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Special Issue "Sport Modalities, Performance and Health"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Exercise and Health".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 April 2021).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. José Alberto Frade Martins Parraca
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Comprehensive Health Research Center (CHRC), Escola de Ciências e Tecnologia – Departamento de Desporto e Saúde, Universidade de Évora, 7000-727 Évora, Portugal
Interests: exercise intervention; exercise physiology; exercise science
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Bernardino Javier Sánchez-Alcaraz Martínez
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Faculty of Sport Sciences, University of Murcia, 30720 San Javier, Spain
Interests: performance analysis; health; physical education; racket sports; training methodology
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Sport modalities are highly practiced in order to improve many aspects of the human being, including performance and health. The increasing interest in quantitative and qualitative aspects of sport training is ascribable to the fact that several training systems and new methodologies are appearing in all sport modalities. These methodologies can have different effects on the organism depending on the degree of training.

On the other hand, some of the main objectives in sport research are to describe match activity and to detect effective performance indicators. A better knowledge of players´ performance adaptations and game dynamics during competition is extremely useful for optimizing the training process. The need to develop training methodologies according to actions occurring during the game is essential for each sport.

Since a systematic and well-conducted sport practice is essential for performance and human health, in this Special Issue, the submission of papers focused on performance analysis in sport modalities and the effect of continuous and systematic training on the organism is encouraged.

Dr. Diego Muñoz Marín
Dr. José Alberto Frade Martins Parraca
Dr. Bernardino Javier Sánchez-Alcaraz Martínez
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

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. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 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 2300 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

  • exercise
  • training
  • sports performance
  • behavior analysis
  • tactical
  • physiological adaptations
  • biochemical parameters
  • urinary excretion
  • trace elements

Published Papers (22 papers)

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Article
How Task Constraints Influence the Gaze and Motor Behaviours of Elite-Level Gymnasts
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(13), 6941; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18136941 - 29 Jun 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 722
Abstract
Perception-action coupling is fundamental to effective motor behaviour in complex sports such as gymnastics. We examined the gaze and motor behaviours of 10 international level gymnasts when performing two skills on the mini-trampoline that matched the performance demands of elite competition. The presence [...] Read more.
Perception-action coupling is fundamental to effective motor behaviour in complex sports such as gymnastics. We examined the gaze and motor behaviours of 10 international level gymnasts when performing two skills on the mini-trampoline that matched the performance demands of elite competition. The presence and absence of a vaulting table in each skill served as a task-constraint factor, while we compared super-elite and elite groups. We measured visual search behaviours and kinematic variables during the approach run phase. The presence of a vaulting table influenced gaze behaviour only in the elite gymnasts, who showed significant differences in the time spent fixating on the mini-trampoline, when compared to super-elite gymnasts. Moreover, different approach run characteristics were apparent across the two different gymnastic tasks, irrespective of the level of expertise, and take-off velocity was influenced by the skill being executed across all gymnasts. Task constraints and complexity influence gaze behaviours differed across varying levels of expertise in gymnastics, even within a sample of international level athletes. It appears that the time spent fixating their gazes on the right areas of interest during the approach run is crucial to higher-level performance and therefore higher scores in competition, particularly on the mini-trampoline with vaulting table. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sport Modalities, Performance and Health)
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Article
Running around the Country: An Analysis of the Running Phenomenon among Brazilian Runners
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(12), 6610; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18126610 - 19 Jun 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 579
Abstract
Differences in economic and social aspects between Brazilian states/regions can determine participation in running. The purpose of this study was to identify the occurrence of the OUTrun (i.e., Out Running), mapping the main routes carried out by runners, as well as the factors [...] Read more.
Differences in economic and social aspects between Brazilian states/regions can determine participation in running. The purpose of this study was to identify the occurrence of the OUTrun (i.e., Out Running), mapping the main routes carried out by runners, as well as the factors associated with this behavior between different Brazilian regions. The sample comprised 1053 runners of both sexes (women: 426; men: 627) who answered an online questionnaire, providing information related to individual, socioeconomic (SES), and training characteristics. A logistic regression analysis was computed, considering the regions. South and Southeast regions received the largest number of runners; runners from the North and Northeast regions were those who left their states the most to compete. Factors related to the OUTrun were the preferred distance, SES, and age. The results provide information to facilitate access to running events and can provide benefits related to making the practice accessible to a larger number of people. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sport Modalities, Performance and Health)
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Article
Effects of Padel Competition on Brain Health-Related Myokines
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(11), 6042; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18116042 - 04 Jun 2021
Viewed by 1249
Abstract
Padel is becoming one of the most widespread racket sports that may have potential health benefits. Considering that several myokines mediate the cross-talk between skeletal muscles and the brain, exerting positive effects on brain health status, this study was designed to evaluate the [...] Read more.
