation of trans women in female sporting categories is fair, specifically the retained male physiological advantage due to increased testosterone compared to cisgender females. Recently, individual sporting organisations have been investigating and assessing policies regarding trans women athlete participation in female categories, resulting in several banning participation. This review aims to discuss the scientific evidence and provide appropriate guidance for the inclusion of trans women in elite competitive female fencing categories. Fencing is an intermittent sport, where competitions can span 1 to 3 days. The lunge is the most common movement used to attack opponents, where a successful hit relies on the speed of the action. Male puberty induced increased circulating testosterone promotes a greater stature, cardiovascular function, muscle mass, and strength compared to cisgender females, culminating in a ~12–40% sport performance advantage. Elite cisgender male fencers perform significantly higher, ~17–30%, jump heights and leg power measures compared to elite cisgender female fencers, resulting in faster lunges. Trans women receiving androgen-suppression therapy for 12 months showed significant reductions in strength, lean body mass, and muscle surface area, but even after 36 months, the measurements of these three indices remained above those for cisgender females. Previous male muscle mass and strength can be retained through continuation of resistance training. The literature reviewed shows that there is a retained physiological advantage for trans women who have undergone male puberty when participating in the elite competitive female fencing category. A proposed solution of an open or third gender category for elite fencing competition promotes fair competition, while allowing trans women to compete in their chosen sport. Full article
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17 pages, 1858 KiB  
Article
A 6-Week Badminton-Based Movement Intervention Enhances Fundamental Movement Skills and Physical Fitness in Saudi Boys and Girls
Sports 2023, 11(7), 132; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports11070132 - 07 Jul 2023
Viewed by 1547
Abstract
This study examined the short (pre-post) and longer-term (post to 10 weeks post) effects of the Badminton World Federation (BWF) Shuttle Time program on fundamental movement skills (FMS) and physical fitness in Saudi boys and girls. Seventy-six children aged 9–11 years (44 boys, [...] Read more.
This study examined the short (pre-post) and longer-term (post to 10 weeks post) effects of the Badminton World Federation (BWF) Shuttle Time program on fundamental movement skills (FMS) and physical fitness in Saudi boys and girls. Seventy-six children aged 9–11 years (44 boys, 32 girls; mean ± SD = 10.2 ± 0.9 years) undertook twice weekly Shuttle Time sessions for 6 weeks. Pre, post, and 10 weeks post, FMS was measured using the test of gross motor development 3 and physical fitness was measured via 10 m sprint speed, standing long jump, seated medicine ball throw, and a 6 min walk test (6MWT). There were significant improvements in FMS from pre to post (p = 0.0001) and post to 10-weeks post (p = 0.0001) for both boys and girls. Girls demonstrated a significantly greater magnitude of change in FMS. For 10 m sprint time, seated medicine ball throw, standing long jump, and 6MWT performance, both boys and girls significantly improved from pre-10 weeks post (all p = 0.001). The magnitude of change was greater pre to 10-weeks post for girls for the seated medicine ball throw, but was greater for boys for the standing long jump and 6MWT. In terms of practical applications, the BWF Shuttle Time program is feasible for administration in the Saudi context and is beneficial in developing FMS and fitness for Saudi children aged 8–12 years. Full article
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13 pages, 1743 KiB  
Article
Profiling the Physical Performance of Young Boxers with Unsupervised Machine Learning: A Cross-Sectional Study
Sports 2023, 11(7), 131; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports11070131 - 07 Jul 2023
Viewed by 2911
Abstract
Mexico City is the location with the largest number of boxers in Mexico; in fact, it is the first city in the country to open a Technological Baccalaureate in Education and Sports Promotion with a pugilism orientation. This cross-sectional study aimed to determine [...] Read more.
