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Sports, Volume 8, Issue 5 (May 2020) – 18 articles

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Open AccessArticle
Individual Sprint Force-Velocity Profile Adaptations to In-Season Assisted and Resisted Velocity-Based Training in Professional Rugby
Sports 2020, 8(5), 74; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports8050074 - 25 May 2020
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Abstract
We tested the hypothesis that the degree of adaptation to highly focused sprint training at opposite ends of the sprint Force-Velocity (FV) spectrum would be associated with initial sprint FV profile in rugby athletes. Training-induced changes in sprint FV profiles were computed before [...] Read more.
We tested the hypothesis that the degree of adaptation to highly focused sprint training at opposite ends of the sprint Force-Velocity (FV) spectrum would be associated with initial sprint FV profile in rugby athletes. Training-induced changes in sprint FV profiles were computed before and after an eight-week in-season resisted or assisted sprint training protocol, including a three-week taper. Professional male rugby players (age: 18.9 ± 1.0 years; body height: 1.9 ± 0.0 m; body mass: 88.3 ± 10.0 kg) were divided into two groups based on their initial sprint FV profiles: 1) Heavy sled training (RESISTED, N = 9, velocity loss 70–80%), and 2) assisted acceleration training (ASSISTED, N = 12, velocity increase 5–10%). A total of 16 athletes were able to finish all required measurements and sessions. According to the hypothesis, a significant correlation was found between initial sprint FV profile and relative change in sprint FV profile (RESISTED: r = −0.95, p < 0.01, ASSISTED: r = −0.79, p < 0.01). This study showed that initial FV properties influence the degree of mechanical response when training at different ends of the FV spectrum. Practitioners should consider utilizing the sprint FV profile to improve the individual effectiveness of resisted and assisted sprint training programs in high-level rugby athletes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Perspectives in Resistance Training)
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Open AccessArticle
The Reliability of Neuromuscular and Perceptual Measures Used to Profile Recovery, and the Time-Course of Such Responses Following Academy Rugby League Match-Play
Sports 2020, 8(5), 73; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports8050073 - 22 May 2020
Viewed by 591
Abstract
In professional academy rugby league (RL) players, this two-part study examined; (A) the within- and between-day reliability of isometric mid-thigh pulls (IMTP), countermovement jumps (CMJ), and a wellness questionnaire (n = 11), and (B) profiled the responses with acceptable reliability (no between-trial [...] Read more.
In professional academy rugby league (RL) players, this two-part study examined; (A) the within- and between-day reliability of isometric mid-thigh pulls (IMTP), countermovement jumps (CMJ), and a wellness questionnaire (n = 11), and (B) profiled the responses with acceptable reliability (no between-trial differences and between-day coefficient of variation (CV) ≤10% and intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) ≥0.8) for 120 h (baseline: −3, +24, +48, +72, +96, +120 h) following RL match-play (n = 10). In part A, force at 200, and 250 ms, and peak force (PF) demonstrated acceptable within- (CV%: 3.67–8.41%, ICC: 0.89–0.93) and between-day (CV%: 4.34–8.62%, ICC: 0.87–0.92) reliability for IMTP. Most CMJ variables demonstrated acceptable within-day reliability (CV%: 3.03–7.34%, ICC: 0.82–0.98), but only six (i.e., flight-time, PF, peak power (PP), relative PP, velocity at take-off (VTO), jump-height (JH)) showed acceptable between-day reliability (CV%: 2.56–6.79%, ICC: 0.83–0.91). Only total wellness demonstrated acceptable between-day reliability (CV%: 7.05%, ICC: 0.90) from the questionnaire. In part B, reductions of 4.75% and 9.23% (vs. baseline; 2.54 m∙s−1; 0.33 m) occurred at +24 h for CMJ VTO, and JH, respectively. Acceptable reliability was observed in some, but not all, variables and the magnitude and time-course of post-match responses were test and variable specific. Practitioners should therefore be mindful of the influence that the choice of recovery monitoring tool may have upon the practical interpretation of the data. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Reliability of a Repeated High-Intensity Effort Test for Elite Rugby Union Players
Sports 2020, 8(5), 72; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports8050072 - 22 May 2020
Viewed by 314
Abstract
This study aimed to adapt a repeated high-intensity effort (RHIE) test to the rugby union physical demands and assess both sprint time and tackle indices reliability. Following a familiarization session, sixteen elite rugby union players completed two RHIE tests consisting of 12 × [...] Read more.
