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Sports, Volume 7, Issue 2 (February 2019)

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Cover Story (view full-size image) Eccentric training is a strong stimulus for increasing human muscle power. However, a debate exists [...] Read more.
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Open AccessArticle
Epidemiology of Sports Related Concussion in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu: A Cross-Sectional Study
Received: 1 January 2019 / Revised: 19 February 2019 / Accepted: 21 February 2019 / Published: 25 February 2019
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Abstract
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) is a rapidly growing grappling sport with a wide spectrum of participants. This cross-sectional study examined the lifetime prevalence of concussion in adult BJJ practitioners in the United States using a 17-item survey. A total of 778 (11.4% female) BJJ [...] Read more.
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) is a rapidly growing grappling sport with a wide spectrum of participants. This cross-sectional study examined the lifetime prevalence of concussion in adult BJJ practitioners in the United States using a 17-item survey. A total of 778 (11.4% female) BJJ practitioners with a median age of 31 years completed the survey. Overall, the lifetime prevalence of the self-reported BJJ-related concussion was 25.2%. However, the prevalence was higher among females than males (43.0% versus 22.9%; X2(1,740) = 15.129; p < 0.001). Factors independently associated with significantly increased odds of having sustained a BJJ-related concussion included a prior history of concussion (OR 1.76, 95% CI 1.14–2.74; p = 0.011) and female gender (OR 1.95, 95% CI 1.04–3.65; p = 0.037). The median return to sports time was three days, with 30.3% of participants returning on the same day as being concussed. The present study represents the first epidemiological research examining the concussions in BJJ. The results underscore the need for increased education on concussions and return to sports guidelines among BJJ coaches and practitioners. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Investigation of the Exercise Dependence of Athletes Doing Kickboxing, Taekwondo, and Muay Thai
Received: 20 January 2019 / Revised: 19 February 2019 / Accepted: 21 February 2019 / Published: 25 February 2019
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Abstract
Debates about the conditions in which the frequency and intensity principles of regular exercise, depending on the fact that a sports background can be accepted as extremism, are still a controversial topic. The purpose of this research was to investigate the exercise dependence [...] Read more.
Debates about the conditions in which the frequency and intensity principles of regular exercise, depending on the fact that a sports background can be accepted as extremism, are still a controversial topic. The purpose of this research was to investigate the exercise dependence of athletes who practice Kickboxing, Taekwondo, and Muay Thai. The study included 141 athletes, consisting of 87 men and 54 women. The Exercise Dependence Scale-21 (EDS-21), composed of 21 items developed by Hausenblas and Downs and adapted into the Turkish version by Yeltepe and İkizler, was applied to the athletes. As a result of the research, while athletes showed more sensitivity to the EDS (=71.41), this scale was also defined as symptomatic. It was found that five athletes (3.5%) were asymptomatic-nondependent, 117 athletes (83.0%) were symptomatic-nondependent, and 19 athletes (13.5%) were at risk for exercise dependence. It was determined that athletes were at risk for exercise dependence as follows: Eight athletes were doing Kickboxing, ten athletes were doing Taekwondo, and one athlete was doing Muay Thai. A significant difference was observed according to years of regular training and number of trainings per a day. Other variables presented no significant differences. It was possible to say that years of regular training could be effective in revealing exercise dependence. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Effects of Eight Weeks of High Intensity Functional Training on Glucose Control and Body Composition among Overweight and Obese Adults
Received: 31 December 2018 / Revised: 2 February 2019 / Accepted: 21 February 2019 / Published: 22 February 2019
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Abstract
High-intensity exercise has been found to positively influence glucose control, however, the effects of high-intensity functional training (HIFT) for overweight and obese sedentary adults without diabetes is unknown. The purpose of this study was to examine changes in body composition and glucose control [...] Read more.
High-intensity exercise has been found to positively influence glucose control, however, the effects of high-intensity functional training (HIFT) for overweight and obese sedentary adults without diabetes is unknown. The purpose of this study was to examine changes in body composition and glucose control from eight weeks of aerobic and resistance training (A-RT) compared to HIFT. Session time spent doing daily workouts was recorded for each group. Baseline and posttest measures included height, weight, waist circumference, dual X-ray absorptiometry (body fat percentage, fat mass, lean mass), and fasting blood glucose. Participants completing the intervention (78%, n = 9 per group) were 67% female, age = 26.8 ± 5.5 years, and had body mass index = 30.5 ± 2.9 kg/m2. Fasting blood glucose and 2-h oral glucose tolerance tests were used as primary outcome variables. On average, the HIFT group spent significantly less time completing workouts per day and week (ps < 0.001). No significant differences were found for body composition or glucose variables within- or between-groups. Even though our findings did not provide significant differences between groups, future research may utilize the effect sizes from our study to conduct fully-powered trials comparing HIFT with other more traditional training modalities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Research on High Intensity Functional Training)
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
A Comparative Study of Fitness Levels among Norwegian Youth in 1988 and 2001
Received: 21 December 2018 / Revised: 27 January 2019 / Accepted: 10 February 2019 / Published: 22 February 2019
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Abstract
We compared the fitness levels of cohorts of 15-year-old youth in 1988 and 2001 to ascertain whether there was a negative trend in fitness. The subjects were 15-year-old boys and girls from the same geographical area, n = 192 in 1988 and n [...] Read more.
