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Sports, Volume 7, Issue 1 (January 2019)

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Cover Story (view full-size image) It has been suggested that advanced training techniques (ATT) may optimize training volume, muscle [...] Read more.
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Open AccessArticle
Drop Jump Asymmetry is Associated with Reduced Sprint and Change-of-Direction Speed Performance in Adult Female Soccer Players
Sports 2019, 7(1), 29; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports7010029 - 21 Jan 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1535
Abstract
Studies that examine the effects of inter-limb asymmetry on measures of physical performance are scarce, especially in adult female populations. The aim of the present study was to establish the relationship between inter-limb asymmetry and speed and change-of-direction speed (CODS) in adult female [...] Read more.
Studies that examine the effects of inter-limb asymmetry on measures of physical performance are scarce, especially in adult female populations. The aim of the present study was to establish the relationship between inter-limb asymmetry and speed and change-of-direction speed (CODS) in adult female soccer players. Sixteen adult players performed a preseason test battery consisting of unilateral countermovement jump (CMJ), unilateral drop jump (DJ), 10 m, 30 m, and 505 CODS tests. Inter-limb asymmetry was calculated using a standard percentage difference equation for jump and CODS tests, and Pearson’s r correlations were used to establish a relationship between asymmetry and physical performance as well as asymmetry scores themselves across tests. Jump-height asymmetry from the CMJ (8.65%) and DJ (9.16%) tests were significantly greater (p < 0.05) than asymmetry during the 505 test (2.39%). CMJ-height asymmetry showed no association with speed or CODS. However, DJ asymmetries were significantly associated with slower 10 m (r = 0.52; p < 0.05), 30 m (r = 0.58; p < 0.05), and 505 (r = 0.52–0.66; p < 0.05) performance. No significant relationships were present between asymmetry scores across tests. These findings suggest that the DJ is a useful test for detecting existent between-limb asymmetry that might in turn be detrimental to speed and CODS performance. Furthermore, the lack of relationships present between different asymmetry scores indicates the individual nature of asymmetry and precludes the use of a single test for the assessment of inter-limb differences. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Training, Screening and Monitoring in Soccer)
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Open AccessArticle
Inertial Sensors for Performance Analysis in Combat Sports: A Systematic Review
Sports 2019, 7(1), 28; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports7010028 - 21 Jan 2019
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1405
Abstract
The integration of technology into training and competition sport settings is becoming more commonplace. Inertial sensors are one technology being used for performance monitoring. Within combat sports, there is an emerging trend to use this type of technology; however, the use and selection [...] Read more.
The integration of technology into training and competition sport settings is becoming more commonplace. Inertial sensors are one technology being used for performance monitoring. Within combat sports, there is an emerging trend to use this type of technology; however, the use and selection of this technology for combat sports has not been reviewed. To address this gap, a systematic literature review for combat sport athlete performance analysis was conducted. A total of 36 records were included for review, demonstrating that inertial measurements were predominately used for measuring strike quality. The methodology for both selecting and implementing technology appeared ad-hoc, with no guidelines for appropriately analysing the results. This review summarises a framework of best practice for selecting and implementing inertial sensor technology for evaluating combat sport performance. It is envisaged that this review will act as a guide for future research into applying technology to combat sport. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Foam Rolling of the Calf and Anterior Thigh: Biomechanical Loads and Acute Effects on Vertical Jump Height and Muscle Stiffness
Sports 2019, 7(1), 27; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports7010027 - 19 Jan 2019
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1673
Abstract
When considering the scientific lack concerning the execution and acute effects and mechanism of foam rolling (FR), this study has evaluated the biomechanical loads by the force-time characteristics during two popular FR exercises. Additionally, the acute effects of FR on jump height and [...] Read more.
When considering the scientific lack concerning the execution and acute effects and mechanism of foam rolling (FR), this study has evaluated the biomechanical loads by the force-time characteristics during two popular FR exercises. Additionally, the acute effects of FR on jump height and muscular stiffness were simultaneously assessed. Within a randomized cross-over design, 20 males (26.6 ± 2.7 years; 181.6 ± 6.8 cm; 80.4 ± 9.1 kg) were tested on different days pre, post, and 15 and 30 min after three interventions. The interventions consisted of a FR procedure for the calf and anterior thigh of both legs, 10 min ergometer cycling, and resting as a control. Stiffness was measured via mechanomyography at the thigh, calf, and ankle. The vertical ground reaction forces were measured under the roller device during FR as well as to estimate jump height. Within the FR exercises, the forces decreased from the proximal to distal position, and were in mean 34 and 32% of body weight for the calves and thighs, respectively. Importantly, with 51 to 55%, the maxima of the individual mean forces were considerably higher. Jump height did not change after FR, but increased after cycling. Moreover, stiffness of the thigh decreased after FR and increased after cycling. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Do Obese Children Achieve Maximal Heart Rate during Treadmill Running?
Sports 2019, 7(1), 26; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports7010026 - 19 Jan 2019
Viewed by 793
Abstract
Objective: Maximal heart rate (HR) is commonly defined as the highest HR obtained during a progressive exercise test to exhaustion. Maximal HR is considered one of the criteria to assess maximum exertion in exercise tests, and is broadly used when prescribing exercise intensity. [...] Read more.
