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Sports, Volume 5, Issue 4 (December 2017)

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Open AccessArticle Associations between Thermal and Physiological Responses of Human Body during Exercise
Received: 27 October 2017 / Revised: 12 December 2017 / Accepted: 12 December 2017 / Published: 19 December 2017
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Abstract
In this study, thermal behaviours of the athletes were investigated with respect to thermal comfort and exercise intensity. The relationship between an index for analysing thermal comfort (Predicted Mean Vote: PMV) and Rating of Perceived Exertion (RPE) which shows exercise intensity and exhaustion
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In this study, thermal behaviours of the athletes were investigated with respect to thermal comfort and exercise intensity. The relationship between an index for analysing thermal comfort (Predicted Mean Vote: PMV) and Rating of Perceived Exertion (RPE) which shows exercise intensity and exhaustion level was evaluated. Eleven moderately trained male athletes ( V ˙ O2max 54 ± 9.9 mL∙min−1∙kg−1) had volunteered for the study (age: 22.2 ± 3.7 years; body mass: 73.8 ± 6.9 kg; height: 181 ± 6.3 cm; Body surface area (BSA): 1.93 ± 0.1 m2; body fat: 12.6% ± 4.2%; V ˙ O2max: 54 ± 9.9 mL∙min−1∙kg−1). Experiments were carried out by using a cycle ergometer in an air-conditioned test chamber which provided fresh air and had the ability to control the temperature and relative humidity. The study cohort was divided into two groups according to maximal oxygen consumption levels of the participants. Statistical analyses were conducted with the whole study cohort as well as the two separated groups. There was a moderate correlation between PMV and RPE for whole cohort (r: −0.51). When the whole cohort divided as low and high aerobic power groups, an average correlation coefficient at high oxygen consumption cohort decreased to r: −0.21, while the average correlation coefficient at low oxygen consumption cohort increased to r: −0.77. In conclusion, PMV and RPE have a high correlation in less trained participants, but not in the more trained ones. The case may bring to mind that thermal distribution may be better in high aerobic power group in spite of high RPE and thus the relation between PMV and RPE is affected by exercise performance status. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Team Performance Indicators Explain Outcome during Women’s Basketball Matches at the Olympic Games
Received: 19 October 2017 / Revised: 27 November 2017 / Accepted: 7 December 2017 / Published: 17 December 2017
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Abstract
The Olympic Games is the pinnacle international sporting competition with team sport coaches interested in key performance indicators to assist the development of match strategies for success. This study examined the relationship between team performance indicators and match outcome during the women’s basketball
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The Olympic Games is the pinnacle international sporting competition with team sport coaches interested in key performance indicators to assist the development of match strategies for success. This study examined the relationship between team performance indicators and match outcome during the women’s basketball tournament at the Olympic Games. Team performance indicators were collated from all women’s basketball matches during the 2004–2016 Olympic Games (n = 156) and analyzed via linear (binary logistic regression) and non-linear (conditional interference (CI) classification tree) statistical techniques. The most parsimonious linear model retained “defensive rebounds”, “field-goal percentage”, “offensive rebounds”, “fouls”, “steals”, and “turnovers” with a classification accuracy of 85.6%. The CI classification tree retained four performance indicators with a classification accuracy of 86.2%. The combination of “field-goal percentage”, “defensive rebounds”, “steals”, and “turnovers” provided the greatest probability of winning (91.1%), while a combination of “field-goal percentage”, “steals”, and “turnovers” provided the greatest probability of losing (96.7%). Shooting proficiency and defensive actions were identified as key team performance indicators for Olympic female basketball success. The development of key defensive strategies and/or the selection of athletes highly proficient in defensive actions may strengthen Olympic match success. Incorporation of non-linear analyses may provide teams with superior/practical approaches for elite sporting success. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Improving Practice and Performance in Basketball)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Changes in Self-Reported Concussion History after Administration of a Novel Concussion History Questionnaire in Collegiate Recreational Student-Athletes
Received: 2 November 2017 / Revised: 7 December 2017 / Accepted: 14 December 2017 / Published: 17 December 2017
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Abstract
Research has shown that exposure to a concussion definition (CD) increases self-reported concussion history (SRCH) immediately, however, no research has been performed that examines the effects of exposure to a CD on SRCH over time. Collegiate recreational student-athletes (RSAs) have limited access to
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Research has shown that exposure to a concussion definition (CD) increases self-reported concussion history (SRCH) immediately, however, no research has been performed that examines the effects of exposure to a CD on SRCH over time. Collegiate recreational student-athletes (RSAs) have limited access to monitoring and supervision by medical staff. As such, recognition of concussion symptoms and need for medical management oftentimes falls upon the RSA. The purpose of this study was to assess the effect of a novel questionnaire on the SRCH of RSAs. A two-part questionnaire was sent to RSAs participating is sports with a greater than average risk of concussion at a university in Arizona. Data from 171 RSAs were analyzed to assess the change in RSAs’ suspected concussion estimates pre- and post-exposure to a CD and concussion symptom worksheet, as well as over the short-term (2.5 months). Approximately one-third of RSAs reported an increase in suspected concussion estimates immediately following exposure to the questionnaire, but the change was not maintained over the short-term. The results suggest that a single exposure to a CD is ineffective at increasing short-term SRCH estimates. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Athletic Training)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Residents of Central Queensland, Australia Are Aware of Healthy Eating Practices but Consume Unhealthy Diets
Received: 8 November 2017 / Revised: 27 November 2017 / Accepted: 7 December 2017 / Published: 11 December 2017