Mexico City is the location with the largest number of boxers in Mexico; in fact, it is the first city in the country to open a Technological Baccalaureate in Education and Sports Promotion with a pugilism orientation. This cross-sectional study aimed to determine the physical–functional profile of applicants for admission to the baccalaureate in sports. A total of 227 young athletes (44F; 183M; 15.65 (1.79) years; 63.66 (14.98) kg; >3 years of boxing experience) participated in this study. Body mass (BM), maximal isometric handgrip (HG) strength, the height of the countermovement jump (CMJ), the velocity of straight boxing punches (PV), and the rear hand punch impact force (PIF) were measured. The young boxers were profiled using unsupervised machine learning algorithms, and the probability of superiority (ρ) was calculated as the effect size of the differences. K-Medoids clustering resulted in two sex-independent significantly different groups: Profile 1 (n = 118) and Profile 2 (n = 109). Except for BM, Profile 2 was statistically higher (p < 0.001) with a clear distinction in terms of superiority on PIF (ρ = 0.118), the PIF-to-BM ratio (ρ = 0.017), the PIF-to-HG ratio (ρ = 0.079) and the PIF-to-BM+HG ratio (ρ = 0.008). In general, strength levels explained most of the data variation; therefore, it is reasonable to recommend the implementation of tests aimed at assessing the levels of isometric and applied strength in boxing gestures. The identification of these physical–functional profiles might help to differentiate training programs during sports specialization of young boxing athletes. Full article
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12 pages, 2150 KiB  
Article
Speed Matters in Nordic Hamstring Exercise: Higher Peak Knee Flexor Force during Fast Stretch-Shortening Variant Compared to Standard Slow Eccentric Execution in Elite Athletes
Sports 2023, 11(7), 130; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports11070130 - 07 Jul 2023
Viewed by 3399
Abstract
Hamstring strain injuries are prevalent in many sports. Research has demonstrated that the Nordic hamstring exercise (NHE), a knee-dominant exercise addressing the posterior chain muscles, can aid in reducing the risk of hamstring injuries in athletes. However, most research on hamstring injury prevention [...] Read more.
Hamstring strain injuries are prevalent in many sports. Research has demonstrated that the Nordic hamstring exercise (NHE), a knee-dominant exercise addressing the posterior chain muscles, can aid in reducing the risk of hamstring injuries in athletes. However, most research on hamstring injury prevention has focused on performing the eccentric version of the NHE (NHEECC). In contrast, in sports, it is quite frequent for athletes to use an eccentric–concentric version of the NHE. Additionally, eccentric NHE is typically performed using a slow, controlled tempo. The effect of a fast stretch-shortening cycle NHE (NHESSC) compared to standard slow NHEECC on peak knee flexor force has not been investigated. The aim of the study was therefore to investigate fast NHESSC vs. standard slow NHEECC. Our hypothesis posited that peak knee flexor force would be greater for fast NHESSC compared with standard slow NHEECC. The study involved 22 elite athletes (actively competing in both national and international events) consisting of female (n = 10) and male (n = 7) track and field athletes and male football players (n = 5), aged 17–31 years. The participants performed maximum trials of slow NHEECC and fast NHESSC repetitions in which measurement of bilateral peak knee flexor force was conducted at the ankle with the use of a load cell. During the NHEs, a linear encoder was used to measure both the position where the peak knee flexor force was recorded and the average eccentric velocity. SSC contributed to an enhanced NHE performance, where bilateral absolute peak knee flexor force was 13% higher for fast NHESSC vs. standard slow NHEECC (822 vs. 726 N, p < 0.01, ES = 0.54). Participants achieved a 32% greater forward distance at the breakpoint stage during NHEECC compared to the coupling phase for NHESSC (54 vs. 41 cm, p < 0.001, ES = 1.37). Eccentric average velocity was more than three times higher for NHESSC compared with NHEECC (0.38 vs. 0.12 m/s, p < 0.001, ES = 3.25). The key findings of this study were that SSC contributed to an enhanced NHE performance, where absolute peak knee flexor force was 13% greater for fast NHESSC compared to standard slow NHEECC. The fast NHESSC could therefore be an interesting alternative to the standard slow NHEECC execution, as it may offer potential advantages for sprint performance, as well as hamstring injury prevention and rehabilitation. Full article
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10 pages, 259 KiB  
Article
Star Excursion Balance Test as a Predictor of Musculoskeletal Injury and Lower Back Pain in Non-Professional Soccer Players
Sports 2023, 11(7), 129; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports11070129 - 06 Jul 2023
Viewed by 1313
Abstract
Soccer is a sport with worldwide popularity but has a substantial risk of injury. Clinical screening tools are an important factor in strategies of injury prevention. The purpose of the study was to examine the relationship between the Star Excursion Balance Test (SEBT) [...] Read more.