We compared the fitness levels of cohorts of 15-year-old youth in 1988 and 2001 to ascertain whether there was a negative trend in fitness. The subjects were 15-year-old boys and girls from the same geographical area, n = 192 in 1988 and n = 191 in 2001. They participated voluntarily and could leave the project whenever they wished. The following variables were used to assess fitness: Maximal oxygen uptake, jump height, shoulder flexibility, and hamstring flexibility. Maximal oxygen uptake was estimated with submaximal ergometer cycling, jump height by the Sargent jump-and-reach test, shoulder flexibility as the distance between thumbs when doing straight-arm backwards circling while holding a broomstick, and hamstring flexibility by an active straight-leg-raise test. Differences between groups and quartiles were analyzed by Gosset’s (Student’s) t-test, using a significance level of 0.05. The two cohorts did show different levels of physical fitness. The 1988 group was 3.9 cm better on jump height and 4.2 cm better on shoulder flexibility, while the 2001 group had 3.3° better hamstring flexibility. The lowest performing quartile did less well in 2001 on oxygen uptake and jump height. We recommend an increased focus on improving fitness in low-performing adolescents. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Activity in Adolescents)
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Open AccessArticle
Profiling Isokinetic Strength of Shoulder Rotator Muscles in Adolescent Asymptomatic Male Volleyball Players
Received: 20 November 2018 / Revised: 30 January 2019 / Accepted: 12 February 2019 / Published: 22 February 2019
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Abstract
The aim of the study was to describe the strength symmetry of internal and external rotator muscles and the conventional and functional strength balance ratios between these muscles in adolescent male volleyball players. Twenty-eight male adolescent volleyball players (15.5 ± 1.1 years (15–17 [...] Read more.
The aim of the study was to describe the strength symmetry of internal and external rotator muscles and the conventional and functional strength balance ratios between these muscles in adolescent male volleyball players. Twenty-eight male adolescent volleyball players (15.5 ± 1.1 years (15–17 years); 73.2 ± 10.9 kg (55.3–100.1 kg) and 184.9 ± 8.4 cm (170–209 cm)) participated in this cross-sectional study. Concentric and eccentric peak torque of external and internal rotator muscles were measured, and conventional and functional strength balance ratios were calculated. The dominant limb presented significantly higher values for peak torque than the non-dominant limb of internal rotator muscles at concentric action assessed at 60°/s (48.7 ± 13.7 Nm and 43.9 ± 11.6 Nm, p = 0.01 and d value = 0.37) and at 240°/s (44.7 ± 11.2 Nm and 41.1 ± 11.0 Nm, p = 0.03 and d = 0.32). However, there was no difference in the peak torque of external rotator muscle between limbs for either angular speed. Regarding strength balance ratios, neither conventional (74.8 ± 14.3 for dominant limb and 80.1 ± 14.0 for non-dominant limb, p = 0.06 and d = 0.37) nor functional ratio (1.2 ± 0.4 for dominant limb and 1.3 ± 0.5 for non-dominant limb, p = 0.06 and d = 0.22) presented significant contralateral differences. Despite the short practice time, adolescent male volleyball athletes already have significant contralateral differences for internal rotator muscles and conventional ratio tends to be asymmetrical. Thus, preventive shoulder-strengthening programs, focused on the internal rotator muscles of the non-dominant limb, aiming to correct contralateral deficiency and conventional ratio, may be warranted for this population in the process of biological growth, maturation and development. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Effect of Thoracic Gas Volume Changes on Body Composition Assessed by Air Displacement Plethysmography after Rapid Weight Loss and Regain in Elite Collegiate Wrestlers
Received: 13 January 2019 / Revised: 10 February 2019 / Accepted: 15 February 2019 / Published: 19 February 2019
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Abstract
We investigated the effect of rapid weight loss (RWL) and weight regain (WR) on thoracic gas volume (VTG) and body composition assessment using air displacement plethysmography (ADP) in male wrestlers. Eight male elite collegiate wrestlers completed a RWL regimen (6% of [...] Read more.