This study aimed to adapt a repeated high-intensity effort (RHIE) test to the rugby union physical demands and assess both sprint time and tackle indices reliability. Following a familiarization session, sixteen elite rugby union players completed two RHIE tests consisting of 12 × 20 m sprint + tackle. Total sprint time and total g-force during tackling, average sprint time and average g-force as well as percentage decrementsprint time and percentage decrementtackle were considered for the analysis. Sprint time indices showed high to very high absolute and relative reliability (intraclass coefficient correlation (ICC) = 0.95, Standard Error Measurement (SEM) = 1.30%; ICC = 0.95, SEM = 1.44%; ICC = 0.73, SEM = 23.0%, for total sprint time, average sprint time and percentage decrementsprint time, respectively). Tackle indices showed moderate to high reliability (ICC = 0.54, SEM = 16.5%; ICC = 0.61, SEM = 15.6%; ICC = 0.71, SEM = 12.3%, for total g-force, average g-force and percentage decrementtackle, respectively). The RHIE test provides reliable measures of sprint time and tackle indices. Tackle indices should be used as a validation criterion of the test, whereas total time should be considered as the test final result. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Performance in Team Sports)
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Open AccessArticle
The Effects of Lateral Bounds on Post-Activation Potentiation of Change-of-Direction Speed Measured by the 505 Test in College-Aged Men and Women
Sports 2020, 8(5), 71; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports8050071 - 22 May 2020
Viewed by 335
Abstract
Forty recreationally-trained individuals completed four testing sessions to determine whether lateral bounds (LB) or weighted lateral bounds enhanced change-of-direction (COD) speed measured by the 505 COD speed test. Session 1 included vertical jump and lateral bound (LB) testing to measure power. Sessions 2–4 [...] Read more.
Forty recreationally-trained individuals completed four testing sessions to determine whether lateral bounds (LB) or weighted lateral bounds enhanced change-of-direction (COD) speed measured by the 505 COD speed test. Session 1 included vertical jump and lateral bound (LB) testing to measure power. Sessions 2–4 involved three randomized conditioning activities (CA): 3 × 5 LB; 3 × 5 weighted LB (10% body mass provided by a weighted vest); and a control condition (4-min rest). The 505 COD speed test was performed 5- and 2.5-min pre-CA, and ~15 s, 4, 8, 12, and 16 min post-CA. A 3 × 6 repeated measures analysis of variance (ANOVA) calculated performance changes across time points post-CA. A 3 × 2 repeated measures ANOVA analyzed best potentiated performance. Smallest worthwhile change (SWC) measured within-subject 505 COD speed test performance. Partial correlations controlling for sex calculated relationships between the vertical jump, LB, and percent potentiation. There were no differences (p = 0.919) in 505 time relative to baseline for any CA, nor was the SWC exceeded. The best potentiated 505 time was faster (p < 0.001) than baseline for all CA, with no between-CA differences. There were no significant (p = 0.056–0.993) correlations between power and potentiation. LB and weighted LB did not potentiate the 505 COD speed test, although performance was not hindered. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Performance of Collegiate or College-Aged Athletes)
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Open AccessArticle
Discrepancies Exist between Exercise Prescription and Dose in Elite Women’s Basketball Pre-Season
Sports 2020, 8(5), 70; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports8050070 - 19 May 2020
Viewed by 428
Abstract
This study assessed the influence of exercise prescription on the objectively measured exercise dose in basketball. Intensity (RPE) and volume (sRPE) were prescribed by a professional coach on a drill-by-drill basis during pre-season training for nine elite basketball players. Training drills were classified [...] Read more.