Soccer is a sport with worldwide popularity but has a substantial risk of injury. Clinical screening tools are an important factor in strategies of injury prevention. The purpose of the study was to examine the relationship between the Star Excursion Balance Test (SEBT) and injury and lower back pain (LBP) in amateur soccer players. The research was performed as a longitudinal cohort study on 42 amateur male soccer players with 15.8 ± 6.6 years of soccer playing (age: 25.5 ± 6 years). Participants were surveyed with regard to their soccer playing, injuries, and LBP, and the SEBT was performed. They were followed for 3.5 months. At the follow-up, an additional set of data regarding injuries and LBP was gathered. Significant differences were found in all directions and in the composite score of the SEBT between uninjured and injured players. Shorter distance in all directions and a lower composite score were associated with injury in general. Shorter distances in all but the anterior direction and a lower composite score were associated with lower extremity injury, and shorter anterior distance was associated with LBP. Amateur soccer players with lower SEBT scores are more prone to injuries in general, as well as injuries of the lower extremities. SEBT presents as a useful clinical screening tool in identifying amateur soccer players at risk of injury. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sports Injury: Prevention and Rehabilitation)
16 pages, 281 KiB  
Article
Dropping Out or Continuing Playing—A Case Study of Adolescent’s Motives for Participation in Football
Sports 2023, 11(7), 128; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports11070128 - 03 Jul 2023
Viewed by 1749
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to investigate dropout and continuation motives among boys in youth football. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with all players from a former football team, consisting of 13 young people who were 17 years old when the in-depth interviews [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study was to investigate dropout and continuation motives among boys in youth football. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with all players from a former football team, consisting of 13 young people who were 17 years old when the in-depth interviews were conducted. Short interviews with the same players five years earlier (at the age of 12) were also included as part of the data. This strategy was used to gain a longitudinal perspective and a better insight into the participants’ experience of organized football. Including in-depth data from all players at a football team—both players that dropped out and continued playing football, and also including some short interviews data from a longitudinal perspective, this study bring new findings into the discussion about sport participation. When the in-depth interviews were conducted, six of the participants had dropped out of football, while seven were still active. The results show that social factors, ambition, other interests and differences in skill and physical development, were all reasons for dropout from this team. Among those who continued playing football, the social aspect of football, their love for the sport, competitive instinct and the training benefits the sport provided, were reasons they continued playing. Furthermore, the findings showed that those who reported the lowest ambitions at the age of twelve, had dropped out of football, while the one with the highest ambitions had continued playing football. Our findings indicate that ambition can be a crucial factor in relation to participation in football, and also that the social aspect of football is an important motivational factor that coaches and parents should be aware of. Full article
22 pages, 4228 KiB  
Article
Time Course of Performance Indexes, Oxidative Stress, Inflammation, and Muscle Damage Markers after a Female Futsal Match
Sports 2023, 11(7), 127; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports11070127 - 29 Jun 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1135
Abstract
Background: Our aims were to investigate the time-course effects of a futsal match on performance, oxidative stress, and muscle damage markers, as well as inflammatory and antioxidant responses during a 6-day post-match period. Methods: Thirty-four female high-level futsal players were assessed on several [...] Read more.
Background: Our aims were to investigate the time-course effects of a futsal match on performance, oxidative stress, and muscle damage markers, as well as inflammatory and antioxidant responses during a 6-day post-match period. Methods: Thirty-four female high-level futsal players were assessed on several oxidative stress, inflammation, subjective muscle soreness, subjective rate perceived exertion, and performance tests before a futsal match, immediately after, and 24 h to 144 h after. Results: Counter movement jump, 20 m, and 10 m sprints performance significantly decreased immediately after the match (p < 0.05) and returned to baseline 72 h post-match (p > 0.05). Delayed onset muscle soreness peaked 24 h post-match and rate perceived exertion peaked post-match (p < 0.05) and returned to baseline 96 h post-match (p > 0.05). Inflammatory biomarkers peaked at 24 h (p < 0.05) and remained significantly elevated for 72 h after the match (p < 0.05). Muscle damage biomarkers peaked at 24 h (p < 0.05) and remained significantly (p < 0.05) elevated for at least 72 h after the match. Oxidative stress markers peaked at 24 h–48 h (p < 0.05) and returned to baseline 120 h post-match (p > 0.05). In respect to antioxidant responses, these peaked at 24 h–48 h post-match (p < 0.05) and returned to baseline 120 h after the match (p > 0.05). Conclusions: A single futsal match induces short/mid-term changes in performance, inflammation, oxidative stress, and muscle damage markers for about 72 h–96 h post-match. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Monitoring Load, Recovery, and Performance in Soccer Players)
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12 pages, 582 KiB  
Brief Report
Association between Pain and Frequent Physical Exercise among Adults in the United States: A Cross-Sectional Database Study
Sports 2023, 11(7), 126; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports11070126 - 29 Jun 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 943
Abstract
Pain affects over 20% of United States adults, and less than 50% of United States adults participate in frequent physical exercise. This cross-sectional database study included 13,758 United States adults aged >18 years from the 2020 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS) and analyzed [...] Read more.