Objective: Maximal heart rate (HR) is commonly defined as the highest HR obtained during a progressive exercise test to exhaustion. Maximal HR is considered one of the criteria to assess maximum exertion in exercise tests, and is broadly used when prescribing exercise intensity. The aim of the present study was to compare peak HR measurements during maximal treadmill running and active play in obese children and adolescents. Design: Comparison of peak heart rate during active play vs. maximal treadmill running in 39 (7–17 years old, 18 males) obese children and adolescents. Methods: Heart rate was recorded during intensive active play sessions, as well as during a progressive running test on a treadmill until exhaustion. HR, respiratory exchange ratio (RER), and oxygen uptake were continuously measured during the test. The criteria for having reached maximal effort was a subjective assessment by the technician that the participants had reached his or her maximal effort, and a RER above 1.00 or reporting perceived exertion (RPE) above 17 using the Borg-RPE6–20-Scale. Results: Thirty-four children had a RER ≥1.00, and 37 reported a RPE ≥ 17. Thirty-two children fulfilled both criteria. During active play, peak HR was significantly (p < 0.0001) increased (4%) (mean and 95% confidence intervals; 204 (201, 207) beats/min), compared to during maximal treadmill running (196 (194, 199) beats/min), respectively. Conclusion: The results of the present study indicate that peak heart rate measurements during progressive running to exhaustion in obese children and adolescents cannot necessarily be determined as maximal heart rate. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Activity in Adolescents)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Physiological Responses of Continuous and Intermittent Swimming at Critical Speed and Maximum Lactate Steady State in Children and Adolescent Swimmers
Sports 2019, 7(1), 25; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports7010025 - 18 Jan 2019
Viewed by 914
Abstract
Background: The purpose of this study was to compare physiological responses during continuous and intermittent swimming at intensity corresponding to critical speed (CS: slope of the distance vs. time relationship using 200 and 400-m tests) with maximal lactate steady state (MLSS) in children [...] Read more.
Background: The purpose of this study was to compare physiological responses during continuous and intermittent swimming at intensity corresponding to critical speed (CS: slope of the distance vs. time relationship using 200 and 400-m tests) with maximal lactate steady state (MLSS) in children and adolescents. Methods: CS and the speed corresponding to MLSS (sMLSS) were calculated in ten male children (11.5 ± 0.4 years) and ten adolescents (15.8 ± 0.7 years). Blood lactate concentration (BL), oxygen uptake ( V · O2), and heart rate (HR) at sMLSS were compared to intermittent (10 × 200-m) and continuous swimming corresponding to CS. Results: CS was similar to sMLSS in children (1.092 ± 0.071 vs. 1.083 ± 0.065 m·s−1; p = 0.12) and adolescents (1.315 ± 0.068 vs. 1.297 ± 0.056 m·s−1; p = 0.12). However, not all swimmers were able to complete 30 min at CS and BL was higher at the end of continuous swimming at CS compared to sMLSS (children: CS: 4.0 ± 1.8, sMLSS: 3.4 ± 1.5; adolescents: CS: 4.5 ± 2.3, sMLSS: 3.1 ± 0.8 mmol·L−1; p < 0.05). V · O2 and HR in continuous swimming at CS were not different compared to sMLSS (p > 0.05). BL, V · O2 and HR in 10 × 200-m were similar to sMLSS and no different between groups. Conclusion: Intermittent swimming at CS presents physiological responses similar to sMLSS. Metabolic responses of continuous swimming at CS may not correspond to MLSS in some children and adolescent swimmers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physiological Responses During Exercise)
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Open AccessArticle
Cycling as the Best Sub-8-Hour Performance Predictor in Full Distance Triathlon
Sports 2019, 7(1), 24; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports7010024 - 18 Jan 2019
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1371
Abstract
For any triathlon distance (short, Olympic, half-distance and full-distance), competitors spend more time cycling than swimming or running, but running has emerged as the discipline with the greatest influence on overall performance at the Olympic distance. However, there is a lack of evidence [...] Read more.
For any triathlon distance (short, Olympic, half-distance and full-distance), competitors spend more time cycling than swimming or running, but running has emerged as the discipline with the greatest influence on overall performance at the Olympic distance. However, there is a lack of evidence on which discipline has the greatest influence on performance in the overall full-distance triathlon (3.8 km swimming/180 km cycling/42.195 km running), especially for the fastest performing athletes of all time. The total race times of 51 fastest triathletes (sub-8-hour) were studied, while for the split times, a sample of 44 participants was considered. The discipline that seemed to better predict total race time was cycling (coefficient = 0.828; p < 0.001), followed by running (coefficient = 0.726; p < 0.001) and swimming (coefficient = 0.476; p < 0.001). Furthermore, cycling was the discipline with the highest performance improvement over the years, whereas running had a slightly decrease. In conclusion, cycling seems to be the discipline with greater influence in final result for the full-distance triathlon. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Promoting Stair Climbing as an Exercise Routine among Healthy Older Adults Attending a Community-Based Physical Activity Program
Sports 2019, 7(1), 23; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports7010023 - 18 Jan 2019
Viewed by 1064
Abstract
Stair climbing provides a feasible opportunity for increasing physical activity (PA) in daily living. The purpose of this study was to examine the daily walking and stair-climbing steps among healthy older adults (age: 74.0 ± 4.9 years; Body Mass Index (BMI): 22.3 ± [...] Read more.
Stair climbing provides a feasible opportunity for increasing physical activity (PA) in daily living. The purpose of this study was to examine the daily walking and stair-climbing steps among healthy older adults (age: 74.0 ± 4.9 years; Body Mass Index (BMI): 22.3 ± 2.5 kg/m2). Participants (34 females and 15 males) attended a weekly 6-month community-based PA program. During the entire program period, daily walking and stair-climbing steps were recorded using a pedometer (Omron, HJA-403C, Kyoto, Japan). Before and after the 6-month program, height, body weight and leg muscle strength were assessed. After the 6-month program, the mean walking and stair-climbing steps in both women and men increased significantly (p ≤ 0.01). Daily stair-climbing steps increased about 36 steps in women and 47 steps in men. At the end of 6 months, only male participants had significant correlation between the number of stair steps and leg muscle strength (r = 0.428, p = 0.037). This study reported that healthy older adults attending the community-based PA program had regular stair-climbing steps during daily living. Promoting stair climbing as an exercise routine was feasible to increase their walking and stair-climbing steps. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Exercise in Aging)
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Open AccessReview
Intermittent Dieting: Theoretical Considerations for the Athlete
Sports 2019, 7(1), 22; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports7010022 - 16 Jan 2019
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 10810
Abstract
Athletes utilise numerous strategies to reduce body weight or body fat prior to competition. The traditional approach requires continuous energy restriction (CER) for the entire weight loss phase (typically days to weeks). However, there is some suggestion that intermittent energy restriction (IER), which [...] Read more.