Padel is becoming one of the most widespread racket sports that may have potential health benefits. Considering that several myokines mediate the cross-talk between skeletal muscles and the brain, exerting positive effects on brain health status, this study was designed to evaluate the responses of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF), and irisin (IR) to padel competition in trained players and to determine whether these responses were sex-dependent. Twenty-four trained padel players (14 women and 10 men with a mean age of 27.8 ± 6.3 years) participated voluntarily in this study. Circulating levels of BDNF, LIF, and IR were assessed before and after simulated padel competition (real playing time, 27.8 ± 8.49 min; relative intensity, 75.2 ± 7.9% maximum heart rate). Except for BDNF responses observed in female players (increasing from 1531.12 ± 269.09 to 1768.56 ± 410.75 ng/mL), no significant changes in LIF and IR concentrations were reported after padel competition. In addition, no sex-related differences were found. Moreover, significant associations between IR and BDNF were established at both pre- and post-competition. Our results suggest that while competitive padel practice stimulates BDNF response in female players, padel competition failed to boost the release of LIF and IR. Future studies are needed to further explore the role of these exercise-induced myokines in the regulation of brain functions and to identify the field sports that can contribute to myokine-mediated muscle–brain crosstalk. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sport Modalities, Performance and Health)
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Article
The Role of Social Media in Sports Vision
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(10), 5354; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18105354 - 18 May 2021
Viewed by 840
Abstract
Background: Sports vision is a relatively new specialty. The objective is to provide ophthalmological and optometric care services for the care of vision in the sports field. An increasing number of athletes and coaches are trying to improve visual skills and they seek [...] Read more.
Background: Sports vision is a relatively new specialty. The objective is to provide ophthalmological and optometric care services for the care of vision in the sports field. An increasing number of athletes and coaches are trying to improve visual skills and they seek information on social media. The current excess of information has made it increasingly difficult to identify high quality articles. For this reason, alternative metrics are useful tools to identify publications that draw attention to society. This research aims to study the influence of social networks on the importance of vision in sport. Methods: Altmetric Explorer was used to perform a search using “sport”, “vision” and “eye” as keywords. The 100 outcomes with the most attention were analyzed and correlated with the number of citations in the Web of Science (WoS) using the Spearman correlation coefficient. Results: The 100 best Altmetric Attention Scores (AASs) were published in 67 journals and had a mean AAS value of 30.22 ± 62.37 The results were discussed mainly on Twitter, with a mean of 113.99 ± 43.86 tweets and retweets and a mean of 75.92 ± 79.92 readers in Mendeley. There was no correlation between AAS and WoS Cites for the top 100 outcomes and the correlation was low if we considered the total research results rather than the top 100. Conclusions: The citations are not related to the impact of scientific articles on social networks. Sports vision is a specialty with a growing interest in social media. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sport Modalities, Performance and Health)
Article
Effects of Ultratrail Running on Neuromuscular Function, Muscle Damage and Hydration Status. Differences According to Training Level
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(10), 5119; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18105119 - 12 May 2021
Viewed by 732
Abstract
The status of trail running races has exponentially grown in recent years. The present study aimed to: (a) evaluate the acute response of ultratrail racing in terms of neuromuscular function, muscle damage and hydration status; (b) analyze if responses could differ according to [...] Read more.
