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Sports, Volume 7, Issue 4 (April 2019)

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Cover Story (view full-size image) Actual motor competence is associated with physical activity in early years children, however, the [...] Read more.
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Open AccessArticle
The Effects of Acute Caffeine Supplementation on Performance in Trained CrossFit Athletes
Received: 20 March 2019 / Revised: 23 April 2019 / Accepted: 24 April 2019 / Published: 25 April 2019
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Abstract
Caffeine’s ergogenic effects persist during various exercise modalities; however, information establishing its efficacy during CrossFit protocols is limited. Our study aimed to determine the effects of caffeine supplementation on CrossFit performance. Thirteen CrossFit-trained men (age = 28.5 ± 6.6 years, experience = 49.2 [...] Read more.
Caffeine’s ergogenic effects persist during various exercise modalities; however, information establishing its efficacy during CrossFit protocols is limited. Our study aimed to determine the effects of caffeine supplementation on CrossFit performance. Thirteen CrossFit-trained men (age = 28.5 ± 6.6 years, experience = 49.2 ± 36.3 months) were randomized in a double-blind, crossover design. Participants completed two sessions separated by a seven-day washout period, 60 min after consuming 5 mg/kg body mass of caffeine or a placebo. In each session, participants completed as many rounds as possible in 20 min of 5 pull-ups, 10 push-ups, and 15 air squats. CrossFit performance was the total number of repetitions completed in 20 min. Paired samples t-tests were used to compare CrossFit performance between caffeine and placebo conditions and to test for a potential learning effect between the first and second sessions. CrossFit performance was significantly higher during the caffeine condition compared to the placebo (461.4 ± 103 vs. 425.0 ± 93.5 repetitions, p < 0.05). No significant learning effect was identified between the first and second sessions (445.6 ± 95.0 vs. 440.8 ± 105.0 repetitions, p = 0.73) nor was there a significant treatment order effect (p = 0.40). Caffeine’s ergogenic effect is present during CrossFit; however, future investigations should establish caffeine’s efficacy during other CrossFit protocols and among female athletes. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Peak Power Output Is Similarly Recovered After Three- and Five-Days’ Rest Following Sprint Interval Training in Young and Older Adults
Received: 26 March 2019 / Revised: 18 April 2019 / Accepted: 23 April 2019 / Published: 25 April 2019
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Abstract
(1) Background: High-intensity interval training (HIIT) exerts effects indicative of improved health in young and older populations. However, prescribing analogous training programmes is inappropriate, as recovery from HIIT is different between young and older individuals. Sprint interval training (SIT) is a derivative of [...] Read more.
(1) Background: High-intensity interval training (HIIT) exerts effects indicative of improved health in young and older populations. However, prescribing analogous training programmes is inappropriate, as recovery from HIIT is different between young and older individuals. Sprint interval training (SIT) is a derivative of HIIT but with shorter, maximal effort intervals. Prior to prescribing this mode of training, it is imperative to understand the recovery period to prevent residual fatigue affecting subsequent adaptations. (2) Methods: Nine older (6M/3F; mean age of 70 ± 8 years) and nine young (6M/3F; mean age of 24 ± 3 years) participants performed a baseline peak power output (PPO) test. Subsequently, two SIT sessions consisting of three repetitions of 20 s ‘all-out’ stationary cycling bouts interspersed by 3 minutes of self-paced recovery were performed. SIT sessions were followed by 3 days’ rest and 5 days’ rest on two separate occasions, in a randomised crossover design. PPO was measured again to determine whether recovery had been achieved after 3 days or after 5 days. (3) Results: Two-way repeated measure (age (older, young) × 3 time (baseline, 3 days, 5 days)) ANOVA revealed a large effect of age (p = 0.002, n2p = 0.460), with older participants having a lower PPO compared to young participants. A small effect of time (p = 0.702, n2p = 0.022), and a medium interaction between age and time (p = 0.098, n2p = 0.135) was observed. (4) Conclusions: This study demonstrates both young and older adults recover PPO following 3 and 5 days’ rest. As such, both groups could undertake SIT following three days of rest, without a reduction in PPO. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Exercise in Aging)
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Open AccessArticle
Physiological Performance Measures as Indicators of CrossFit® Performance
Received: 15 February 2019 / Revised: 16 April 2019 / Accepted: 17 April 2019 / Published: 22 April 2019
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Abstract
CrossFit® began as another exercise program to improve physical fitness and has rapidly grown into the “sport of fitness”. However, little is understood as to the physiological indicators that determine CrossFit® sport performance. The purpose of this study was to determine [...] Read more.