Athletes utilise numerous strategies to reduce body weight or body fat prior to competition. The traditional approach requires continuous energy restriction (CER) for the entire weight loss phase (typically days to weeks). However, there is some suggestion that intermittent energy restriction (IER), which involves alternating periods of energy restriction with periods of greater energy intake (referred to as ‘refeeds’ or ‘diet breaks’) may result in superior weight loss outcomes than CER. This may be due to refeed periods causing transitory restoration of energy balance. Some studies indicate that intermittent periods of energy balance during energy restriction attenuate some of the adaptive responses that resist the continuation of weight and fat loss. While IER—like CER—is known to effectively reduce body fat in non-athletes, evidence for effectiveness of IER in athletic populations is lacking. This review provides theoretical considerations for successful body composition adjustment using IER, with discussion of how the limited existing evidence can be cautiously applied in athlete practice. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Loading Patterns of Rubber-Based Resistance Bands across Distributors
Sports 2019, 7(1), 21; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports7010021 - 16 Jan 2019
Viewed by 833
Abstract
Variable resistance implemented through concurrent use of rubber-based resistance bands and free weights is commonly used in training athletes. The purpose of this study was to examine the consistency of rubber-based resistance (RBR) band loading patterns across four distributors. Bands (n = [...] Read more.
Variable resistance implemented through concurrent use of rubber-based resistance bands and free weights is commonly used in training athletes. The purpose of this study was to examine the consistency of rubber-based resistance (RBR) band loading patterns across four distributors. Bands (n = 141) were obtained from online distributors (Rogue Fitness, EliteFTS, RubberBanditz, and Power Systems) across a spectrum of available widths (0.635, 1.270, 2.860, 4.450, 6.350, and 10.160 cm). At least five bands for each width were stretched in 5 cm increments from resting (100 cm) to twice resting length (200 cm) while tensile resistance was measured using a load cell integrated with a digital controller. Each band was tested twice on non-consecutive days producing an intertrial intraclass correlational coefficient (ICC) between 0.93–0.99 with a grand mean ICC across all repeated measures of 0.99. Statistical differences were observed in mean resistance for bands of equal thickness across distributors. Significant correlations were found between a range of tensile load expressed as a total load and band thickness (r = 0.658) and when expressed as a percentage (r = −0.386). This study is useful for strength and conditioning professionals and clinicians who should be cognizant of loading variability within both bandwidths and between distributors. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Limb Differences in Unipedal Balance Performance in Young Male Soccer Players with Different Ages
Sports 2019, 7(1), 20; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports7010020 - 11 Jan 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 908
Abstract
In soccer, the dominant leg is frequently used for passing and kicking while standing on the non-dominant leg. Consequently, postural control in the standing leg might be superior compared to the kicking leg and is further enhanced with increasing age (i.e., level of [...] Read more.
In soccer, the dominant leg is frequently used for passing and kicking while standing on the non-dominant leg. Consequently, postural control in the standing leg might be superior compared to the kicking leg and is further enhanced with increasing age (i.e., level of playing experience). Unfortunately, leg differences in postural control are associated with an increased risk of injuries. Thus, we examined differences between limbs in unipedal balance performance in young soccer players at different ages. Performance in the Lower Quarter Y Balance Test (YBT-LQ) of the dominant and non-dominant leg and anthropometry was assessed in 76 young male soccer players (under-13 years [U13]: n = 19, U15: n = 14, U17: n = 21, U19: n = 22). Maximal reach distances (% leg length) and the composite scores were used for further analyses. Statistical analyses yielded no statistically significant main effects of leg or significant Leg × Age interactions, irrespective of the measure investigated. However, limb differences in the anterior reach direction were above the proposed cut-off value of >4 cm, which is indicative of increased injury risk. Further, statistically significant main effects of age were found for all investigated parameters, indicating larger reach distances in older (U19) compared to younger (U13) players (except for U15 players). Although reach differences between legs were non-significant, the value in the anterior reach direction was higher than the cut-off value of >4 cm in all age groups. This is indicative of an increased injury risk, and thus injury prevention programs should be part of the training of young soccer players. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Relative Strength, but Not Absolute Muscle Strength, Is Higher in Exercising Compared to Non-Exercising Older Women
Sports 2019, 7(1), 19; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports7010019 - 10 Jan 2019
Viewed by 620
Abstract
Exercise has been suggested for older adults. However, there is no consensus whether exercising older adults present better strength levels and body composition indexes compared with inactive counterparts. Our aim was to compare absolute and relative isokinetic muscular knee strength and body composition [...] Read more.
Exercise has been suggested for older adults. However, there is no consensus whether exercising older adults present better strength levels and body composition indexes compared with inactive counterparts. Our aim was to compare absolute and relative isokinetic muscular knee strength and body composition between exercising and non-exercising older women. Exercising (n = 20) and non-exercising (n = 21) groups were evaluated for body mass index (BMI), body composition, and isokinetic muscular knee strength. BMI (p = 0.005), total body mass (p = 0.01), fat mass (p = 0.01), and fat mass percentage (p = 0.01) were higher in non-exercising women, and the lean mass percentage was lower in the non-exercising group (p = 0.01). Isokinetic extensor and flexor knee muscle strength for dominant limbs presented higher peak torque values when corrected for total body mass (Nm·kg−1) in the exercising group (p < 0.05). Exercising older women presented better body composition and higher strength relative to total body mass, but not maximum absolute strength. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Changes in Lower Body Muscular Performance Following a Season of NCAA Division I Men’s Lacrosse
Sports 2019, 7(1), 18; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports7010018 - 09 Jan 2019
Viewed by 915
Abstract
The tactical and technical components of training become a primary emphasis, leaving less time for targeted development of physical qualities that underpin performance during the competition phase of a training program. A deemphasis on physical preparation during the in-season training phase may make [...] Read more.