We investigated the effect of rapid weight loss (RWL) and weight regain (WR) on thoracic gas volume (VTG) and body composition assessment using air displacement plethysmography (ADP) in male wrestlers. Eight male elite collegiate wrestlers completed a RWL regimen (6% of body mass) over a 53-h period, which was followed by a 13-h WR period. ADP was used at three time points (baseline (T1), post-RWL (T2) and post-WR (T3)) according to the manufacturer’s testing recommendations. The total body water and bone mineral content were estimated using the stable isotope dilution method and dual energy X-ray absorptiometry, respectively, at the same time points. Body composition was assessed with two-component (2C) or four-component (4C) models using either the measured VTG (mVTG) or predicted VTG (pVTG). Measured VTG increased from T1 to T2 (0.36 ± 0.31 L, p < 0.05) and decreased from T2 to T3 (−0.29 ± 0.15 L, p < 0.01). However, the changes in fat mass and fat free mass, which were calculated by both 2C and 4C models, were not significantly different when compared between calculations using mVTG and those using pVTG. Our results indicate that VTG significantly changes during RWL and WR, but both measured and predicted VTG can be used to assess changes in body composition during RWL and WR. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tackling Performance Challenges in Martial Arts and Combat Sports)
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Open AccessArticle
Acute Effects of Ballistic and Non-ballistic Bench Press on Plyometric Push-up Performance
Received: 20 January 2019 / Revised: 7 February 2019 / Accepted: 14 February 2019 / Published: 18 February 2019
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Abstract
The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of a ballistic or non-ballistic concentric-only bench press (COBP) on subsequent plyometric push-up performance. Fourteen resistance trained men completed two separate one-repetition-maximum (1RM) testing sessions followed by three randomized experimental explosive push-up sessions. [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of a ballistic or non-ballistic concentric-only bench press (COBP) on subsequent plyometric push-up performance. Fourteen resistance trained men completed two separate one-repetition-maximum (1RM) testing sessions followed by three randomized experimental explosive push-up sessions. These sessions combined a heavy concentric bench press with plyometric push-ups. Using a series of 3 × 10 (condition × time) repeated measures ANOVA, comparisons were made between the effects of ballistic and non-ballistic bench presses on performance of plyometric push-ups to investigate push-up performance variables. Compared with the control condition, both ballistic and non-ballistic bench presses produced lower net impulse and take-off velocity data. No differences were found between ballistic and non-ballistic conditions comparing net impulse and take-off velocity. We conclude that the magnitude of loading used in the current investigation may have caused acute fatigue which led to lower push-up performance characteristics. This information can be used to alter loading protocols when designing complexes for the upper body, combining the bench press and plyometric push-ups. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Physical Fitness Characteristics of High-level Youth Football Players: Influence of Playing Position
Received: 3 January 2019 / Revised: 31 January 2019 / Accepted: 13 February 2019 / Published: 16 February 2019
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Abstract
The aim of this study was to determine whether the speed, agility, aerobic and anaerobic capacities of football players varied by playing positions. Elite youth football players (n = 123, age = 15.7 ± 0.5 years) who played in six different positions, [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to determine whether the speed, agility, aerobic and anaerobic capacities of football players varied by playing positions. Elite youth football players (n = 123, age = 15.7 ± 0.5 years) who played in six different positions, as goalkeepers (GK), full backs (FB), central defenders (CD), wide midfielders (WM), central midfielders (CM), and attackers (AT), were assessed. Multivariate analysis of variances was used to compare the following variables: Linear running sprint for 5 m (S5) and 10 m (S10), flying sprint for 20 m (F20), agility 505 test with turn on the dominant (A505D) and non-dominant leg (A505N), agility K-test, Yo-Yo intermittent recovery (YYIR1) test and repeat sprint ability (RSA) test. The results showed significant influence of playing positions on linear-running sprint performance (F1,123 = 6.19, p < 0.01, ηp2 = 0.23). Midfielders reached significantly higher performance levels (CM = 2.44 ± 0.08 s, WM = 2.47 ± 0.13 s) in the A505N test compared to GK (2.61 ± 0.23 s). Outfield players had significantly higher performance in both YYIR1 and RSA tests compared to GK (p < 0.01). The results of this study may provide insightful strategies for coaches and clinical practitioners for developing position-specific conditioning programs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Training Process in Soccer Players)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Physical Qualities Pertaining to Shorter and Longer Change-of-Direction Speed Test Performance in Men and Women
Received: 18 January 2019 / Revised: 5 February 2019 / Accepted: 15 February 2019 / Published: 16 February 2019
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Abstract
This study investigated relationships between shorter (505, change-of-direction (COD) deficit as a derived physical quality) and longer (Illinois agility test; IAT) COD tests with linear speed, lower-body power (multidirectional jumping), and strength in recreationally-trained individuals. Twenty-one males and 22 females (similar to collegiate [...] Read more.
This study investigated relationships between shorter (505, change-of-direction (COD) deficit as a derived physical quality) and longer (Illinois agility test; IAT) COD tests with linear speed, lower-body power (multidirectional jumping), and strength in recreationally-trained individuals. Twenty-one males and 22 females (similar to collegiate club-sport and tactical athletes) were assessed in: 505 and COD deficit from each leg; IAT; 20 m sprint; vertical jump (VJ height, peak anaerobic power measured in watts (PAPw), power-to-body mass ratio); standing broad jump; lateral jump (LJ) from each leg; and absolute and relative isometric midthigh pull (IMTP) strength. Partial correlations calculated sex-determined relationships between the COD and performance tests, with regression equations calculated (p < 0.05). The 505 and IAT correlated with all tests except PAPw and absolute IMTP (r = ±0.43–0.71). COD deficit correlated with the LJ (r = −0.34–0.60). Left- and right-leg 505 was predicted by sex, 20 m sprint, and left-leg LJ (70–77% explained variance). Right-leg COD deficit was predicted by sex and left-leg LJ (27% explained variance). IAT was predicted by sex, 20 m sprint, right-leg LJ, and relative IMTP (84% explained variance). For individuals with limited training time, improving linear speed, and relative lower-body power and strength, could enhance shorter and longer COD performance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Assessment and Development of Change of Direction Speed and Agility)
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Open AccessBrief Report
Nutritional Knowledge and Dietary Practice in Elite 24-Hour Ultramarathon Runners: A Brief Report
Received: 3 December 2018 / Revised: 9 February 2019 / Accepted: 12 February 2019 / Published: 16 February 2019
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Abstract
Several factors contribute to athletes’ sporting performance and diet is a key component. Higher levels of nutritional knowledge seem to correlate with a higher quality of diet, but this remains poorly explored and findings are still not conclusive. The aim of our study [...] Read more.