CrossFit® began as another exercise program to improve physical fitness and has rapidly grown into the “sport of fitness”. However, little is understood as to the physiological indicators that determine CrossFit® sport performance. The purpose of this study was to determine which physiological performance measure was the greatest indicator of CrossFit® workout performance. Male (n = 12) and female (n = 5) participants successfully completed a treadmill graded exercise test to measure maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max), a 3-minute all-out running test (3MT) to determine critical speed (CS) and the finite capacity for running speeds above CS (D′), a Wingate anaerobic test (WAnT) to assess anaerobic peak and mean power, the CrossFit® total to measure total body strength, as well as the CrossFit® benchmark workouts: Fran, Grace, and Nancy. It was hypothesized that CS and total body strength would be the greatest indicators of CrossFit® performance. Pearson’s r correlations were used to determine the relationship of benchmark performance data and the physiological performance measures. For each benchmark-dependent variable, a stepwise linear regression was created using significant correlative data. For the workout Fran, back squat strength explained 42% of the variance. VO2max explained 68% of the variance for the workout Nancy. Lastly, anaerobic peak power explained 57% of the variance for performance on the CrossFit® total. In conclusion, results demonstrated select physiological performance variables may be used to predict CrossFit® workout performance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Research on High Intensity Functional Training)
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Open AccessArticle
‘Perhaps a Bit Different to What We Did Twenty Years Ago’: Senior Teachers’ Perceptions of Outdoor Adventure within Primary Education in England
Received: 18 March 2019 / Revised: 10 April 2019 / Accepted: 17 April 2019 / Published: 19 April 2019
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Abstract
Outdoor and adventurous activities (OAA) are now a compulsory component of the primary education curriculum in England, with senior leadership teams exerting significant influence on its delivery in schools. This study considers senior teachers’ perceptions and value of the OAA strand of the [...] Read more.
Outdoor and adventurous activities (OAA) are now a compulsory component of the primary education curriculum in England, with senior leadership teams exerting significant influence on its delivery in schools. This study considers senior teachers’ perceptions and value of the OAA strand of the Physical Education (PE) National Curriculum (NC) in primary education. Six senior teachers from across a large northern city took part in semi-structured interviews. Data was analysed using an interpretivist paradigm incorporating a multistage thematic coding process. Findings centred on the lack of guidance given by the NC within OAA and ensuing issues for experienced and less confident teachers of the subject. Different interpretations of OAA were prevalent from traditional skills-based activities to personal and social development through basic activities delivered outside the classroom. Finally, all senior staff highly regarded OAA and offered a strong rationale for its inclusion within curriculum time. The full potential of OAA as a cross-curricular approach to learning in primary education is not being realised and can be partially mitigated by more purposeful integration within teacher education programmes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health and Wellbeing in an Outdoor and Adventure Sports Context)
Open AccessArticle
Relative Age Effect is Modulated by Playing Position but is Not Related to Competitive Success in Elite Under-19 Handball Athletes
Received: 6 March 2019 / Revised: 2 April 2019 / Accepted: 17 April 2019 / Published: 19 April 2019
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Abstract
This study aimed to verify the occurrence of the relative age effect (RAE) in male elite young handball athletes according to the playing position and its association with team performance in a World Championship. Data from 383 handball athletes from 24 countries who [...] Read more.
This study aimed to verify the occurrence of the relative age effect (RAE) in male elite young handball athletes according to the playing position and its association with team performance in a World Championship. Data from 383 handball athletes from 24 countries who participated in the 7th World Men’s Championship in the under-19 category were analyzed. RAE was investigated from the birth trimester of the athletes, their playing position, and final ranking in the Championship. The results showed an overrepresentation of athletes born in the first two trimesters (Q1 and Q2) (χ2(3) = 32.97; p < 0.001, ω = 0.29). The analysis of the athlete’s position showed that most wings (χ2(3) = 18.37; p < 0.001, ω = 0.32) and backs (χ2(3) = 12.51; p = 0.006, ω = 0.34) were born in the first trimesters (Q1 and Q2). The ranking in the Championship presented no significant association with the date of the birth (p > 0.05). The results showed the existence of the RAE in youth handball elite athletes, especially for the back and wing positions. However, the strategy of selecting is questionable once the presence of RAE was not associated with competitive success. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Activity Profile, Heart Rate, Technical Involvement, and Perceived Intensity and Fun in U13 Male and Female Team Handball Players: Effect of Game Format
Received: 18 March 2019 / Revised: 12 April 2019 / Accepted: 16 April 2019 / Published: 19 April 2019
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Abstract
The aim of the study was to compare the activity pattern, heart rate (HR), technical involvement, and subjective perceptions in U13 boys and girls playing team handball in five game formats. Activity pattern, heart rate (HR), technical involvement, perceived fun, and exertion were [...] Read more.