The tactical and technical components of training become a primary emphasis, leaving less time for targeted development of physical qualities that underpin performance during the competition phase of a training program. A deemphasis on physical preparation during the in-season training phase may make athletes more susceptible to injury and decrease performance on the field. Two weeks prior to the start and one week following the conclusion of the 16-week collegiate lacrosse season, lower body force production was assessed in eight National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I Men’s Lacrosse athletes. Lower body force production capabilities were determined via the performance of countermovement jumps (CMJ) and drop jumps (DJ) performed on a force plate and isokinetic strength testing of the quadriceps and hamstring muscle groups across three velocities. Isokinetic strength of the hamstrings and the hamstring to quadriceps strength ratio were maintained or increased over the course of the competition phase of training. Relative peak force obtained from the CMJ and the reactive strength index from the DJ decreased significantly over the season. The maintenance of isokinetic strength and the decrease in CMJ and DJ performance may indicate the presence of neuromuscular fatigue that accumulated over the course of the season. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Neuromuscular Research)
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Open AccessEditorial
Acknowledgement to Reviewers of Sports in 2018
Sports 2019, 7(1), 17; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports7010017 - 09 Jan 2019
Viewed by 706
Abstract
Rigorous peer-review is the corner-stone of high-quality academic publishing [...] Full article
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Coach Competences to Induce Positive Affective Reactions in Sport and Exercise—A Qualitative Study
Sports 2019, 7(1), 16; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports7010016 - 08 Jan 2019
Viewed by 1076
Abstract
Positive affective reactions are a crucial aspect in physical activity maintenance. Affective reactions to sport and exercise were found to be important factors of physical activity. Coaches could be an important medium to induce positive affective reactions of participants in sport and exercise. [...] Read more.
Positive affective reactions are a crucial aspect in physical activity maintenance. Affective reactions to sport and exercise were found to be important factors of physical activity. Coaches could be an important medium to induce positive affective reactions of participants in sport and exercise. Understanding how coaches trigger positive affective reactions (AR) during physical activity is a crucial aspect for increasing maintenance in sport and exercise. The aim of this study is to identify the competences of the coaches which are associated with perceived positive AR of participants during sport and exercise. To identify these factors, semistructured in-depth interviews were conducted with 18 participants, who take part in sport and exercise (nine female and nine male) of heterogeneous age (mean age 42.6; SD = 19.25; under 30 years, 30 to 60 years, 60 years and above) and who have different athletic backgrounds (individual sports, team sports, and gym classes). Four key coach competence factors were identified and used to design an integrated model. Three general competences: context sensitivity, social–emotional competences, professional competences, and the specific competences in the behaviour-related competences. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emotions in Sports and Exercise)
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Open AccessArticle
Effect of Descent Velocity upon Muscle Activation and Performance in Two-Legged Free Weight Back Squats
Sports 2019, 7(1), 15; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports7010015 - 07 Jan 2019
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1070
Abstract
Background: The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of descent velocity during two-legged full back squats upon muscle activation and squat ascent performance. Methods: Eleven healthy resistance-training males (age: 24 ± 6 years, body mass: 89.5 ± 21.5 kg, height: [...] Read more.
Background: The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of descent velocity during two-legged full back squats upon muscle activation and squat ascent performance. Methods: Eleven healthy resistance-training males (age: 24 ± 6 years, body mass: 89.5 ± 21.5 kg, height: 1.84 ± 0.10 m) performed 4-repetition maximum (4-RM) two-legged full squats with slow, normal, and fast descent phases. Kinematics and muscle activity of ten muscles divided into five regions were measured. Results: The main findings were that maximal and minimal velocity were lower and maximal velocity occurred later in the slow condition, while there was no difference in second peak velocity or ascent displacement when compared with the normal and fast conditions. Furthermore, no differences in muscle activation were found as an effect of the descent velocity. Conclusion: It was concluded that the slow descent velocity had a negative effect upon the ascent phase, because of the lower peak velocity and peak force increasing the chance of failure. The lower velocities were not caused by lower pre-activation of the muscles but were probably a result of potentiation and/or utilization of stored elastic energy and/or the stretch reflex. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Repeated Bouts of Advanced Strength Training Techniques: Effects on Volume Load, Metabolic Responses, and Muscle Activation in Trained Individuals
Sports 2019, 7(1), 14; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports7010014 - 06 Jan 2019
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1815
Abstract
This study investigated the effects of advanced training techniques (ATT) on muscular responses and if performing a second training session would negatively affect the training stimulus. Eleven strength-trained males performed a traditional strength training session (TST) and four different ATT: pre-exhaustion A (PE-A), [...] Read more.