Pain affects over 20% of United States adults, and less than 50% of United States adults participate in frequent physical exercise. This cross-sectional database study included 13,758 United States adults aged >18 years from the 2020 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS) and analyzed the association between severity of pain (independent variable) and frequent physical exercise (dependent variable), adjusting for demographic, economic, limitation, and health variables using multivariable logistic regression. The study showed 50.3% of adults report frequently exercising. Only 37.1% of adults reported experiencing pain of any degree, with a majority of them experiencing little pain. In the adjusted model, extreme pain vs. none, quite a bit of pain vs. none, Hispanic vs. non-Hispanic ethnicity, having a functional limitation vs. no limitation, and being overweight/obese vs. not being obese/overweight were associated with lower odds of reporting doing frequent physical exercise. Meanwhile, being ≥65 or 40–64 vs. 18–39 years of age, male vs. female, white vs. not white race, private or public vs. no health coverage, and good vs. poor general health were associated with greater odds of reporting doing frequent physical exercise. These variables associated with frequent physical exercise should be considered in future work when designing health interventions. Full article
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12 pages, 1622 KiB  
Article
Velocity-Based Strength Training: The Validity and Personal Monitoring of Barbell Velocity with the Apple Watch
Sports 2023, 11(7), 125; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports11070125 - 23 Jun 2023
Viewed by 3544
Abstract
Velocity-based training (VBT) is a method to monitor resistance training based on measured kinematics. Often, measurement devices are too expensive for non-professional use. The purpose of this study was to determine the accuracy and precision of the Apple Watch 7 and the Enode [...] Read more.
Velocity-based training (VBT) is a method to monitor resistance training based on measured kinematics. Often, measurement devices are too expensive for non-professional use. The purpose of this study was to determine the accuracy and precision of the Apple Watch 7 and the Enode Pro device for measuring mean, peak, and propulsive velocity during the free-weighted back squat (in comparison to Vicon as the criterion). Velocity parameters from Vicon optical motion capture and the Apple Watch were derived by processing the motion data in an automated Python workflow. For the mean velocity, the barbell-mounted Apple Watch (r = 0.971–0.979, SEE = 0.049), wrist-worn Apple Watch (r = 0.952–0.965, SEE = 0.064) and barbell-mounted Enode Pro (r = 0.959–0.971, SEE = 0.059) showed an equal level of validity. The barbell-mounted Apple Watch (Vpeak: r = 0.952–0.965, SEE = 0.092; Vprop: r = 0.973–0.981, SEE = 0.05) was found to be the most valid for assessing propulsive and peak lifting velocity. The present results on the validity of the Apple Watch are very promising, and may pave the way for the inclusion of VBT applications in mainstream consumer wearables. Full article
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11 pages, 269 KiB  
Article
Effects of Flywheel vs. Free-Weight Squats and Split Squats on Jumping Performance and Change of Direction Speed in Soccer Players
Sports 2023, 11(7), 124; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports11070124 - 23 Jun 2023
Viewed by 1712
Abstract
The objective of this study was to compare (i) The effects of a flywheel and free-weight resistance training program; and (ii) The effects of performing lateral and frontal split squats as part of a flywheel-resistance training program on jumping performance, the 5–0–5 change [...] Read more.