The aim of the study was to compare the activity pattern, heart rate (HR), technical involvement, and subjective perceptions in U13 boys and girls playing team handball in five game formats. Activity pattern, heart rate (HR), technical involvement, perceived fun, and exertion were recorded from four girls teams (n = 24) and four boys teams (n = 24) played during a 1-day tournament consisting of five different game formats of 15-min duration: Medium court size, 4v4 (M4v4), 5v5 (M5v5), and 6v6 (M6v6), and large court size, 5v5 (L5v5) and 6v6 (L6v6). Girls covered more total distance (TD) and high-speed running (HSR, 13–17.9 km·h−1) on the large court compared to the medium court (p < 0.05; ES = 2.1–3.1 and 1.2–2.5, respectively). Boys covered more distance as HSR and sprinting on the large court compared to the medium court, but only more TD on the large court compared to the medium court with the same number of players, (p < 0.05; ES = 1.0–1.8, 1.0–1.8, and 1.1–1.8, respectively). Team handball for U13 boys and girls is a high-intensity activity irrespective of court size. Increasing the court size with a fixed number of players increased the total distance and HSR, whereas manipulating the number of players on a fixed court size appears to influence technical involvement. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Working Memory Training in Professional Football Players: A Small-Scale Descriptive Feasibility Study—The Importance of Personality, Psychological Well-Being, and Motivational Factors
Received: 28 October 2018 / Revised: 9 December 2018 / Accepted: 11 April 2019 / Published: 18 April 2019
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Abstract
Background: Working memory training (WMT) programs can improve working memory (WM). In football players, this could lead to improved performance on the pitch. Method: Eighteen professional football players of Maatschappelijke Voetbal Vereniging Maastricht (MVV) participated and followed an online, computerized WMT program. Neuropsychological [...] Read more.
Background: Working memory training (WMT) programs can improve working memory (WM). In football players, this could lead to improved performance on the pitch. Method: Eighteen professional football players of Maatschappelijke Voetbal Vereniging Maastricht (MVV) participated and followed an online, computerized WMT program. Neuropsychological performance, psychological wellbeing, self-efficacy, and football skills (Loughborough Soccer Passing Test; LSPT) were assessed at three time points, before and after WMT and at three-month follow-up. Descriptive data are reported. Results: Baseline characteristics were roughly similar for both groups. Participants performed better on the trained WM tasks, but performance for other neuropsychological test measures or the LSPT did not change. Low compliance rates were observed, showing differences in personality and well-being between compliers and non-compliers. Conclusions: WMT is not a feasible and effective strategy to improve non-trained cognitive measures and football performance. However, this study indicates that it is important to take individual characteristics into account. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Training Process in Soccer Players)
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Open AccessArticle
Cross-Sectional Investigation of Stress Fractures in German Elite Triathletes
Received: 25 February 2019 / Revised: 6 April 2019 / Accepted: 10 April 2019 / Published: 15 April 2019
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Abstract
Triathlon is a popular sport for both recreational and competitive athletes. This study investigated the rates and patterns of stress fractures in the German national triathlon squad. We developed a web-based retrospective questionnaire containing questions about the frequency of stress fractures, anatomic localisation [...] Read more.