The status of trail running races has exponentially grown in recent years. The present study aimed to: (a) evaluate the acute response of ultratrail racing in terms of neuromuscular function, muscle damage and hydration status; (b) analyze if responses could differ according to training levels. Twenty runners participated in the present study. The participants were divided into amateur training level (n = 10; 43.30 ± 4.52 years) or high level competitors (n = 10; 41.40 ± 6.18). Neuromuscular response (squat jump, countermovement jump and Abalakov jump), muscle damage (alanine aminotransferase, bilirubin, creatine kinase and leukocytes) and hydration status (sodium and creatinine) were evaluated before and after the Guara Somontano Ultratrail Race (108 km distance, with an accumulated slope of 5800 m). The height and power achieved by vertical jumps were lower after the race (p < 0.001). The post-race muscle damage and creatinine parameters increased in both groups (p < 0.001). The high-level group obtained lower percentages of change in squat jump and countermovement jump than the amateur-level group (p < 0.05). However, the increase in creatinine was greater for the high-level group (p < 0.05). Ultratrail racing reduces neuromuscular function and increases muscle damage. High-level runners showed less neuromuscular fatigue compared to amateur ones. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sport Modalities, Performance and Health)
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Article
Analysis of Game Performance Indicators during 2015–2019 World Padel Tour Seasons and Their Influence on Match Outcome
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(9), 4904; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18094904 - 04 May 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 917
Abstract
A better understanding of the demands of in-game competition demands may improve coaching strategies, training designs, and injury prevention programs. However, there is limited information regarding performance analysis in professional padel. This study aimed to analyse performance indicators and their influence on match [...] Read more.
A better understanding of the demands of in-game competition demands may improve coaching strategies, training designs, and injury prevention programs. However, there is limited information regarding performance analysis in professional padel. This study aimed to analyse performance indicators and their influence on match outcomes regarding sex, tournament round, and set number. The sample contained 1070 sets from 532 matches of the 2016 to 2019 World Padel Tour seasons. Variables including sex, round, game result, stroke effectiveness, and break points were registered through systematic observation. A non-parametric approach was applied to evaluate differences between sex, match outcome, and tournament round. The results showed significant differences between winners and losers regarding sex in break points (male d = 2.13, p = 0.00; female d = 2.22, p = 0.00), smash winners (male d = 0.85, p = 0.00; female d = 0.69, p = 0.00), groundstroke winners (male d = 1.01, p = 0.00; female d = 1.18, p = 0.00), volley winners (male d = 1.08, p = 0.00; female d = 0.91, p = 0.00), and errors (male d = 0.76, p = 0.00; female d = 0.65, p = 0.00). Furthermore, differences in shot effectiveness between winners and errors increased in the last set of the match and in the last round of the tournament (p < 0.05). Therefore, shot effectiveness seems to be a key factor in professional padel that distinguishes between winning and losing players. Such knowledge may have implications in the design of appropriate game strategies and specific training sessions to improve performance and to prevent sport injuries. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sport Modalities, Performance and Health)
Article
Muscle Oxygen Desaturation and Re-Saturation Capacity Limits in Repeated Sprint Ability Performance in Women Soccer Players: A New Physiological Interpretation
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(7), 3484; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18073484 - 27 Mar 2021
Viewed by 983
Abstract
Muscle oxygen consumption could provide information on oxidative metabolism in women soccer players. Therefore, the objective of this study was to analyze muscle oxygenation dynamics during repeated sprint ability (RSA): (8 sprint × 20 s recovery) by near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS). The sample was [...] Read more.
Muscle oxygen consumption could provide information on oxidative metabolism in women soccer players. Therefore, the objective of this study was to analyze muscle oxygenation dynamics during repeated sprint ability (RSA): (8 sprint × 20 s recovery) by near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS). The sample was made up of 38 professional women soccer players. To measure the external load, the best time, worst time, average time, individual speed, sprint decrement, and power were assessed. In connection with the internal load, the desaturation (sprint) and re-saturation (recovery) rates, as well as the oxygen extraction (∇%SmO2) in the gastrocnemius muscle and maximum heart rate (%HRmax) were measured. A repeated measures statistic was applied based on the inter-individual response of each subject from the baseline versus the other sprints, with linear regression and nonlinear regression analyses between variables. There was an increase in the SmO2: desaturation rate after four sprints (Δ = 32%), in the re-saturation rate after six sprints (Δ = 89%), and in ∇%SmO2 after four sprints (Δ = 72.1%). There was a linear association between the rates of desaturation and re-saturation relationships and the worst time (r = 0.85), and a non-linear association between ∇%SmO2 and speed (r = 0.89) and between ∇%SmO2 and the sprint decrease (r = 0.93). The progressive increase in SmO2 during RSA is a performance limitation to maintain a high speed; it depends on the capacity of fatigue resistance. Therefore, monitoring the muscle oxygenation dynamics could be a useful tool to evaluate the performance in women soccer players. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sport Modalities, Performance and Health)
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Article
Associations between Inter-Limb Asymmetries in Jump and Change of Direction Speed Tests and Physical Performance in Adolescent Female Soccer Players
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(7), 3474; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18073474 - 27 Mar 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 967
Abstract
The association between asymmetries in jump and change of direction (COD) with physical performance in several sports show inconclusive results. The purposes of this study were to: (1) measure inter-limb asymmetries in three distinct groups in adolescent female soccer players and, (2) to [...] Read more.