Several factors contribute to athletes’ sporting performance and diet is a key component. Higher levels of nutritional knowledge seem to correlate with a higher quality of diet, but this remains poorly explored and findings are still not conclusive. The aim of our study was to assess nutritional knowledge and dietary adequacy, detecting any potential association between these two factors in elite 24-hour ultramarathon runners, a sport which seems to have been increasing in popularity over the last decade. Nutritional knowledge and Mediterranean dietary adequacy scores were assessed by means of validated questionnaires given to 10 elite ultramarathon runners (six males and four females) from the Italian Ultramarathon and Trail Association (IUTA). The overall nutritional knowledge in the entire sample of athletes seemed to be good, especially in terms of “dietary recommendations” and “nutrient sources” knowledge. However, females had higher total nutritional knowledge scores when compared to males. Finally, linear regression analysis showed that greater nutritional knowledge was positively associated with an increase in Mediterranean dietary adequacy scores (β = 1.27; 95% CI = 0.039–2.494; p = 0.045) after adjusting for level of education. Our findings provide evidence that higher nutritional knowledge is associated with better dietary practice in elite 24-hour ultramarathon runners. Future studies are needed to assess the usefulness of educational programs as a strategy to improve the adequacy of dietary intake in this specific population. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Effect of Hip Flexion Angle on the Hamstring to Quadriceps Strength Ratio
Received: 5 January 2019 / Revised: 3 February 2019 / Accepted: 13 February 2019 / Published: 15 February 2019
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Abstract
The purpose of this study was to compare the hamstring to quadriceps ratio (H:Q) obtained from three different hip flexion angles. Seventy-three young athletes performed maximum isokinetic concentric and eccentric knee extension and flexion efforts at 60 °·s−1 and 240 °·s−1 [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study was to compare the hamstring to quadriceps ratio (H:Q) obtained from three different hip flexion angles. Seventy-three young athletes performed maximum isokinetic concentric and eccentric knee extension and flexion efforts at 60 °·s−1 and 240 °·s−1 from hip flexion angles of 90°, 60°, and 120°. The conventional (concentric to concentric), functional (eccentric to concentric) and mixed (eccentric at 30 °·s−1 to concentric torque at 240 °·s−1) H:Q torque ratios and the electromyographic activity from the rectus femoris and biceps femoris were analyzed. The conventional H:Q ratios and the functional H:Q ratios at 60 °·s−1 did not significantly differ between the three testing positions (p > 0.05). In contrast, testing from the 90° hip flexion angle showed a greater functional torque ratio at 240 °·s−1 and a mixed H:Q torque ratio compared with the other two positions (p < 0.05). The hip flexion angle did not influence the recorded muscle activation signals (p > 0.05). For the range of hip flexion angles tested, routine isokinetic assessment of conventional H:Q ratio and functional H:Q ratio at slow speed is not angle-dependent. Should assessment of the functional H:Q ratio at fast angular velocity or the mixed ratio is required, then selection of hip flexion angle is important. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Training, Screening and Monitoring in Soccer)
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Open AccessArticle
An Analysis Model for Studying the Determinants of Throwing Scoring Actions During Standing Judo
Received: 22 January 2019 / Revised: 11 February 2019 / Accepted: 12 February 2019 / Published: 15 February 2019
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Abstract
In judo, the attacking system is grounded on several determinants of the chances to throw. In our study, data regarding four determinants of the attacking system were collected in order to classify the standing scoring actions: the attacking type (direct/counter-attack), the throwing area [...] Read more.
In judo, the attacking system is grounded on several determinants of the chances to throw. In our study, data regarding four determinants of the attacking system were collected in order to classify the standing scoring actions: the attacking type (direct/counter-attack), the throwing area (forward/backward), the technique’s category (based on motor criteria), and the lateral structure of fighting (contenders with a symmetrical/asymmetrical position). To study the usefulness of such an analysis, the standing scoring actions of the 2013 Judo World Championship were analyzed as an example of elite judo’s attacking system (n = 775). The Pearson’s chi-squared test and Cramér’s V were used to analyze the hypothesis of a uniform distribution or the association between variables and the strength of such an association, respectively. The scoring actions (p < 0.001) were mostly direct attacks (82.6%), in the forward throw area (57.5%), and in an asymmetrical position (67.2%). All of the variables were associated (p < 0.05; V = 0.11–0.54), with higher proportions of counter-attacks and attacks occurring on the backward thrown area during asymmetrical structures than the expected. Some categories of techniques were observed more than expected, depending on the symmetrical or asymmetrical structure. Our data augment the knowledge of standing judo by showing features of the attacking system, suggesting strategies for optimizing performance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tackling Performance Challenges in Martial Arts and Combat Sports)
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Open AccessArticle
Rate of Force Development and Muscle Architecture after Fast and Slow Velocity Eccentric Training
Received: 2 November 2018 / Revised: 1 February 2019 / Accepted: 3 February 2019 / Published: 14 February 2019
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Abstract
The aim of the study was to investigate the rate of force development (RFD) and muscle architecture early adaptations in response to training with fast- or slow-velocity eccentric squats. Eighteen young novice participants followed six weeks (two sessions/week) of either fast-velocity (Fast) or [...] Read more.