Triathlon is a popular sport for both recreational and competitive athletes. This study investigated the rates and patterns of stress fractures in the German national triathlon squad. We developed a web-based retrospective questionnaire containing questions about the frequency of stress fractures, anatomic localisation and associated risk factors. The survey was conducted as an explorative cross-sectional study. Eighty-six athletes completed the questionnaire. Twenty athletes (23%) sustained at least one stress fracture. All documented stress fractures were located in the lower extremities. Factors associated with a higher risk for stress fractures were female gender, competitive sport prior to triathlon career, Vitamin D or iron deficiency, menstrual disturbances and a high number of annual training hours. Disseminating knowledge among athletes and their professional community in order to raise awareness about early symptoms and relevant risk factors could help to improve prevention and reduce the incidence of stress fractures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Maximising Triathlon Health and Performance: the State of the Art)
Open AccessArticle
The Relationship of Age and BMI with Physical Fitness in Futsal Players
Received: 2 March 2019 / Revised: 25 March 2019 / Accepted: 9 April 2019 / Published: 15 April 2019
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Abstract
The aim of this study was to examine the relationship of age and body mass status with field and laboratory measures of physical fitness in futsal players. Futsal players (n = 65, age 12.9 ± 2.8 years), who were classified into U11 [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to examine the relationship of age and body mass status with field and laboratory measures of physical fitness in futsal players. Futsal players (n = 65, age 12.9 ± 2.8 years), who were classified into U11 (n = 28, 9–11 years), U13 (n = 21, 11–13 years), and adults (n = 16, >18 years), performed a physical fitness battery consisting of both laboratory and field tests. A similar prevalence of overweight (25%) was observed in all age groups (χ2 = 1.94, p = 0.380, φ = 0.17). Age groups differed for all parameters, except body fat percentage, with adult players showing higher values than the younger groups (p < 0.05). U13 was heavier, taller, and had larger fat-free mass than U11 (p < 0.05). Adult players had superior values than their younger counterparts for all physical fitness parameters (p < 0.05). Body mass index (BMI) correlated inversely with aerobic capacity (U13), jumping ability, relative isometric muscle strength, and relative mean power in the Wingate anaerobic test (WAnT) (U11) (p < 0.05). Also, it correlated directly with absolute isometric muscle strength (U11) and peak power, mean power (all groups), and fatigue index (U11, U13) in WAnT (p < 0.05). Considering the results of this study, it was concluded that the prevalence of overweight in futsal players should be an important concern for practitioners working in this team sport. Optimizing BMI should be considered as a training and nutrition goal in order to improve sport performance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Performance in Team Sports)
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Open AccessArticle
Performance and Participation in the ‘Vasaloppet’ Cross-Country Skiing Race during a Century
Received: 24 February 2019 / Revised: 2 April 2019 / Accepted: 10 April 2019 / Published: 12 April 2019
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Abstract
This study investigated gender differences in performance and participation and the role of nationality during one century in one of the largest cross-country (XC) skiing events in the world, the ‘Vasaloppet‘ in Sweden. The total number of female and male athletes who finished [...] Read more.
This study investigated gender differences in performance and participation and the role of nationality during one century in one of the largest cross-country (XC) skiing events in the world, the ‘Vasaloppet‘ in Sweden. The total number of female and male athletes who finished (n = 562,413) this race between 1922 and 2017 was considered. Most of the finishers were Swedish (81.03% of women and 88.39% of men), followed by Norwegians and Finnish. The overall men-to-women ratio was 17.5. A gender × nationality association was observed for participation (χ2 = 1,823.44, p < 0.001, φ = 0.057), with the men-to-women ratio ranging from 6.7 (USA) to 19.1 (Sweden). For both genders, the participation (%) of Swedish decreased, and that of all other nationalities (except Swiss) increased across years. Regarding the mean race time, men were faster than women by 14.5% (7 h 52 min 17 s versus 9 h 00 min 55 s, respectively). A trivial gender×nationality interaction regarding the race time was observed (p < 0.001, η2 < 0.001), with gender differences ranging from 4.4% (USA) to 22.0% (Iceland). The race time increased across calendar years for both women (r = 0.45, p = 0.006, moderate magnitude) and men (r = 0.25, p = 0.015, small magnitude). On the basis of these findings, we concluded that a relatively small number of women pariticipates in XC skiing. Therefore, the development of public health policies targeting the participation of women in XC skiing should be a concern in the countries with a tradition of this sport. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Dose Response for Sprint Interval Training Interventions May Affect the Time Course of Aerobic Training Adaptations
Received: 12 March 2019 / Revised: 5 April 2019 / Accepted: 8 April 2019 / Published: 10 April 2019
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Abstract
Low vs. high volume sprint-interval training (SIT) sessions have shown similar physiological benefits after 8 weeks. However, the dose response and residual effects of shorter SIT bouts (<10 s) are unknown. Following a 6-wk control period, 13 healthy inactive males were assigned to [...] Read more.
