Special Issue "Sports Performance and Health"

A special issue of Applied Sciences (ISSN 2076-3417). This special issue belongs to the section "Applied Biosciences and Bioengineering".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 September 2020).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Matej Supej
Website
Guest Editor
University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Sport, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
Interests: biomechanics of sports; sports performance; biomechanical measurements technology; injury prevention
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
PD Dr. Jorg Sporri
Website SciProfiles
Co-Guest Editor
Department of Orthopedics, Balgrist University Hospital, University of Zurich, 8008 Zurich, Switzerland
Interests: Sports performance enhancement and sports injury prevention
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Sports performance is predominantly associated with elite sport, where athletes strive for a place on the podium, the most prestigious of which is probably an Olympic gold medal. On the other hand, it is becoming more frequent that recreational athletes attempt to mimic elite athletes by trying to push their limits ever higher. Both elite and recreational athletes, therefore, attempt to optimize their performance, but such optimization is associated with increased risk of injury. Therefore, despite the well-known positive health effects of physical activity, the prevention and management of sports-related injuries remain major challenges to be addressed. Treating sports injuries is often difficult, expensive, and time-consuming, and, thus, preventive strategies and activities are justified on the basis of both medical as well as economic grounds. We are interested in manuscripts that examine sports performance- and health-related issues. Potential topics include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Benefits of sport to health
  • Tradeoffs between sports performance and health
  • Optimization of sports performance by training, technique and/or tactics enhancements
  • Prevention and management of sport injuries
  • Optimization of sports equipment to increase performance and/or decrease the risk of injury
  • Innovations for sports performance, health, and load monitoring
Prof. Dr. Matej Supej
PD Dr. Jörg Spörri
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 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

  • Biomechanics
  • Physiology
  • Psychology
  • Material science
  • Sports medicine
  • Injury prevention
  • Injury risk
  • Olympic sport
  • Competitive sport
  • Recreational sport

Published Papers (15 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Lower Back Complaints in Adolescent Competitive Alpine Skiers: A Cross-Sectional Study
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(21), 7408; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10217408 - 22 Oct 2020
Abstract
Background: Little is known about lower back complaints in adolescent competitive alpine skiers. This study assessed their prevalence and severity (i.e., intensity and disability) with respect to sex, category, discipline preference, and training attributes. Methods: 188 competitive skiers aged 15 to 18 years [...] Read more.
Background: Little is known about lower back complaints in adolescent competitive alpine skiers. This study assessed their prevalence and severity (i.e., intensity and disability) with respect to sex, category, discipline preference, and training attributes. Methods: 188 competitive skiers aged 15 to 18 years volunteered in this study. Data collection included (i) questions on participants’ demographics, sports exposure, discipline preferences, and other sports-related practices; (ii) the Nordic Musculoskeletal Questionnaire on lower back complaints; and (iii) the Graded Chronic Pain Scale. Results: As many as 80.3% and 50.0% of all skiers suffered from lower back complaints during the last 12 months and 7 days, respectively. A total of 50.7% reported their complaints to be attributable to slalom skiing, and 26% to giant slalom. The majority of complaints were classified as low intensity/low disability (Grade I, 57.4%) and high intensity/low disability complaints (Grade II, 21.8%). The Characteristic Pain Intensity was found to be significantly related to the skiers’ years of sports participation, number of competitions/season, and number of skiing days/season. Conclusion: This study further supports the relatively high magnitudes of lower back-related pain in adolescent competitive alpine skiers, with a considerable amount of high intensity (but low disability) complaints, and training attributes being a key driver. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sports Performance and Health)
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Asymmetries in the Technique and Ground Reaction Forces of Elite Alpine Skiers Influence Their Slalom Performance
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(20), 7288; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10207288 - 18 Oct 2020
Abstract
Background: Although many of the movements of skiers are asymmetric, little is presently known about how such asymmetry influences performance. Here, our aim was to examine whether asymmetries in technique and the ground reaction forces associated with left and right turns influence the [...] Read more.
