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Sports, Volume 8, Issue 1 (January 2020) – 10 articles

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Cover Story (view full-size image) Vann and colleagues in the School of Kinesiology at Auburn University (United States) provide an [...] Read more.
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Open AccessEditorial
Acknowledgement to Reviewers of Sports in 2019
Sports 2020, 8(1), 10; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports8010010 - 20 Jan 2020
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Abstract
The editorial team greatly appreciates the reviewers who have dedicated their considerable time and expertise to the journal’s rigorous editorial process over the past 12 months, regardless of whether the papers are finally published or not [...] Full article
Open AccessArticle
The Weather Impact on Physical Activity of 6–12 Year Old Children: A Clustered Study of the Health Oriented Pedagogical Project (HOPP)
Sports 2020, 8(1), 9; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports8010009 - 19 Jan 2020
Viewed by 227
Abstract
It is commonly known that children do not engage in a sufficient amount of physical activity. Weather conditions and day length may influence physical activity of children. Little is known about the relationship between physical activity and seasons. The purpose of this study [...] Read more.
It is commonly known that children do not engage in a sufficient amount of physical activity. Weather conditions and day length may influence physical activity of children. Little is known about the relationship between physical activity and seasons. The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationships between weather conditions and physical activity in 6–12 year old children based on hip-worn Actigraph wGT3X–BT accelerometer data. The study sample consisted of 2015 subjects aged 6–12 years from the Health Oriented Pedagogical Project (HOPP) study carried out in Horten municipality and Akershus county, Norway. Six days of sedentary and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity data was gathered in January–June and September–October, 2015, presented as daily averages. The accelerometer-monitored physical activity of children grouped within nine schools was matched with regional weather conditions and assessed with the means of linear mixed models. Increased day length was associated with decreased sedentary behavior. Warmer temperature and dry weather were associated with increased moderate-to-vigorous physical activity after adjusting for age and sex. One-hour increase in daylight resulted in a decrease of sedentary time by, on average, 2 min (95% CI = (−2.577, −0.798)). For every 5 °C increase in temperature (range: −0.95 and 15.51 °C) and dry weather, average moderate-to vigorous physical activity increased by 72 and 67 min (males and females, respectively) (p < 0.001). Days with precipitation had, on average, 10 fewer minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity compared with days without precipitation (95% CI = (−16.704, −3.259)). Higher temperatures and dry weather led to higher physical activity levels, seeing larger increases among boys than girls. A school-based physical activity intervention program should be adjusted regarding local weather conditions in line with the present findings. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Modelling Training Adaptation in Swimming Using Artificial Neural Network Geometric Optimisation
Sports 2020, 8(1), 8; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports8010008 - 16 Jan 2020
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Abstract
This study aims to model training adaptation using Artificial Neural Network (ANN) geometric optimisation. Over 26 weeks, 38 swimmers recorded their training and recovery data on a web platform. Based on these data, ANN geometric optimisation was used to model and graphically separate [...] Read more.
This study aims to model training adaptation using Artificial Neural Network (ANN) geometric optimisation. Over 26 weeks, 38 swimmers recorded their training and recovery data on a web platform. Based on these data, ANN geometric optimisation was used to model and graphically separate adaptation from maladaptation (to training). Geometric Activity Performance Index (GAPI), defined as the ratio of the adaptation to the maladaptation area, was introduced. The techniques of jittering and ensemble modelling were used to reduce overfitting of the model. Correlation (Spearman rank) and independence (Blomqvist β) tests were run between GAPI and performance measures to check the relevance of the collected parameters. Thirteen out of 38 swimmers met the prerequisites for the analysis and were included in the modelling. The GAPI based on external load (distance) and internal load (session-Rating of Perceived Exertion) showed the strongest correlation with performance measures. ANN geometric optimisation seems to be a promising technique to model training adaptation and GAPI could be an interesting numerical surrogate to track during a season. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Skeletal Muscle Myofibrillar Protein Abundance Is Higher in Resistance-Trained Men, and Aging in the Absence of Training May Have an Opposite Effect
Sports 2020, 8(1), 7; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports8010007 - 10 Jan 2020
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Abstract
Resistance training generally increases skeletal muscle hypertrophy, whereas aging is associated with a loss in muscle mass. Interestingly, select studies suggest that aging, as well as resistance training, may lead to a reduction in the abundance of skeletal muscle myofibrillar (or contractile) protein [...] Read more.
