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Sports, Volume 12, Issue 5 (May 2024) – 24 articles

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10 pages, 1532 KiB  
Article
Does Total Playing Time Affect the Neuromuscular, Physiological, and Subjective Recovery of Futsal Players during a Congested Period?
by Konstantinos Spyrou, María L. Pérez Armendáriz, Pedro E. Alcaraz, Rubén Herrero Carrasco, M. A. Sajith Udayanga and Tomás T. Freitas
Sports 2024, 12(5), 139; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports12050139 - 20 May 2024
Viewed by 436
Abstract
The aims of this study were to analyze the effects of a congested period (three games in four days) on countermovement (CMJ) jump-landing metrics, heart rate variability (HRV), and total recovery quality (TQR) score in under-19 male futsal players, and to detect the [...] Read more.
The aims of this study were to analyze the effects of a congested period (three games in four days) on countermovement (CMJ) jump-landing metrics, heart rate variability (HRV), and total recovery quality (TQR) score in under-19 male futsal players, and to detect the differences between those who played for more minutes (HIGHMIN) and less minutes (LOWMIN). Fourteen youth futsal players (age: 17.5 ± 0.5 years; body mass: 70.2 ± 8.5 kg; height: 1.80 ± 0.1 m) participated. HRV, TQR questionnaire, and CMJ metrics (i.e., CMJ height, relative peak power (PPREL), eccentric and concentric impulse, braking time, and time to peak force) were registered. A linear mixed model and effect sizes (ESs) were used to assess the differences between groups and days. Considering the total sample, a significant decrease was found in the PPREL and TQR score (p = 0.001–0.013 and ES = 0.28–0.99) on Days 2, 3, and 4 when compared to Day 1. HIGHMIN group presented a significant decrease in PPREL on Day 3 (p = 0.004; ES: 0.62; 95% CI: 0.39–2.65) when compared to Day 1, and in the TRQ score on Day 3 (p = 0.002; ES: 1.98; 95% CI: 0.18–2.46) and 4 (p = 0.003; ES: 2.25; 95% CI: 0.52–3.38) when compared to Day 1. Non-significant differences were found for the rest of the metrics and in the group LOWMIN. In summary, neuromuscular performance (i.e., CMJ PPREL) and subjective recovery were impaired in players with higher playing minutes during a match-congested period when compared to those with less on-court time. Full article
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18 pages, 918 KiB  
Article
Enjoyment and Affective Responses to Moderate and High-Intensity Exercise: A Randomized Controlled Trial in Individuals with Subsyndromal PTSD
by Daniel R. Greene, Angelia M. Holland-Winkler and Steven J. Petruzzello
Sports 2024, 12(5), 138; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports12050138 - 20 May 2024
Viewed by 396
Abstract
This crossover randomized controlled trial examined the acute psychological effects of a bout of moderate-intensity continuous aerobic exercise (MICE) and a bout of high-intensity functional exercise (HIFE), relative to a no-exercise sedentary control (SED), in participants (N = 21; 15 f; 24.7 ± [...] Read more.
This crossover randomized controlled trial examined the acute psychological effects of a bout of moderate-intensity continuous aerobic exercise (MICE) and a bout of high-intensity functional exercise (HIFE), relative to a no-exercise sedentary control (SED), in participants (N = 21; 15 f; 24.7 ± 9.3 years) with subsyndromal post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Affective state (Energy, Tiredness, Tension, Calmness) was assessed before (Pre), immediately after (Post 0), 20-min after (Post 20), and 40-min after (Post 40) each condition. Affective valence was assessed during each condition, and exercise enjoyment was assessed at Post 0. Enjoyment was significantly greater following HIFE and MICE relative to SED. Energy was significantly increased Post 0 HIFE and MICE but decreased Post 0 SED. Tension was reduced following all conditions and was significantly lower at Post 40 relative to Pre for HIFE, MICE, and SED. Tiredness was significantly reduced at Post 40 relative to Pre following MICE only, while Calmness was significantly lower at Post 40 relative to Pre following MICE and SED. Overall, both exercise conditions were enjoyed to a greater extent than the control, but MICE may provide greater psychological benefits with respect to Calmness and Tiredness. This study is among the first to assess acute changes in affective states relative to various exercise modes in individuals living with subsyndromal PTSD. Full article
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13 pages, 4459 KiB  
Article
Study of Body Composition and Motor Skills of Futsal Athletes of Different Competitive Levels
by João Belo, João Valente-dos-Santos, João R. Pereira, Pedro Duarte-Mendes, José M. Gamonales and Rui Paulo
Sports 2024, 12(5), 137; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports12050137 - 20 May 2024
Viewed by 412
Abstract
This study aimed to verify whether there are differences in the body composition, functionality, lower-limb power, agility, and cardiorespiratory capacity in futsal players, comparing futsal athletes by competitive level. The athletes (N = 84) were divided into three groups: group Elite (N = [...] Read more.
This study aimed to verify whether there are differences in the body composition, functionality, lower-limb power, agility, and cardiorespiratory capacity in futsal players, comparing futsal athletes by competitive level. The athletes (N = 84) were divided into three groups: group Elite (N = 29), group Sub-Elite (N = 29), and group Non-Elite (N = 26). Anthropometric variables were analyzed through a bioimpedance scale (Inbody 270), and functionality was analyzed through a functional movement screen battery. The power of the lower limbs was tested with the Abalakov jump, the agility with the zigzag agility test, and the cardiorespiratory capacity through the futsal intermittent endurance test. Anthropometric data from futsal athletes revealed a homogeneity in relation to the variables analyzed, regardless of the level of competition in which they operate. In performance variables, the power of the members and functionality was considered a discriminating factor of the level of competitiveness of the athletes, with the Elite group athletes presenting the best values. We concluded that there were no differences in relation to the body composition of the athletes. However, the athletes of higher levels, as a rule, present better performances in physiological aspects, results that can be explained by the fact that there is a better periodization in terms of training, with more intense loads and more complex competitive calendars, thus resulting in a greater specialization of these athletes. Full article
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4 pages, 147 KiB  
Conference Report
16th European Network of Sport Education Forum
by Louis Moustakas and Antonio Tessitore
Sports 2024, 12(5), 136; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports12050136 - 18 May 2024
Viewed by 201
Abstract
The 16th European Network of Sport Education (ENSE) Forum was held in Rome, Italy at the University of Rome ‘Foro Italico’ on 21 and 22 September 2023. The Forum was organised under the theme Sport Education for Sustainable Development: The Euro-Med Perspective and [...] Read more.