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Abstract
We aimed to determine nutritional knowledge and behaviors of normal weight, overweight, and obese residents of Central Queensland, Australia. Data were collected as part of the 2010 Central Queensland Social Survey (N = 1289). Residents were asked questions assessing nutritional knowledge and
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We aimed to determine nutritional knowledge and behaviors of normal weight, overweight, and obese residents of Central Queensland, Australia. Data were collected as part of the 2010 Central Queensland Social Survey (N = 1289). Residents were asked questions assessing nutritional knowledge and behaviors. Statistical analyses were performed to examine differences in nutritional knowledge and behaviors by body mass index (BMI) classification: normal weight, overweight, and obese. Independent of BMI, residents ate fewer than the recommended daily servings of vegetables (p < 0.05) and fruits (p < 0.05) with no differences found between BMI classifications. Overweight (OR: 1.52; 95% CI: 1.13–2.04) and obese (OR: 1.43; 95% CI: 1.04–1.98) residents were more likely to have eaten fast food the week of the survey than normal weight residents. Residents correctly identified the amount of kilocalories required to maintain current body weight with no differences between BMI classifications. Each BMI classification underestimated the amount of kilojoules required to maintain current body weight (p < 0.05). Nutritional knowledge may not be the limiting factor preventing residents from making proper nutritional choices. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Clinical and Sports Nutrition)
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Open AccessErratum Erratum: Robinson, L.E., et al. Development of a Digital-Based Instrument to Assess Perceived Motor Competence in Children: Face Validity, Test–Retest Reliability, and Internal Consistency. Sports 2017, 5, 48
Received: 6 December 2017 / Revised: 6 December 2017 / Accepted: 6 December 2017 / Published: 8 December 2017
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Abstract
The editorial team of the journal Sports would like to make the following corrections to the published paper [...] Full article
Open AccessArticle The Relative Age Effect, Height and Weight Characteristics among Lower and Upper Secondary School Athletes in Norway and Sweden
Received: 14 November 2017 / Revised: 1 December 2017 / Accepted: 7 December 2017 / Published: 8 December 2017
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Abstract
The relative age effect (RAE) has been found among youth elite athletes within a range of sports. However, the RAE has been studied to a lesser degree among youth non-elite athletes, and even less among school pupils attending sport specialisation programmes (SSPs). The
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The relative age effect (RAE) has been found among youth elite athletes within a range of sports. However, the RAE has been studied to a lesser degree among youth non-elite athletes, and even less among school pupils attending sport specialisation programmes (SSPs). The aim of the present study was to investigate RAE, height, and weight, and compare Swedish lower secondary school and Norwegian upper secondary school pupils. Study 1 includes 156 lower secondary school athletes (95 boys and 61 girls) following an SSP in Sweden, while study 2 includes 111 upper secondary school athletes (81 boys and 30 girls) from two Norwegian schools. The RAE was found in both male groups, but only in Swedish girls. Furthermore, the relationship between birth month, height, and weight was found to be non-significant. These results indicate a vital RAE effect among youth non-elite athletes attending SSPs in both lower and upper secondary schools. Full article
Open AccessArticle The Relationship between Trail Running Withdrawals and Race Topography
Received: 26 October 2017 / Revised: 23 November 2017 / Accepted: 28 November 2017 / Published: 5 December 2017
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Abstract
Context: A growing amount of recent research in sport psychology has focused on trying to understand withdrawals from ultra-races. However, according to the Four E approach, the studies underestimated the embedded components of these experiences and particularly how they were linked to the
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Context: A growing amount of recent research in sport psychology has focused on trying to understand withdrawals from ultra-races. However, according to the Four E approach, the studies underestimated the embedded components of these experiences and particularly how they were linked to the specific environmental conditions in which the experiences occurred. Objective: This study aimed to characterize trail running withdrawals in relationship to race topography. Design: Qualitative design, involving self-confrontation interviews and use of a race map. Setting: Use of the race map for description of the race activity and self-confrontation interviews took place 1–3 days after the races. Participants: Ten runners who withdrew during an ultra-trail race. Data Collection and Analysis: Data on past activity traces and experiences were elicited from self-confrontation interviews. Data were coded and compared to identify common sequences and then each type of sequence was counted with regard to race topography. Results: Results showed that each sequence was related to runners’ particular possibilities for acting, feeling, and thinking, which were in turn embedded in the race topography. These sequences allowed the unfolding of the activity and increased its overall effectiveness in relation to the constraints of this specific sport. Conclusion: This study allowed us to highlight important information on how ultra-trail runners manage their races in relationship to the race environment and more specifically to its topography. The result will also help us to recommend potential adjustments to ultra-trail runners’ performance-oriented training and preparation. Full article
Open AccessArticle Interrepetition Rest Set Lacks the V-Shape Systolic Pressure Response Advantage during Resistance Exercise
Received: 21 October 2017 / Revised: 27 November 2017 / Accepted: 28 November 2017 / Published: 1 December 2017
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Abstract
Resistance exercise may lead to an aneurysm due to dangerous levels of systemic hypertension. Thus, a minimized pressure response during exercise may guarantee safer training. For that, we analyzed an interrepetition rest design (IRD) hypothesizing that it would produce a lower systolic blood