The association between asymmetries in jump and change of direction (COD) with physical performance in several sports show inconclusive results. The purposes of this study were to: (1) measure inter-limb asymmetries in three distinct groups in adolescent female soccer players and, (2) to determine the association between inter-limb asymmetries and physical performance in different age groups. Fifty-four players were distributed in three age groups: U-18, U-16 and U-14. All of them performed a series of jumps, sprints and change of direction speed tests. Asymmetries were assessed as the percentage difference between limbs, with the equation: 100/Max value (right and left) * in value (right and left) * −1 + 100. Mean inter-limb asymmetries were 2.91%, 4.82% and 11.6% for 180° COD, single leg hop and single leg countermovement jump tests respectively, but higher percentages of asymmetries were observed in many players individually. U-18 and U-16 showed significant differences on 180° left COD compared to U-14. Effect size (ES): 0.80 and 0.74, respectively; U-18 presented differences on single left leg hop test compared to U-14, ES: −0.72; U-16 also showed differences on 40 m speed compared to U-14, ES 0.87 (All p < 0.05). Jumping and COD physical tests show asymmetries in adolescent female soccer players, but these asymmetries do not interfere with physical performance. The largest asymmetry was observed in the single leg countermovement jump, and no asymmetries between groups were found. Due to the high variability in the direction of asymmetries, it is recommended to consider players’ individual asymmetries for designing specific training programs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sport Modalities, Performance and Health)
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Article
Key Physical Factors in the Serve Velocity of Male Professional Wheelchair Tennis Players
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(4), 1944; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18041944 - 17 Feb 2021
Viewed by 1345
Abstract
The aim of this study was to identify the physical factors related to serve speed in male professional wheelchair tennis players (WT). Nine best nationally-ranked Spanish male wheelchair tennis players (38.35 ± 11.28 years, 63.77 ± 7.01 kg) completed a neuromuscular test battery [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to identify the physical factors related to serve speed in male professional wheelchair tennis players (WT). Nine best nationally-ranked Spanish male wheelchair tennis players (38.35 ± 11.28 years, 63.77 ± 7.01 kg) completed a neuromuscular test battery consisting of: isometric handgrip strength; serve velocity; 5, 10 and 20 m sprint (with and without racket); agility (with and without racket); medicine ball throw (serve, forehand and backhand movements); and an incremental endurance test specific to WT. Significantly higher correlations were observed in serve (r = 0.921), forehand (r = 0.810) and backhand (r = 0.791) medicine ball throws showing a positive correlation with serve velocity. A regression analysis identified a single model with the medicine ball throw serve as the main predictor of serve velocity (r2 = 0.847, p < 0.001). In conclusion, it is recommended that coaches and physical trainers include medicine ball throw workouts in the training programs of WT tennis players due to the transfer benefits to the serve speed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sport Modalities, Performance and Health)
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Article
The Development Strategy of Home-Based Exercise in China Based on the SWOT-AHP Model
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(3), 1224; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18031224 - 29 Jan 2021
Viewed by 1141
Abstract
In view of the increasing importance of sports to people and the impact of COVID-19 on people’s lives, home-based exercise has become a popular choice for people to keep fit due to its unique advantages and its popularity is expected to keep growing [...] Read more.
In view of the increasing importance of sports to people and the impact of COVID-19 on people’s lives, home-based exercise has become a popular choice for people to keep fit due to its unique advantages and its popularity is expected to keep growing in the future. Therefore, it is necessary to determine the development direction of home-based exercise and put in the corresponding efforts. However, there is currently a lack of research on all aspects of home-based exercise. The purpose of this research was to investigate the effective sustainable development strategy of home-based exercise in China through a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) and AHP (Analytic Hierarchy Process) hybrid model. Thirteen factors corresponding to the SWOT analysis were identified through a literature review and expert opinions. The results show that in China the advantages and potential outweigh the weaknesses and threats of home-based exercise. Home-based exercise should grasp the external development opportunities and choose the SO development strategic type that combines internal strengths and external opportunities. As the core for the development of home-based exercise, this strategy should be given priority. To sum up, home-based exercise is believed to have a bright future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sport Modalities, Performance and Health)
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Article
Ball Impact Position in Recreational Male Padel Players: Implications for Training and Injury Management
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(2), 435; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18020435 - 07 Jan 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1252
Abstract
Racket sports such as padel are characterized by the repetition of unilateral gestures, which can lead to negative adaptations like asymmetries or overuse musculoskeletal injuries. The purpose of this study was to determine the differences in ball impact positions (i.e., forward or backward [...] Read more.