The 16th European Network of Sport Education (ENSE) Forum was held in Rome, Italy at the University of Rome ‘Foro Italico’ on 21 and 22 September 2023. The Forum was organised under the theme Sport Education for Sustainable Development: The Euro-Med Perspective and featured presentations and input from over 40 researchers, officials and policymakers. In this report, we highlight the key themes addressed at the Forum and highlight some of the notable contributions at the event. Full article
9 pages, 254 KiB  
Article
Lower-Body Power, Body Composition, Speed, and Agility Performance among Youth Soccer Players
by Cíntia França, Élvio Rúbio Gouveia, Francisco Martins, Andreas Ihle, Ricardo Henriques, Adilson Marques, Hugo Sarmento, Krzysztof Przednowek and Helder Lopes
Sports 2024, 12(5), 135; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports12050135 - 16 May 2024
Viewed by 408
Abstract
Speed and agility have been described as crucial abilities for soccer players. The purpose of this study was to analyze, in detail, the variance in speed and agility tasks explained by lower-body power after controlling for age and body composition. The participants were [...] Read more.
Speed and agility have been described as crucial abilities for soccer players. The purpose of this study was to analyze, in detail, the variance in speed and agility tasks explained by lower-body power after controlling for age and body composition. The participants were 96 male soccer players aged 16.1 ± 1.6 years. Body composition (stature, body fat percentage—BF%, body mass, and fat-free mass—FFM), lower-body power (countermovement jump—CMJ, and squat jump—SJ), speed (5-, 10-, and 35 m sprints), and agility (t-test) were assessed. Among body composition parameters, BF% presented the highest number of significant relationships with speed and agility, with the strength of correlations ranging from small (5 m sprint, r = 0.25) to large (35 m sprint, r = 0.52). The strongest correlation coefficient emerged between FFM and the 35 m sprint (r = −0.65). Significant correlations were found between vertical jump performance and the 35 m sprint (CMJ: r = −0.68; SJ: r = −0.69), followed by the t-test (CMJ: r = −0.35; SJ: r = −0.47). The hierarchical multiple regression model could explain 22% to 67% of the variance observed in agility scores and speed. BF% remained the most statistically significant negative predictor of all regression models. The CMJ remained a statistically significant positive predictor of the 35 m sprint (β = −0.581, p ≤ 0.01) after controlling for age and body composition. Integrating programs targeting lower-body power might be important to enhance speed and agility performance in youth soccer. On the other hand, future research based on multidisciplinary approaches to investigate the effects of nutritional strategies in reducing or preventing gains in BF% is still needed, which remained a significant predictor of sprint and agility performance in the final models. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sport Physiology and Physical Performance)
16 pages, 4672 KiB  
Review
If You Want to Prevent Hamstring Injuries in Soccer, Run Fast: A Narrative Review about Practical Considerations of Sprint Training
by Pedro Gómez-Piqueras and Pedro E. Alcaraz
Sports 2024, 12(5), 134; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports12050134 - 15 May 2024
Viewed by 2247
Abstract
Hamstring strain injuries (HSIs) are one of the most common injuries in sprint-based sports. In soccer, the ability to sprint is key, not only because of its relation to performance but also due to its possible protective effect against HSIs. Although many authors [...] Read more.
Hamstring strain injuries (HSIs) are one of the most common injuries in sprint-based sports. In soccer, the ability to sprint is key, not only because of its relation to performance but also due to its possible protective effect against HSIs. Although many authors have focused on the “how”, “when”, and “what” training load should be implemented, there is a lack of practical proposals for sprint training in a high-level professional environment. The objective of this narrative review is, after a deep review of the scientific literature, to present a practical approach for sprint training, trying to answer some of the questions that most strength and conditioning coaches ask themselves when including it in soccer. Once the literature published on this topic was reviewed and combined with the practical experience of the authors, it was concluded that sprint training in soccer, although it presents an obvious need, is not something about which there is methodological unanimity. However, following the practical recommendations from this narrative review, strength and conditioning coaches can have a reference model that serves as a starting point for optimal management of the internal and external training load when they wish to introduce sprint training in the competitive microcycle in professional soccer players, with the aim of reducing HSIs. Full article
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9 pages, 471 KiB  
Article
Physical and Physiological Demands of Amateur Portuguese Field and Assistant Football Referees
by Ricardo Gomes, Rodrigo Mendes, Amaro Ferreira, Rui Mendes, Gonçalo Dias and Fernando Martins
Sports 2024, 12(5), 133; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports12050133 - 14 May 2024
Viewed by 835
Abstract
Referees are crucial elements in football, and they must meet the physical and physiological demands each match poses to them. The aim is to analyse the physical and physiological demands of amateur referees in games at the regional level (4th division), examining the [...] Read more.