This study assessed the influence of exercise prescription on the objectively measured exercise dose in basketball. Intensity (RPE) and volume (sRPE) were prescribed by a professional coach on a drill-by-drill basis during pre-season training for nine elite basketball players. Training drills were classified by prescribed intensity (easy-moderate, moderate-hard, hard–very hard, and very hard-maximal) and type (warm-up, skill-development, offensive- and defensive-technical/tactical, or match-simulation). Exercise intensity was objectively quantified using accelerometry-derived average net force (AvFNet) and time spent in accelerometry-derived relative intensity zones. The volume of exercise (exercise dose) was objectively quantified using accumulated impulse (AvFNet × duration). Relationships between prescribed volume and exercise dose were explored by correlations between sRPE and drill-by-drill accumulation of sRPE (dRPE) with impulse. Very hard-maximal drill intensity was greater than hard-very hard (p = 0.011), but not moderate-hard (p = 0.945). Very hard-maximal drills included the most time performing Supra-maximal intensity (>100% V ˙ O2R) efforts (p < 0.001), suggesting that intensity prescription was based upon the amount of high-intensity exercise. Correlations between impulse with sRPE and dRPE were moderate (r = 0.401, p = 0.197) and very-large (r = 0.807, p = 0.002), respectively, demonstrating that the coach misinterpreted the accumulative effect of drill volume over an entire training session. Overall, a mismatch existed between exercise prescription and exercise dose. Objective monitoring might assist coaches to improve precision of exercise prescription. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Monitoring Workloads of a Professional Female Futsal Team over a Season: A Case Study
Sports 2020, 8(5), 69; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports8050069 - 19 May 2020
Viewed by 537
Abstract
The aims of this study were to describe the external and internal workloads in a professional female futsal team during a whole season and to compare workloads during different periods of the season. Ten professional female futsal players (age 22.8 ± 4.3 years; [...] Read more.
The aims of this study were to describe the external and internal workloads in a professional female futsal team during a whole season and to compare workloads during different periods of the season. Ten professional female futsal players (age 22.8 ± 4.3 years; 5.1 ± 2.4 years of experience; weight 61.9 ± 7.1 kg; height 1.66 ± 0.06 m) participated voluntarily in this study during the whole season. The internal workload was measured by the session-Rate of perceived exertion (session-RPE) method, while the external workload was indirectly measured by considering the training and match volume and the type of contents of each session over 43 weeks. Mean sRPE throughout the season was 319.9 ± 127.1 arbitrary units (AU). Higher internal loads (total weekly training load and strain) were reported during the pre-season compared with the in-season mesocycles (p < 0.05); meanwhile, the fifth to eighth mesocycles of the in-season showed an oscillatory pattern. Finally, Monday was the most-demanding session during the in-season period over the Thursday (p < 0.05; effect size: 1.33) followed by match day, meanwhile no statistical differences were reported during different sessions of the pre-season microcycle (p > 0.05). This study suggests that microcycles of pre-season present a stable load pattern, meanwhile workloads during the in-season period report a tapering strategy in a professional female futsal team. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Heart Rate Responses during Sport-Specific High-Intensity Circuit Exercise in Child Female Gymnasts
Sports 2020, 8(5), 68; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports8050068 - 18 May 2020
Viewed by 359
Abstract
This study examined heart rate (HR) responses during a sport-specific high-intensity circuit training session to indirectly assess cardiorespiratory stress in child athletes. Seventeen, female gymnasts, aged 9–11 years performed two 5-min 15 s sets of circuit exercise, interspersed by a 3 min rest [...] Read more.