Racket sports such as padel are characterized by the repetition of unilateral gestures, which can lead to negative adaptations like asymmetries or overuse musculoskeletal injuries. The purpose of this study was to determine the differences in ball impact positions (i.e., forward or backward of the center of gravity) in nine stroke types in a sample of forty-eight recreational male padel players. The sample included 14,478 shots corresponding to 18 matches from six tournaments. Forty-eight male padel players were classified into two groups according to their level: trained (n = 24) and novice (n = 24). Type of stroke and ball impact position were registered using a computerized motion tracking video system. The ball impact position was computed from the distance (cm) between the coordinates of the ball and the player’s center of gravity. Results show that trained players hit the ball in a more backward position (from 11 to 25 cm, compared to novice) in serve and offensive strokes (volleys, trays, and smashes) but used more forward strokes (from 7 to 32 cm, compared to novice) in defensive shots (groundstrokes, wall strokes, and lobs). Because the current differential variables are trainable and demonstrated to be of relevance for performance, the findings of this study may assist padel coaches in designing proper training plans to improve effectiveness and to prevent musculoskeletal injuries regarding the type of stroke and ball impact position. Such knowledge may constitute a very important factor affecting technique, biomechanics, and injury management in padel players of different competitive levels. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sport Modalities, Performance and Health)
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Article
Correlations between Basal Trace Minerals and Hormones in Middle and Long-Distance High-Level Male Runners
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(24), 9473; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17249473 - 17 Dec 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 811
Abstract
Several essential trace minerals play an important role in the endocrine system; however, toxic trace minerals have a disruptive effect. The aim of this research was to determine basal concentrations and the possible correlations between trace minerals in plasma and several plasma hormones [...] Read more.
Several essential trace minerals play an important role in the endocrine system; however, toxic trace minerals have a disruptive effect. The aim of this research was to determine basal concentrations and the possible correlations between trace minerals in plasma and several plasma hormones in runners. Sixty high-level male endurance runners (21 ± 3 years; 1.77 ± 0.05 m; 64.97 ± 7.36 kg) participated in the present study. Plasma hormones were analyzed using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and plasma trace minerals were analyzed with inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). Correlations and simple linear regression were used to assess the association between trace minerals and hormones. Plasma testosterone concentrations were inversely correlated with manganese (r = −0.543; β = −0.410; p < 0.01), selenium (r = −0.292; β = −0.024; p < 0.05), vanadium (r = −0.406; β = −1.278; p < 0.01), arsenic (r = −0.336; β = −0.142; p < 0.05), and lead (r = −0.385; β = −0.418; p < 0.01). Plasma luteinizing hormone (LH) levels were positively correlated with arsenic (r = 0.298; β = 0.327; p < 0.05) and cesium (r = 0.305; β = 2.272; p < 0.05), and negatively correlated with vanadium (r = −0.303; β = −2.467; p < 0.05). Moreover, cortisol concentrations showed significant positive correlations with cadmium (r = 0.291; β = 209.01; p < 0.05). Finally, insulin concentrations were inversely related to vanadium (r = −0.359; β = −3.982; p < 0.05). In conclusion, endurance runners living in areas with high environmental levels of toxic minerals should check their concentrations of anabolic hormones. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sport Modalities, Performance and Health)
Article
Stroke Analysis in Padel According to Match Outcome and Game Side on Court
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(21), 7838; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17217838 - 26 Oct 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1052
Abstract
The aim of this study was to analyze the distribution of padel strokes, their effectiveness, direction, and court zone, comparing between the winning and losing pairs in the match and the playing side of the players. The sample included 8441 strokes corresponding to [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to analyze the distribution of padel strokes, their effectiveness, direction, and court zone, comparing between the winning and losing pairs in the match and the playing side of the players. The sample included 8441 strokes corresponding to 1055 points out of a total of nine padel matches in the First National Category. The variables analyzed were type of stroke, court area, effectiveness and directions of the strokes, match outcome, and game side. Matches were analyzed through systematic observation. The results showed that the winning pair made a significantly higher percentage of winners, and cross-court smashes and volleys from the offensive zone. In addition, players on the left side executed a higher percentage of cross-court and winning shots than the players on the right side. Such knowledge may constitute a useful guide in the design of appropriate game strategies and specific training sessions based on the shots that will help players to win the match according to the role of the player and depending on their game side. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sport Modalities, Performance and Health)
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Article
Citations Network Analysis of Vision and Sport
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(20), 7574; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17207574 - 18 Oct 2020
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 969
Abstract
Background: Sports vision is a relatively new specialty, which has attracted particular interest in recent years from trainers and athletes, who are looking at ways of improving their visual skills to attain better performance on the field of play. The objective of [...] Read more.