Referees are crucial elements in football, and they must meet the physical and physiological demands each match poses to them. The aim is to analyse the physical and physiological demands of amateur referees in games at the regional level (4th division), examining the differences between the first and second halves and between assistant (age: 25.10 ± 4.97) and main referees (age: 25.65 ± 5.12). A total of 29 matches were analysed with GPS devices, and internal and external load metrics were analysed. Overall, main referees, due to their central role in game management, showed higher levels of physical and physiological load than assistant referees, with more high-intensity activities, greater distance covered and higher heart rate. The results also revealed that there were no differences between the halves for total distance covered for either the main or assistant referees. However, the main referees covered a greater distance in high-intensity running during the first half (p = 0.05; d = 0.389). These findings emphasise the importance of tailored training protocols to enhance performance and reduce fatigue-related errors, highlighting the significance of endurance, high-intensity running ability, and strategies to manage transient fatigue in referee preparation. Full article
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19 pages, 2647 KiB  
Systematic Review
Effects of Myofascial Release Techniques on Joint Range of Motion of Athletes: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials
by Bogdan Alexandru Antohe, Osama Alshana, Hüseyin Şahin Uysal, Marinela Rață, George Sebastian Iacob and Elena Adelina Panaet
Sports 2024, 12(5), 132; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports12050132 - 14 May 2024
Viewed by 1069
Abstract
Although myofascial release techniques (MRTs) are commonly used to improve athletes’ range of motion (ROM), the effectiveness of MRTs may vary depending on the specific method performed. This systematic review and meta-analysis aimed to evaluate the effects of MRTs on the ROM performance [...] Read more.
Although myofascial release techniques (MRTs) are commonly used to improve athletes’ range of motion (ROM), the effectiveness of MRTs may vary depending on the specific method performed. This systematic review and meta-analysis aimed to evaluate the effects of MRTs on the ROM performance of athletes. (2) Methods: The electronic databases of Cochrane Library, PubMed, Scopus, and Web of Science were searched to identify relevant articles published up to June 2023. This study utilized the PRISMA guidelines, and four databases were searched. The methodological quality of the studies was assessed using the PEDro scale, and the certainty of evidence was reported using the GRADE scale. The overall effect size was calculated using the robust variance estimator, and subgroup analyses were conducted using the Hotelling Zhang test. (3) Ten studies met the inclusion criteria. The overall effect size results indicated that the myofascial release intervention had a moderate effect on ROM performance in athletes when compared to the active or passive control groups. (4) Conclusions: Alternative MRTs, such as myofascial trigger point therapy, can further improve the ROM performance of athletes. Gender, duration of intervention, and joint type may have a moderating effect on the effectiveness of MRTs. Full article
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12 pages, 1205 KiB  
Article
Combined Effects of Listening to Preferred Music and Video Feedback, during Warm-Up, on Physical Performance in Young Kickboxers
by Manar Boujabli, Nidhal Jebabli, Faten Sahli, Hajer Sahli, Makram Zghibi and Roland van den Tillaar
Sports 2024, 12(5), 131; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports12050131 - 14 May 2024
Viewed by 389
Abstract
Although studies have indicated that the prior use of video feedback and music listening separately improves physical performance and positive feelings in various sports, to our knowledge, no studies have investigated their combined effect in combat-sports-specific tasks. The aim of this study was [...] Read more.
Although studies have indicated that the prior use of video feedback and music listening separately improves physical performance and positive feelings in various sports, to our knowledge, no studies have investigated their combined effect in combat-sports-specific tasks. The aim of this study was to determine the combined effect of listening to preferred music and video feedback on aerobic and anaerobic performance in male kickboxers. In a counterbalanced crossover study design, twenty kickboxers underwent three kicking exercises under one of three conditions: (1) control condition, (2) combined listening to preferred music and video feedback, and (3) video feedback during 10-min of rope warm-up. Kickboxers performed a ten-second kicking test, multiple ten-second kick test, and progressive taekwondo test. The total number of kicks, fatigue index, heart rate, rate of perceived exertion, and feeling scale were measured. The combined music and video feedback condition improved the number of kicks with a better positive feeling scale (F ≥ 7.4, p ≤ 0.002, ηp2 ≥ 0.28) than the video feedback and control conditions in all three kicking exercises, while the video feedback alone led to better kick performances and a better feeling scale than the control condition in the ten-second and multiple ten-second kicking tests (p ≤ 0.016). The combined listening to preferred music and video feedback condition was more effective at enhancing the positive feeling scale and repeated roundhouse kick performance. Future investigations should examine the application of video feedback and listening to music in various kickboxing tasks including punches and kicks. Full article
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11 pages, 563 KiB  
Article
Assessing the Impact of Fencing on Postural Parameters: Observational Study Findings on Elite Athletes
by Giulia Di Martino, Marco Centorbi, Andrea Buonsenso, Giovanni Fiorilli, Carlo della Valle, Enzo Iuliano, Giuseppe Calcagno and Alessandra di Cagno
Sports 2024, 12(5), 130; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports12050130 - 13 May 2024
Viewed by 376
Abstract
The aim of the study was to evaluate whether the static stabilometric parameters among elite fencers, were affected by prolonged, asymmetric training regimen. A sample of 26 elite fencers of both genders, aged 19.15 ± 2.24 years, practising one of the three disciplines [...] Read more.