This study examined heart rate (HR) responses during a sport-specific high-intensity circuit training session to indirectly assess cardiorespiratory stress in child athletes. Seventeen, female gymnasts, aged 9–11 years performed two 5-min 15 s sets of circuit exercise, interspersed by a 3 min rest interval. Each set included five rounds of five gymnastic exercises (7 s work, 7 s rest) executed with maximal effort. During the first circuit training set, peak heart rate (HR) was 192 ± 7 bpm and average HR was 83 ± 4% of maximum HR (HRmax), which was determined in a separate session. In the second set, peak HR and average HR were increased to 196 ± 8 bpm (p < 0.001, d = 0.55) and to 89 ± 4% HRmax (p < 0.001, d = 2.19), respectively, compared with the first set. HR was above 80% HRmax for 4.1 ± 1.2 min during set 1 and this was increased to 5.1 ± 0.4 min in set 2 (p < 0.001, d = 1.15). Likewise, HR was above 90% of HRmax for 2.0 ± 1.2 min in set 1 and was increased to 3.4 ± 1.7 min in set 2 (p < 0.001, d = 0.98). In summary, two 5-min 15 s sets of high-intensity circuit training using sport-specific exercises, increased HR to levels above 80% and 90% HRmax for extended time periods, and thus may be considered as an appropriate stimulus, in terms of intensity, for improving aerobic fitness in child female gymnasts. Full article
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Open AccessCase Report
Lean Body Mass, Muscle Architecture, and Performance in Well-Trained Female Weightlifters
Sports 2020, 8(5), 67; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports8050067 - 18 May 2020
Viewed by 460
Abstract
Lean mass and quadriceps muscle architecture have been associated with performance in male well-trained weightlifters, but no data exist for female weightlifters. The aim of the study is to investigate the relationship between lean mass, quadriceps cross sectional area (CSA), and muscle architecture [...] Read more.
Lean mass and quadriceps muscle architecture have been associated with performance in male well-trained weightlifters, but no data exist for female weightlifters. The aim of the study is to investigate the relationship between lean mass, quadriceps cross sectional area (CSA), and muscle architecture with weightlifting performance in female weightlifters. Eight well-trained female weightlifters (age 23.5 ± 6.3 years, maximum total lifting performance = 147.4 ± 34.1 kg) participated in the study. Five of the athletes were members of the national team and three were among the nation’s top-five performers of the respective body-weight category. Measurements included maximum lifting performance in snatch and clean and jerk, body composition (dual x-ray absorptiometry), vastus lateralis (VL) muscle architecture, vastus intermedius (VI) muscle thickness and quadriceps muscles’ CSA and countermovement jump (CMJ). Very large to nearly perfect correlations were found between snatch and clean and jerk for trunk lean body mass (r = 0.959 and 0.929), for total CSA (r = 0.732 and 0.608), and CMJ power (r = 0.933 and 0.896). These results suggest that lean body mass, quadriceps’ CSA and CMJ should be monitored regularly in female weightlifters to detect potential modifications in lifting performance. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Physical and Physiological Responses of U-14, U-16, and U-18 Soccer Players on Different Small-Sided Games
Sports 2020, 8(5), 66; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports8050066 - 18 May 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 316
Abstract
As most existing studies in youth academies are focused on top players, the objective of this research is to analyze the physical and physiological demands of various small-sided games (SSGs) on different age categories within a sub-elite soccer academy. We evaluated 63 young [...] Read more.
As most existing studies in youth academies are focused on top players, the objective of this research is to analyze the physical and physiological demands of various small-sided games (SSGs) on different age categories within a sub-elite soccer academy. We evaluated 63 young players from a Spanish sub-elite academy (under 14 = 21; under 16 = 21; under 18 = 21). Players performed four different small-side games focused on possession game (3-a-side; 4-a-side; 5-a-side; 6-a-side). The global indicators of performance and high-intensity actions were recorded through global positioning systems, whereas the heart rate responses were measured using heart rate monitors. Results: Under 16 ran a greater distance at high-intensity velocity than under 14 in the small side games 3v3 and 6v6. Furthermore, under 16 also ran a greater distance at high-intensity velocity than under 18 in the small side game 3v3 (p < 0.01). Under 14 showed greater acceleration at the highest intensity (> 2.75 m/s2) than the other age groups, under 16 and U18 (p < 0.01; ES (effect size) > 1). According to the physiological load, SSG 3v3 presented lower outcomes in Zone 6 (> 95% HRmax) than the small side game 4v4 and the small side game 5v5, in both under 14 and under 16. The workload of SSGs varies depending on the number of players, but also depending on the players’ ages. Therefore, when designing the SSGs it is important to consider both the players’ ages and the workload that want to be achieved. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Performance of Collegiate or College-Aged Athletes)
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Open AccessReview
Mechanisms of Hamstring Strain Injury: Interactions between Fatigue, Muscle Activation and Function
Sports 2020, 8(5), 65; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports8050065 - 18 May 2020
Viewed by 1154
Abstract
Isolated injury to the long head of biceps femoris is the most common type of acute hamstring strain injury (HSI). However, the precise hamstring injury mechanism (i.e., sprint-type) is still not well understood, and research is inconclusive as to which phase in the [...] Read more.