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Resistance exercise may lead to an aneurysm due to dangerous levels of systemic hypertension. Thus, a minimized pressure response during exercise may guarantee safer training. For that, we analyzed an interrepetition rest design (IRD) hypothesizing that it would produce a lower systolic blood pressure (SBP) response in comparison with a continuous design (CD). Additionally, we studied the effect of accumulated repetitions on the increasing SBP rate during the first continuous set. Fifteen healthy participants (age: 24 ± 2 years; SBP: 113 ± 8 mmHg) performed leg presses, with 40 repetitions and 720 s of total rest, structured in an IRD of individual repetitions (resting time: 18.5 s), and in a CD of five sets of eight repetitions (resting time: 180 s). Analyses reported an increase (p = 0.013) in the mean peaks of SBP in the IRD (162 ± 21 mmHg), versus the CD (148 ± 19 mmHg), while both augmented versus baselines (p < 0.001). Additionally, the linear model estimated a progressive increase of SBP of around 7 mmHg per repetition. Summarily, the IRD produced a higher mean of the SBP peaks during the 40 repetitions due to lacking the v-shape advantage in comparison with the CD. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Four Weeks of Off-Season Training Improves Peak Oxygen Consumption in Female Field Hockey Players
Received: 3 October 2017 / Revised: 1 November 2017 / Accepted: 22 November 2017 / Published: 28 November 2017
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Abstract
The purpose of the study was to examine the changes in peak oxygen consumption (V˙O2peak) and running economy (RE) following four-weeks of high intensity training and concurrent strength and conditioning during the off-season in collegiate female field hockey
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The purpose of the study was to examine the changes in peak oxygen consumption ( V ˙O2peak) and running economy (RE) following four-weeks of high intensity training and concurrent strength and conditioning during the off-season in collegiate female field hockey players. Fourteen female student-athletes (age 19.29 ± 0.91 years) were divided into two training groups, matched from baseline V ˙O2peak: High Intensity Training (HITrun; n = 8) and High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT; n = 6). Participants completed 12 training sessions. HITrun consisted of 30 min of high-intensity running, while HIIT consisted of a series of whole-body high intensity Tabata-style intervals (75–85% of age predicted maximum heart rate) for a total of four minutes. In addition to the interval training, the off-season training included six resistance training sessions, three team practices, and concluded with a team scrimmage. V ˙O2peak was measured pre- and post-training to determine the effectiveness of the training program. A two-way mixed (group × time) ANOVA showed a main effect of time with a statistically significant difference in V ˙O2peak from pre- to post-testing, F(1, 12) = 12.657, p = 0.004, partial η2 = 0.041. Average (±SD) V ˙O2peak increased from 44.64 ± 3.74 to 47.35 ± 3.16 mL·kg−1·min−1 for HIIT group and increased from 45.39 ± 2.80 to 48.22 ± 2.42 mL·kg−1·min−1 for HITrun group. Given the similar improvement in aerobic power, coaches and training staff may find the time saving element of HIIT-type conditioning programs attractive. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Comparison of the Relationship between Lying and Standing Ultrasonography Measures of Muscle Morphology with Isometric and Dynamic Force Production Capabilities
Received: 24 October 2017 / Revised: 10 November 2017 / Accepted: 14 November 2017 / Published: 21 November 2017
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Abstract
The purpose of the current study was (1) to examine the differences between standing and lying measures of vastus lateralis (VL), muscle thickness (MT), pennation angle (PA), and cross-sectional area (CSA) using ultrasonography; and (2) to explore the relationships between lying and standing
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The purpose of the current study was (1) to examine the differences between standing and lying measures of vastus lateralis (VL), muscle thickness (MT), pennation angle (PA), and cross-sectional area (CSA) using ultrasonography; and (2) to explore the relationships between lying and standing measures with isometric and dynamic assessments of force production—specifically peak force, rate of force development (RFD), impulse, and one-repetition maximum back squat. Fourteen resistance-trained subjects (age = 26.8 ± 4.0 years, height = 181.4 ± 6.0 cm, body mass = 89.8 ± 10.7 kg, back squat to body mass ratio = 1.84 ± 0.34) agreed to participate. Lying and standing ultrasonography images of the right VL were collected following 48 hours of rest. Isometric squat assessments followed ultrasonography, and were performed on force platforms with data used to determine isometric peak force (IPF), as well as RFD and impulse at various time points. Forty-eight hours later, one-repetition maximum back squats were performed by each subject. Paired-samples t-tests revealed statistically significant differences between standing and lying measurements of MT (p < 0.001), PA (p < 0.001), and CSA (p ≤ 0.05), with standing values larger in all cases. Further, standing measures were correlated more strongly and abundantly to isometric and dynamic performance. These results suggest that if practitioners intend to gain insight into strength-power potential based on ultrasonography measurements, performing the measurement collection with the athlete in a standing posture may be preferred. Full article
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Open AccessDiscussion Current Research and Statistical Practices in Sport Science and a Need for Change
Received: 20 September 2017 / Revised: 3 November 2017 / Accepted: 13 November 2017 / Published: 15 November 2017
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Abstract
Current research ideologies in sport science allow for the possibility of investigators producing statistically significant results to help fit the outcome into a predetermined theory. Additionally, under the current Neyman-Pearson statistical structure, some argue that null hypothesis significant testing (NHST) under the frequentist
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Current research ideologies in sport science allow for the possibility of investigators producing statistically significant results to help fit the outcome into a predetermined theory. Additionally, under the current Neyman-Pearson statistical structure, some argue that null hypothesis significant testing (NHST) under the frequentist approach is flawed, regardless. For example, a p-value is unable to measure the probability that the studied hypothesis is true, unable to measure the size of an effect or the importance of a result, and unable to provide a good measure of evidence regarding a model or hypothesis. Many of these downfalls are key questions researchers strive to answer following an investigation. Therefore, a shift towards a magnitude-based inference model, and eventually a fully Bayesian framework, is thought to be a better fit from a statistical standpoint and may be an improved way to address biases within the literature. The goal of this article is to shed light on the current research and statistical shortcomings the field of sport science faces today, and offer potential solutions to help guide future research practices. Full article