The aim of the study was to evaluate whether the static stabilometric parameters among elite fencers, were affected by prolonged, asymmetric training regimen. A sample of 26 elite fencers of both genders, aged 19.15 ± 2.24 years, practising one of the three disciplines foil, épée, or sabre, was recruited for the study. Anthropometric measurements including thigh and calf circumferences and postural assessment based on the weight distribution on a stabilimeter platform were performed. Postural tone, as indicated by measures such as sway length and sway area ratio was calculated.. No notable anthropometric asymmetries were detected within the examined group The weight distribution patterns on the support quadrants in static stabilometric measurements did not suggest clinically significant issues. There were no significant differences among subgroups based on gender and lower limb dominance for both anthropometric and stabilimeter variables. However, 30.8% of participants showed anomalies in postural tone (hypertonic and hypotonic condition). Five out of eight athletes found with abnormal postural tone were foil fencers, suggesting a potential discipline-specific effect. Individual adjustments were found in foil fencers. These findings provide insights into the potential effects of fencing training on postural parameters among elite athletes. Full article
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10 pages, 360 KiB  
Article
Italian Canyoning Guides: Physiological Profile and Cardiometabolic Demand during Rope Activities
by Tommaso Di Libero, Lavinia Falese, Stefano Corrado, Beatrice Tosti, Pierluigi Diotaiuti and Angelo Rodio
Sports 2024, 12(5), 129; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports12050129 - 13 May 2024
Viewed by 340
Abstract
Canyoning activities require physical effort, highlighting the importance of maintaining a proper physical fitness. Canyoning guides emerge as key figures, not only to ensure safety during the experience but also to handle unforeseen situations promptly. This study aims to assess the physiological profile [...] Read more.
Canyoning activities require physical effort, highlighting the importance of maintaining a proper physical fitness. Canyoning guides emerge as key figures, not only to ensure safety during the experience but also to handle unforeseen situations promptly. This study aims to assess the physiological profile of canyoning guides and the cardiorespiratory demands experienced during rope activities by means of oxygen uptake and heart rate measurements. Seventeen canyoning guides (42.6 y ± 10.78; BMI of 24.0 kg/m2 ± 2.95) carried out coordinative and conditional tests. The participants showed good values in strength tests (27.3 cm ± 5.97 and 23.3 rep ± 8.06 in SJ and PUp tests, respectively), while the flexibility of males and females was below and well above the average, respectively. A noteworthy result was observed in the reaction test, in which a better performance was recorded with the non-dominant hand (168.1 ms vs. 202.0 ms). All subjects exhibited a low aerobic capacity by means of an RD test (10.6 ua ± 6.62). During rope activities and emergency/support simulations, metabolic and cardiovascular data indicated that a moderate/high effort was exerted, confirmed by an oxidative stress analysis. In conclusion, this study demonstrated how canyoning guides face significant physical requirements, but their physiological profile regarding aerobic power was not appropriate. Therefore, these findings could offer valuable insights into the development of specific training to ensure an appropriate aerobic fitness to perform canyoning safely. Full article
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14 pages, 1122 KiB  
Article
Feeling the Stress: Salivary Cortisol Responses of Softball Umpires during National Championships
by Ronald J. Houison, Andrea Lamont-Mills, Michael Kotiw and Peter C. Terry
Sports 2024, 12(5), 128; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports12050128 - 9 May 2024
Viewed by 526
Abstract
Stress research in sports tends to focus on athletes, with sports officials typically being overlooked. In the current study, baseline, pre-game, and post-game cortisol levels among a sample of softball umpires were measured to assess the pattern of stress responses and determine if [...] Read more.
Stress research in sports tends to focus on athletes, with sports officials typically being overlooked. In the current study, baseline, pre-game, and post-game cortisol levels among a sample of softball umpires were measured to assess the pattern of stress responses and determine if umpire performance (pass/fail) and position on the diamond (plate/field) could be predicted from cortisol levels. Nine male and four female participants aged 25–68 years (N = 13, M = 47.06 ± 15.65 years) each provided saliva samples on multiple occasions prior to and after officiating games at two Australian National Softball Championships. Data from 65 games were analysed. Performance was assessed using Softball Australia’s official umpire assessment tool. Cortisol levels increased significantly from baseline to pre-game (p < 0.001, d = −0.69) and declined significantly from pre-game to post-game (p < 0.001, d = 0.47). Umpiring performances were correctly classified as pass or fail from baseline and pre-game cortisol levels in 61.5% of cases and umpire position on the diamond from pre-game cortisol in 63.1% of cases. Findings suggest that stress management strategies should be recommended to softball umpires for performance enhancement and to safeguard their mental health. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Sport Psychology)
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11 pages, 250 KiB  
Article
Generalizability Theory in the Evaluation of Psychological Profile in Track and Field
by Cristina Sanz-Fernández, Verónica Morales-Sánchez, Julen Castellano and Antonio Hernández Mendo
Sports 2024, 12(5), 127; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports12050127 - 4 May 2024
Viewed by 884
Abstract
Generalizability theory (GT) has been used throughout the scientific literature to ensure validity, reliability, and generalizability in different sport contexts. However, there is a small number of studies examining the measurement of psychological profiles in sport from this perspective. Therefore, this study’s main [...] Read more.
Generalizability theory (GT) has been used throughout the scientific literature to ensure validity, reliability, and generalizability in different sport contexts. However, there is a small number of studies examining the measurement of psychological profiles in sport from this perspective. Therefore, this study’s main goal is the sources of variability and the optimal measurement design estimation for a good assessment of the psychological profile in track and field. The sample consisted of 470 participants (age: Average= 32.1; Standar Desviation = 13.5). The analysis of variance and generalizability component analysis has been performed in order to test the reliability and generalizability of the sample. The profile included the following variables: flow, motivation (from Self-Determination Theory and Achievement Goals), self-confidence, and psychological skills. Results confirm that the sample has a high degree of reliability and generalizability in all the tested models. So, a detailed study on the validity, reliability, and generalizability of samples and measures should be an inherent element in the practice of psychological counseling in sports. Full article
54 pages, 487 KiB  
Conference Report
SCS 6th Annual Meeting—EEVFA—11th International Congress of Biochemistry and Physiology of Exercise, Athens, Greece, 2023
by Pedro E. Alcaraz, Elena Marín-Cascales, Anthony J. Blazevich, Tomás T. Freitas, Olyvia Donti, Konstantinos Spyrou and Gregory C. Bogdanis
Sports 2024, 12(5), 126; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports12050126 - 29 Apr 2024
Viewed by 900
Abstract
On behalf of the Strength and Conditioning Society (SCS) and the Hellenic Society of Biochemistry and Exercise Physiology (EEVFA), we are pleased to present the abstracts of the SCS 6th Annual Meeting and EEVFA—11th International Congress of Biochemistry and Physiology of Exercise. The [...] Read more.