This study investigated the effects of advanced training techniques (ATT) on muscular responses and if performing a second training session would negatively affect the training stimulus. Eleven strength-trained males performed a traditional strength training session (TST) and four different ATT: pre-exhaustion A (PE-A), pre-exhaustion B (PE-B), forced repetitions (FR), and super-set (SS). On day 1, SS produced lower volume load than TST, FR, and PE-B (−16.0%, p ≤ 0.03; −14.9, p ≤ 0.03 and −18.2%, p ≤ 0.01, respectively). On day 2, SS produced lower volumes than all the other ATT (−9.73–−18.5%, p ≤ 0.03). Additionally, subjects demonstrated lower perceived exertion on day 1 compared to day 2 (6.5 ± 0.4 AU vs. 8.7 ± 0.3 AU, p = 0.0001). For blood lactate concentration [La-] on days 1 and 2, [La-] after the tenth set was the highest compared to all other time points (baseline: 1.7 ± 0.2, fifth-set: 8.7 ± 1.0, tenth-set 9.7 ± 0.9, post-5 min: 8.7 ± 0.7 mmol∙L−1, p ≤ 0.0001). Acute muscle swelling was greater immediately and 30-min post compared to baseline (p ≤ 0.0001). On day 2, electromyography (EMG) amplitude on the clavicular head of the pectoralis major was lower for SS than TST, PE-A, and PE-B (−11.7%, p ≤ 0.01; −14.4%, p ≤ 0.009; −20.9%, p = 0.0003, respectively). Detrimental effects to the training stimulus were not observed when ATT (besides SS) are repeated. Strength trained individuals can sustain performance, compared to TST, when they are using ATT in an acute fashion. Although ATT have traditionally been used as a means to optimize metabolic stress, volume load, and neuromuscular responses, our data did not project differences in these variables compared to TST. However, it is important to note that different ATT might produce slight changes in volume load, muscle excitation, and fluid accumulation in strength-trained individuals from session to session. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Knee Angle Affects Posterior Chain Muscle Activation During an Isometric Test Used in Soccer Players
Sports 2019, 7(1), 13; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports7010013 - 04 Jan 2019
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1191
Abstract
Background: It has been suggested that altering the knee flexion angle during a commonly used supine isometric strength test developed with professional soccer players changes preferential hamstring muscle recruitment. The aim of this study was to examine the electromyography (EMG) knee joint-angle relationship [...] Read more.
Background: It has been suggested that altering the knee flexion angle during a commonly used supine isometric strength test developed with professional soccer players changes preferential hamstring muscle recruitment. The aim of this study was to examine the electromyography (EMG) knee joint-angle relationship during this test, as these data are currently unknown. Methods: Ten recreational male soccer athletes (age: 28 ± 2.4 years) were recruited and performed a supine isometric strength test on their dominant leg with the knee placed at two pre-selected flexion angles (30° and 90°). The surface EMG of the gluteus maximus, biceps femoris, semitendinosus, and medial gastrocnemius was measured, in addition to the within-session reliability (intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) and coefficient of variation (CV)). Results: Within-session reliability showed large variation dependent upon the test position and muscle measured (CV% = 8.8–36.1) Absolute mean EMG activity and percentage of maximum voluntary isometric contraction (MVIC) indicated different magnitudes of activation between the two test positions; however, significant mean differences were present for the biceps femoris only with greater activation recorded at the 30° knee angle (% MVIC: 31 ± 9 vs. 22 ± 7; p = 0.002). These differences (30% mean difference) were greater than the observed typical measurement error (CV% = 13.1–14.3 for the 90° and 30° test positions, respectively). Furthermore, the percentage MVIC showed a trend of heightened activation of all muscles with the knee positioned at 30°, but there was also more within-subject variation, and this was more pronounced for the gluteus maximus (CV% = 36.1 vs. 19.8) and medial gastrocnemius (CV% 31 vs. 22.6). Conclusions: These results indicate that biceps femoris and overall posterior chain muscle activation is increased with the knee positioned at 30° of flexion; however, the 90° angle displayed less variation in performance within individual participants, especially in the gluteus maximus and medial gastrocnemius. Thus, practitioners using this test to assess hamstring muscle strength should ensure appropriate familiarisation is afforded, and then may wish to prioritise the 30° knee position. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Training, Screening and Monitoring in Soccer)
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Open AccessArticle
The Effects of Whey vs. Pea Protein on Physical Adaptations Following 8-Weeks of High-Intensity Functional Training (HIFT): A Pilot Study
Sports 2019, 7(1), 12; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports7010012 - 04 Jan 2019
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2157
Abstract
This study examined the effects of whey and pea protein supplementation on physiological adaptations following 8-weeks of high-intensity functional training (HIFT). Fifteen HIFT men (n = 8; 38.6 ± 12.7 y, 1.8 ± 0.1 m, 87.7 ± 15.8 kg) and women (n = [...] Read more.
This study examined the effects of whey and pea protein supplementation on physiological adaptations following 8-weeks of high-intensity functional training (HIFT). Fifteen HIFT men (n = 8; 38.6 ± 12.7 y, 1.8 ± 0.1 m, 87.7 ± 15.8 kg) and women (n = 7; 38.9 ± 10.9 y, 1.7 ± 0.10 m, 73.3 ± 10.5 kg) participated in this study. Participants completed an 8-week HIFT program consisting of 4 training sessions per week. Participants consumed 24 g of either whey (n = 8) or pea (n = 7) protein before and after exercise on training days, and in-between meals on non-training days. Before and after training, participants underwent ultrasonography muscle thickness measurement, bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA), two benchmark WODs (workout of the day), 1-Repetition Maximum (1RM) squat and deadlift testing, and Isometric Mid-thigh Pull (IMTP) performance. Separate analyses of covariance (ANCOVA) were performed on all measures collected at POST. Both groups experienced increased strength for 1RM back squat (p = 0.006) and deadlift (p = 0.008). No training effect (p > 0.05) was found for body composition, muscle thickness, IMTP peak force, IMTP rate of force development, or performance in either WOD. Using PRE values as the covariate, there were no group differences for any measured variable. We conclude that ingestion of whey and pea protein produce similar outcomes in measurements of body composition, muscle thickness, force production, WOD performance and strength following 8-weeks of HIFT. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Research on High Intensity Functional Training)
Open AccessArticle
Changes in Quality of Life in Elementary School Children—The Health Oriented Pedagogical Project (HOPP)
Sports 2019, 7(1), 11; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports7010011 - 03 Jan 2019
Viewed by 768
Abstract
Background: Quality of life (QoL) studies may provide information of change in health status in the population. Few studies have followed up previous cross-sectional studies to investigate any change in the QoL status of healthy children. The aim of the current study is [...] Read more.