Background: Sports vision is a relatively new specialty, which has attracted particular interest in recent years from trainers and athletes, who are looking at ways of improving their visual skills to attain better performance on the field of play. The objective of this study was to use citation networks to analyze the relationships between the different publications and authors, as well as to identify the different areas of research and determine the most cited publication. Methods: The search for publications was carried out in the Web of Science database, using the terms “sport”, “vision”, and “eye” for the period between 1911 and August 2020. The publication analysis was performed using the Citation Network Explorer and CiteSpace software. Results: In total, 635 publications and 801 citations were found across the network, with 2019 being the year with the highest number of publications. The most cited publication was published in 2002 by Williams et al. By using the clustering functionality, four groups covering the different research areas in this field were found: ocular lesion, visual training methods and efficiency, visual fixation training, and concussions. Conclusions: The citation network offers an objective and comprehensive analysis of the main papers on sports vision. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sport Modalities, Performance and Health)
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Article
Analysis of Performance Parameters of the Smash in Male and Female Professional Padel
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(19), 7027; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17197027 - 25 Sep 2020
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 979
Abstract
The aim of this study was to analyze the distribution and effectiveness of the different types of smash in professional padel according to the area and direction of the strokes and the gender. Through systematic observation, 1.015 smashes from eight finals (four men’s [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to analyze the distribution and effectiveness of the different types of smash in professional padel according to the area and direction of the strokes and the gender. Through systematic observation, 1.015 smashes from eight finals (four men’s and four women’s) of the professional matches were analyzed. The smashes were categorized into four types of smash: tray, flat, topspin and off the wall. The results showed both men’s and women’s that the tray is the most used smash by padel players, presenting a percentage of point continuity of almost 90%. The flat and topspin smashes are the strokes that achieve the highest percentage of winning points (near 60%), although this efficiency decreases significantly when the players move away from the net area (p < 0.05), especially in the flat smash. Men perform a higher percentage of winning smashes than women, mainly in the flat smash (p = 0.02). Furthermore, with regards to direction, flat and off the wall smashes are predominantly down the line strokes and women perform significantly more cross court topspin smashes than men (p = 0.005). The results shown could be used to design tasks and exercises by padel coaches at professional players. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sport Modalities, Performance and Health)
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Article
Effects of Tetraselmis chuii Microalgae Supplementation on Ergospirometric, Haematological and Biochemical Parameters in Amateur Soccer Players
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(18), 6885; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17186885 - 21 Sep 2020
Viewed by 1180
Abstract
This study aimed to analyse the effects of Tetraselmis chuii (TC) microalgae supplementation during thirty days on ergospirometric, haematological and biochemical parameters in amateur soccer players. Thirty-two amateur soccer players divided into a control group (CG; n = 16; 22.36 ± 1.36 years; [...] Read more.