Low vs. high volume sprint-interval training (SIT) sessions have shown similar physiological benefits after 8 weeks. However, the dose response and residual effects of shorter SIT bouts (<10 s) are unknown. Following a 6-wk control period, 13 healthy inactive males were assigned to a low dose (LDG: n = 7) or high dose (HDG: n = 6) supervised 6-wk intervention: ×2/wk of SIT (LDG = 2 sets of 5 × 6 s ON: 18 s OFF bouts; HDG = 4–6 sets); ×1/wk resistance training (3 exercises at 3 × 10 reps). Outcome measures were tested pre and post control (baseline (BL) 1 and 2), 72 h post (0POST), and 3-wk post (3POST) intervention. At 0POST, peak oxygen uptake (VO2peak) increased in the LDG (+16%) and HDG (+11%) vs. BL 2, with no differences between groups (p = 0.381). At 3POST, VO2peak was different between LDG (−11%) and HDG (+3%) vs. 0POST. Positive responses for the intervention’s perceived enjoyment (PE) and rate of perceived exertion (RPE) were found for both groups. Blood pressure, blood lipids, or body composition were not different between groups at any time point. Conclusion: LDG and HDG significantly improved VO2peak at 0POST. However, findings at 3POST suggest compromised VO2peak at 0POST in the HDG due to the delayed time course of adaptations. These findings should be considered when implementing high-dose SIT protocols for non-athletic populations. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Cherry Gel Supplementation Does Not Attenuate Subjective Muscle Soreness or Alter Wellbeing Following a Match in a Team of Professional Rugby Union players: A Pilot Study
Received: 7 March 2019 / Revised: 2 April 2019 / Accepted: 3 April 2019 / Published: 5 April 2019
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Abstract
This study examined the effects of sour tart cherry juice (TC) on muscle soreness (MS) and wellbeing following a rugby union match in professional players. In a crossover design, 10 players from a senior squad in the top tier of England consumed either [...] Read more.
This study examined the effects of sour tart cherry juice (TC) on muscle soreness (MS) and wellbeing following a rugby union match in professional players. In a crossover design, 10 players from a senior squad in the top tier of England consumed either 2 × 30 mL servings of TC or an isocaloric cherry-flavoured control gel (CON) two days before, the day of, and two days following an 80 min match. Subjective wellbeing and MS were measured before the match (Pre), and for three days following the match (M+1, M+2, and M+3, respectively). MS was elevated from Pre at M+1 (CON, 111 ± 37 mm vs. TC 94 ± 41 mm) and M+2 (CON, 81 ± 35 mm vs. TC 72 ± 36 mm) (time effect; p = 0.0001; ηp2 = 0.821) but there were no differences between TC and CON at either time point post-exercise (p = 0.807; ηp2 = 0.035). Wellness scores were ~15% lower at M+1 (p = 0.023; ηp2 = 0.638) but there were no differences between the two conditions at any time point (p = 0.647; ηp2 = 0.160). In conclusion, tart cherry juice did not attenuate soreness or alter wellbeing in a team of professional rugby union players following a competitive match. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Young Pacific Male Rugby Players’ Perceptions and Experiences of Mental Wellbeing
Received: 13 March 2019 / Revised: 1 April 2019 / Accepted: 3 April 2019 / Published: 5 April 2019
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Abstract
Recent studies and increased media reporting across Australasia have linked young Pacific male elite athletes to depression, suicide, and other adverse mental health-related events. Despite these accounts, little is known about the way this group experience emotions and mental wellbeing. The aim of [...] Read more.