Background: Although many of the movements of skiers are asymmetric, little is presently known about how such asymmetry influences performance. Here, our aim was to examine whether asymmetries in technique and the ground reaction forces associated with left and right turns influence the asymmetries in the performance of elite slalom skiers. Methods: As nine elite skiers completed a 20-gate slalom course, their three-dimensional full-body kinematics and ground reaction forces (GRF) were monitored with a global navigation satellite and inertial motion capture systems, in combination with pressure insoles. For multivariable regression models, 26 predictor skiing techniques and GRF variables and 8 predicted skiing performance variables were assessed, all of them determining asymmetries in terms of symmetry and Jaccard indices. Results: Asymmetries in instantaneous and sectional performance were found to have the largest predictor coefficients associated with asymmetries in shank angle and hip flexion of the outside leg. Asymmetry for turn radius had the largest predictor coefficients associated with asymmetries in shank angle and GRF on the entire outside foot. Conclusions: Although slalom skiers were found to move their bodies in a quite symmetrical fashion, asymmetry in their skiing technique and GRF influenced variables related to asymmetries in performance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sports Performance and Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Change of Direction Performance Is Influenced by Asymmetries in Jumping Ability and Hip and Trunk Strength in Elite Basketball Players
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(19), 6984; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10196984 - 06 Oct 2020
Abstract
Change of direction (COD) ability is essential for sport performance in high level team sports such as basketball, however, the influence of asymmetries on COD ability is relatively unknown. Forty-three junior and senior level elite basketball players performed isometric hip and trunk strength [...] Read more.
Change of direction (COD) ability is essential for sport performance in high level team sports such as basketball, however, the influence of asymmetries on COD ability is relatively unknown. Forty-three junior and senior level elite basketball players performed isometric hip and trunk strength testing, passive hip and trunk range of motion testing, and unilateral horizontal and vertical jumps, as well as the T-test to measure COD performance. Mean asymmetry values ranged from 0.76% for functional leg length up to 40.35% for rate of torque development during hip flexion. A six-variable regression model explained 48% (R2 = 0.48; p < 0.001) of variation in COD performance. The model included left hip internal/external rotation strength ratio, and inter-limb asymmetries in hip abduction rate of torque development, hip flexion range of motion, functional leg length, single leg triple jump distance, and peak torque during trunk lateral flexion. Results suggest that the magnitude of asymmetries is dependent of task and parameter, and using universal asymmetry thresholds, such as <10 %, is not optimal. The regression model showed the relationship between asymmetries and COD performance. None of tests were sufficient to explain a complex variable like COD performance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sports Performance and Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Anthropometric Characteristics, Maximal Isokinetic Strength and Selected Handball Power Indicators Are Specific to Playing Positions in Elite Kosovan Handball Players
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(19), 6774; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10196774 - 27 Sep 2020
Abstract
Anthropometric characteristics and physical performance are closely related to the game demands of each playing position. This study aimed to first examine the differences between playing positions in anthropometric characteristics and physical performance with special emphasis on the isokinetic strength of elite male [...] Read more.
Anthropometric characteristics and physical performance are closely related to the game demands of each playing position. This study aimed to first examine the differences between playing positions in anthropometric characteristics and physical performance with special emphasis on the isokinetic strength of elite male handball players, and secondly to examine the correlations of the latter variables with ball velocity. Anthropometric characteristics, maximal isokinetic strength, sprinting and vertical jumping performance, and ball velocity in the set shot and jump shot were obtained from 93 elite handball players (age 22 ± 5 years, height 184 ± 8 cm, and weight 84 ± 14 kg) pre-season. Wing players were shorter compared to other players, and pivots were the heaviest. Wings had the fastest 20 m sprints, and, along with backcourt players, jumped higher, had better maximal knee isometric strength, and achieved the highest ball velocity compared to pivots and goalkeepers, respectively. There were no significant differences between playing positions in unilateral and bilateral maximal leg strength imbalances. Ball velocity was significantly correlated with height, weight, squat jump and maximal torque of extensors and flexors. Our study suggest that shooting success is largely determined by the player’s height, weight, muscle strength and power, while it seems that anthropometric characteristics and physical performance are closely related to the game demands of each playing position. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sports Performance and Health)
Open AccessArticle
Analysis of Serve and Serve-Return Strategies in Elite Male and Female Padel
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(19), 6693; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10196693 - 24 Sep 2020
Abstract
This aim of this study was to analyze serve and return statistics in elite padel players regarding courtside and gender. The sample contained 668 serves and 600 returns of serves from 14 matches (7 male and 7 female) of the 2019 Masters Finals [...] Read more.