This study aimed to analyse the effects of Tetraselmis chuii (TC) microalgae supplementation during thirty days on ergospirometric, haematological and biochemical parameters in amateur soccer players. Thirty-two amateur soccer players divided into a control group (CG; n = 16; 22.36 ± 1.36 years; 68.36 ± 3.53 kg) and a supplemented group (SG; n = 16; 22.23 ± 2.19 years; 69.30 ± 5.56 kg) participated in the double-blind study. SG ingested 25 mg of the TC per day, while CG ingested 200 mg per day of lactose powder. Supplementation was carried out for thirty days. The participants performed a maximal treadmill test until exhaustion. The ergospirometric values at different ventilatory thresholds and haematological values were obtained after the test. Heart rate decreased after supplementation with TC (p < 0.05). Oxygen pulse, relative and absolute maximum oxygen consumption increased in SG (pre vs. post; 19.04 ± 2.53 vs. 22.08 ± 2.25; 53.56 ± 3.26 vs. 56.74 ± 3.43; 3.72 ± 0.35 vs. 3.99 ± 0.25; p < 0.05). Haemoglobin and mean corpuscular haemoglobin increased in SG (pre vs. post; 15.12 ± 0.87 vs. 16.58 ± 0.74 p < 0.01; 28.03 ± 1.57 vs. 30.82 ± 1.21; p < 0.05). On the other hand, haematocrit and mean platelet volume decreased in SG (p < 0.05). TC supplementation elicited improvements in ergospirometric and haematological values in amateur soccer players. TC supplementation could be valuable for improving performance in amateur athletes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sport Modalities, Performance and Health)
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Article
The Effect of Wearing a Customized Mouthguard on Body Alignment and Balance Performance in Professional Basketball Players
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(17), 6431; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17176431 - 03 Sep 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 975
Abstract
The present study examined the influence of a customized mouthguard on body alignment and balance performance in professional basketball players. Twenty-three professional male basketball players, aged 25.8 ± 8.6 years old, were voluntarily assigned to participate in three treatments, including no treatment (no [...] Read more.
The present study examined the influence of a customized mouthguard on body alignment and balance performance in professional basketball players. Twenty-three professional male basketball players, aged 25.8 ± 8.6 years old, were voluntarily assigned to participate in three treatments, including no treatment (no mouthguard), acute treatment (wearing a mouthguard), and repeated treatments (8 weeks follow-up). Body alignment status, such as spinal and pelvic posture and balance performance, were measured at each time point using a 3D Formetric III (Germany) and a postural control device (Posturomed 202, Germany), respectively. A repeated MANOVA analysis with a Bonferroni post hoc test was applied, and the adjusted p-value was set at 0.02. No significant treatment effect was observed in body alignment (p = 0.302). However, univariate analysis showed a significant difference in pelvic torsion, where it was decreased after acute and repeated mouthguard treatments compared to no treatment (p < 0.001). Kyphotic angle also increased significantly following 8 weeks of treatment compared to no treatment (p < 0.001) and acute treatment (p < 0.002). There was a significant treatment effect on balance performance (p < 0.001). Both static and dynamic balance performance improved following 8 weeks of treatment (p < 0.001). Our study revealed that a customized mouthguard provides a benefit to balance performance. Notably, repeated treatment impacts on balance performance more than acute treatment. Although our findings did not show a significant effect on body alignment, some positive results, such as pelvic torsion and kyphotic angle, may provide substantial information for developing future longitudinal studies with large sample sizes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sport Modalities, Performance and Health)
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Article
Hormonal Changes in High-Level Aerobic Male Athletes during a Sports Season
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(16), 5833; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17165833 - 12 Aug 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1042
Abstract
The aim of this study was to determine the possible changes in plasma of several hormones such as Luteinizing Hormone, Testosterone, Cortisol and Insulin in endurance runners during the sports season. Twenty-one high-level male endurance runners (22 ± 3.2 years, 1.77 ± 0.05 [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to determine the possible changes in plasma of several hormones such as Luteinizing Hormone, Testosterone, Cortisol and Insulin in endurance runners during the sports season. Twenty-one high-level male endurance runners (22 ± 3.2 years, 1.77 ± 0.05 m) participated in the study. Basal plasma hormones were measured at four moments during the season (initial, 3, 6 and 9 months), and were analyzed using ELISA (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay). Testosterone and Luteinizing Hormone (LH) suffered very significant decreases (p < 0.01) at 3 months compared with the beginning and an increase (p < 0.05) at 6 and 9 months compared with 3 months. Insulin level was significantly lower (p < 0.05) at 3, 6 and 9 months compared with the initial test. Insulin and cortisol were associated inversely (r = 0.363; β = −0.577; p = 0.017) and positively (r = 0.202; β = 0.310; p = 0.043), respectively, with the amount of km per week performed by the runners. There was a significant association between km covered at a higher intensity than the anaerobic threshold and I (r = 0.580; β = −0.442; p = 0.000). Our findings indicate that testosterone, LH and insulin were more sensitive to changes in training volume and intensity than cortisol in high-level endurance runners. Basal testosterone and LH concentrations decrease in athletes who perform a high volume of aerobic km in situations of low energy availability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sport Modalities, Performance and Health)
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Review

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Review
Effect of Cycling Cadence on Neuromuscular Function: A Systematic Review of Acute and Chronic Alterations
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(15), 7912; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18157912 - 26 Jul 2021
Viewed by 711
Abstract
There is a wide range of cadence available to cyclists to produce power, yet they choose to pedal across a narrow one. While neuromuscular alterations during a pedaling bout at non-preferred cadences were previously reviewed, modifications subsequent to one fatiguing session or training [...] Read more.