Background: Quality of life (QoL) studies may provide information of change in health status in the population. Few studies have followed up previous cross-sectional studies to investigate any change in the QoL status of healthy children. The aim of the current study is to compare QoL in children 6–12 years old in two large cross-sectional studies of healthy children completed a decade apart. Methods: In the current study children and parents from nine elementary schools (n = 2816) were included in a cross-sectional study investigating children’s QoL. Using the Life Quality in Children and Adolescents (ILC), completed by both children and parents, the global QoL-score was estimated for 2297 children and 1639 parental reports. These results were compared to a similar study performed in 2004. The scores from both studies were divided into categories of below average, average and above average QoL. The percentage change of QoL between the two studies is presented. Results: Our results show that parents report that more children have below and above average QoL in 2015 compared to 2004. In contrast, more children scored in the average and above average QoL category in 2015 than in 2004. Conclusion: Parents reported lower QoL and children higher QoL in 2015 compared to 2004. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Activity in Adolescents)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Students’ Emotional Experience in Physical Education—A Qualitative Study for New Theoretical Insights
Sports 2019, 7(1), 10; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports7010010 - 03 Jan 2019
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1148
Abstract
Physical education (PE) can be the starting point for many students to be physically active throughout their lives. Positive emotional experiences in PE are discussed as beneficial for long-term physical activity, however, triggers of students’ emotions are still unclear. The purpose of this [...] Read more.
Physical education (PE) can be the starting point for many students to be physically active throughout their lives. Positive emotional experiences in PE are discussed as beneficial for long-term physical activity, however, triggers of students’ emotions are still unclear. The purpose of this study is to explore, from a student’s perspective, emotions and their triggers, which occur in PE classes. N = 12 students (male: six, female: six, ø-age: 15.6 ± 1.2 years) have been interviewed using a focused semi-structured interview to identify their emotions in PE and to explore the situations in which they occurred. An inductive approach with elements of the Grounded Theory Method was implemented to analyze the data. Students reported a wide range of positive and negative emotions. Furthermore, four crucial triggers were identified: (I) Attractiveness of the task, (II) social belonging, (III) competence and (IV) autonomy. Parallels to existing theories, especially the Self-Determination Theory (SDT), will be discussed. These results can be used to improve teachers’ knowledge about students’ emotions in PE in order to build a basis for lifelong physical activity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emotions in Sports and Exercise)
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Open AccessArticle
Examination of Physical Characteristics and Positional Differences in Professional Soccer Players in Qatar
Sports 2019, 7(1), 9; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports7010009 - 31 Dec 2018
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1182
Abstract
Physical characteristics in professional soccer differ between competition levels and playing positions, and normative data aid practitioners in profiling their players to optimize performance and reduce injury risk. Given the paucity of research in Arabic soccer populations, the purpose of this study was [...] Read more.
Physical characteristics in professional soccer differ between competition levels and playing positions, and normative data aid practitioners in profiling their players to optimize performance and reduce injury risk. Given the paucity of research in Arabic soccer populations, the purpose of this study was to provide position-specific normative values for professional players competing in the Qatar Stars League. One hundred and ninety-five players completed a musculoskeletal assessment as part of an annual periodic health examination. Tests included measures of range of motion (hip, ankle, and hamstring), bilateral and unilateral jump performance, and quadriceps/hamstring (isokinetic/NordBord), hip adduction/abduction (eccentric), and groin (isometric) strength. Descriptive data were examined, and positional differences were analyzed using a one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA). Goalkeepers were significantly heavier (p < 0.01), had a higher body mass index (p < 0.05) than outfield positions and demonstrated greater absolute strength. Defenders were the strongest relative to body mass, and these differences were significant (p < 0.05) versus goalkeepers and strikers. No meaningful between-group comparisons were apparent for jumping or range of motion tests. Compared to mean values from other professional leagues, soccer players in Qatar appear to be shorter, lighter and display inferior strength and jump capacities. These data can be used to tailor training and rehabilitation programs to the specifics of the league and position in which the athletes compete. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Training, Screening and Monitoring in Soccer)
Open AccessArticle
Reliability of Overground Running Measures from 2D Video Analyses in a Field Environment
Sports 2019, 7(1), 8; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports7010008 - 30 Dec 2018
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 815
Abstract
Two-dimensional running analyses are common in research and practice, and have been shown to be reliable when conducted on a treadmill. However, running is typically performed outdoors. Our aim was to determine the intra- and inter-rater reliability of two-dimensional analyses of overground running [...] Read more.
Two-dimensional running analyses are common in research and practice, and have been shown to be reliable when conducted on a treadmill. However, running is typically performed outdoors. Our aim was to determine the intra- and inter-rater reliability of two-dimensional analyses of overground running in an outdoor environment. Two raters independently evaluated 155 high-speed videos (240 Hz) of overground running from recreationally competitive runners on two occasions, seven days apart (test-retest study design). The reliability of foot-strike pattern (rear-foot, mid-foot, and fore-foot), foot-strike angle (°), and running speed (m/s) was assessed using weighted kappa (κ), percentage agreement, intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC), typical error (TE), and coefficient of variation (CV) statistics. Foot-strike pattern (agreement = 99.4%, κ = 0.96) and running speed (ICC = 0.98, TE = 0.09 m/s, CV = 2.1%) demonstrated excellent relative and absolute reliability. Foot-strike angle exhibited high relative reliability (ICC = 0.88), but suboptimal absolute reliability (TE = 2.5°, CV = 17.6%). Two-dimensional analyses of overground running outdoors were reliable for quantifying foot-strike pattern, foot-strike angle, and running speed, although foot-strike angle errors of 2.5° were typical. Foot-strike angle changes of less than 2.5° should be interpreted with caution in clinical settings, as they might simply reflect measurement errors. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Different Pathways Leading up to the Same Futsal Competition: Individual and Inter-Team Variability in Loading Patterns and Preseason Training Adaptations
Sports 2019, 7(1), 7; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports7010007 - 28 Dec 2018
Viewed by 812
Abstract
During the preseason, futsal players deal with large internal load, which may result in a reduction in physical performance. The aims of this study were to compare the session rating of perceived exertion training load (s-RPE TL) during the preseason between two teams; [...] Read more.