On behalf of the Strength and Conditioning Society (SCS) and the Hellenic Society of Biochemistry and Exercise Physiology (EEVFA), we are pleased to present the abstracts of the SCS 6th Annual Meeting and EEVFA—11th International Congress of Biochemistry and Physiology of Exercise. The event was held at the Hellenic Olympic Committee headquarters in Athens, Greece, on 19–22 October 2023, and comprised several invited sessions from international and national speakers on a variety of topics related to biochemistry and exercise physiology, strength and conditioning practices and their application to health, injury prevention and sports performance. These included strength training in high-performance sports, sport science and training–competition load management in elite environments, biochemistry and exercise physiology and prescription, nutrition and biomechanics, among others. The conference also included different practical workshops conducted by renowned academics and practitioners on eccentric training, change of direction ability and strength and power training in professional team-sports, and ergospirometry and exercise prescription in specific populations. Finally, the event disseminated up-to-date strength and conditioning research by providing practitioners and researchers with the opportunity to present their most recent findings. In this regard, all abstracts of the communications presented at the SCS 6th Annual Meeting—EEVFA—11th International Congress of Biochemistry and Physiology of Exercise can be found in this Conference Report. Full article
16 pages, 1873 KiB  
Article
Assessing Brain Processing Deficits Using Neuropsychological and Vision-Specific Tests for Concussion
by Brent A. Harper and Rahul Soangra
Sports 2024, 12(5), 125; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports12050125 - 29 Apr 2024
Viewed by 604
Abstract
Introduction: Since verbal memory and visual processing transpire within analogous cerebral regions, this study assessed (i) if a visual function can predict verbal memory performance. It also hypothesized whether neurocognitive (e.g., ImPACT) tests focusing on the Visual Memory and Cognitive Efficacy Index will [...] Read more.
Introduction: Since verbal memory and visual processing transpire within analogous cerebral regions, this study assessed (i) if a visual function can predict verbal memory performance. It also hypothesized whether neurocognitive (e.g., ImPACT) tests focusing on the Visual Memory and Cognitive Efficacy Index will predict Verbal Memory scores and (ii) if vision metrics and age can identify individuals with a history of concussion. Finally, it also hypothesized that King–Devick and near point of convergence scores alongside age considerations will identify candidates with a prior reported history of concussion. Materials and methods: This observational cohort assessed 25 collegiate ice hockey players prior to the competitive season considering age (19.76 ± 1.42 years) and BMI (25.9 ± 3.0 kg/cm2). Hypothesis 1 was assessed using a hierarchical (sequential) multiple regression analysis, assessing the predictive capacity of Visual Memory and Cognitive Efficacy Index scores in relation to Verbal Memory scores. Hypothesis 2 utilized a binomial logistic regression to determine if King–Devick and near point of convergence scores predict those with a prior history of concussion. Results: Hypothesis 1 developed two models, where Model 1 included Visual Memory as the predictor, while Model 2 added the Cognitive Efficacy Index as a predictor for verbal memory scores. Model 1 significantly explained 41% of the variance. Results from Model 2 suggest that the Cognitive Efficacy Index explained an additional 24.4%. Thus, Model 2 was interpreted where only the Cognitive Efficacy Index was a significant predictor (p = 0.001). For every 1 unit increase in the Cognitive Efficacy Index, Verbal Memory increased by 41.16. Hypothesis 2’s model was significant, accounting for 37.9% of the variance in those with a history of concussion. However, there were no significant unique predictors within the model as age (Wald = 1.26, p = 0.261), King–Devick (Wald = 2.31, p = 0.128), and near point of convergence (Wald = 2.43, p = 0.119) were not significant predictors individually. Conclusions: The conflicting findings of this study indicate that baseline data for those with a history of concussion greater than one year may not be comparable to the same metrics during acute concussion episodes. Young athletes who sustain a concussion may be able to overcompensate via the visual system. Future prospective studies with larger sample sizes are required using the proposed model’s objective metrics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Sports Injury Prevention and Rehabilitation Strategies)
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18 pages, 1348 KiB  
Review
Wearable Sensors and the Evaluation of Physiological Performance in Elite Field Hockey Players
by Francesca Latino and Francesco Tafuri
Sports 2024, 12(5), 124; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports12050124 - 29 Apr 2024
Viewed by 772
Abstract
Sports performance tracking has gained a lot of interest and widespread use in recent years, especially in elite and sub-elite sports. This makes it possible to improve the effectiveness of training, to calibrate and balance workloads according to real energy expenditure, and to [...] Read more.
