Abstract: This study sought to obtain some preliminary sagittal plane kinematic data on a common strongman event (and conditioning exercise) ‘the farmers walk’ and gain some insight into its kinematic determinants. Five experienced resistance trained males performed three, 20 m farmers walks at maximal speed while carrying 90.5 kg in each hand. Farmers walk average velocity was significantly greater in the middle (8.5–11.5 m) and latter (17–20 m) than initial stage (0–3 m), with this also associated with significant increases in stride length and stride rate and reductions in ground contact time. Comparisons between each subject’s fastest and slowest trials revealed virtually no significant differences. In contrast, the fastest three trials (irrespective of subject) had significantly greater stride length, stride rate and reduced ground contact time than the slowest three trials. Based on the impulse-momentum relationship, the production of high anterior-posterior and vertical impulses over short ground contact times may be crucial for farmers walk performance. Future studies should utilise larger samples and investigate the ground reaction and joint kinetics of the farmers walk and compare these values to other forms of bipedal gait and resistance training exercises to get a more complete understanding of the biomechanics of this exercise.
Abstract: Gaining increasing popularity within the fitness sector, CrossFit® serves as an appealing and efficient high intensity training approach to develop strength and endurance on a functional level; and music is often utilized to produce ergogenic effects. The present randomized, controlled, crossover study aimed at investigating the effects of music vs. non-music on performance, physiological and psychological outcomes. Thirteen (age: 27.5, standard deviation (SD) 6.2 years), healthy, moderately trained subjects performed four identical workouts over two weeks. The order of the four workouts (two with, and two without music, 20 min each) was randomly assigned for each individual. Acute responses in work output, heart rate, blood lactate, rate of perceived exertion, perceived pain, and affective reaction were measured at the 5th, 10th, 15th, and 20th min during the training sessions. Training with music resulted in a significantly lower work output (460.3 repetitions, SD 98.1 vs. 497.8 repetitions, SD 103.7; p = 0.03). All other parameters did not differ between both music conditions. This is partly in line with previous findings that instead of providing ergogenic effects, applying music during CrossFit® may serve as a more distractive stimulus. Future studies should separate the influence of music on a more individual basis with larger sample sizes.
Abstract: Though mountain bikers are at significant risk for overuse injury, there is minimal quality research describing this relationship. Single-speed mountain biking, in which participants pedal a bike with only a single gear, may place riders at even greater risk for overuse problems due to the disproportionate physical effort associated with this type of riding. The focus of this study was to provide additional perspective on overuse injuries sustained by mountain bikers and to determine if single-speed mountain biking places participants at greater risk for overuse conditions. Four hundred and four (404) mountain bikers were surveyed concerning overuse injuries sustained during the previous year. Findings indicate that 63% of respondents reported an overuse injury affecting at least one area with the most commonly reported areas being the lumbar spine, knees, hand/wrist, and cervical spine. Individuals riding single-speed mountain bikes did not have a higher incidence of overuse injuries than riders of multiple-geared bikes. However, respondents who split time between riding single-speed and multiple-geared bikes were significantly more likely to report an overuse syndrome than those only riding single-speed or multiple-geared bikes (p = 0.0104). This group of riders may be at greater risk for overuse injury due to excessive fatigue and poor biomechanics.
Sports2013, 1(4), 78-113; doi:10.3390/sports1040078 - published online 21 October 2013 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: This review article reports the recent advances in the study, design and production of ski-boots for alpine skiing. An overview of the different designs and the materials used in ski-boot construction is provided giving particular emphasis to the effect of these parameters on the final performances and on the prevention of injuries. The use of specific materials for ski-boots dedicated to different disciplines (race skiing, mogul skiing, ski-mountaineering etc.) has been correlated with the chemical and physical properties of the polymeric materials employed. A review of the scientific literature and the most interesting patents is also presented, correlating the results reported with the performances and industrial production of ski-boots. Suggestions for new studies and the use of advanced materials are also provided. A final section dedicated to the standards involved in ski-boot design completes this review article.
Sports2013, 1(3), 69-77; doi:10.3390/sports1030069 - published online 16 September 2013 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: It has previously been shown that being of aboriginal descent is a risk factor for hamstring injuries in Australian football. The aim of this study was to review the Australian Football League (AFL) injury database to determine whether there were any injuries where indigenous players had different relative risks to non-indigenous players. Analysis was conducted using data from the AFL injury database, which included data from 4,492 players over 21 years (1992–2012), covering 162,683 player-matches at AFL level, 91,098 matches at lower levels and 328,181 weeks (possible matches) of exposure. Compared to non-indigenous players, indigenous players had a significantly higher risk of hamstring injuries (RR 1.52, 95% CI 1.32–1.73) and calf strains (RR 1.30, 95% CI 1.00–1.69). Conversely, indigenous players had a significantly lower risk of lumbar/thoracic spine injuries (RR 0.61, 95% CI 0.41–0.91), groin strains/osteitis pubis (RR 0.75, 95% CI 0.58–0.96) and Achilles tendon injuries (RR 0.32, 95% CI 0.12–0.86). The results for the above injuries were also significant in terms of games missed. There was no difference between overall risk of injury (RR 1.03, 95% CI 0.96–1.10) or missed games (RR 1.00, 95% CI 0.97–1.04). This suggests that indigenous AFL players have the same overall number of injuries and missed games, but a slightly different injury profile.
Abstract: We examined how intake of polyphenols modifies brachial artery flow-mediated dilation (FMD) at rest, and cycling anaerobic performance, in elite athletes. In the first randomized cross-over study, FMD was measured over a three-hour period on two occasions in eight elite male and female athletes after acute consumption of either polyphenols from cranberries and grape seeds (600 mg) or a polyphenol-free placebo drink. Consumption of the polyphenol-rich drink led to a significant increase in FMD compared to placebo (p = 0.02), with a peak at 60 min. In a second study, 12 elite male and female athletes completed a three-kilometer time trial (TT) on an ergocycle on two occasions in random order, either after consumption of 800 mg of polyphenols or a placebo. Acute intake of the polyphenol extract had no impact on the three-kilometer time trial completion. However, plasma lactate levels were significantly lower before and after the TT when subjects consumed the polyphenols vs. placebo (p < 0.05). Results suggest that polyphenols from cranberries and grape seeds acutely modifies FMD at rest in elite athletes but this does not translate into enhanced cycling anaerobic performance.