Open AccessArticle Balance Performance as Observed by Center-of-Pressure Parameter Characteristics in Male Soccer Athletes and Non-Athletes
Received: 5 October 2017 / Revised: 31 October 2017 / Accepted: 3 November 2017 / Published: 8 November 2017
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Abstract
Static balance has a relevant influence on athletic performance as well as on reducing the risk of injury. The main goal of this study was to assess soccer athlete versus non-athlete balance performance via displacement and velocity parameters extracted from the center-of-pressure (COP)
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Static balance has a relevant influence on athletic performance as well as on reducing the risk of injury. The main goal of this study was to assess soccer athlete versus non-athlete balance performance via displacement and velocity parameters extracted from the center-of-pressure (COP) position time series. In order to accomplish our goal, we investigated standing balance in two male groups with unimpaired balance: non-athletes (n = 12) and collegiate varsity soccer athletes (n = 12). In order to make the standing balancing task more or less difficult, we altered participant base-of-support, as well as vision, yielding static (quiet stance) test conditions increasing in difficulty. From the COP position time series, displacement and velocity parameters were computed and plotted as a function of increasing test condition difficulty level. COP parameters showed steeper increases with increased test difficulty in non-athletes compared to athletes; this demonstrated athletes’ better ability to control their balance. We concluded that balance performance could be characterized via COP displacement and velocity response curves. This study lends new insights into how COP parameters can be utilized to determine and characterize improvements in balance between un-impaired subject populations (athletes versus non-athletes). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Athletic Training)
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Open AccessArticle Variability of Jump Kinetics Related to Training Load in Elite Female Basketball
Received: 31 August 2017 / Revised: 1 November 2017 / Accepted: 2 November 2017 / Published: 4 November 2017
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Abstract
The purpose of this study was to quantify changes in jump performance and variability in elite female basketballers. Junior and senior female representative basketball players (n = 10) aged 18 ± 2 years participated in this study. Countermovement jump (CMJ) data was
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The purpose of this study was to quantify changes in jump performance and variability in elite female basketballers. Junior and senior female representative basketball players (n = 10) aged 18 ± 2 years participated in this study. Countermovement jump (CMJ) data was collected with a Gymaware™ optical encoder at pre-, mid-, and post-season time points across 10 weeks. Jump performance was maintained across the course of the full season (from pre to post). Concentric peak velocity, jump height, and dip showed the most stability from pre- to post-season, with the %CV ranging from 5.6–8.9%. In the period of the highest training load (mid-season), the variability of within-subject performance was reduced by approximately 2–4% in all measures except for jump height. Altered jump mechanics through a small (0.26 effect size) increase in dip were evident at mid-season, suggesting that CMJ analysis is useful for coaches to use as an in-season monitoring tool. The highest coefficient of variation (8–22%CV) in inter-set scores in all measures except eccentric peak velocity also occurred mid-season. It appears that in-season load not only impairs jump performance, but also movement variability in basketball players. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Improving Practice and Performance in Basketball)
Open AccessArticle Effects of Rule Changes on Game-Related Statistics in Men’s Water Polo Matches
Received: 24 September 2017 / Revised: 13 October 2017 / Accepted: 27 October 2017 / Published: 1 November 2017
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Abstract
The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of rule changes on game-related statistics in men’s water polo matches. A total of 856 men’s matches played in all Olympic Games and World Championship since 1936 was analysed. The game-related statistics considered
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The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of rule changes on game-related statistics in men’s water polo matches. A total of 856 men’s matches played in all Olympic Games and World Championship since 1936 was analysed. The game-related statistics considered were: total goals, winners’ goals, losers’ goals, goals per minute, goals difference, relationship difference goals and total goals, and relationship difference goals and winners’ goals. The rule changes were grouped by structural (game and period) and functional changes (possession time, exclusion time, timing, minimum distance to take a direct shot). Differences between rule changes were determined using a one-way ANOVA. In general, the changes in water polo rules were shown to have an effect on the final result of the matches. There were differences in each rule change of duration (increased total goals and winners’ goals), period (increased total goals and winners’ goals), possession time (increased losers’ goals), timing (increased total, winners’, losers’, and decreased % goals and total goals) and fouls (increased total goals and losers’ goals). The analysis in game-related statistics through the rule changes could be used to evaluate their effects and/or justify future modifications. Full article
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Effects of a Six-Week Strength Training Programme on Change of Direction Performance in Youth Team Sport Athletes
Received: 4 September 2017 / Revised: 14 October 2017 / Accepted: 16 October 2017 / Published: 24 October 2017
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Abstract
This study investigated the effects of eccentric phase-emphasis strength training (EPE) on unilateral strength and performance in 180- and 45-degree change of direction (COD) tasks in rugby union players. A 12-week cross-over design was used to compare the efficacy of resistance training executed