Isolated injury to the long head of biceps femoris is the most common type of acute hamstring strain injury (HSI). However, the precise hamstring injury mechanism (i.e., sprint-type) is still not well understood, and research is inconclusive as to which phase in the running cycle HSI risk is the greatest. Since detailed information relating to hamstring muscle function during sprint running cannot be obtained in vivo in humans, the findings of studies investigating HSI mechanisms are based on modeling that requires assumptions to be made based on extrapolations from anatomical and biomechanical investigations. As it is extremely difficult to account for all aspects of muscle-tendon tissues that influence function during high-intensity running actions, much of this complexity is not included in these models. Furthermore, the majority of analyses do not consider the influence of prior activity or muscular fatigue on kinematics, kinetics and muscle activation during sprinting. Yet, it has been shown that fatigue can lead to alterations in neuromuscular coordination patterns that could potentially increase injury risk. The present critical review will evaluate the current evidence on hamstring injury mechanism(s) during high-intensity running and discuss the interactions between fatigue and hamstring muscle activation and function. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Time Course of Recovery for Performance Attributes and Circulating Markers of Muscle Damage Following a Rugby Union Match in Amateur Athletes
Sports 2020, 8(5), 64; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports8050064 - 18 May 2020
Viewed by 695
Abstract
Background: We sought to determine the time course of changes in neuromuscular performance and muscle damage following a single rugby union match. Methods: Fourteen male amateur rugby players (28.9 ± 3.5 yrs; 1.7 ± 5.1 m; 86.1 ± 11.1 kg) participated. Plasma activity [...] Read more.
Background: We sought to determine the time course of changes in neuromuscular performance and muscle damage following a single rugby union match. Methods: Fourteen male amateur rugby players (28.9 ± 3.5 yrs; 1.7 ± 5.1 m; 86.1 ± 11.1 kg) participated. Plasma activity of creatine kinase ([CK]) and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), L-run test (change of direction) and 30-m sprint (T30; speed) with 10-m lap time (T10; acceleration) were assessed on six occasions: one week before the match (PRE) and immediately, 24, 48, 72, and 96 h post-match. Results: Relative to PRE, LDH was elevated immediately post-match (+33.6% ± 13.6%; p < 0.001) and [CK] was elevated immediately (+64.1% ± 38.8%, p = 0.001) and 24 h post-match (+352% ± 317%; p = 0.024). L-run test time increased 16.0 ± 8.7% relative to PRE at 24 h post (p < 0.001) and remained elevated through 96 h post-match (p < 0.05). T10 and T30 times increased relative to PRE immediately post-match (+12.0% ± 10.4%, p = 0.008; and +6.1% ± 4.9%; p = 0.006, respectively), though T30 times were similar to baseline by 48 h post-match whereas T10 times remained elevated through 72 h post-match. Conclusions: A single, competitive rugby union match induces significant muscle damage and performance decrements with distinct time courses of recovery in amateur athletes. Notably, change of direction attributes (i.e., L-run) appear to have the longest time course to full recovery. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Performance in Team Sports)
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Open AccessReview
The Relationship between Isometric Force-Time Characteristics and Dynamic Performance: A Systematic Review
Sports 2020, 8(5), 63; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports8050063 - 15 May 2020
Viewed by 946
Abstract
The purpose of this article was to review the data on the relationship between multi-joint isometric strength test (IsoTest) force-time characteristics (peak force, rate of force development and impulse) and dynamic performance that is available in the current literature. Four electronic databases were [...] Read more.
