Advances in Sports, Exercise and Health

A special issue of Applied Sciences (ISSN 2076-3417). This special issue belongs to the section "Biomedical Engineering".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 20 January 2025 | Viewed by 2589

Special Issue Editors


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Department of Human Sciences and Promotion of the Quality of Life, San Raffaele Rome Open University, 00166 Rome, Italy
Interests: sport science; sport nutrition; sport psychology; sport physiology
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Department of Human Sciences, Università Telematica degli Studi IUL, 50122 Florence, Italy
Interests: mechanics; physiology; sports medicine; podiatry
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The interest in sports science, exercise, and health is continuously growing, now encompassing a broad spectrum of scientific disciplines. Initially centred around physiology and medicine, this attention has expanded its horizons to involve a multitude of sectors.

In particular, sports performance analysis has gained enormous visibility in the last decade, with significant implications not only in the sporting realm but also in broader areas of general exercise science and public health. The advent of new technologies, sports analytics, and wearable devices has further enhanced this field, providing new evidence that benefits not only athletes but also a much wider population.

With this Special Issue, we aim to share the latest advances in this fascinating field, offering a platform where academic and industrial experts can discuss and identify solutions to emerging problems. Potential topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • The reliability and validity in data measurement in performance analysis, extendable to the field of health.
  • The use of sports performance indicators applied to health prevention.
  • The introduction of new technologies to monitor adherence to international guidelines on physical activity.
  • The optimisation of sports equipment to improve performance, with applications in both the sporting and health prevention realms.
  • The integration of related areas such as nutrition to enhance benefits to a broader audience.
  • Innovations in monitoring performance, health, and workload.

We count on your valuable collaboration and participation in this Special Issue.

Best regards,

Dr. Gian Mario Migliaccio
Dr. Luca Russo
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Applied Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • sports science
  • exercise
  • public health
  • performance analysis
  • health prevention
  • wearable devices
  • sports analytics
  • physical activity
  • sports nutrition