The aim of the study was to investigate the rate of force development (RFD) and muscle architecture early adaptations in response to training with fast- or slow-velocity eccentric squats. Eighteen young novice participants followed six weeks (two sessions/week) of either fast-velocity (Fast) or slow-velocity (Slow) squat eccentric-only training. Fast eccentric training consisted of nine sets of nine eccentric-only repetitions at 70% of 1-RM with <1 s duration for each repetition. Slow eccentric training consisted of five sets of six eccentric-only repetitions at 90% of 1-RM with ~4 sec duration for each repetition. Before and after training, squat 1-RM, countermovement jump (CMJ), isometric leg press RFD, and vastus lateralis muscle architecture were evaluated. Squat 1-RM increased by 14.5 ± 7.0% (Fast, p < 0.01) and by 5.4 ± 5.1% (Slow, p < 0.05). RFD and fascicle length increased significantly in the Fast group by 10–19% and 10.0 ± 6.2%, p < 0.01, respectively. Muscle thickness increased only in the Slow group (6.0 ± 6.8%, p < 0.05). Significant correlations were found between the training induced changes in fascicle length and RFD. These results suggest that fast eccentric resistance training may be more appropriate for increases in rapid force production compared to slow eccentric resistance training, and this may be partly due to increases in muscle fascicle length induced by fast eccentric training. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Keto-Adaptation and Endurance Exercise Capacity, Fatigue Recovery, and Exercise-Induced Muscle and Organ Damage Prevention: A Narrative Review
Received: 5 January 2019 / Revised: 6 February 2019 / Accepted: 10 February 2019 / Published: 13 February 2019
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Abstract
A ketogenic diet (KD) could induce nutritional ketosis. Over time, the body will acclimate to use ketone bodies as a primary fuel to achieve keto-adaptation. Keto-adaptation may provide a consistent and fast energy supply, thus improving exercise performance and capacity. With its anti-inflammatory [...] Read more.
A ketogenic diet (KD) could induce nutritional ketosis. Over time, the body will acclimate to use ketone bodies as a primary fuel to achieve keto-adaptation. Keto-adaptation may provide a consistent and fast energy supply, thus improving exercise performance and capacity. With its anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative properties, a KD may contribute to muscle health, thus preventing exercise-induced fatigue and damage. Given the solid basis of its potential to improve exercise capacity, numerous investigations into KD and exercise have been carried out in recent years. This narrative review aims to summarize recent research about the potential of a KD as a nutritional approach during endurance exercise, focusing on endurance capacity, recovery from fatigue, and the prevention of exhaustive exercise-induced muscle and organ damage. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Gastrocnemius Medialis Architectural Properties at Rest and During Stretching in Female Athletes with Different Flexibility Training Background
Received: 21 December 2018 / Revised: 1 February 2019 / Accepted: 10 February 2019 / Published: 13 February 2019
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Abstract
Background: This study examined gastrocnemius medialis (GM) architectural properties and ankle joint range of motion (ROM) between female athletes with different flexibility training background. Methods: Elite rhythmic gymnasts (n = 10) were compared to national level volleyball athletes (n = 10). [...] Read more.
Background: This study examined gastrocnemius medialis (GM) architectural properties and ankle joint range of motion (ROM) between female athletes with different flexibility training background. Methods: Elite rhythmic gymnasts (n = 10) were compared to national level volleyball athletes (n = 10). Fascicle length, pennation angle and muscle thickness at the medial and the distal part of GM, and ankle ROM were measured at rest and during 1 min of static stretching. Results: At rest, rhythmic gymnasts displayed longer fascicles compared to volleyball athletes, at the medial (5.93 ± 0.27 vs. 4.74 ± 0.33 mm, respectively, p = 0.001) and the distal part of GM (5.63 ± 0.52 vs. 4.57 ± 0.51 mm, respectively, p = 0.001), smaller pennation angle at the medial part (22.4 ± 2.5 vs. 25.8 ± 2.4°; respectively, p = 0.001) and greater ankle angle (121.7 ± 4.1 vs. 113.2 ± 3.7°, respectively, p = 0.001). During the 1 min of static stretching, gymnasts displayed greater fascicle elongation at the distal part (p = 0.026), greater maximal ankle dorsiflexion (p < 0.001) and muscle tendon junction displacement (p < 0.001) with no difference between groups in pennation angles (p > 0.145), muscle thickness (p > 0.105), and fascicle elongation at mid-belly (p = 0.063). Conclusions: Longer muscle fascicles at rest and greater fascicle elongation at the distal part of GM may contribute to the greater ankle ROM observed in rhythmic gymnasts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physiological Responses During Exercise)
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Open AccessArticle
Physical Fitness and Anthropometric Measures of Young Brazilian Judo and Wrestling Athletes and Its Relations to Cardiorespiratory Fitness
Received: 1 October 2018 / Revised: 21 January 2019 / Accepted: 23 January 2019 / Published: 12 February 2019
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Abstract
This study aimed to compare the anthropometric profile and physical fitness of young judo and wrestling athletes. Twenty-four young athletes (judo (n = 13) and wrestling (n = 11)) participated in this study. The first visit involved anthropometric and flexibility evaluation, abdominal endurance [...] Read more.