The purpose of this article was to review the data on the relationship between multi-joint isometric strength test (IsoTest) force-time characteristics (peak force, rate of force development and impulse) and dynamic performance that is available in the current literature. Four electronic databases were searched using search terms related to IsoTest. Studies were considered eligible if they were original research studies that investigated the relationships between multi-joint IsoTest and performance of dynamic movements; published in peer-reviewed journals; had participants who were athletes or active individuals who participate in recreational sports or resistance training, with no restriction on sex; and had full text available. A total of 47 studies were selected. These studies showed significant small to large correlations between isometric bench press (IBP) force-time variables and upper body dynamic performances (r2 = 0.221 to 0.608, p < 0.05) and significant small to very large correlation between isometric squat (ISqT) (r2 = 0.085 to 0.746, p < 0.05) and isometric mid-thigh pull (IMTP) (r2 = 0.120 to 0.941, p < 0.05) force-time variables with lower body dynamic performances. IsoTest force-time characteristics were shown to have small to very large correlations with dynamic performances of the upper and lower limbs as well as performance of sporting movements (r2 = 0.118 to 0.700, p < 0.05). These data suggest that IsoTest force-time characteristics provide insights into the force production capability of athletes which give insight into dynamic performance capabilities. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Dietary Intake of Gaelic Football Players during Game Preparation and Recovery
Sports 2020, 8(5), 62; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports8050062 - 15 May 2020
Viewed by 558
Abstract
It is well established that dietary intake can influence performance and modulate recovery in field-based invasion team sports such as soccer and rugby. However, very limited research currently exists examining dietary intake of Gaelic football players. This research aimed to examine the dietary [...] Read more.
It is well established that dietary intake can influence performance and modulate recovery in field-based invasion team sports such as soccer and rugby. However, very limited research currently exists examining dietary intake of Gaelic football players. This research aimed to examine the dietary intake of Gaelic football players 2 days prior to competition, on game day, and for 2 days post-competition. A five-day paper-based food diary was completed by 45 players (25 elite and 20 sub-elite). Preliminary inspection of diaries eliminated 11 participants, and analysis of Goldberg cut-offs identified 1 player as an under-reporter, leaving 33 players in the final analysis. Playing level had no effect on energy, carbohydrate, or fat intake. Average intake of energy was 2938 ± 618 kcal.day−1, carbohydrate was 3.7 ± 1.42 g.kgbm−1.day−1, and fat was 1.34 ± 0.61 g.kgbm−1.day−1. However, elite players consumed 24.1% more protein than sub-elite players (2.2 ± 0.67 vs. 1.8 ± 0.62 g.kgbm−1.day−1). Regardless of playing level, players consumed inadequate amounts of carbohydrate to support optimal performance and recovery and consumed protein and fat in line with general sport nutrition guidelines. Given the unique demands placed on Gaelic football players, it may be necessary to develop nutrition guidelines specific to Gaelic football. Additionally, the design and implementation of Gaelic football-specific education-based interventions may be necessary to address the highlighted nutritional inadequacies. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Listening to Preferred Music Improved Running Performance without Changing the Pacing Pattern during a 6 Minute Run Test with Young Male Adults
Sports 2020, 8(5), 61; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports8050061 - 11 May 2020
Viewed by 469
Abstract
Several studies have investigated the effects of music on both submaximal and maximal exercise performance at a constant work-rate. However, there is a lack of research that has examined the effects of music on the pacing strategy during self-paced exercise. The aim of [...] Read more.