Sports performance tracking has gained a lot of interest and widespread use in recent years, especially in elite and sub-elite sports. This makes it possible to improve the effectiveness of training, to calibrate and balance workloads according to real energy expenditure, and to reduce the likelihood of injuries due to excessive physical stress. In this context, the aim of this review was to map the scientific literature on wearable devices used in field hockey, evaluating their characteristics and the available evidence on their validity in measuring physiological and movement parameters. A systematic investigation was carried out by employing five electronic databases and search terms that incorporated field hockey, wearables, and performance analysis. Two independent reviewers conducted assessments of the 3401 titles and abstracts for inclusion, and at the end of the screening process, 102 full texts were analyzed. Lastly, a total of 23 research articles that specifically concentrated on field hockey were incorporated. The selected papers dealt with performance monitoring (6 papers), technical analysis and strategy game (6), injury prevention (1), and physiological measurements (10). To appraise the quality of the evaluations, the Oxford quality scoring system scale was employed. The extraction of information was carried out through the utilization of the participants, intervention, comparison, and outcomes (PICOS) format. The analysis encompassed research studies that implemented wearable devices during training and competitive events. Among elite field hockey competitions, GPS units were identified as the predominant wearable, followed by heart rate monitors. The intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) related to wearable devices showed reasonably high between-trial ICCs ranging from 0.77 to 0.99. The utilization of wearable devices in field hockey primarily centers around the measurement of player activity profiles and physiological demands. The presence of discrepancies in sampling rates and performance bands makes it arduous to draw comparisons between studies. Nevertheless, this analysis attested to the fact that wearable devices are being employed for diverse applications in the realm of field hockey. Full article
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14 pages, 913 KiB  
Article
Predictive Validity of Multifactorial Injury Risk Models and Associated Clinical Measures in the U.S. Population
by Adam C. Eckart, Pragya Sharma Ghimire and James Stavitz
Sports 2024, 12(5), 123; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports12050123 - 28 Apr 2024
Viewed by 682
Abstract
Background: Popular movement-based injury risk screens were shown to lack predictive precision, leading to interest in multifactorial models. Furthermore, there is a lack of research regarding injury risk assessment for those currently or planning to be recreationally active. This study aims to provide [...] Read more.
Background: Popular movement-based injury risk screens were shown to lack predictive precision, leading to interest in multifactorial models. Furthermore, there is a lack of research regarding injury risk assessment for those currently or planning to be recreationally active. This study aims to provide injury risk insights by analyzing multifactorial injury risk models and associated clinical measures in the U.S. population. Methods: Data related to injury, inflammatory markers, physical functioning, body composition, physical activity, and other variables from 21,033 respondents were extracted from NHANES. Odds ratios for self-reported injury were calculated for single predictors and risk models. Case–control and principal component analyses (PCA) were conducted to elucidate confounders and identify risk factor clusters, respectively. Receiver operating characteristic analysis was used to test the precision of a risk factor cluster to identify pain points and functional difficulties. Results: Sociodemographic, individual, and lifestyle factors were strongly associated with higher odds of injury. Increases in fibrinogen and C-reactive protein were significantly associated with all risk groups. Membership to the high-risk group (age over 40, obesity, no muscle-strengthening activities, sedentary lifestyle, and low back pain) predicted at least one functional difficulty with 67.4% sensitivity and 87.2% specificity. In the injury group, bone turnover markers were higher, yet confounded by age, and there was a significantly higher prevalence of self-reported osteoporosis compared to the control. In males, low testosterone was associated with injury, and high estradiol was associated with pain and functional difficulties. In females, high follicle-stimulating hormone was associated with functional difficulties. PCA revealed four high-risk profiles, with markers and activities showing distinct loadings. Conclusions: A comprehensive approach to injury risk assessment should consider the nexus of aging, lifestyle, and chronic disease to enhance tailored injury prevention strategies, fostering safe and effective physical activity participation and reducing the burden of musculoskeletal disorders. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sport Injuries, Rehabilitation and New Technologies)
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22 pages, 2567 KiB  
Article
A Retrospective Analysis of the Effects of Cardiac Rehabilitation on Health Markers and Performance Outcomes among Diabetic and Non-Diabetic Patients with Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting and Percutaneous Coronary Intervention
by Amy N. McKeever, Phillip C. Drouet, Jesus A. Vera, William E. Thomas, Jared W. Coburn and Pablo B. Costa
Sports 2024, 12(5), 122; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports12050122 - 28 Apr 2024
Viewed by 583
Abstract
Background: The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of cardiac rehabilitation on health markers and performance outcomes among diabetic and nondiabetic patients with coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) and percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI). Methods: One hundred and ninety-seven patients with [...] Read more.
Background: The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of cardiac rehabilitation on health markers and performance outcomes among diabetic and nondiabetic patients with coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) and percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI). Methods: One hundred and ninety-seven patients with PCI and CABG, who attended phase 2 cardiac rehabilitation, were included in the study. Patient data were separated by cardiac diagnosis, (PCI and CABG), diabetes category (diabetic and nondiabetic), number of sessions attended (12–24 or 25–36), and time (pre- to post-test). The Duke Activity Score Index and Patient Health Questionnaire-9 questionnaires and measurements for total cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein, low-density lipoprotein, triglycerides, and, if diabetic, A1c and fasting blood glucose, were taken at baseline and upon completion of the program. Results: High-density lipoprotein (p < 0.001), diastolic blood pressure (p = 0.004), Duke Activity Score Index questionnaire (p < 0.001), Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (p < 0.001), and A1c (p = 0.003) significantly improved from pre- to post-testing. Total cholesterol (p < 0.001) and low-density lipoprotein (p < 0.001) for the 25–36 nondiabetic PCI group significantly decreased. Triglycerides decreased for all 12–24 session groups (p = 0.015). Fasting blood glucose significantly decreased (p = 0.037) for the 12–24 PCI group with diabetes. No significant interactions were found for systolic blood pressure and body weight. Conclusion: Cardiac rehabilitation resulted in significant improvements in the lipid panel, diastolic blood pressure, and questionnaire results, regardless of the number of sessions attended. However, no significant benefits for systolic blood pressure were observed. Full article
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10 pages, 244 KiB  
Article
Higher Blood Lactate with Prolongation of Underwater Section in Submaximal Front-Crawl Swimming
by Tomas Venckunas and Justas Achramavicius
Sports 2024, 12(5), 121; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports12050121 - 28 Apr 2024
Viewed by 519
Abstract
The underwater phase (UP) is highly important for overall swimming performance in most swimming events. However, the metabolic effects of the prolonged UP remain unclear. The purpose of this cross-sectional study was to compare the blood lactate response to submaximal front-crawl swimming with [...] Read more.