This study aimed to compare the anthropometric profile and physical fitness of young judo and wrestling athletes. Twenty-four young athletes (judo (n = 13) and wrestling (n = 11)) participated in this study. The first visit involved anthropometric and flexibility evaluation, abdominal endurance test, upper limbs resistance and cardiorespiratory test. After 48 h, horizontal jump test (HJT), vertical jump test (VJT), medicine ball throw test (MBT), chin-up test (CUT), chin-up isometric test (CUIT) and the anaerobic resistance test were performed. Judo athletes presented greater values for body mass (p = 0.020), height (p = 0.010), and body mass index (p = 0.026) than wrestlers. Judo athletes also performed better for abdominal endurance (p = 0.044), upper limb resistance tests (p < 0.001), VJT (p = 0.022) and MBT (p = 0.023) than wrestling athletes. These results suggest that young judo athletes presented a higher performance in abdominal endurance, upper limbs resistance, HJT, VJT and MBT than wrestling athletes, suggesting that strength and conditioning are related to modality specificity. Full article
Open AccessArticle
The Influence of Countermovement Jump Protocol on Reactive Strength Index Modified and Flight Time: Contraction Time in Collegiate Basketball Players
Received: 23 January 2019 / Revised: 2 February 2019 / Accepted: 10 February 2019 / Published: 12 February 2019
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Abstract
The purpose of the present investigation was to evaluate differences in Reactive Strength Index Modified (RSIMod) and Flight Time to Contraction Time Ratio (FT:CT) during the countermovement jump (CMJ) performed without the arm swing (CMJNAS) compared to the CMJ with the [...] Read more.
The purpose of the present investigation was to evaluate differences in Reactive Strength Index Modified (RSIMod) and Flight Time to Contraction Time Ratio (FT:CT) during the countermovement jump (CMJ) performed without the arm swing (CMJNAS) compared to the CMJ with the arm swing (CMJAS), while exploring the relationship within each variable between jump protocols. A secondary purpose sought to explore the relationship between RSIMod and FT:CT during both jump protocols. Twenty-two collegiate basketball players performed both three CMJNAS and three CMJAS on a force plate, during two separate testing sessions. RSIMod was calculated by the flight-time (RSIModFT) and impulse-momentum methods (RSIModIMP). CMJ variables were significantly greater during the CMJAS compared to CMJNAS (p < 0.001). There were large to very large correlations within each variable between the CMJAS and CMJNAS. There were significant positive correlations among RSIModFT, RSIModIMP, and FT:CT during both the CMJAS (r ≥ 0.864, p < 0.001) and CMJNAS (r ≥ 0.960, p < 0.001). These findings identify an increase in RSIMod or FT:CT during the CMJAS, that may provide independent information from the CMJNAS. In addition, either RSIMod or FT:CT may be utilized to monitor changes in performance, but simultaneous inclusion may be unnecessary. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Performance in Team Sports)
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Open AccessArticle
Acute Effect of Kettlebell Swings on Sprint Performance
Received: 14 January 2019 / Revised: 30 January 2019 / Accepted: 4 February 2019 / Published: 10 February 2019
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Abstract
Previous research has shown that kettlebell swings (KBS), utilizing the hip-hinge technique, exhibit similar lower-limb muscle activation patterns to sprint running. This study investigated whether the inclusion of KBS in the warm-up enhances sprint performance. Moderately trained males (n = 12) and [...] Read more.
Previous research has shown that kettlebell swings (KBS), utilizing the hip-hinge technique, exhibit similar lower-limb muscle activation patterns to sprint running. This study investigated whether the inclusion of KBS in the warm-up enhances sprint performance. Moderately trained males (n = 12) and females (n = 8) performed KBS and a control (CON) condition (passive rest) in random order before performing three 20-m sprint trials separated by 4 min. No condition (KBS versus CON) effects, time effects or condition by time interactions were found for sprint times at 5-m and 10-m. A significant time effect was found for sprint time at 20-m with faster sprint time at 12 min compared to 4 min (p = 0.022). No condition effect or condition by time interaction was found for sprint time at 20-m. Small to moderate correlations were found for change in sprint time (CON minus KBS) and KBS load at 4, 8, and 12 min. It appears the KBS is not effective for potentiating 20-m sprint performance; however, any potential benefit from the inclusion of KBS as a preconditioning exercise for sprinting may be influenced by individual strength capabilities with KBS. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Monitoring Training Load, Well-Being, Heart Rate Variability, and Competitive Performance of a Functional-Fitness Female Athlete: A Case Study
Received: 19 December 2018 / Revised: 29 January 2019 / Accepted: 8 February 2019 / Published: 9 February 2019
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Abstract
The aim of this case study was to quantify the magnitude of internal load, acute/chronic workload ratio (ACWR), well-being perception, and heart rate variability (HRV) following 38 weeks of functional-fitness training in a female elite athlete. The internal load was obtained with session [...] Read more.