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This study investigated the effects of eccentric phase-emphasis strength training (EPE) on unilateral strength and performance in 180- and 45-degree change of direction (COD) tasks in rugby union players. A 12-week cross-over design was used to compare the efficacy of resistance training executed with 3 s eccentric duration (EPE, n = 12) against conventional strength training, with no constraints on tempo (CON, n = 6). Players in each condition were categorised as ‘fast’ (FAST) or ‘slow’ (SLOW) using median trial times from baseline testing. Players recorded greater isometric strength improvements following EPE (ES = −0.54 to 1.80). Whilst these changes were not immediate, players improved in strength following cessation. Improvements in 180-degree COD performance was recorded at all test-points following EPE (ES = −1.32 to −0.15). Improvements in 45-degree COD performance were apparent for FAST following CON (ES = −0.96 to 0.10), but CON was deleterious for SLOW (ES = −0.60 to 1.53). Eccentric phase-emphasis strength training shows potential for sustained strength enhancement. Positive performance changes in COD tasks were category- and condition-specific. The data indicate the greatest improvement occurred at nine weeks following resistance training in these players. Performance benefits may also be specific to COD task, player category, and relative to emphasis on eccentric phase activity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Role of Strength on Performance in Athletic Tasks)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Effect of a Hexagonal Barbell on the Mechanical Demand of Deadlift Performance
Received: 27 September 2017 / Revised: 12 October 2017 / Accepted: 21 October 2017 / Published: 24 October 2017
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Abstract
This study compared typical mechanical variables of interest obtained directly from barbell motion during deadlift performance with a conventional (CBD) and a hexagonal barbell (HBD). Eleven men, proficient with both deadlift variations, volunteered to participate in the study (age: 20.3 ± 0.6 years;
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This study compared typical mechanical variables of interest obtained directly from barbell motion during deadlift performance with a conventional (CBD) and a hexagonal barbell (HBD). Eleven men, proficient with both deadlift variations, volunteered to participate in the study (age: 20.3 ± 0.6 years; height: 175.5 ± 8.5 m; mass: 88.7 ± 19.0 kg; CBD 1RM: 183 ± 22 kg; HBD 1RM: 194 ± 20 kg). During the first session, CBD and HBD 1RM was assessed; during the second session, they performed 3 sets of 1 CBD repetition with 90% 1RM; and in session three, they repeated this process with the HBD. Barbell displacement was recorded at 1000 Hz and mechanical parameters derived from this. Significantly heavier loads were lifted during HBD (6%, p = 0.003). There were no significant differences between barbell displacement (p = 0.216). However, HBD was performed significantly faster (15%, p = 0.012), HBD load was accelerated for significantly longer (36%, p = 0.004), and significantly larger mean forces underpinned this (6%, p < 0.001), with more work having been performed (7%, p < 0.001) at greater power outputs (28%, p < 0.001). The results of this study showed that heavier HBD loads can be lifted through the same range of motion faster, and that this load is accelerated for significantly longer. The strategies used to achieve these differences could have a significant effect on training outcomes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Role of Strength on Performance in Athletic Tasks)
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Open AccessArticle Organized Sport Participation and Physical Activity Levels among Adolescents with Functional Limitations
Received: 21 August 2017 / Revised: 10 October 2017 / Accepted: 17 October 2017 / Published: 19 October 2017
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Abstract
Sufficient and regular physical activity is considered a protective factor, reducing the onset of secondary disability conditions in adolescents with chronic diseases and functional limitations. The aim of this study was to explore whether participation in organized sport may be associated to higher
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Sufficient and regular physical activity is considered a protective factor, reducing the onset of secondary disability conditions in adolescents with chronic diseases and functional limitations. The aim of this study was to explore whether participation in organized sport may be associated to higher levels of physical activity in adolescents with functional limitations, based on a national representative sample. Data from the Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) study collected in Finland from two data collection rounds (2002 and 2010) were conducted and pooled from adolescents aged between 13 and 15 years old with functional limitations (n = 1041). Differences in self-reported physical activity over the past week and participation in organized sport activity were analysed for each function. Overall, four in ten (n = 413) participated in organized sport and were significantly (p < 0.001) more physically active (mean = 4.92days, SD = 1.81) than their non-participating (mean = 3.29, SD = 1.86) peers with functional limitations. Despite low population prevalence, adolescents with epilepsy or visual impairments were the least active if they were not participating in organized sport, yet were the most active if they were involved in organized sport. Participating in organized sport appears to be an important factor promoting resources for maintaining recommended levels of physical activity in Finnish adolescents with functional limitations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Exercise and Chronic Disease)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Red Spinach Extract Increases Ventilatory Threshold during Graded Exercise Testing
Received: 7 August 2017 / Revised: 6 October 2017 / Accepted: 11 October 2017 / Published: 16 October 2017
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Abstract
Background: We examined the acute effect of a red spinach extract (RSE) (1000 mg dose; ~90 mg nitrate (NO3)) on performance markers during graded exercise testing (GXT). Methods: For this randomized, double-blind, placebo (PBO)-controlled, crossover study, 15 recreationally-active participants (aged
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Background: We examined the acute effect of a red spinach extract (RSE) (1000 mg dose; ~90 mg nitrate (NO 3 )) on performance markers during graded exercise testing (GXT). Methods: For this randomized, double-blind, placebo (PBO)-controlled, crossover study, 15 recreationally-active participants (aged 23.1 ± 3.3 years; BMI: 27.2 ± 3.7 kg/m2) reported >2 h post-prandial and performed GXT 65–75 min post-RSE or PBO ingestion. Blood samples were collected at baseline (BL), pre-GXT (65–75 min post-ingestion; PRE), and immediately post-GXT (POST). GXT commenced with continuous analysis of expired gases. Results: Plasma concentrations of NO 3 increased PRE (+447 ± 294%; p < 0.001) and POST (+378 ± 179%; p < 0.001) GXT with RSE, but not with PBO (+3 ± 26%, −8 ± 24%, respectively; p > 0.05). No effect on circulating nitrite (NO 2 ) was observed with RSE (+3.3 ± 7.5%, +7.7 ± 11.8% PRE and POST, respectively; p > 0.05) or PBO (−0.5 ± 7.9%, −0.2 ± 8.1% PRE and POST, respectively; p > 0.05). When compared to PBO, there was a moderate effect of RSE on plasma NO 2 at PRE (g = 0.50 [−0.26, 1.24] and POST g = 0.71 [−0.05, 1.48]). During GXT, VO2 at the ventilatory threshold was significantly higher with RSE compared to PBO (+6.1 ± 7.3%; p < 0.05), though time-to-exhaustion (−4.0 ± 7.7%; p > 0.05) and maximal aerobic power (i.e., VO2 peak; −0.8 ± 5.6%; p > 0.05) were non-significantly lower with RSE. Conclusions: RSE as a nutritional supplement may elicit an ergogenic response by delaying the ventilatory threshold. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Clinical and Sports Nutrition)