The underwater phase (UP) is highly important for overall swimming performance in most swimming events. However, the metabolic effects of the prolonged UP remain unclear. The purpose of this cross-sectional study was to compare the blood lactate response to submaximal front-crawl swimming with short and extended UP. Twelve (four females) junior competitive swimmers (aged 15.4 (1.4) years) undertook 200 m front-crawl swim trials in a 25 m pool at a pre-determined “anaerobic threshold” velocity on two occasions using short (<5 m) and extended (12.5 m) UP after each turn. Pacing and total time were ensured to be identical between the trials. Capillary blood lactate response was measured. Testing for 25 m swim time with <5 m and 12.5 m UP was conducted on a separate occasion. When athletes undertook and extended UP after each propulsion from the wall, their post-exercise blood lactate concentration reached 7.9 (2.1) mmol/L, more than two times higher than the response to trial with short UP (p < 0.001). All-out 25 m swimming with <5 m or 12.5 m UP disclosed no difference in locomotion velocity (p > 0.05). In conclusion, extending UP of submaximal front-crawl swimming close to maximally allowed during the races substantially increases blood lactate accumulation, i.e., increases the reliance on anaerobic metabolism. Therefore, extended UP is most likely counterproductive for the performance in long-distance swimming, at least for the athletes with a FINA score of <800. On the other hand, the extension of UP could be an effective strategy to train ‘lactate tolerance’, lactate shuttling, removal, and recycling. Full article
13 pages, 799 KiB  
Article
Effect of Mat Pilates Training on Blood Pressure, Inflammatory, and Oxidative Profiles in Hypertensive Elderly
by Chutima Woramontri, Rungchai Chaunchaiyakul, Ai-Lun Yang, Yi-Yuan Lin and Kunanya Masodsai
Sports 2024, 12(5), 120; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports12050120 - 28 Apr 2024
Viewed by 664
Abstract
To determine the effects of mat Pilates training on blood pressure, inflammatory, and antioxidative markers in hypertensive elderly people, 34 hypertensive subjects aged 60–75 years were randomly divided into a control group (CON; n = 17) and a mat Pilates training group (MP; [...] Read more.
To determine the effects of mat Pilates training on blood pressure, inflammatory, and antioxidative markers in hypertensive elderly people, 34 hypertensive subjects aged 60–75 years were randomly divided into a control group (CON; n = 17) and a mat Pilates training group (MP; n = 17). The CON participants conducted normal daily activities and participated in neither organized exercises nor sports training, while those in the MP group received mat Pilates training for 60 min three times/week for 12 weeks. Parameters including blood pressure, cardiovascular function, nitric oxide (NO), tumor necrotic factor-alpha (TNF-α), superoxide dismutase (SOD), and malonaldehyde (MDA) were collected at baseline and the end of 12 weeks. The MP group had significantly decreased blood pressure, improved cardiovascular variables, decreased MDA and TNF-α, and increased NO and SOD compared with the CON group and the pre-training period (p < 0.05). In conclusion, these findings demonstrate the positive effects of 12 weeks of mat Pilates training in terms of reducing blood pressure and increasing blood flow related to improvements in anti-inflammatory and antioxidative markers in hypertensive elderly people. Mat Pilates training might be integrated as an alternative therapeutic exercise modality in clinical practice for hypertensive elderly individuals. Full article
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11 pages, 1244 KiB  
Article
Compared Block Periodized and Non-Periodized Physical Activity Programs in Older Adults
by Alejandro Moreno-Mateos, Fausto José Barbero Iglesias, Antonio Sánchez Muñoz, Yurena Gutiérrez Díaz and Carlos Moreno Pascual
Sports 2024, 12(5), 119; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports12050119 - 28 Apr 2024
Viewed by 542
Abstract
Background: The periodization of physical exercise to optimize objectives is common in competitive sports. However, physical exercise programs for older adults only sometimes present periodization in their programming. Therefore, this article aims to research the results of applying the sports periodized method to [...] Read more.
Background: The periodization of physical exercise to optimize objectives is common in competitive sports. However, physical exercise programs for older adults only sometimes present periodization in their programming. Therefore, this article aims to research the results of applying the sports periodized method to older adults. Methods: A total of 137 participants over 60 years old performed a physical exercise program; 71 participated in a multi-component non-periodized program as the Control Group (CG), and 66 participated in a program periodized in blocks as the Experimental Group (EG). The block periodization program was oriented to the development of strength and was carried out in 86 sessions thrice weekly for eight months. Anthropometric assessments were made using weight, height, Body Mass Index, and electrical bioimpedance; and functional evaluations were made through standardized tests: Short Performance Physical Battery (SPPB), Timed Up & Go (TUG), handgrip, and a two-minute stair test. Results: After the intervention, the EG significantly improved TUG, weight, and BMI. On the other hand, the CG showed significant improvements in fat weight, BMI, and the 2 min stair test. The SPPB did not show changes after the intervention. Conclusion: The periodization of physical exercise for older adults does not significantly impact functional capacity in this population group. Full article
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13 pages, 2067 KiB  
Article
Unique Specific Jumping Test for Measuring Explosive Power in Young Basketball Players: Differences by Gender, Age, and Playing Positions
by Asaf Shalom, Roni Gottlieb, Pedro E. Alcaraz and Julio Calleja-Gonzalez
Sports 2024, 12(5), 118; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports12050118 - 27 Apr 2024
Viewed by 675
Abstract
When playing basketball, players are required to have high explosive power, which requires the ability to move in efficient, specific, and game-specific movement patterns that combine both horizontal and vertical abilities. Differences have been seen between young male and female basketball players in [...] Read more.