Resistance training generally increases skeletal muscle hypertrophy, whereas aging is associated with a loss in muscle mass. Interestingly, select studies suggest that aging, as well as resistance training, may lead to a reduction in the abundance of skeletal muscle myofibrillar (or contractile) protein (per mg tissue). Proteomic interrogations have also demonstrated that aging, as well as weeks to months of resistance training, lead to appreciable alterations in the muscle proteome. Given this evidence, the purpose of this small pilot study was to examine total myofibrillar as well as total sarcoplasmic protein concentrations (per mg wet muscle) from the vastus lateralis muscle of males who were younger and resistance-trained (denoted as YT, n = 6, 25 ± 4 years old, 10 ± 3 self-reported years of training), younger and untrained (denoted as YU, n = 6, 21 ± 1 years old), and older and untrained (denoted as OU, n = 6, 62 ± 8 years old). The relative abundances of actin and myosin heavy chain (per mg tissue) were also examined using SDS-PAGE and Coomassie staining, and shotgun proteomics was used to interrogate the abundances of individual sarcoplasmic and myofibrillar proteins between cohorts. Whole-body fat-free mass (YT > YU = OU), VL thickness (YT > YU = OU), and leg extensor peak torque (YT > YU = OU) differed between groups (p < 0.05). Total myofibrillar protein concentrations were greater in YT versus OU (p = 0.005), but were not different between YT versus YU (p = 0.325). The abundances of actin and myosin heavy chain were greater in YT versus YU (p < 0.05) and OU (p < 0.001). Total sarcoplasmic protein concentrations were not different between groups. While proteomics indicated that marginal differences existed for individual myofibrillar and sarcoplasmic proteins between YT versus other groups, age-related differences were more prominent for myofibrillar proteins (YT = YU > OU, p < 0.05: 7 proteins; OU > YT = YU, p < 0.05: 11 proteins) and sarcoplasmic proteins (YT = YU > OU, p < 0.05: 8 proteins; OU > YT&YU, p < 0.05: 29 proteins). In summary, our data suggest that modest (~9%) myofibrillar protein packing (on a per mg muscle basis) was evident in the YT group. This study also provides further evidence to suggest that notable skeletal muscle proteome differences exist between younger and older humans. However, given that our n-sizes are low, these results only provide a preliminary phenotyping of the reported protein and proteomic variables. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Assessing the Wider Implementation of the SHARP Principles: Increasing Physical Activity in Primary Physical Education
Sports 2020, 8(1), 6; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports8010006 - 09 Jan 2020
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Abstract
To assess the wider application of the SHARP (Stretching whilst moving, High repetition of skills, Accessibility, Reducing sitting and standing, and Promotion of physical activity) Principles intervention on children’s moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) in physical education (PE), when applied by teachers [...] Read more.
To assess the wider application of the SHARP (Stretching whilst moving, High repetition of skills, Accessibility, Reducing sitting and standing, and Promotion of physical activity) Principles intervention on children’s moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) in physical education (PE), when applied by teachers and coaches. A quasi-experimental intervention was employed in nine primary schools (experimental, n = 6: control, n = 3) including teachers (n = 10), coaches (n = 4), and children (aged 5 to 11 years, n = 84) in the West Midlands, UK. Practitioners applied the SHARP Principles to PE lessons, guided by an innovative behaviour change model. The System for Observing Fitness and Instruction Time (SOFIT) was used to measure children’s MVPA in 111 lessons at pre- (n = 60) and post-intervention (n = 51). Seven interviews were conducted post-intervention to explore practitioners’ perceptions. Two-way ANOVA (Analysis of Variance) revealed that teachers increased children’s MVPA by 27.7%. No statistically significant change in children’s MVPA was observed when taught by the coaches. The qualitative results for teachers were ‘children’s engagement’, a ‘pedagogical paradigm shift’, and ‘relatedness’; and for coaches ‘organisational culture’ and ‘insufficient support and motivation’. The SHARP Principles intervention is the most effective teaching strategy at increasing MVPA in primary PE when taught by school based staff (rather than outsourced coaches), evidencing increases almost double that of any previously published study internationally and demonstrating the capacity to influence educational policy and practice internationally. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Activity for Health in Youth)
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Open AccessArticle
Relative Age Effect of Sport Academy Adolescents, a Physiological Evaluation
Sports 2020, 8(1), 5; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports8010005 - 07 Jan 2020
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Abstract
The relationship between birth quarter distribution and physiological characteristics related to athletic skills, in adolescent sport academy students has not been fully investigated. In a cross-sectional study, we recruited 86 boys and 52 girls aged 12–14 years during their first term at a [...] Read more.