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Open AccessReview Quality of Life and Breast Cancer: How Can Mind–Body Exercise Therapies Help? An Overview Study
Received: 20 August 2017 / Revised: 1 October 2017 / Accepted: 7 October 2017 / Published: 13 October 2017
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Abstract
Breast cancer survivors experience extensive treatments, threatening their quality of life. Complementary therapies used as a supplement to cancer treatment may control symptoms, enhance quality of life, and contribute to overall patient care. Mind–body exercise therapies might motivate cancer survivors to exercise, and
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Breast cancer survivors experience extensive treatments, threatening their quality of life. Complementary therapies used as a supplement to cancer treatment may control symptoms, enhance quality of life, and contribute to overall patient care. Mind–body exercise therapies might motivate cancer survivors to exercise, and assist them in regaining health. The purpose of this overview study is to study benefits from mind–body exercise of yoga, tai chi chuan and qigong upon quality of life in breast cancer populations. A systematic overview of reviews was applied. Literature search in five electronic databases and in reference lists was performed during April 2017. In addition, experts in the field were consulted. Of 38 identified titles, 11 review articles, including six meta-analyses were found eligible for review. Methodological quality was high for the majority of quality domains. Yoga, the most studied mind–body therapy, was found to benefit breast cancer patients’ psychological quality of life, while less support was established concerning physical quality of life elements. The evidence of improvements of quality of life from tai chi chuan and qigong remains unclear. Breast cancer survivors’ experiences of psychological and social well-being may be enhanced by practicing yoga. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Maximum Strength, Rate of Force Development, Jump Height, and Peak Power Alterations in Weightlifters across Five Months of Training
Received: 31 August 2017 / Revised: 29 September 2017 / Accepted: 3 October 2017 / Published: 13 October 2017
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Abstract
The purpose of this monitoring study was to investigate how alterations in training affect changes in force-related characteristics and weightlifting performance. Subjects: Seven competitive weightlifters participated in the study. Methods: The weightlifters performed a block style periodized plan across 20 weeks. Force plate
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The purpose of this monitoring study was to investigate how alterations in training affect changes in force-related characteristics and weightlifting performance. Subjects: Seven competitive weightlifters participated in the study. Methods: The weightlifters performed a block style periodized plan across 20 weeks. Force plate data from the isometric mid-thigh pull and static jumps with 0 kg, 11 kg, and 20 kg were collected near the end of each training block (weeks 1, 6, 10, 13, 17, and 20). Weightlifting performance was measured at weeks 0, 7, 11, and 20. Results: Very strong correlations were noted between weightlifting performances and isometric rate of force development (RFD), isometric peak force (PF), peak power (PP), and jump height (JH). Men responded in a more predictable manner than the women. During periods of higher training volume, RFD was depressed to a greater extent than PF. JH at 20 kg responded in a manner reflecting the expected fatigue response more so than JH at 0 kg and 11 kg. Conclusions: PF appears to have been more resistant to volume alterations than RFD and JH at 20 kg. RFD and JH at 20 kg appear to be superior monitoring metrics due to their “sensitivity.” Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Role of Strength on Performance in Athletic Tasks)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle The Age-Related Association of Movement in Irish Adolescent Youth
Received: 1 August 2017 / Revised: 22 September 2017 / Accepted: 26 September 2017 / Published: 2 October 2017
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Abstract
(1) Background: Research has shown that post-primary Irish youth are insufficiently active and fail to reach a level of proficiency across basic movement skills. The purpose of the current research was to gather cross-sectional baseline data on Irish adolescent youth, specifically the prevalence
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(1) Background: Research has shown that post-primary Irish youth are insufficiently active and fail to reach a level of proficiency across basic movement skills. The purpose of the current research was to gather cross-sectional baseline data on Irish adolescent youth, specifically the prevalence of movement skills and patterns, in order to generate an overall perspective of movement within the first three years (Junior Certificate level) of post-primary education. (2) Methods: Data were collected on adolescents (N = 181; mean age: 14.42 ± 0.98 years), attending two, mixed-gender schools. Data collection included 10 fundamental movement skills (FMS) and the seven tests within the Functional Movement Screen (FMS™). The data set was analysed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 20.0 for Windows. (3) Results: Overall, levels of actual mastery within fundamental and functional movement were low. There were statistically significant age-related differences observed, with a progressive decline as age increased in both the object control (p = 0.002) FMS sub-domain, and the in-line lunge (p = 0.048) test of the FMS™. (4) Conclusion: In summary, we found emerging evidence that school year group is significantly associated with mastery of movement skills and patterns. Results from the current study suggest that developing a specifically tailored movement-oriented intervention would be a strategic step towards improving the low levels of adolescent fundamental and functional movement proficiency. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Do Bodybuilders Use Evidence-Based Nutrition Strategies to Manipulate Physique?