During the preseason, futsal players deal with large internal load, which may result in a reduction in physical performance. The aims of this study were to compare the session rating of perceived exertion training load (s-RPE TL) during the preseason between two teams; and to analyze the changes on the delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS), aerobic- and speed-power characteristics in players accumulating different s-RPE TL (Low (LTL) vs. High (HTL)). Twenty-eight players (Team A, n = 15; Team B, n = 13) were recruited. The s-RPE TL was monitored throughout the preseason phase (five weeks) in both teams. The coaches of each team planned the activities that comprised their training programs, without any interference from the researchers. Team A evaluated countermovement jumps (CMJ) and DOMS weekly. Team B performed squat jumps (SJ), CMJ, 5 m and 15 m sprints, and a futsal intermittent endurance test (PVFIET) before and after the preseason. Team B accumulated an almost-certainly greater s-RPE TL than Team A. In Team A, the CMJ height was likely to almost certainly improved for the HTL group from week 3. In Team B, the 5 m and 15 m sprint likely decreased after the preseason. Changes in 5 m (r = −0.61) and 15 m (r = −0.56) were correlated with total s-RPE TL. Changes in PVFIET were positively associated with changes in sprint, but inversely related to the baseline. s-RPE TL differed between both teams, and substantial gains in neuromuscular performance were observed for the HTL group in Team A. Slower and faster players in Team B showed distinct intermittent-endurance and speed adaptive responses during the high-volume preseason. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Futsal - From training to competition)
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Open AccessArticle
Relationships between Different Field Test Performance Measures in Elite Goalball Players
Sports 2019, 7(1), 6; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports7010006 - 28 Dec 2018
Viewed by 974
Abstract
Goalball is a Paralympic sport involving people with visual impairment. Little is known about the physical fitness of elite players of this sport, as previous studies only evaluated body composition and aerobic capacity. Thus, the aim of this study was to describe the [...] Read more.
Goalball is a Paralympic sport involving people with visual impairment. Little is known about the physical fitness of elite players of this sport, as previous studies only evaluated body composition and aerobic capacity. Thus, the aim of this study was to describe the performance of elite goalball players in different physical tests and to look for relationships between them. Eleven elite Brazilian goalball players, seven males and four females, were evaluated for body composition, maximal handgrip isometric force (MHGF), countermovement jump (CMJ), throwing velocity (TV) and the Yo-Yo intermittent recovery test level 1 (Yo-Yo IR1). Players produced 41.54 ± 8.41 kgf in MHGF, 34.81 ± 7.2 cm in CMJ, 14.21 ± 1.89 m∙s−1 in TV, and 505 ± 313 m in Yo-Yo IR1, with an estimated maximum oxygen consumption (VO2max) of 40.64 ± 2.63 mL∙kg−1∙min−1. Most performance tests exhibited moderate to high correlations among them, while the percentage of body fat correlated with both the CMJ and Yo-Yo IR1 results. The current study reveals that CMJ could be a valuable monitoring tool as it was correlated with all other performance tests. The highest correlation observed was with TV (r = 0.754; p < 0.05), which is a key capacity in goalball. Moreover, high levels of body fat could be detrimental to anaerobic performance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Researching Sports Biomechanics for Disabled People)
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Open AccessArticle
Pre-Bed Casein Protein Supplementation Does Not Enhance Acute Functional Recovery in Physically Active Males and Females When Exercise is Performed in the Morning
Sports 2019, 7(1), 5; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports7010005 - 28 Dec 2018
Viewed by 1229
Abstract
This study examined whether consuming casein protein (CP) pre-sleep could accelerate acute recovery following muscle-damaging exercise. Thirty-nine active males and females performed 100 drop jumps in the morning, consumed their habitual diet during the day, and then within 30 min pre-bed consumed either [...] Read more.
This study examined whether consuming casein protein (CP) pre-sleep could accelerate acute recovery following muscle-damaging exercise. Thirty-nine active males and females performed 100 drop jumps in the morning, consumed their habitual diet during the day, and then within 30 min pre-bed consumed either ~40 g of CP (n = 19) or ~40 g of a carbohydrate-only control (CON) (n = 20). Maximal isometric voluntary contractions (MIVC), countermovement jumps (CMJ), pressure-pain threshold (PPT), subjective muscle soreness and the brief assessment of mood adapted (BAM+) were measured pre, 24 and 48 h following the drop jumps. MIVC decreased in CP and CON post-exercise, peaking at 24 h post (CP: −8.5 ± 3.5 vs. CON: −13.0 ± 2.9%, respectively); however, no between-group differences were observed (p = 0.486; ηp2 =0.02). There were also no group differences in the recovery of CMJ height, PPT and BAM+ (p > 0.05). Subjective muscle soreness increased post-exercise, but no group differences were present at 24 h (CP: 92 ± 31 mm vs. CON: 90 ± 46 mm) or 48 h (CP: 90 ± 44 mm vs. CON: 80 ± 58 mm) (p > 0.05). These data suggest that pre-bed supplementation with ~40 g of CP is no more beneficial than CON for accelerating the recovery following muscle-damaging exercise. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Preseason Y Balance Test Scores are not Associated with Noncontact Time-Loss Lower Quadrant Injury in Male Collegiate Basketball Players
Sports 2019, 7(1), 4; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports7010004 - 24 Dec 2018
Viewed by 926
Abstract
The Y-Balance Test-Lower Quarter has shown promise as a screening tool for identifying athletes at risk of injury. Subsequent studies, utilizing heterogeneous populations or different operational definitions of injury, have presented equivocal findings. Therefore, studies evaluating the efficacy of the Y-Balance Test to [...] Read more.