This aim of this study was to analyze serve and return statistics in elite padel players regarding courtside and gender. The sample contained 668 serves and 600 returns of serves from 14 matches (7 male and 7 female) of the 2019 Masters Finals World Padel Tour. Variables pertaining to serve (number, direction, court side and effectiveness), return of serve (direction, height, stroke type and effectiveness) and point outcome were registered through systematic observation. The main results showed that the serving pair had an advantage in rallies, under 8 shots in women and under 12 shots in men. Statistical differences according to gender and court side were found. Female players execute more backhand and cross-court returns and use more lobs than men. On the right court, serves are more frequently aimed at the “T” and more down the line returns are executed when compared to the left side. Such knowledge could be useful to develop appropriate game strategies and to design specific training exercises based on actual competition context. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sports Performance and Health)
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Open AccessArticle
The Effect of a 7-Week Training Period on Changes in Skin NADH Fluorescence in Highly Trained Athletes
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(15), 5133; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10155133 - 26 Jul 2020
Abstract
The study aimed to evaluate the changes of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NADH) fluorescence in the reduced form in the superficial skin layer, resulting from a 7-week training period in highly trained competitive athletes (n = 41). The newly, non-invasive flow mediated skin [...] Read more.
The study aimed to evaluate the changes of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NADH) fluorescence in the reduced form in the superficial skin layer, resulting from a 7-week training period in highly trained competitive athletes (n = 41). The newly, non-invasive flow mediated skin fluorescence (FMSF) method was implemented to indirectly evaluate the mitochondrial activity by NADH fluorescence. The FMSF measurements were taken before and after an exercise treadmill test until exhaustion. We found that athletes showed higher post-training values in basal NADH fluorescence (pre-exercise: 41% increase; post-exercise: 49% increase). Maximum NADH fluorescence was also higher after training both pre- (42% increase) and post-exercise (47% increase). Similar changes have been revealed before and after exercise for minimal NADH fluorescence (before exercise: 39% increase; after exercise: 47% increase). In conclusion, physical training results in an increase in the skin NADH fluorescence levels at rest and after exercise in athletes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sports Performance and Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Effects of Backpack Loads on Leg Muscle Activation during Slope Walking
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(14), 4890; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10144890 - 16 Jul 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
Hikers and soldiers usually walk up and down slopes with a load carriage, causing injuries of the musculoskeletal system, especially during a prolonged load journey. The slope walking has been reported to lead to higher leg extensor muscle activities and joint moments. However, [...] Read more.
Hikers and soldiers usually walk up and down slopes with a load carriage, causing injuries of the musculoskeletal system, especially during a prolonged load journey. The slope walking has been reported to lead to higher leg extensor muscle activities and joint moments. However, most of the studies investigated muscle activities or joint moments during slope walking without load carriage or only investigated the joint moment changes and muscle activities with load carriages during level walking. Whether the muscle activation such as the signal amplitude is influenced by the mixed factor of loads and grades and whether the influence of the degrees of loads and grades on different muscles are equal have not yet been investigated. To explore the effects of backpack loads on leg muscle activation during slope walking, ten young male participants walked at 1.11 m/s on a treadmill with different backpack loads (load masses: 0, 10, 20, and 30 kg) during slope walking (grade: 0, 3, 5, and 10°). Leg muscles, including the gluteus maximus (GM), rectus femoris (RF), hamstrings (HA), anterior tibialis (AT), and medial gastrocnemius (GA), were recorded during walking. The hip, knee, and ankle extensor muscle activations increased during the slope walking, and the hip muscles increased most among hip, knee, and ankle muscles (GM and HA increased by 46% to 207% and 110% to 226%, respectively, during walking steeper than 10° across all load masses (GM: p = 1.32 × 10−8 and HA: p = 2.33 × 10−16)). Muscle activation increased pronouncedly with loads, and the knee extensor muscles increased greater than the hip and ankle muscles (RF increased by 104% to 172% with a load mass greater than 30 kg across all grades (RF: p = 8.86 × 10−7)). The results in our study imply that the hip and knee muscles play an important role during slope walking with loads. The hip and knee extension movements during slope walking should be considerably assisted to lower the muscle activations, which will be useful for designing assistant devices, such as exoskeleton robots, to enhance hikers’ and soldiers’ walking abilities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sports Performance and Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Effectiveness of Positive and Negative Ions for Elite Japanese Swimmers’ Physical Training: Subjective and Biological Emotional Evaluations
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(12), 4198; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10124198 - 18 Jun 2020
Abstract