Recent studies and increased media reporting across Australasia have linked young Pacific male elite athletes to depression, suicide, and other adverse mental health-related events. Despite these accounts, little is known about the way this group experience emotions and mental wellbeing. The aim of this study was to explore young Pacific male athletes’ perceptions and experiences of emotions and mental wellbeing. This qualitative study involved 20 face-to-face interviews with young Pacific males (16–24 years) engaged in elite rugby union and rugby league programmes in Auckland, New Zealand. The results identified that athletes defined mental wellbeing in a holistic and relational manner and perceived mental wellbeing as the culmination of several interconnected factors, including: Family support, reciprocating family support, living a ‘well-balanced’ life, athletic performance, and personal development away from sports. The maintenance of a well-balanced athletic identity and positive social relations were deemed central to sustaining mental wellbeing for these young men. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emotions in Sports and Exercise)
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Open AccessArticle
Effects of a 2-km Swim on Markers of Cycling Performance in Elite Age-Group Triathletes
Received: 19 March 2019 / Revised: 29 March 2019 / Accepted: 2 April 2019 / Published: 5 April 2019
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Abstract
The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of a 2-km swim on markers of subsequent cycling performance in well-trained, age-group triathletes. Fifteen participants (10 males, five females, 38.3 ± 8.4 years) performed two progressive cycling tests between two and ten [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of a 2-km swim on markers of subsequent cycling performance in well-trained, age-group triathletes. Fifteen participants (10 males, five females, 38.3 ± 8.4 years) performed two progressive cycling tests between two and ten days apart, one of which was immediately following a 2-km swim (33.7 ± 4.1 min). Cycling power at 4-mM blood lactate concentration decreased after swimming by an average of 3.8% (p = 0.03, 95% CI −7.7, 0.2%), while heart rate during submaximal cycling (220 W for males, 150 W for females) increased by an average of 4.0% (p = 0.02, 95% CI 1.7, 9.7%), compared to cycling without prior swimming. Maximal oxygen consumption decreased by an average of 4.0% (p = 0.01, 95% CI −6.5, −1.4%), and peak power decreased by an average of 4.5% (p < 0.01, 95% CI −7.3, −2.3%) after swimming, compared to cycling without prior swimming. Results from this study suggest that markers of submaximal and maximal cycling are impaired following a 2-km swim. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Effects of Short Practice of Climbing on Barriers Self-Efficacy within a Physical Education and Sport Intervention in Germany
Received: 27 February 2019 / Revised: 26 March 2019 / Accepted: 2 April 2019 / Published: 4 April 2019
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Abstract
The study examined the effects of an indoor wall climbing intervention within the context of a regular Physical Education and Sport (PES) program on barriers self-efficacy (SE) of adolescents in Germany. The study used a field experiment with a wait-list control group. Seventy-eight [...] Read more.
The study examined the effects of an indoor wall climbing intervention within the context of a regular Physical Education and Sport (PES) program on barriers self-efficacy (SE) of adolescents in Germany. The study used a field experiment with a wait-list control group. Seventy-eight 8th-graders were included (age: 14.41 ± 0.71 years), with 37 randomly assigned for the intervention group and 41 for the control group. The intervention group participated in two half-day indoor wall climbing excursions (duration: 180 min each) based on SE building strategies. Both groups were pre-and post-tested in SE of indoor wall climbing and belaying. The control group did not receive any treatment before post-test. After the intervention, significant improvements were found in the experimental group on SE of belaying (F(1,76) = 23.45, p = 0.000, η2p = 0.24) using repeated-measures ANOVA. This study provides the first evidence from a German PES field experiment on increasing an important SE facet related to indoor wall climbing among 8th-graders. The program may be improved and further analyzed to install a short-term method to achieve one important educational goal within ordinary PES programs in Germany and to contribute to the personal development of the students. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Effects of 7-Week Hip Thrust Versus Back Squat Resistance Training on Performance in Adolescent Female Soccer Players
Received: 7 February 2019 / Revised: 22 March 2019 / Accepted: 1 April 2019 / Published: 3 April 2019
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Abstract
Hip thrust (HT) is a loaded bridging exercise that requires more hip extension than a back squat (SQ) does, while in a back squat, triple flex extension occurs. Due to the specificity of each exercise, it is claimed that HT gains can be [...] Read more.