Several studies have investigated the effects of music on both submaximal and maximal exercise performance at a constant work-rate. However, there is a lack of research that has examined the effects of music on the pacing strategy during self-paced exercise. The aim of this study was to examine the effects of preferred music on performance and pacing during a 6 min run test (6-MSPRT) in young male adults. Twenty healthy male participants volunteered for this study. They performed two randomly assigned trials (with or without music) of a 6-MSPRT three days apart. Mean running speed, the adopted pacing strategy, total distance covered (TDC), peak and mean heart rate (HRpeak, HRmean), blood lactate (3 min after the test), and rate of perceived exertion (RPE) were measured. Listening to preferred music during the 6-MSPRT resulted in significant TDC improvement (Δ10%; p = 0.016; effect size (ES) = 0.80). A significantly faster mean running speed was observed when listening to music compared with no music. The improvement of TDC in the present study is explained by a significant overall increase in speed (main effect for conditions) during the music trial. Music failed to modify pacing patterns as suggested by the similar reversed “J-shaped” profile during the two conditions. Blood-lactate concentrations were significantly reduced by 9% (p = 0.006, ES = 1.09) after the 6-MSPRT with music compared to those in the control condition. No statistically significant differences were found between the test conditions for HRpeak, HRmean, and RPE. Therefore, listening to preferred music can have positive effects on exercise performance during the 6-MSPRT, such as greater TDC, faster running speeds, and reduced blood lactate levels but has no effect on the pacing strategy. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Anaerobic Power Assessment in Athletes: Are Cycling and Vertical Jump Tests Interchangeable?
Sports 2020, 8(5), 60; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports8050060 - 09 May 2020
Viewed by 460
Abstract
Regularly assessing anaerobic power is important for athletes from sports with an explosive strength component. Understanding the differences and overlap between different assessment methods might help coaches or smaller-scale testing facilities maximize financial and temporal resources. Therefore, this study investigated the degree to [...] Read more.
Regularly assessing anaerobic power is important for athletes from sports with an explosive strength component. Understanding the differences and overlap between different assessment methods might help coaches or smaller-scale testing facilities maximize financial and temporal resources. Therefore, this study investigated the degree to which cycling sprint and vertical jump tests are interchangeable for determining peak mechanical leg power output in strength-trained athletes. Professional skiers (n = 19) performed unloaded squat jumps (SJ) and other jump forms on a force plate and a six-second cycling sprint (6sCS) test on an ergometer on six occasions over two years. Along with cross-sectional correlations between cycling and jumping power, correlations between longitudinal percent changes and agreement between magnitude-based inferences about individual changes were assessed. Among the tested jump forms, SJ reflected 6sCS best. However, despite extremely large cross-sectional correlation coefficients (0.92) between 6sCS and SJ, and moderate (Pearson’s r = 0.32 for 6sCS with SJ over one-year time spans) to large (r = 0.68 over shorter time spans) correlation coefficients on percent changes, magnitude-based inferences agreed in only around 50% of cases. Thus, for making qualitative assessments about the development of anaerobic power over time in athletes, cycling sprint and squat jump tests are not interchangeable. Rather, we recommend employing the test form that best reflects athletes’ strength and conditioning training. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Effects of the Barbell Load on the Acceleration Phase during the Snatch in Elite Olympic Weightlifting
Sports 2020, 8(5), 59; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports8050059 - 08 May 2020
Viewed by 468
Abstract
The load-depended loss of vertical barbell velocity at the end of the acceleration phase limits the maximum weight that can be lifted. Thus, the purpose of this study was to analyze how increased barbell loads affect the vertical barbell velocity in the sub-phases [...] Read more.