The purpose of this study is to examine the subjective and objective arousal of elite swimmers during physical training under a positive and negative ion environment. The participants were 10 elite Japanese collegiate swimmers participating in the Fédération Internationale de Natation (FINA) Swimming [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study is to examine the subjective and objective arousal of elite swimmers during physical training under a positive and negative ion environment. The participants were 10 elite Japanese collegiate swimmers participating in the Fédération Internationale de Natation (FINA) Swimming World Cup (age: 20.80 ± 1.39, five males and five females). Each participant went through two experiments (they were subjected to both the positive and negative ion environment and the control environment) within a four-week interval. The training task was a High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) routine for the swimmers. The subjective arousal state was measured using a Two-Dimensional Mood Scale (TDMS). In addition, biological emotional evaluations in the form of an electroencephalogram (EEG) were conducted to assess the arousal state of the elite swimmers. The examination of the change in the arousal level at rest and during training demonstrated that both subjective and objective arousal levels were significantly higher in the positive and negative ion environment than in the control environment. In addition, the average training performance scores were also significantly higher in the positive and negative ion environment than in the control environment. This study posits that the positive and negative ion environment has a positive effect on sports training. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sports Performance and Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Concurrent Validity and Reliability of My Jump 2 App for Measuring Vertical Jump Height in Recreationally Active Adults
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(11), 3805; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10113805 - 30 May 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
This study aimed to examine the reliability, validity, and usefulness of the smartphone-based application, My Jump 2, against Optojump in recreationally active adults. Participants (18 women, 28.9 ± 5.6 years, and 26 men, 30.1 ± 10.6 years) completed squat jumps (SJ), counter-movement jumps [...] Read more.
This study aimed to examine the reliability, validity, and usefulness of the smartphone-based application, My Jump 2, against Optojump in recreationally active adults. Participants (18 women, 28.9 ± 5.6 years, and 26 men, 30.1 ± 10.6 years) completed squat jumps (SJ), counter-movement jumps (CMJ), and CMJ with arm swing (CMJAS) on Optojump and were simultaneously recorded using My Jump 2. To evaluate concurrent validity, jump height, calculated from flight time attained from each device, was compared for each jump type. Test-retest reliability was determined by replicating data analysis of My Jump 2 recordings on two occasions separated by two weeks. High test-retest reliability (Intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) > 0.93) was observed for all measures in both male and female athletes. Very large correlations were observed between the My Jump 2 app and Optojump for SJ (r = 0.95, p = 0.001), CMJ (r = 0.98, p = 0.001), and CMJAS (r = 0.98, p = 0.001) in male athletes. Similar results were obtained for female recreational athletes for all jumps (r > 0.94, p = 0.001). The study results suggest that My Jump 2 is a valid, reliable, and useful tool for measuring vertical jump in recreationally active adults. Therefore, due to its simplicity and practicality, it can be used by practitioners, coaches, and recreationally-active adults to measure vertical jump performance with a simple test as SJ, CMJ, and CMJAS. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sports Performance and Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Ankle Taping Effectiveness for the Decreasing Dorsiflexion Range of Motion in Elite Soccer and Basketball Players U18 in a Single Training Session: A Cross-Sectional Pilot Study
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(11), 3759; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10113759 - 28 May 2020
Abstract
Ankle sprains have been defined as the most common injury in sports. The aim of the present study was to investigate the ankle taping for the reduction of ankle dorsiflexion range of motion (ROM) and inter-limb in elite soccer and basketball players U18 [...] Read more.
Ankle sprains have been defined as the most common injury in sports. The aim of the present study was to investigate the ankle taping for the reduction of ankle dorsiflexion range of motion (ROM) and inter-limb in elite soccer and basketball players U18 in a single training session. Methods: A cross-sectional pilot study was performed on 38 male healthy elite athletes divided into two groups: a soccer group and a basketball group. Ankle dorsiflexion ROM and inter-limb asymmetries in a weight-bearing lunge position were assessed in three points: with no-tape, before the practice and immediately after the practice. Results: For the soccer group, significant differences (p < 0.05) were observed for the right ankle, but no differences for the asymmetry variable. The basketball group reported significant differences (p < 0.05) for the right ankle and symmetry. Conclusions: Ankle taping decreased the ankle dorsiflexion ROM in youth elite soccer and basketball players U18. These results could be useful as a prophylactic approach for ankle sprain injury prevention. However, the ankle ROM restriction between individuals without taping and individuals immediately assessed when the tape was removed after the training was very low. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sports Performance and Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Effects of Upper-Limb, Lower-Limb, and Full-Body Compression Garments on Full Body Kinematics and Free-Throw Accuracy in Basketball Players
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(10), 3504; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10103504 - 19 May 2020
Abstract
Compression garments can enhance performance and promote recovery in athletes. Different body coverage with compression garments may impose distinct effects on kinematic movement mechanics and thus basketball free-throw accuracy. The objective of this study was to examine basketball free-throw shooting accuracy, consistency and [...] Read more.