Hip thrust (HT) is a loaded bridging exercise that requires more hip extension than a back squat (SQ) does, while in a back squat, triple flex extension occurs. Due to the specificity of each exercise, it is claimed that HT gains can be better transferred to actions where hip extension occurs. In addition, strength improvements during squatting can be transferred in a greater way to vertical plane movement, such as vertical jumping. However, its effects on the performance of female soccer players are unclear. For this reason, the purpose of this study was to analyze a 7-week training program on performance variables using either HT or SQ exercises in female adolescent soccer players without lifting experience (N = 24, age = 16.82 ± 1.56 years, height = 1.64 ± 0.55 cm, body mass = 58.35 ± 6.28 kg). Players were randomized into three groups: A back squat group (SQG; N = 8), hip thrust group (HTG; N = 8), and control group (CG; N = 8). Participants in the HTG and SQG joined a progressive resistance training program twice per week for 7 weeks with either HT or SQ exercises. A countermovement jump, 10–20 m sprint, T-test, and barbell velocity during HTs and SQs (with the load that represents ~60 and ~80% RM) were measured before and after the intervention. The HTG showed greater improvements in the 10-m sprint (d = 0.7), 20-m sprint (d = 0.46), T-test (d = 0.36), and barbell velocity at 80% repetition maximal (RM) (d = 0.53) and 60% RM (d = 1.02) during hip thrusts, while the SQG showed higher barbell velocity at 80% RM (d = −0.7) during back squats. These results may be useful for strength and conditioning coaches working with adolescent female soccer athletes, since both strengthening exercises improved performance in different ways due to the nature of the exercise. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Training Process in Soccer Players)
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Open AccessArticle
Age-Related Differences in the Physical and Physiological Demands during Small-Sided Games with Floaters
Received: 9 March 2019 / Revised: 25 March 2019 / Accepted: 29 March 2019 / Published: 2 April 2019
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Abstract
The purpose of this study was to compare the physical and physiological demands of a small-sided game (SSG) in three different age groups (senior, under-19 [U-19] and under-17 [U-17]) belonging to the same academy. A further aim was to contrast the physical and [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study was to compare the physical and physiological demands of a small-sided game (SSG) in three different age groups (senior, under-19 [U-19] and under-17 [U-17]) belonging to the same academy. A further aim was to contrast the physical and physiological profiles of normal and floater players during this task. Thirty male football players performed a 4 vs. 4 + 2 floaters on a playing field of 40 by 30m for four bouts of 4 min with 2 min of passive recovery. In addition to heart rate (mean and maximal), a GPS (Global Positioning System) system was used to record the distances covered at different speeds, the number of accelerations and decelerations, and the work/rest ratio (W:R Ratio). Analysis of the data showed that the demands of the SSGs are determined by the age of the players and that the regular players have greater demands than floater players in the SSGs utilized. These results suggest that the coaches should pay attention to the promotion of players to superior teams because there are physical differences between them (especially the U-17 to U-19 teams). Likewise, coaches should understand that floaters are a useful tool for regulating the training load of players and programming the return-to-play process, as floater players experience lower demands than normal players. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Fatigue-Mediated Loss of Complexity is Contraction-Type Dependent in Vastus Lateralis Electromyographic Signals
Received: 7 March 2019 / Revised: 28 March 2019 / Accepted: 29 March 2019 / Published: 2 April 2019
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Abstract
The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of fatigue status and contraction type on complexity of the surface electromyographic (sEMG) signal. Twelve females (mean age ± SD = 21.1 ± 1.4 years) performed three fatigue-inducing protocols that involved maximal concentric, [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of fatigue status and contraction type on complexity of the surface electromyographic (sEMG) signal. Twelve females (mean age ± SD = 21.1 ± 1.4 years) performed three fatigue-inducing protocols that involved maximal concentric, eccentric, or isometric knee-extensor contractions over three non-consecutive sessions. Pre- and post-fatigue assessments were also completed each session and consisted of three maximal efforts for each type of contraction. Complexity of sEMG signals from the vastus lateralis was assessed using Sample Entropy (SampEn) and Detrended Fluctuation Analysis (DFA) as expressed using the scaling exponent α. The results showed that fatigue decreased (p < 0.05) sEMG complexity as indicated by decreased SampEn (non-fatigued: 1.57 ± 0.22 > fatigued: 1.46 ± 0.25) and increased DFA α (non-fatigued: 1.27 ± 0.26 < fatigued: 1.32 ± 0.23). In addition, sEMG complexity was different among contraction types as indicated by SampEn (concentric: 1.58 ± 0.22 > eccentric: 1.47 ± 0.27 and isometric: 1.50 ± 0.21) and DFA α (concentric: 1.27 ± 0.18 < isometric: 1.32 ± 0.18). Thus, these findings suggested sEMG complexity is affected by fatigue status and contraction type, with the degree of fatigue-mediated loss of complexity dependent on the type of contraction used to elicit fatigue. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Evaluation of Exercise Using Electromyography)
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Open AccessArticle
Does Perception of Motor Competence Mediate Associations between Motor Competence and Physical Activity in Early Years Children?
Received: 17 December 2018 / Revised: 22 March 2019 / Accepted: 27 March 2019 / Published: 1 April 2019
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Abstract
Objectives: To examine if the relationship between physical activity (PA) and actual motor competence (MC) in British early years children is mediated by their perceived MC. Design: Cross-sectional convenience observational study. Methodology: MC was assessed with six locomotor skills (LC) and six object-control [...] Read more.