The aim of this case study was to quantify the magnitude of internal load, acute/chronic workload ratio (ACWR), well-being perception, and heart rate variability (HRV) following 38 weeks of functional-fitness training in a female elite athlete. The internal load was obtained with session rating perceived exertion (session-RPE) while the ACWR was calculated by dividing the acute workload by the chronic workload (four-week average). Furthermore, HRV measurements were analyzed via a commercially available smartphone (HRV4training) each morning upon waking whilst in a supine position. The magnitude of internal load was: the weekly mean total during the 38 weeks was 2092 ± 861 arbitrary units (AU); during the preparation for the Open 2018 was 1973 ± 711 AU; during the Open 2018 it was 1686 ± 412 AU; and during the preparation for the Latin America Regional was 3174 ± 595 AU. The mean ACWR was 1.1 ± 0.5 and 50% of the weeks were outside of the ‘safe zone’. The well-being during the 38 weeks of training was 19.4 ± 2.3 points. There were no correlations between training load variables (weekly training load, monotony, ACWR, and HRV), and recuperation subjective variables (well-being, fatigue, sleep, pain, stress, and mood). This case study showed that the training load can be varied in accordance with preparation for a specific competition and ACWR revealed that 50% of the training weeks were outside of the ‘safe zone’, however, no injuries were reported by the athlete. The effectiveness and cost of these methods are very practical during real world functional-fitness. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Research on High Intensity Functional Training)
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Open AccessArticle
Relationships between Anxiety, Emotional Intelligence, and Motivational Climate among Adolescent Football Players
Received: 18 November 2018 / Revised: 18 January 2019 / Accepted: 30 January 2019 / Published: 1 February 2019
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Abstract
Background: Emotional and motivational factors are fundamental in the context of sport, as they directly relate to sports performance and anxiety. Methods: The present study aimed to analyze the relationships between motivational climate (MC), emotional intelligence (EI), and anxiety within a sample of [...] Read more.
Background: Emotional and motivational factors are fundamental in the context of sport, as they directly relate to sports performance and anxiety. Methods: The present study aimed to analyze the relationships between motivational climate (MC), emotional intelligence (EI), and anxiety within a sample of footballers playing at a low level. The sample was composed of 282 registered football players aged between 16 and 18 years old (16.96 ± 0.77), playing in the lower tier in the province of Jaen (Spain). Data were self-reported, with participants responding to the Perceived Motivational Climate in Sport Questionnaire (PMCSQ-2), the Schutte Self-Report Inventory (SSRI), and the State Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI). Results: The results showed that footballers who reported higher levels of state anxiety and trait anxiety also demonstrated lower EI and more negatively perceived and regulated their emotions. Moreover, an ego-oriented climate was associated with higher levels of anxiety, while a task-oriented climate was related to lower levels of anxiety and higher levels of EI. No relationship was identified between the emotional aspects of young footballers and holding a motivational orientation toward an ego climate. Conclusions: Football players who more greatly perceived a task-oriented climate had higher EI and usually reported lower levels of anxiety related to sport performance. It is therefore important to promote intrinsic motivations and develop the capacity of footballers to regulate their own emotions. Full article
Open AccessReview
The Multimodal Nature of High-Intensity Functional Training: Potential Applications to Improve Sport Performance
Received: 30 November 2018 / Revised: 22 January 2019 / Accepted: 23 January 2019 / Published: 29 January 2019
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Abstract
Training for sports performance requires the development of multiple fitness components within the same program. In this context, training strategies that have the potential to concomitantly enhance metabolic and musculoskeletal fitness are of great value for athletes and coaches. The purpose of this [...] Read more.
Training for sports performance requires the development of multiple fitness components within the same program. In this context, training strategies that have the potential to concomitantly enhance metabolic and musculoskeletal fitness are of great value for athletes and coaches. The purpose of this manuscript is to review the current studies on high-intensity functional training (HIFT) and to assess how HIFT could be utilized in order to improve sport-specific performance. Studies on untrained and recreationally-active participants have led to positive results on aerobic power and anaerobic capacity, and muscular endurance, while results on muscular strength and power are less clear. Still, HIFT sessions can elicit high levels of metabolic stress and resistance training exercises are prescribed with parameters that can lead to improvements in muscular endurance, hypertrophy, strength, and power. As similar training interventions have been shown to be effective in the athletic population, it is possible that HIFT could be a time-efficient training intervention that can positively impact athletes’ performances. While the potential for improvements in fitness and performance with HIFT is promising, there is a clear need for controlled studies that employ this training strategy in athletes in order to assess its effectiveness in this population. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Research on High Intensity Functional Training)
Open AccessArticle
Kinetic Analysis of Swimming Flip-Turn Push-Off Techniques
Received: 1 January 2019 / Revised: 24 January 2019 / Accepted: 25 January 2019 / Published: 28 January 2019
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Abstract
The aims of the present study were to examine the influences of different push-off techniques on kinetic and kinematic parameters both in and out of the water. The two techniques were: (1) a push off that was characterized by rapid extension of knees [...] Read more.