Compression garments can enhance performance and promote recovery in athletes. Different body coverage with compression garments may impose distinct effects on kinematic movement mechanics and thus basketball free-throw accuracy. The objective of this study was to examine basketball free-throw shooting accuracy, consistency and the range of motion of body joints while wearing upper-, lower- and full-body compression garments. Twenty male basketball players performed five blocks of 20 basketball free-throw shooting trials in each of the following five compression garment conditions: control-pre, top, bottom, full (top + bottom) and control-post. All conditions were randomized except pre- and post-control (the first and last conditions). Range of motion of was acquired by multiple inertial measurement units. Free-throw accuracy and the coefficient of variation were also analyzed. Players wearing upper-body or full-body compression garments had significantly improved accuracy by 4.2% and 5.9%, respectively (p < 0.05), but this difference was not observed with shooting consistency. Smaller range of motion of head flexion and trunk lateral bending (p < 0.05) was found in the upper- and full-body conditions compared to the control-pre condition. These findings suggest that an improvement in shooting accuracy could be achieved by constraining the range of motion through the use of upper-body and full-body compression garments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sports Performance and Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Effect of Football Shoe Collar Type on Ankle Biomechanics and Dynamic Stability during Anterior and Lateral Single-Leg Jump Landings
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(10), 3362; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10103362 - 13 May 2020
Abstract
In this study, we investigated the effects of football shoes with different collar heights on ankle biomechanics and dynamic postural stability. Fifteen healthy college football players performed anterior and lateral single-leg jump landings when wearing high collar, elastic collar, or low collar football [...] Read more.
In this study, we investigated the effects of football shoes with different collar heights on ankle biomechanics and dynamic postural stability. Fifteen healthy college football players performed anterior and lateral single-leg jump landings when wearing high collar, elastic collar, or low collar football shoes. The kinematics of lower limbs and ground reaction forces were collected by simultaneously using a stereo-photogrammetric system with markers (Vicon) and a force plate (Kistler). During the anterior single-leg jump landing, a high collar shoe resulted in a significantly smaller ankle dorsiflexion range of motion (ROM), compared to both elastic (p = 0.031, dz = 0.511) and low collar (p = 0.043, dz = 0.446) types, while also presenting lower total ankle sagittal ROM, compared to the low collar type (p = 0.023, dz = 0.756). Ankle joint stiffness was significantly greater for the high collar, compared to the elastic collar (p = 0.003, dz = 0.629) and low collar (p = 0.030, dz = 1.040). Medial-lateral stability was significantly improved with the high collar, compared to the low collar (p = 0.001, dz = 1.232). During the lateral single-leg jump landing, ankle inversion ROM (p = 0.028, dz = 0.615) and total ankle frontal ROM (p = 0.019, dz = 0.873) were significantly smaller for the high collar, compared to the elastic collar. The high collar also resulted in a significantly smaller total ankle sagittal ROM, compared to the low collar (p = 0.001, dz = 0.634). Therefore, the high collar shoe should be effective in decreasing the amount of ROM and increasing the dynamic stability, leading to high ankle joint stiffness due to differences in design and material characteristics of the collar types. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sports Performance and Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Comparative Biomechanical Analysis of the Hurdle Clearance Technique of Colin Jackson and Dayron Robles: Key Studies
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(9), 3302; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10093302 - 09 May 2020
Abstract
The purpose of the study was to compare the biomechanical parameters of the hurdle clearance technique of the fifth hurdle in the 110 m hurdle race of Colin Jackson of Great Britain (12.91 s world record was set in 1994) and Dayron Robles [...] Read more.