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

15 pages, 1119 KiB  
Article
Body Composition and Physical Performance by Playing Position in Amateur Female Soccer Players
by Jordan Hernandez-Martinez, Joaquin Perez-Carcamo, Sebastian Canales-Canales, Bayron Coñapi-Union, Izham Cid-Calfucura, Tomás Herrera-Valenzuela, Braulio Henrique Magnani Branco and Pablo Valdés-Badilla
Appl. Sci. 2024, 14(13), 5665; https://doi.org/10.3390/app14135665 - 28 Jun 2024
Viewed by 401
Abstract
This study analyzed differences in body composition, jump performance, running speed, and ball-kicking speed according to playing position in amateur female soccer players. This cross-sectional study involved 160 females distributed into groups of goalkeepers (n = 20), defenders (n = 38), [...] Read more.
This study analyzed differences in body composition, jump performance, running speed, and ball-kicking speed according to playing position in amateur female soccer players. This cross-sectional study involved 160 females distributed into groups of goalkeepers (n = 20), defenders (n = 38), midfielders (n = 52), and forwards (n = 50), with a mean age of 27.1 ± 3.23 years. They were assessed for body fat percentage (BFP), fat-free mass (FFM), squat jump, countermovement jump, drop jump (DJ), and running sprint speed for 10 m, 20 m, and 30 m, and ball-kicking speed (BKS) with both feet. Significant differences were found between groups in FFM (F(3,96) = 17.4; p = 0.000) and BFP (F(3,96) = 7.00; p = 0.000), with a higher FFM in midfielders with respect to goalkeepers (p = 0.00; ES = 1.77; ∆ = 27%), defenders (p = 0.00; ES = 2.14; ∆ = 26.5%), and forwards (p = 0.00; ES = 1.13; ∆ = 15.8%), and a lower BFP in midfielders with respect to goalkeepers (p = 0.00; ES = 1.41; ∆ = 26.7%) and forwards (p = 0.00; ES = 1.05; ∆ = 27%). In addition, significant differences were found between groups in DJ (F(3,96) = 20.8; p = 0.000), with midfielders achieving greater height compared to goalkeepers (p = 0.00; ES = 1.94; ∆ = 25.1%), defenders (p = 0.00; ES = 1.59; ∆ = 19%), and forwards (p = 0.00; ES = 1.73; ∆ = 16.3%). Significant differences were found between groups in BKS for dominant (F(3,96) = 5.84; p = 0.001) and non-dominant (F(3,96) = 3.29; p = 0.02) feet, and these were lower in goalkeepers than defenders (p = 0.00; ES = 0.99; ∆ = 8.83%) and midfielders (p = 0.00; ES = 1.21; ∆ = 11.8%). In conclusion, midfielders presented significantly better body composition and physical performance than other playing positions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Sports, Exercise and Health)
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9 pages, 639 KiB  
Article
Stability of Running Stride Biomechanical Parameters during Half-Marathon Race
by Javier Olaya-Cuartero, Basilio Pueo, Lamberto Villalon-Gasch and Jose M. Jimenez-Olmedo
Appl. Sci. 2024, 14(11), 4807; https://doi.org/10.3390/app14114807 - 2 Jun 2024
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Abstract
This study explores the stability of biomechanical parameters of the running stride of male trained athletes during a half-marathon competition. Using a field-based descriptive design, eight male athletes from a local training group were monitored throughout an official half-marathon race under identical conditions, [...] Read more.
This study explores the stability of biomechanical parameters of the running stride of male trained athletes during a half-marathon competition. Using a field-based descriptive design, eight male athletes from a local training group were monitored throughout an official half-marathon race under identical conditions, assessing biomechanical parameters including ground contact time (GCT), leg spring stiffness (LSS), vertical oscillation (VO), and stride length (SL) recorded via the Stryd Summit Power Meter. A repeated measures analysis of variance (RM ANOVA) was conducted to detect significant changes in biomechanical parameters as the race progressed. Results demonstrated minimal changes in all parameters, with no significant differences observed for GCT (F = 0.96, p = 0.38), VO (F = 0.23, p = 0.87), and SL (F = 1.07, p = 0.35), and a small (η2 = 0.004) yet statistically significant difference in LSS (F = 5.52, p = 0.03) between the first and second segments, indicating that athletes were able to maintain stable biomechanical parameters throughout the race. The conclusion highlights the need for personalized training programs tailored to the unique biomechanical adaptations and demands of endurance running. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Sports, Exercise and Health)
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17 pages, 1654 KiB  
Article
The Development of the Special Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Fitness Test: Takedown Zone (SBJJFT-TZ), Gi Formula
by Wojciech Wąsacz, Łukasz Rydzik, Jožef Šimenko, Andrzej Kędra, Wiesław Błach and Tadeusz Ambroży
Appl. Sci. 2024, 14(11), 4711; https://doi.org/10.3390/app14114711 - 30 May 2024
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Abstract
Background: There is a consensus among combat sports researchers regarding the important role of evaluating the comprehensive special fitness and performance of athletes. This is due to the specific structure of tasks performed in these sports as they require a comprehensive and integrated [...] Read more.
Background: There is a consensus among combat sports researchers regarding the important role of evaluating the comprehensive special fitness and performance of athletes. This is due to the specific structure of tasks performed in these sports as they require a comprehensive and integrated function of broadly understood physical fitness. The present study aimed to develop and check the Special Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Fitness Test: Takedown Zone (SBJJFT-TZ), Gi formula’s reliability. The major task of this sport-specific tool is to illustrate the comprehensive special fitness and performance of professional Brazilian jiu-jitsu athletes. Methods: The study covered 27 BJJ athletes (age in years: 25.36 ± 2.99; height: 175.04 ± 5.70 cm; weight: 76.56 ± 8.59 kg; BMI: 24.96 ± 2.30; 6.33 ± 2.51 years of training) with a high sports skill level. A coaches’ ranking of the athletes studied according to sports achievement was developed. An experimental approach to the problem was employed, with the SBJJFT-TZ assessment, including throws and specialized locomotion, performed on two dates (seven days apart). The test parameters were recorded and, using a specialized formula, an index showing comprehensive special fitness was calculated. To verify the test’s validity and reliability, using statistical procedures, the results were comparatively analyzed (Student’s t-test for the dependent variables), and the relationships between rankings were examined (Pearson’s r linear correlation). The level of statistical significance was set at p < 0.05. Results: The analyses showed statistically significant relationships with very high strength between coach ranking and SBJJFT-TZ parameters for both dates (R = 0.73–0.88; p < 0.001). A similar trend of significant correlations was noted between the first and second SBJJFT-TZ dates (R = 0.96–0.98; p < 0.001), and the strength of the coexistence was almost complete. The test-retest procedure for SBJJFT-TZ showed similar levels for the parameters studied, without significant variation (p > 0.05) but with a weak effect profile (d = 0.03–0.06). Internal variation in the variables was very low (HR CV < 10%) and moderate (Throws and Index CV = 20.82–32.25%). Significantly different throwing performance between sets was shown, with an advantage in the first round of work compared to the second, and a moderate effect (p < 0.05; d = 0.38–0.39). Conclusions: The identification of relationships, the comparison, and the test-retest procedure showed the high application value of SBJJFT-TZ. The proposed tool provides a reliable cross-sectional evaluation of BJJ athletes’ special fitness and performance in the stand-up fighting plane, as well as at the moment of achieving an advantage over the opponent, and favors implementation in field conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Sports, Exercise and Health)
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11 pages, 1286 KiB  
Article
Evaluating Agility in Pre-Adolescent Basketball: A Comparative Analysis of CODAT, IAT, and RAT
by Gökhan Deliceoğlu, Okan İbiş and Erkan Tortu
Appl. Sci. 2024, 14(9), 3815; https://doi.org/10.3390/app14093815 - 29 Apr 2024
Viewed by 619
Abstract
Background: In basketball, agility is essential, characterized by the ability to change direction swiftly and accelerate. Traditional tests like the Illinois Agility Test (IAT) and the Reactive Agility Test (RAT) may not fully capture the agility demands specific to basketball. Purpose: This study [...] Read more.
Background: In basketball, agility is essential, characterized by the ability to change direction swiftly and accelerate. Traditional tests like the Illinois Agility Test (IAT) and the Reactive Agility Test (RAT) may not fully capture the agility demands specific to basketball. Purpose: This study aimed to introduce the Change of Direction and Acceleration Test (CODAT), designed specifically for young basketball players. It evaluates CODAT’s effectiveness by comparing it with IAT and RAT through comprehensive analysis. Methods: We assessed 87 pre-adolescent male basketball players, aged 9 to 13 years, with an average biological age of 11.2 years and an average estimated Peak Height Velocity (PHV) of 12.5 ± 0.5 years, using CODAT, IAT, and RAT. We employed regression analysis and the Bland–Altman method to determine CODAT’s reliability and validity. Results: The findings indicate that CODAT offers superior reliability and validity in measuring basketball-specific agility. Consistent scores highlight its potential as an effective tool for agility assessment in basketball training and talent identification. Conclusions: CODAT represents a significant advancement in agility assessment for young basketball players, advocating for its integration into sports science practices to better address the specialized demands of basketball agility. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Sports, Exercise and Health)
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