The Y-Balance Test-Lower Quarter has shown promise as a screening tool for identifying athletes at risk of injury. Subsequent studies, utilizing heterogeneous populations or different operational definitions of injury, have presented equivocal findings. Therefore, studies evaluating the efficacy of the Y-Balance Test to discriminate injury risk in a homogeneous population is warranted. One-hundred sixty-nine male (mean age 19.9 ± 1.5 y) collegiate basketball players were recruited during 2 consecutive seasons (2016–2017/2017–2018). Athletes completed the Y-Balance testing protocol at the start of each preseason. Athletic trainers tracked noncontact time-loss lower quadrant injuries over the course of the season. Receiver operator characteristic curves failed to identify cutoff scores; therefore, previously reported cutoff scores were utilized when calculating relative risk. There was no association between preseason Y-Balance Test scores and noncontact time-loss lower back or lower extremity injury in a population of male collegiate basketball players. This study adds to a growing body of evidence that demonstrates no relationship between preseason Y-Balance Test scores and subsequent injury. Full article
Open AccessArticle
The Impact of a Ballet and Modern Dance Performance on Heart Rate Variability in Collegiate Dancers
Sports 2019, 7(1), 3; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports7010003 - 21 Dec 2018
Viewed by 930
Abstract
Heart rate (HR) variability (HRV) is a useful tool for assessing cardiac autonomic function and identifying potential readiness to perform in athletic populations, but has yet to be investigated in dance populations. As such, HRV may be able to provide valuable insight into [...] Read more.
Heart rate (HR) variability (HRV) is a useful tool for assessing cardiac autonomic function and identifying potential readiness to perform in athletic populations, but has yet to be investigated in dance populations. As such, HRV may be able to provide valuable insight into the preparedness of dancers and the demands of performance in a collegiate dance population. 29 female dancers were monitored leading up to and following a dance performance. Analysis of HRV focused on the square root of the mean squared differences of the successive RR intervals (RMSSD). A one-way ANOVA, with Bonferroni post-hoc, paired with magnitude-based-inferences (MBI) with effect sizes (ES) were used to analyze changes during the Winter Dance Concert, while the Recovery-Stress Questionnaire for Athletes (REST-Q Sport) measured the frequency of stress of dancers. When compared to baseline (69.8 ± 1.7 bpm), mean (HR) was increased at both pre-show recordings (76.5 ± 2.1 bpm and 75.6 ± 1.8 bpm). In contrast, RMSSD was significantly diminished (p < 0.05) at both pre-show recordings (40.6 ± 28.4 ms and 40.5 ± 21.8 ms) as compared to baseline (70.3 ± 38.4 ms). Dancers reported increased (p < 0.05) self-efficacy before the second show and at 36 h post-concert. As expected, Dance Exposure (DE) increased significantly (p < 0.05), while Academic Exposure (AE) was similar, during the week leading up to the dance concert. The results suggest dancers responded to concert dance performances similarly to other athletic populations approaching intense competition by exhibiting decreased parasympathetic activity prior to the dance performances, which returned to baseline values 36 h after their performances. Given the increase in self-efficacy, these fluctuations may indicate a readiness to a performance comparable to athletes. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Change of Direction Deficit in National Team Rugby Union Players: Is There an Influence of Playing Position?
Sports 2019, 7(1), 2; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports7010002 - 21 Dec 2018
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1088
Abstract
The aim of this study was to investigate the change of direction (COD) ability and deficits of elite rugby union players, discriminating between position (backs and forwards), and between “faster and slower players”, in multiple COD tasks. Twenty-four male rugby union players from [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to investigate the change of direction (COD) ability and deficits of elite rugby union players, discriminating between position (backs and forwards), and between “faster and slower players”, in multiple COD tasks. Twenty-four male rugby union players from the Brazilian senior National team completed the following assessments: Squat and countermovement jumps; drop jump; standing long jump, horizontal triple jumps; 40-m linear sprint; Pro-agility, L-Drill, and Zig-zag COD tests; and squat 1-repetition maximum. The differences between backs and forwards and between faster and slower performers were examined using magnitude-based inferences. Backs were faster (in both linear and COD speed tests) and jumped higher than forwards. Moreover, they generated an inferior sprint momentum. No differences were found in COD deficit between playing positions. However, when dividing the sample by median split, faster players outperformed their slower counterparts in all power–speed variables and presented higher COD deficits. These results suggest that separating rugby players by playing position might not discriminate players with different COD skills and that the median split analysis is more sensitive to identifying these differences. Furthermore, the present data indicate that faster rugby players are less efficient at changing direction and tolerating higher approach velocities in COD maneuvers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Assessment and Development of Change of Direction Speed and Agility)
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Open AccessArticle
Sleep Data, Physical Performance, and Injuries in Preparation for Professional Mixed Martial Arts
Sports 2019, 7(1), 1; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports7010001 - 20 Dec 2018
Viewed by 1806
Abstract
The purpose of this investigation is to present observational data regarding sleep variables in professional Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) athletes. These sleep performance measures were related to physical performance and injury in MMA athletes. Eight professional athletes were placed into a quasi-controlled, multivariable [...] Read more.
The purpose of this investigation is to present observational data regarding sleep variables in professional Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) athletes. These sleep performance measures were related to physical performance and injury in MMA athletes. Eight professional athletes were placed into a quasi-controlled, multivariable fight-camp environment for a six-week period in preparation for fight competition. Throughout a six-week fight camp environment, athletes were continuously monitored for sleep performance measures (sleep latency, sleep efficiency, onset, and wake variances) via validated wearable sleep monitoring technology. Athletes were tested seven days prior to competition on measures of physical performance (vertical jump, VO2max, heart rate recovery, prowler sled push, and pull-ups). Multiple correlational analyses were utilized to assess relationships between all sleep and physical performance measures. There were significant (P < 0.05) correlations between sleep latency and VO2max, heart rate recovery, prowler sled push, vertical jump, and missed practice sessions. There were also significant (P < 0.05) correlations between average fall asleep time and heart rate recovery. Lastly, there were significant (P < 0.05) correlations between sleep efficiency, heart rate recovery, and missed practice sessions. MMA athletes who exhibited consistency in sleep demonstrated stronger relationships with performance testing during the fight-camp period. Full article
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