The objective of this study was to compare (i) The effects of a flywheel and free-weight resistance training program; and (ii) The effects of performing lateral and frontal split squats as part of a flywheel-resistance training program on jumping performance, the 5–0–5 change of direction test time, and the one-repetition maximum (1RM) back squat in soccer players. Twenty-four male amateur soccer players participated in this study and were randomly and equally assigned to one of three different test groups: forward split-squat group (FSQ); lateral split-squat group (LSQ); and free-weight training group (TRAD). Athletes in the FSQ group performed a squat and a forward split squat on a flywheel device, while those in the LSQ group performed a squat and a lateral split squat (instead of a forward split squat) on a flywheel device. Each training lasted 4 weeks. The main finding was that all training groups, such as TRAD, FSQ, and LSQ, significantly improved broad jump length (p = 0.001; effect size [ES] = 0.36), 5–0–5 COD time with a turn on the dominant limb (p = 0.038; ES = 0.49), and 1RM back squat (p = 0.001; ES = 0.4). In turn, both flywheel-resistance training groups (FSQ and LSQ) significantly improved their counter-movement jump height (p = 0.001; ES = 0.8 and p = 0.002; ES = 0.58; respectively) with no effect in the TRAD (p = 0.676; ES = 0.07) training group. Both free-weight and flywheel-resistance training lasting 4 weeks performed in-season contributed to significant improvement in 1RM back squat, broad jump performance, and 5–0–5 change of direction testing time, while flywheel-resistance training might be superior in counter-movement jump height enhancement in soccer players. Moreover, the manner in which split squats were performed was not a factor influencing the obtained results. Full article
13 pages, 271 KiB  
Article
Expert Opinions about Barriers and Facilitators to Physical Activity Participation in Ghanaian Adults with Type 2 Diabetes: A Qualitative Descriptive Study
Sports 2023, 11(7), 123; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports11070123 - 21 Jun 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1111
Abstract
Most adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) do not meet their physical activity (PA) goals despite its importance in improving their health outcomes. Our study aim was to explore the opinions of healthcare professionals regarding barriers and facilitators to PA participation in [...] Read more.
Most adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) do not meet their physical activity (PA) goals despite its importance in improving their health outcomes. Our study aim was to explore the opinions of healthcare professionals regarding barriers and facilitators to PA participation in Ghanaian adults with T2DM. Using qualitative descriptive design, data were collected through semi-structured interviews with 13 healthcare professionals experienced in diabetes management in Ghana. Three main themes relating to PA barriers and facilitators were identified in a thematic analysis: health system-related factors, healthcare practitioner factors, and patient factors. Inadequate accessibility to physical therapists and therapy centres hindered the provision of PA programs. Nurses and doctors lacked sufficient knowledge and training on effective PA interventions for individuals with T2DM. Time constraints during patient consultations limited discussions on PA, while the cost associated with accessing physical therapy posed a significant challenge. Patients often disregarded PA advice from physical therapists due to their reliance on doctors, and some perceived PA as irrelevant for diabetes treatment. Despite these barriers, healthcare professionals expressed belief in PA facilitators, including integrating physical therapists and diabetes educators into diabetes care, providing structured exercise resources, improving curriculum planning to emphasise PA in health science education, and addressing knowledge gaps and misconceptions. Overall, this study highlights patient-related and healthcare system-related factors that influence PA behaviour in Ghanaian adults with T2DM. Findings from this study should inform the development of tailored PA programs for this population. Full article
13 pages, 1658 KiB  
Article
Social and Individual Factors Associated with Eating Disorders in Young Athletes: Effects on Concentration and Fatigue
Sports 2023, 11(7), 122; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports11070122 - 21 Jun 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1679
Abstract
Eating disorders are a growing societal problem, especially among young people. This study aims to determine the individual and social factors that support and perpetuate the risk of eating disorders (ED) and their possible consequences on an individual’s athletic and academic performances. The [...] Read more.
Eating disorders are a growing societal problem, especially among young people. This study aims to determine the individual and social factors that support and perpetuate the risk of eating disorders (ED) and their possible consequences on an individual’s athletic and academic performances. The sample consisted of 395 athletes between 12 and 16 years of age (M = 14.07; SD = 1.35), of whom 142 (35.9%) were female, and 253 (64.1%) were male. A questionnaire was administered to collect information on sociodemographic data, body image, use of social networks, social relationships, sports practice, risk of developing ED, and academic and sports performance. In the resulting analysis, an initial cross-tabulation was carried out to observe the body distortion of the respondents as a function of BMI, followed by a linear regression to analyze the factors influencing the risk of suffering from ED. In addition, correlations were made to determine the relationship between the risk of manifesting ED and academic and sports performance. The main results show that 77.7% of the young athletes present a risk of ED (M = 13.3; DT = 3.33) due to a high body image distortion, which becomes the determining factor. In addition, relationships with family and friends have a significant influence on this. On the other hand, behaviors related with eating disorders affect concentration (r = −0.122; p = 0.01) and fatigue (r = −0.376; p < 0.01). For all these reasons, generating and promoting prevention and early detection guidelines during adolescence is necessary. Full article
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