The aims of the present study were to examine the influences of different push-off techniques on kinetic and kinematic parameters both in and out of the water. The two techniques were: (1) a push off that was characterized by rapid extension of knees and hips towards the wall, prior to contact (i.e., no countermovement), and, (2) where the swimmer glides into the wall, letting the wall flex the knees in an approximate countermovement or eccentric phase. Twenty trained male and female freestyle swimmers (age 26.1 ± 9.9 years, height 1.61 ± 0.04 m, and weight 65.6 ± 19.3 kg) participated. Data were analyzed by employing two (i.e., land and water) 3 (variables of interest) x 2 (push-off type) repeated measures ANOVAs with the alpha level set a priori at 05. Results indicated that there were significant main effects for peak perpendicular force (p < 0.001), perpendicular impulse (p = 0.018), and velocity at 2.5 m (p = 0.005) on land. However, no significant effects were found between techniques in the water trials. As many of the participants were master swimmers, it is possible that they were unable to approach the wall in the water at the requisite speed to elicit a benefit from the countermovement. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
VO2FITTING: A Free and Open-Source Software for Modelling Oxygen Uptake Kinetics in Swimming and other Exercise Modalities
Received: 19 December 2018 / Revised: 18 January 2019 / Accepted: 21 January 2019 / Published: 24 January 2019
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Abstract
The assessment of oxygen uptake (VO2) kinetics is a valuable non-invasive way to evaluate cardiorespiratory and metabolic response to exercise. The aim of the study was to develop, describe and evaluate an online VO2 fitting tool (VO2FITTING) for [...] Read more.
The assessment of oxygen uptake (VO2) kinetics is a valuable non-invasive way to evaluate cardiorespiratory and metabolic response to exercise. The aim of the study was to develop, describe and evaluate an online VO2 fitting tool (VO2FITTING) for dynamically editing, processing, filtering and modelling VO2 responses to exercise. VO2FITTING was developed in Shiny, a web application framework for R language. Validation VO2 datasets with both noisy and non-noisy data were developed and applied to widely-used models (n = 7) for describing different intensity transitions to verify concurrent validity. Subsequently, we then conducted an experiment with age-group swimmers as an example, illustrating how VO2FITTING can be used to model VO2 kinetics. Perfect fits were observed, and parameter estimates perfectly matched the known inputted values for all available models (standard error = 0; p < 0.001). The VO2FITTING is a valid, free and open-source software for characterizing VO2 kinetics in exercise, which was developed to help the research and performance analysis communities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physiological Responses During Exercise)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
The Magical Horizontal Force Muscle? A Preliminary Study Examining the “Force-Vector” Theory
Received: 13 December 2018 / Revised: 17 January 2019 / Accepted: 20 January 2019 / Published: 22 January 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 3883 | PDF Full-text (440 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The force-vector theory contends that horizontal exercises are more specific to horizontal sports skills. In this context, the focus is on horizontal force production relative to the global coordinate frame. However, according to the principle of dynamic correspondence, the direction of force relative [...] Read more.
The force-vector theory contends that horizontal exercises are more specific to horizontal sports skills. In this context, the focus is on horizontal force production relative to the global coordinate frame. However, according to the principle of dynamic correspondence, the direction of force relative to the athlete is more important, and thus the basis for the force-vector theory is flawed. The purpose of this study was therefore to test the force-vector theory. According to the force-vector theory, hip thrust is a horizontally loaded exercise, and so hip thrust training would be expected to create greater improvements in horizontal jump performance than vertical jump performance. Eleven collegiate female athletes aged 18–24 years completed a 14-week hip thrust training programme. Pre and post testing was used to measure the following: vertical squat jump, vertical countermovement jump, horizontal squat jump, horizontal countermovement jump and hip thrust 3 repetition maximum (3RM). Subjects improved their 3 repetition maximum hip thrust performance by 33.0% (d = 1.399, p < 0.001, η2 = 0.784) and their vertical and horizontal jump performance (improvements ranged from 5.4–7.7%; d = 0.371–0.477, p = 0.004, η2 = 0.585). However, there were no differences in the magnitude of the improvement between horizontal and vertical jumping (p = 0.561, η2 = 0.035). The results of this study are contrary to the predictions of the force-vector theory. Furthermore, this paper concludes with an analysis of the force-vector theory, presenting the mechanical inconsistencies in the theory. Coaches should use the well established principle of dynamic correspondence in order to assess the mechanical similarity of exercises to sports skills. Full article
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