The relationship between birth quarter distribution and physiological characteristics related to athletic skills, in adolescent sport academy students has not been fully investigated. In a cross-sectional study, we recruited 86 boys and 52 girls aged 12–14 years during their first term at a sport academy school. We measured body size, cardiac size, pulmonary function, body composition, lower body power, cardiorespiratory fitness parameters, and running endurance by standard methods and analyzed these estimates in relation to birth quarter by ANOVA. Birth quarter distribution in our cohort was compared with birth quarter distribution in the same ages in the whole of Sweden and analyzed by logistic regression. The academy had an overrepresentation of students born in the first quartile of the year compared to those born in the last quartile (odds ratio 2.3 (95% CI: 1.1–4.7)). When comparing the physiological characteristics between birth quarters, uniformity is prominent since out of 26 performed physiological and anthropometric tests only four showed statistically significant group differences. We thus believe that the selection process to the sport academy favours athletes with higher chronological age, i.e., a so-called relative age effect is present. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Acute Low-Dose Hyperoxia during a Single Bout of High-Intensity Interval Exercise Does Not Affect Red Blood Cell Deformability and Muscle Oxygenation in Trained Men—A Randomized Crossover Study
Sports 2020, 8(1), 4; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports8010004 - 04 Jan 2020
Viewed by 426
Abstract
Recent technological developments provide easy access to use an artificial oxygen supply (hyperoxia) during exercise training. The aim of this study was to assess the efficacy of a commercially available oxygen compressor inducing low-dose hyperoxia, on limiting factors of endurance performance. Thirteen active [...] Read more.
Recent technological developments provide easy access to use an artificial oxygen supply (hyperoxia) during exercise training. The aim of this study was to assess the efficacy of a commercially available oxygen compressor inducing low-dose hyperoxia, on limiting factors of endurance performance. Thirteen active men (age 24 ± 3 years) performed a high-intensity interval exercise (HIIE) session (5 × 3 min at 80% of Wmax, separated by 2 min at 40% Wmax) on a cycle ergometer, both in hyperoxia (4 L∙min−1, 94% O2, HYP) or ambient conditions (21% O2, NORM) in randomized order. The primary outcome was defined as red blood cell deformability (RBC-D), while our secondary interest included changes in muscle oxygenation. RBC-D was expressed by the ratio of shear stress at half-maximal deformation (SS1/2) and maximal deformability (EImax) and muscle oxygenation of the rectus femoris muscle was assessed by near-infrared spectroscopy. No statistically significant changes occurred in SS1/2 and EImax in either condition. The ratio of SS1/2 to EImax statistically decreased in NORM (p < 0.01; Δ: −0.10; 95%CI: −0.22, 0.02) but not HYP (p > 0.05; Δ: −0.16; 95%CI: −0.23, −0.08). Muscle oxygenation remained unchanged. This study showed that low-dose hyperoxia during HIIE using a commercially available device with a flow rate of only 4 L·min−1 may not be sufficient to induce acute ergogenic effects compared to normoxic conditions. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Effects of Chest Wall Loading on Perceptions of Fatigue, Exercise Performance, Pulmonary Function, and Muscle Perfusion
Sports 2020, 8(1), 3; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports8010003 - 01 Jan 2020
Viewed by 363
Abstract
Background: Load carriage (LC), which directly affects the chest wall and locomotor muscles, has been suggested to alter the ventilatory and circulatory responses to exercise, leading to increased respiratory muscle work and fatigue. However, studies exploring the impact of LC on locomotion increased [...] Read more.