When playing basketball, players are required to have high explosive power, which requires the ability to move in efficient, specific, and game-specific movement patterns that combine both horizontal and vertical abilities. Differences have been seen between young male and female basketball players in this measure. The aim of this study was to examine differences in players’ unique movements by gender, age, and playing positions using a novel test for basketball players. This study included 232 young basketball players, male and female, from a range of Israeli leagues, who were divided into three categories: under-14, under-16, and under-18. Our findings showed that males presented better results than females in all age categories. Moreover, females in the under-18 category presented better results than those in the under-14 category, but not more than those in the under-16 category. Differences in playing positions were only examined between males and females in the under-18 category, where players begin to specialize in playing positions, and here, guards showed better results than forwards and centers. Our conclusions highlight the importance of including unique, sport-specific tests in talent identification and selection processes, as these tests can provide valuable information about a player’s skill set and potential for success. The findings are presented in an achievement table of the expected physical fitness results by age and gender for the benefit of basketball coaches and strength and conditioning coaches when assessing their players. Full article
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13 pages, 1513 KiB  
Article
Bilateral Asymmetry of Spatiotemporal Running Gait Parameters in U14 Athletes at Different Speeds
by Antonio Cartón-Llorente, Silvia Cardiel-Sánchez, Alejandro Molina-Molina, Andrés Ráfales-Perucha and Alberto Rubio-Peirotén
Sports 2024, 12(5), 117; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports12050117 - 27 Apr 2024
Viewed by 661
Abstract
The assessment of leg asymmetries is gaining scientific interest due to its potential impact on performance and injury development. Athletes around puberty exhibit increased gait variability due to a non-established running pattern. This study aims to describe the asymmetries in the spatiotemporal running [...] Read more.
The assessment of leg asymmetries is gaining scientific interest due to its potential impact on performance and injury development. Athletes around puberty exhibit increased gait variability due to a non-established running pattern. This study aims to describe the asymmetries in the spatiotemporal running parameters in developmentally aged athletes. Forty athletes under 14 (U14) (22 females and 18 males) were assessed running on a treadmill at constant speeds of 12 and 14 km·h−1 for 3 min. Step length, step frequency, along with contact (CT) and flight time, both in absolute values and as a percentage of step time, were recorded using a RunScribe sensor attached to the laces of each shoe. U14 runners exhibited high bilateral symmetry in the spatiotemporal parameters of running, with mean asymmetry values (1–5.7%) lower than the intra-limb coefficient of variation (1.7–9.6%). Furthermore, bilateral asymmetries did not vary between the two speeds. An individual-based interpretation of asymmetries identified subjects with consistent asymmetries at both speeds, particularly in terms of CT and contact ratio (%, CT/step time). This study confirms the high symmetry of pubertal runners and paves the way for the application of portable running assessment technology to detect asymmetries on an individual basis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomechanics and Sports Performances)
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13 pages, 1380 KiB  
Article
Combined Aerobic Exercise with Intermittent Fasting Is Effective for Reducing mTOR and Bcl-2 Levels in Obese Females
by Purwo Sri Rejeki, Adi Pranoto, Deandra Maharani Widiatmaja, Dita Mega Utami, Nabilah Izzatunnisa, Sugiharto, Ronny Lesmana and Shariff Halim
Sports 2024, 12(5), 116; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports12050116 - 25 Apr 2024
Viewed by 765
Abstract
The integration of combined aerobic exercise and intermittent fasting (IF) has emerged as a strategy for the prevention and management of obesity, including its associated health issues such as age-related metabolic diseases. This study aimed to examine the potential of combined aerobic exercise [...] Read more.
The integration of combined aerobic exercise and intermittent fasting (IF) has emerged as a strategy for the prevention and management of obesity, including its associated health issues such as age-related metabolic diseases. This study aimed to examine the potential of combined aerobic exercise and IF as a preventative strategy against cellular senescence by targeting mTOR and Bcl-2 levels in obese females. A total of 30 obese women, aged 23.56 ± 1.83 years, body fat percentage (FAT) 45.21 ± 3.73% (very high category), BMI 30.09 ± 3.74 kg/m2 were recruited and participated in three different types of interventions: intermittent fasting (IF), exercise (EXG), and a combination of intermittent fasting and exercise (IFEXG). The intervention program was carried out 5x/week for 2 weeks. We examined mTOR and Bcl-2 levels using ELISA kits. Statistical analysis used the one-way ANOVA test and continued with Tukey’s HSD post hoc test, with a significance level of 5%. The study results showed that a combination of aerobic exercise and IF significantly decreased mTOR levels (−1.26 ± 0.79 ng/mL) compared to the control group (−0.08 ± 1.33 ng/mL; p ≤ 0.05). However, combined aerobic exercise and IF did not affect Bcl-2 levels significantly (−0.07 ± 0.09 ng/mL) compared to the control group (0.01 ± 0.17 ng/mL, p ≥ 0.05). The IF-only group, exercise-only group, and combined group all showed a significant decrease in body weight and fat mass compared to the control group (p ≤ 0.05). However, the combined aerobic exercise and IF program had a significant effect in reducing the total percentage of body fat and fat mass compared to the IF-only group (p ≤ 0.05). Therefore, it was concluded that the combined intermittent fasting and exercise group (IFEXG) undertook the most effective intervention of the three in terms of preventing cellular senescence, as demonstrated by decreases in the mTOR level, body weight, and fat mass. However, the IFEXG did not present reduced Bcl-2 levels. Full article
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