The purpose of the study was to compare the biomechanical parameters of the hurdle clearance technique of the fifth hurdle in the 110 m hurdle race of Colin Jackson of Great Britain (12.91 s world record was set in 1994) and Dayron Robles of Cuba (12.87 s world record was set in 2008), two world record holders. Despite the athletes having performed at different times, we used comparable biomechanical diagnostic technology for both hurdlers. Biomechanical measurements for both were performed by the Laboratory for Movement Control of the Institute of Sport, Faculty of Sport in Ljubljana. A three-dimensional video analysis of the fifth hurdle clearance technique was used. High standards of biomechanical measurements were taken into account, thus ensuring the high objectivity of the obtained results. The following program was used: the ARIEL kinematic program (Ariel Dynamics Inc., Trabuco Canyon, CA, USA). The results of the comparative analysis found minimal differences between the two athletes, which was expected given their excellence. Dayron Robles’s hurdle clearance was more effective, as it was characterized by a smaller loss of horizontal center of mass (COM) velocity. Robles’s hurdle clearance took 0.50 s: 0.10 s for the take-off, 0.33 s for the flight phase, and 0.07 s for the landing phase. Colin Jackson completed the hurdle clearance slightly slower, as it took him 0.54 s. Jackson’s take-off phase also lasted 0.10 s, his flight phase 0.36 s, and his landing 0.08 s. The two athletes are quite different in their morphological constitution. Dayron Robles is 10 cm taller than Colin Jackson, resulting in a lower flight parabola of CM during hurdle clearance of the Cuban athlete. Dayron Robles has a more effective hurdle clearance technique compared to Jackson’s achievement. It can be considered that their individual techniques of overcoming the hurdle, reached their individual highest efficiency at this time. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sports Performance and Health)
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Open AccessArticle
The Characteristics of Feet Center of Pressure Trajectory during Quiet Standing
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(8), 2940; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10082940 - 23 Apr 2020
Abstract
To investigate the level of bilateral symmetry or asymmetry between right and left foot center of pressure (COP) trajectory in the mediolateral and anteroposterior directions, this study involved 102 participants (54 females and 48 males). Ground reaction forces were measured using two Kistler [...] Read more.
To investigate the level of bilateral symmetry or asymmetry between right and left foot center of pressure (COP) trajectory in the mediolateral and anteroposterior directions, this study involved 102 participants (54 females and 48 males). Ground reaction forces were measured using two Kistler force plates during two 45-s quiet standing trials. Comparisons of COP trajectory were performed by correlation and scatter plot analysis. Strong and very strong positive correlations (from 0.6 to 1.0) were observed between right and left foot anteroposterior COP displacement trajectory in 91 participants; 11 individuals presented weak or negative correlations. In the mediolateral direction, moderate and strong negative correlations (from −0.5 to −1.0) were observed in 69 participants, weak negative or weak positive correlations in 30 individuals, and three showed strong positive correlations (0.6 to 1.0). Additional investigation is warranted to compare COP trajectories between asymptotic individuals as assessed herein (to determine normative data) and those with foot or leg symptoms to better understand the causes of COP asymmetry and aid clinicians with the diagnosis of posture-related pathologies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sports Performance and Health)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Biomechanics of Table Tennis: A Systematic Scoping Review of Playing Levels and Maneuvers
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(15), 5203; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10155203 - 28 Jul 2020
Abstract
This present study aims to review the available evidence on the biomechanics of table-tennis strokes. Specifically, it summarized current trends, categorized research foci, and biomechanical outcomes regarding various movement maneuvers and playing levels. Databases included were Web of Science, Cochrane Library, Scopus, and [...] Read more.
This present study aims to review the available evidence on the biomechanics of table-tennis strokes. Specifically, it summarized current trends, categorized research foci, and biomechanical outcomes regarding various movement maneuvers and playing levels. Databases included were Web of Science, Cochrane Library, Scopus, and PubMed. Twenty-nine articles were identified meeting the inclusion criteria. Most of these articles revealed how executing different maneuvers changed the parameters related to body postures and lines of movement, which included racket face angle, trunk rotation, knee, and elbow joints. It was found that there was a lack of studies that investigated backspin maneuvers, longline maneuvers, strikes against sidespin, and pen-hold players. Meanwhile, higher-level players were found to be able to better utilize the joint power of the shoulder and wrist joints through the full-body kinetic chain. They also increased plantar pressure excursion in the medial-lateral direction, but reduced in anterior-posterior direction to compromise between agility and dynamic stability. This review identified that most published articles investigating the biomechanics of table tennis reported findings comparing the differences among various playing levels and movement tasks (handwork or footwork), using ball/racket speed, joint kinematics/kinetics, electromyography, and plantar pressure distribution. Systematically summarizing these findings can help to improve training regimes in order to attain better table tennis performance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sports Performance and Health)
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