Background: Load carriage (LC), which directly affects the chest wall and locomotor muscles, has been suggested to alter the ventilatory and circulatory responses to exercise, leading to increased respiratory muscle work and fatigue. However, studies exploring the impact of LC on locomotion increased internal work, complicating their interpretation. To overcome this issue, we sought to determine the effect of chest wall loading with restriction (CWL + R) on cycling performance, cardiopulmonary responses, microvascular responsiveness, and perceptions of fatigue. Methods: In a randomized crossover design, 23 young healthy males (22 ± 4 years) completed a 5 km cycling time trial (TT) in loaded (CWL + R; tightened vest with 10% body weight) and unloaded conditions. After baseline pulmonary function testing (PFT; forced expiratory volume in 1 s, FEV1; forced vital capacity, FVC), cardiopulmonary indices (HR, heart rate; O2 uptake, VO2; ventilation, VE; tidal volume, VT; and breathing frequency, Bf), rating of perceived exertion (RPE), lactate (BLa), and microvascular responses (oxy-, deoxy-, total hemoglobin; and tissue saturation; StO2) of the vastus lateralis using near infrared spectroscopy were collected during the TT; and PFT was repeated post-exercise. Results: Pre-exercise, CWL + R reduced (p < 0.05) FVC (5.6 ± 0.8 versus 5.5 ± 0.7 L), FEV1 (4.8 ± 0.7 versus 4.7 ± 0.6 L), and FEV1/FVC (0.9 ± 0.1 versus 0.8 ± 0.1). CWL + R modified power output (PO) over time (interaction, p = 0.02), although the 5 km time (461 ± 24 versus 470 ± 27 s), VT (3.0 ± 0.3 versus 2.8 ± 0.8 L), Bf, VE, HR, VO2, microvascular and perceptual (visual analog scale, or VAS, and RPE) responses were unchanged (p > 0.05). CWL + R increased (p < 0.05) the average BLa (7.6 ± 2.6 versus 8.6 ± 3 mmol/L). Conclusions: Modest CWL + R negatively affects pre-exercise pulmonary function, modifies cycling power output over time, and increases lactate production during a 5 km cycling trial, although the cardiorespiratory, microvascular, and perceptual responses were unaffected. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Profiling Collapsing Half Marathon Runners—Emerging Risk Factors: Results from Gothenburg Half Marathon
Sports 2020, 8(1), 2; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports8010002 - 25 Dec 2019
Viewed by 464
Abstract
Among several serious medical conditions, arrhythmia and heat stroke are two important causes of death during endurance races. Clinically, collapsing might be the first sign of these serious conditions and may mimic the more common and benign exercise-associated collapse. Several risk factors have [...] Read more.
Among several serious medical conditions, arrhythmia and heat stroke are two important causes of death during endurance races. Clinically, collapsing might be the first sign of these serious conditions and may mimic the more common and benign exercise-associated collapse. Several risk factors have been reported in the literature. We aimed to conduct a qualitative study to find a perceived risk profile among runners who collapsed and who were transported by ambulances to the nearest hospital during Gothenburg’s half marathon (2010–2017). Collapsing runners seem to lack the ability to make a decision to withdraw from the contest despite being exhausted. They feel the pain, but are unable to put meaning to their feeling, to adjust their pacing, and to handle other influences. Consequently, they do not overcome the problem or assess the situation. These individual mental characteristics may indicate a unique profile for collapsing runners. Pre-race health control and educational initiatives aiming at mental preparedness and information before endurance races might be a necessary step to avoid life-threatening complications. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Positional Differences in Peak- and Accumulated- Training Load Relative to Match Load in Elite Football
Sports 2020, 8(1), 1; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports8010001 - 23 Dec 2019
Viewed by 494
Abstract
Quantification of training and match load is an important method to personalize the training stimulus’ prescription to players according to their match demands. The present study used time-motion analysis and triaxial-accelerometer to quantify and compare: a) The most demanding passages of play in [...] Read more.
Quantification of training and match load is an important method to personalize the training stimulus’ prescription to players according to their match demands. The present study used time-motion analysis and triaxial-accelerometer to quantify and compare: a) The most demanding passages of play in training sessions and matches (5-min peaks); b) and the accumulated load of typical microcycles and official matches, by playing position. Players performance data in 15 official home matches and 11 in-season microcycles were collected for analysis. Players were divided into four different playing positions: Centre-backs, wing-backs, centre midfielders, and centre forwards. The results show that match demands were overperformed for acceleration counts (acccounts) (131%–166%) and deceleration counts (deccounts) (108%–134%), by all positions. However, relative to match values, training values for sprint distance (sprintdist) and high-intensity run distance (HIRdist) were considerably lower (36%–61% and 57%–71%) than for accelerations and decelerations. The most pronounced difference on the 5-min peaks was observed in sprints (sprintpeak), with wing-backs achieving during the microcycle only 64% of the sprintpeak in matches, while centre backs, centre midfielders, and centre forwards levelled and overperformed the match values (107%, 100%, and 107%, respectively). Differences observed across playing positions in matches and microcycles underline the lack of position specificity of common training drills/sessions adopted by coaches in elite football. Full article
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