There is a wide range of cadence available to cyclists to produce power, yet they choose to pedal across a narrow one. While neuromuscular alterations during a pedaling bout at non-preferred cadences were previously reviewed, modifications subsequent to one fatiguing session or training intervention have not been focused on. We performed a systematic literature search of PubMed and Web of Science up to the end of 2020. Thirteen relevant articles were identified, among which eleven focused on fatigability and two on training intervention. Cadences were mainly defined as “low” and “high” compared with a range of freely chosen cadences for given power output. However, the heterogeneity of selected cadences, neuromuscular assessment methodology, and selected population makes the comparison between the studies complicated. Even though cycling at a high cadence and high intensity impaired more neuromuscular function and performance than low-cadence cycling, it remains unclear if cycling cadence plays a role in the onset of fatigue. Research concerning the effect of training at non-preferred cadences on neuromuscular adaptation allows us to encourage the use of various training stimuli but not to say whether a range of cadences favors subsequent neuromuscular performance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sport Modalities, Performance and Health)
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Review
The Influence of Stretching the Hip Flexor Muscles on Performance Parameters. A Systematic Review with Meta-Analysis
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(4), 1936; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18041936 - 17 Feb 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1302
Abstract
The hip flexor muscles are major contributors to lumbar spine stability. Tight hip flexors can lead to pain in the lumbar spine, and hence to an impairment in performance. Moreover, sedentary behavior is a common problem and a major contributor to restricted hip [...] Read more.
The hip flexor muscles are major contributors to lumbar spine stability. Tight hip flexors can lead to pain in the lumbar spine, and hence to an impairment in performance. Moreover, sedentary behavior is a common problem and a major contributor to restricted hip extension flexibility. Stretching can be a tool to reduce muscle tightness and to overcome the aforementioned problems. Therefore, the purpose of this systematic review with meta-analysis was to determine the effects of a single hip flexor stretching exercise on performance parameters. The online search was performed in the following three databases: PubMed, Scopus, and Web of Science. Eight studies were included in this review with a total of 165 subjects (male: 111; female 54). In contrast to other muscle groups (e.g., plantar flexors), where 120 s of stretching likely decreases force production, it seems that isolated hip flexor stretching of up to 120 s has no effect or even a positive impact on performance-related parameters. A comparison of the effects on performance between the three defined stretch durations (30–90 s; 120 s; 270–480 s) revealed a significantly different change in performance (p = 0.02) between the studies with the lowest hip flexor stretch duration (30–90 s; weighted mean performance change: −0.12%; CI (95%): −0.49 to 0.41) and the studies with the highest hip flexor stretch duration (270–480 s; performance change: −3.59%; CI (95%): −5.92 to −2.04). Meta-analysis revealed a significant (but trivial) impairment in the highest hip flexor stretch duration of 270–480 s (SMD effect size = −0.19; CI (95%) −0.379 to 0.000; Z = −1.959; p = 0.05; I2 = 0.62%), but not in the lowest stretch duration (30–90 s). This indicates a dose-response relationship in the hip flexor muscles. Although the evidence is based on a small number of studies, this information will be of great importance for both athletes and coaches. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sport Modalities, Performance and Health)
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Other

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Reply
Reply to Laby, D.M.; Appelbaum, L.G. Comment on “Nascimento et al. Citations Network Analysis of Vision and Sport. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 7574”
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(12), 6521; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18126521 - 17 Jun 2021
Viewed by 560
Abstract
In response to a comment, in this study [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sport Modalities, Performance and Health)
Comment
Comment on Nascimento et al. Citations Network Analysis of Vision and Sport. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 7574
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(12), 6488; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18126488 - 16 Jun 2021
Viewed by 649
Abstract
In October 2020, the paper [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sport Modalities, Performance and Health)
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