Objectives: To examine if the relationship between physical activity (PA) and actual motor competence (MC) in British early years children is mediated by their perceived MC. Design: Cross-sectional convenience observational study. Methodology: MC was assessed with six locomotor skills (LC) and six object-control skills (OC) via the Test of Gross Motor Development-2. PA was measured via a wrist-worn triaxial accelerometer and PA grouped as daily total PA (TPA) and moderate-to-vigorous PA (MVPA). Perceived MC was assessed using the Pictorial Scale of Perceived Competence and Acceptance for Young Children. A total of 38 children (63% male; 37% female) aged between 3 and 6 years (5.41 ± 0.69) completed all assessments. Mediating impacts of perceived MC on the relationships between PA and MC were explored via backwards mediation regressions. Results: There were no mediating impacts of perceived MC on the relationship between PA and actual MC. Conclusions: The relationship between actual MC and PA is not mediated by perceived MC in a small sample of British early years childhood. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Activity for Health in Youth)
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Open AccessArticle
Is the Bike Segment of Modern Olympic Triathlon More a Transition towards Running in Males than It Is in Females?
Received: 6 March 2019 / Revised: 25 March 2019 / Accepted: 28 March 2019 / Published: 29 March 2019
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Abstract
In 2009, the International Triathlon Union created a new triathlon race format: The World Triathlon Series (WTS), for which only athletes with a top 100 world ranking are eligible. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to analyze the influence of the three [...] Read more.
In 2009, the International Triathlon Union created a new triathlon race format: The World Triathlon Series (WTS), for which only athletes with a top 100 world ranking are eligible. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to analyze the influence of the three disciplines on performance within all the WTS Olympic distance races within two Olympic cycles, and to determine whether their relative contribution changed over the years. Methods: For each of a total of 44 races, final race time and position as well as split times (and positions), and summed time (and position) at each point of the race were collected and included in the analysis. Athletes were divided into 4 groups according to their final race placing (G1: 1st–3rd place; G2: 4–8th place; G3: 8–16th place and G4: ≥17th place). Two-way multivariate ANOVAs were conducted to compare the main effects of years and rank groups. For females, there were significant differences in the swim and bike segment only between G4 and the other groups (p range from 0.001–0.029), whilst for the run segment each group differed significantly from each other (p < 0.001). For males, there were significant differences in swim only between G4 and the other groups (p range from 0.001–0.039), whilst for the running segment each group differed significantly from the others (p < 0.001). Although we found running to be the segment where there were significant differences between performance groups, it is apparently important for overall success that a good runner be positioned with the first cycling pack. However, bike splits were not different between either of the four male groups or between the first 3 groups of the females. At this very high level of performance, at least in the males, the bike leg seems to be a smooth transition towards running. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Maximising Triathlon Health and Performance: the State of the Art)
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Open AccessArticle
The Effects of a Physically Active Lifestyle on the Health of Former Professional Football Players
Received: 1 February 2019 / Revised: 27 February 2019 / Accepted: 26 March 2019 / Published: 28 March 2019
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Abstract
The purpose of this investigation was to determine if a physically active lifestyle affects the health of former football players. Sixty former professional football players aged 40–50 years and who ended their sports career at least ten years ago were recruited for the [...] Read more.
The purpose of this investigation was to determine if a physically active lifestyle affects the health of former football players. Sixty former professional football players aged 40–50 years and who ended their sports career at least ten years ago were recruited for the study and grouped into two groups based on their physical activity habits after their retirement. Health and lifestyle characteristics were collected through a questionnaire to obtain information about recreational physical activity levels, diseases, family medical history, smoking, alcohol intake and dietary habits. Furthermore, lung functions, blood parameters and cardiovascular health were evaluated. Our results showed that body weight and body fat percentage were significantly higher in retired footballers who had a sedentary lifestyle compared to those who were physically active. The absolute and predicted values for forced expiratory volume in one-second values were higher in the active group. Twelve retired athletes were found to have intraventricular conduction delay. The findings suggest that former footballers who have higher levels of physical activity have advanced body composition, respiratory functions and serum lipids compared to former footballers with less active lifestyles. It is recommended that former elite athletes should maintain physically active lifestyles to sustain their health and reduce the risk of disease and disability in the later years of life. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Exercise in Aging)
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