Received: 4 September 2017 / Revised: 21 September 2017 / Accepted: 26 September 2017 / Published: 29 September 2017
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Abstract
Competitive bodybuilders undergo strict dietary and training practices to achieve an extremely lean and muscular physique. The purpose of this study was to identify and describe different dietary strategies used by bodybuilders, their rationale, and the sources of information from which these strategies
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Competitive bodybuilders undergo strict dietary and training practices to achieve an extremely lean and muscular physique. The purpose of this study was to identify and describe different dietary strategies used by bodybuilders, their rationale, and the sources of information from which these strategies are gathered. In-depth interviews were conducted with seven experienced (10.4 ± 3.4 years bodybuilding experience), male, natural bodybuilders. Participants were asked about training, dietary and supplement practices, and information resources for bodybuilding strategies. Interviews were transcribed verbatim and analyzed using qualitative content analysis. During the off-season, energy intake was higher and less restricted than during the in-season to aid in muscle hypertrophy. There was a focus on high protein intake with adequate carbohydrate to permit high training loads. To create an energy deficit and loss of fat mass, energy intake was gradually and progressively reduced during the in-season via a reduction in carbohydrate and fat intake. The rationale for weekly higher carbohydrate refeed days was to offset declines in metabolic rate and fatigue, while in the final “peak week” before competition, the reasoning for fluid and sodium manipulation and carbohydrate loading was to enhance the appearance of leanness and vascularity. Other bodybuilders, coaches and the internet were significant sources of information. Despite the common perception of extreme, non-evidence-based regimens, these bodybuilders reported predominantly using strategies which are recognized as evidence-based, developed over many years of experience. Additionally, novel strategies such as weekly refeed days to enhance fat loss, and sodium and fluid manipulation, warrant further investigation to evaluate their efficacy and safety. Full article
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Open AccessArticle To Take the Stairs or Not to Take the Stairs? Employing the Reflective–Impulsive Model to Predict Spontaneous Physical Activity
Received: 8 September 2017 / Revised: 22 September 2017 / Accepted: 27 September 2017 / Published: 29 September 2017
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Abstract
The reflective–impulsive model (RIM) has been employed to explain various health behaviors. The present study used RIM to predict a spontaneous physical activity behavior. Specifically, 107 participants (75 females; Mage = 20.6 years, SD = 1.92 years) completed measures of (1) reflections
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The reflective–impulsive model (RIM) has been employed to explain various health behaviors. The present study used RIM to predict a spontaneous physical activity behavior. Specifically, 107 participants (75 females; Mage = 20.6 years, SD = 1.92 years) completed measures of (1) reflections about spontaneous physical activity, as indexed by self-report questionnaire; (2) impulse toward physical activity, as indexed by the manikin task; and (3) (state) self-control, as indexed by the Stroop task. The dependent variable was whether participants took the stairs or the elevator to the study laboratory. Results revealed reflections toward spontaneous physical activity positively predicted stair-taking. Further, a significant impulse toward physical activity × self-control interaction was observed. This interaction revealed that participants with high self-control who had a high impulse toward PA were more likely to take the stairs than their counterparts with a low impulse toward PA, whereas the opposite was the case for participants with low self-control. However, the impulse × self-control interaction was not significant when employing a self-report measure of trait self-control. Thus, RIM may be a good framework with which to consider spontaneous physical activity, but careful consideration must be given when examining variables within RIM (e.g., the boundary condition of self-control). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Brain Activity in Sports and Exercise)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle The Relationship between Actual Fundamental Motor Skill Proficiency, Perceived Motor Skill Confidence and Competence, and Physical Activity in 8–12-Year-Old Irish Female Youth
Received: 1 August 2017 / Revised: 15 September 2017 / Accepted: 21 September 2017 / Published: 27 September 2017
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Abstract
This study examines the relationship between actual fundamental motor skill (FMS) proficiency, perceived motor confidence and competence, and physical activity (PA) among female children (n= 160; mean age = 10.69 ± 1.40 years). The Test of Gross Motor Development-2nd Edition (TGMD-2)