The load-depended loss of vertical barbell velocity at the end of the acceleration phase limits the maximum weight that can be lifted. Thus, the purpose of this study was to analyze how increased barbell loads affect the vertical barbell velocity in the sub-phases of the acceleration phase during the snatch. It was hypothesized that the load-dependent velocity loss at the end of the acceleration phase is primarily associated with a velocity loss during the 1st pull. For this purpose, 14 male elite weightlifters lifted seven load-stages from 70–100% of their personal best in the snatch. The load–velocity relationship was calculated using linear regression analysis to determine the velocity loss at 1st pull, transition, and 2nd pull. A group mean data contrast analysis revealed the highest load-dependent velocity loss for the 1st pull (t = 1.85, p = 0.044, g = 0.49 [−0.05, 1.04]) which confirmed our study hypothesis. In contrast to the group mean data, the individual athlete showed a unique response to increased loads during the acceleration sub-phases of the snatch. With the proposed method, individualized training recommendations on exercise selection and loading schemes can be derived to specifically improve the sub-phases of the snatch acceleration phase. Furthermore, the results highlight the importance of single-subject assessment when working with elite athletes in Olympic weightlifting. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Military-Type Workload and Footwear Alter Lower Extremity Muscle Activity during Unilateral Static Balance: Implications for Tactical Athletic Footwear Design
Sports 2020, 8(5), 58; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports8050058 - 28 Apr 2020
Viewed by 464
Abstract
Maintaining upright standing balance is critical for military personal. The impact of military footwear and occupation-related fatigue on muscle activity during balance performance has been previously documented. However, the current literature has not provided a muscle activation profile of the lower extremity during [...] Read more.
Maintaining upright standing balance is critical for military personal. The impact of military footwear and occupation-related fatigue on muscle activity during balance performance has been previously documented. However, the current literature has not provided a muscle activation profile of the lower extremity during challenging conditions such as unilateral balance trials. Twenty-two recreationally active male participants (age: 22.2 ± 2.7 years; height: 177 ± 6.8 cm; mass: 79.8 ± 9.7 kg) donned two styles of military footwear (minimalist and standard) and performed a military style workload. Unilateral static balance was accessed before (PRE) and after (POST) the workload as surface electromyography was recorded on the right lower extremity. This study found that the minimalist footwear increased muscle activation prior to the workload compared to the standard footwear (co-contraction index mean difference: 0.149), whereas the standard footwear increased muscle activity after the workload (co-contraction index mean difference: 0.097). These findings suggest that footwear design characteristics affect lower extremity muscle activity differently depending on the workload condition. These findings intend to aid in the design of military footwear to maximize balance performance in a military population. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Evaluation of Exercise Using Electromyography)
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Open AccessArticle
The Effects of Postprandial Resistance Exercise on Blood Glucose and Lipids in Prediabetic, Beta-Thalassemia Major Patients
Sports 2020, 8(5), 57; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports8050057 - 26 Apr 2020
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Abstract
Insulin resistance and diabetes mellitus are common consequences of iron overload in the pancreas of beta-thalassemia major (BTM) patients. Moreover, postprandial blood glucose elevations are linked to major vascular complications. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of a bout [...] Read more.
Insulin resistance and diabetes mellitus are common consequences of iron overload in the pancreas of beta-thalassemia major (BTM) patients. Moreover, postprandial blood glucose elevations are linked to major vascular complications. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of a bout of acute resistance exercise following breakfast consumption of glucose and fat on the metabolism in prediabetic, BTM patients. Six patients underwent two trials (exercise and control) following breakfast consumption (consisting of approximately 50% carbohydrates, 15% proteins, 35% fat), in a counterbalanced order, separated by at least three days. In an exercise trial, patients performed chest and leg presses (3 sets of 10 repetitions maximum/exercise), while in the control trial they rested. Blood samples were obtained in both trials at: pre-meal, 45 min post-meal (pre-exercise/control), post-exercise/control, 1 h post-exercise/control, 2 h post-exercise/control and 24 h post-exercise/control. Blood was analysed for glucose and lipids (total cholesterol, High Density Lipoprotein-cholesterol, Low Density Lipoprotein-cholesterol, triglycerides). Blood glucose levels increased significantly 45 min following breakfast consumption. Blood glucose and lipids did not differ between trials at the same time points. It seems that a single bout of resistance training is not sufficient to improve blood glucose and fat levels for the subsequent 24-h post-exercise period in prediabetic, BTM patients. Full article
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