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This study examines the relationship between actual fundamental motor skill (FMS) proficiency, perceived motor confidence and competence, and physical activity (PA) among female children (n= 160; mean age = 10.69 ± 1.40 years). The Test of Gross Motor Development-2nd Edition (TGMD-2) was used to assess seven FMSs (locomotor, object-control, and stability). Motor confidence and competence were assessed using a valid skill-specific scale, and a modified version of the Self-Perception Profile for Children. PA levels were assessed using self-report (PA Questionnaire for Older Children (PAQ-C)) and classified as low, moderate, and high active. One-way and two-way ANOVAs (post-hoc honest significant difference (HSD)) and correlation coefficients were used to analyse the data. Findings indicate that the majority of youth (71.8%) were not meeting the minimum 60 min of daily PA recommended for health, and that 98.1% did not achieve the FMS proficiency expected for their age. While there were high levels of perceived physical self-confidence (PSC) reported within FMS skill-specific tasks, there was no significant correlation observed between actual FMS proficiency and perceived PSC among the cohort. Results show that low, moderately, and highly active female participants differ significantly in terms of their overall FMS (p = 0.03) and locomotor (LOC) control scores (p = 0.03). Results from a two-way between-groups analysis of variance also revealed no statistically significant interaction effect between PA grouping and physical performance self-concept (PPSC) on overall FMS proficiency levels. Results of a multiple linear regression indicate that perceived PSC is a significant predictor (beta = 0.183) of participants’ overall PA levels. Data show a need for targeting low levels of PA, and low FMS proficiency in female youth, and for developing interventions aiming to enhance perceived PSC levels. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Executive Function and the P300 after Treadmill Exercise and Futsal in College Soccer Players
Received: 28 August 2017 / Revised: 17 September 2017 / Accepted: 21 September 2017 / Published: 26 September 2017
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Abstract
(1) Background: Although a body of evidence demonstrates that acute exercise improves executive function, few studies have compared more complex, laboratory-based modes of exercise, such as soccer that involve multiple aspects of the environment. (2) Methods: Twelve experienced soccer players (24.8 ± 2
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(1) Background: Although a body of evidence demonstrates that acute exercise improves executive function, few studies have compared more complex, laboratory-based modes of exercise, such as soccer that involve multiple aspects of the environment. (2) Methods: Twelve experienced soccer players (24.8 ± 2 years) completed three counterbalanced 20 min sessions of (1) seated rest; (2) moderate intensity treadmill exercise; and (3) a game of futsal. Once heart rate returned to within 10% of pre-activity levels, participants completed the Stroop Color Word Conflict Task while reaction time (RT) and P300 event-related potentials were measured. (3) Results: Reaction time during Stroop performance was significantly faster following the futsal game and treadmill exercise compared to the seated rest. The P300 amplitude during Stroop performance was significantly greater following futsal relative to both treadmill and seated-rest conditions. (4) Conclusions: These findings suggest that single bouts of indoor soccer among college-aged soccer players, compared to treadmill and seated-rest conditions, may engender the greatest effect on brain networks controlling attention allocation and classification speed during the performance of an inhibitory control task. Future research is needed to determine if cognitively engaging forms of aerobic exercise may differentially impact executive control processes in less experienced and older adult participants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Brain Activity in Sports and Exercise)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Influence of Dynamic Strength Index on Countermovement Jump Force-, Power-, Velocity-, and Displacement-Time Curves
Received: 30 August 2017 / Revised: 14 September 2017 / Accepted: 20 September 2017 / Published: 23 September 2017
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Abstract
The dynamic strength index (DSI), often calculated as the ratio of countermovement jump (CMJ) propulsion peak force to isometric mid-thigh pull (IMTP) peak force, is said to inform whether ballistic or maximal strength training is warranted for a given athlete. CMJ propulsion peak
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The dynamic strength index (DSI), often calculated as the ratio of countermovement jump (CMJ) propulsion peak force to isometric mid-thigh pull (IMTP) peak force, is said to inform whether ballistic or maximal strength training is warranted for a given athlete. CMJ propulsion peak force is highly influenced by jump strategy, however, which is not highlighted by the DSI alone. This study aimed to quantitatively compare CMJ force-, power-, velocity-, and displacement-time curves between athletes who achieved high versus low DSI scores. Fifty-three male collegiate athletes performed three CMJs and IMTPs on a force platform. Athletes were ranked based on DSI score and the CMJ kinetic and kinematic-time curves of the bottom and top twenty athletes were compared. The low DSI group (0.55 ± 0.10 vs. 0.92 ± 0.11) produced greater IMTP peak force (46.7 ± 15.0 vs. 31.1 ± 6.6 N·kg−1) but a larger braking net impulse in the CMJ, leading to greater braking velocity and larger countermovement displacement. This strategy resulted in a similar CMJ propulsion peak force (25.9 ± 2.2 vs. 25.4 ± 3.1 N·kg−1) to the high DSI group. These results, taken together with those of previous studies, support the notion of ballistic versus maximal strength training likely being better suited to low versus high DSI scorers, respectively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Role of Strength on Performance in Athletic Tasks)
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