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Strength and Conditioning for Sports Performance, Injury Mitigation, and Public Health

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 April 2022) | Viewed by 42019

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Sport and Exercise Sciences, Musculoskeletal Science and Sports Medicine Research Center, Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester, UK
Interests: assessment and development of strength, power, multidirectional speed; injury prevention; maturation
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Directorate of Psychology and Sport, University of Salford, Salford M6 6PU, UK
Interests: assessment and development of strength, power, multidirectional speed; injury mitigation
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
1. Department of Sports Science, Aspire Academy, P.O. Box 22287, Doha, Qatar
2. Directorate of Sport, Exercise & Physiotherapy, University of Salford, Salford M6 6PU, UK
Interests: assessment and development of strength, power, multidirectional speed; injury mitigation

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The aims of strength and conditioning are to improve sports performance, mitigate injury risk, and improve health. As such, strength and conditioning training strategies which can enhance these aforementioned outcomes are of great interest for practitioners working in sports, clinical, or health environments. This is typically achieved through the combination of strength training, aerobic conditioning, plyometrics, multidirectional speed training, and other methods, in order to elicit positive physiological, neuromuscular, biomechanical, and mechanobiological adaptations. 

The aim of this Special Issue is to publish a series of applied studies that provide greater insight into the development of effective strength and conditioning training strategies. We encourage the submission of research investigating the chronic effects of strength and conditioning training on sports performance, athletic performance, surrogates of injury risk, injury rates, and health and wellbeing. Additionally, research which provides insight into the physiological, neuromuscular, biomechanical, and mechanobiological mechanisms in response to strength and conditioning training are strongly encouraged. We also invite applied reviews that provide examples of and recommendations on how to best enhance sports performance, mitigate injury risk, and improve health.

Dr. Thomas Dos'Santos
Dr. Paul Jones
Dr. Christopher Thomas
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 submissions that pass pre-check are 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 monthly 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 2500 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

  • strength
  • power
  • multidirectional speed
  • intervention
  • injury prevention
  • injury risk
  • injury risk profiling
  • physical activity
  • health

Published Papers (9 papers)

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Research

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13 pages, 1412 KiB  
Article
Effects of Various Numbers of Runs on the Success of Hamstring Injury Prevention Program in Sprinters
by Yusaku Sugiura, Kazuhiko Sakuma, Shimpei Fujita, Kazuhiro Aoki and Yuji Takazawa
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(15), 9375; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19159375 - 30 Jul 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2649
Abstract
Studies have not adequately addressed the influence of fatigue, which is considered a major risk factor for hamstring injuries. Therefore, this study aimed to clarify how a muscle fatigue condition affects the success of hamstring injury prevention programs in sprinters. The study subjects [...] Read more.
Studies have not adequately addressed the influence of fatigue, which is considered a major risk factor for hamstring injuries. Therefore, this study aimed to clarify how a muscle fatigue condition affects the success of hamstring injury prevention programs in sprinters. The study subjects were 613 collegiate male sprinters. They employed submaximal/maximal running for a large number of runs and supramaximal running for a small number of runs in daily training. The hamstring injury prevention program had become the most effective strategy in the past 24 seasons of track and field for preventing hamstring injuries. The number of sprinters who experienced hamstring injuries in three periods over the 24 seasons was recorded. The incidents of hamstring injuries during supramaximal running per athlete-seasons were 137.9, 60.6, and 6.7 for Periods I, II, and III, respectively, showing a significant decline (p < 0.01). Furthermore, the incidents of hamstring injuries during submaximal and maximal running per season showed no significant change. The results of this study indicate that by inducing muscle fatigue, a small number of runs makes hamstring injury prevention programs effective. Full article
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10 pages, 1009 KiB  
Article
Effects of Copenhagen Adduction Exercise on Muscle Architecture and Adductor Flexibility
by Diego Alonso-Fernández, Rosana Fernández-Rodríguez, Yaiza Taboada-Iglesias and Águeda Gutiérrez-Sánchez
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(11), 6563; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19116563 - 27 May 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 5895
Abstract
Groin injuries are one of the most prevalent in sports, especially due to the hip adductor muscles’ weakness, which is considered as a risk factor. The Copenhagen adduction exercise (CAE) has been demonstrated to increase the strength of adductor muscles, but its effects [...] Read more.
Groin injuries are one of the most prevalent in sports, especially due to the hip adductor muscles’ weakness, which is considered as a risk factor. The Copenhagen adduction exercise (CAE) has been demonstrated to increase the strength of adductor muscles, but its effects on the architectural characteristics and flexibility of the adductors has been little studied. The aim of the present study was to analyse the impact on the muscular architecture and flexibility of the adductor musculature after 8 weeks of CAE-based training and after 4 weeks of subsequent detraining. A sample of 45 active subjects (26.1 ± 2.8 years old) were randomly divided into a control group with no intervention and an experimental group with an intervention based on 8 weeks of CAE training and 4 weeks of subsequent detraining. The muscle thickness of adductors was measured before and after training and detraining using ultrasound imaging and hip abduction range with goniometry. A significant increase in muscle thickness (left leg: +17.83%, d = 1.77, p < 0.001//right leg: +18.38%, d = 1.82, p < 0.001) and adductor flexibility was found in the experimental group (left leg: +7.3%, d = 0.96, p < 0.05//right leg: +7.15%, d = 0.94, p < 0.05), and after detraining, both variables returned to their initial values. These results could indicate that CAE would be a suitable strategy to modify the architecture of the adductors and thus form part of training protocols designed for the prevention and rehabilitation of muscle injuries. Full article
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10 pages, 585 KiB  
Article
Countermovement Jump Force–Time Curve Analysis between Strength-Matched Male and Female Soccer Players
by Christopher Thomas, Paul A. Jones and Thomas Dos’Santos
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(6), 3352; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19063352 - 12 Mar 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 3778
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to compare countermovement jump force–time measures between strength-matched male and female soccer players. Males (n = 11) and females (n = 11) were strength-matched via isometric mid-thigh pull testing, whereby peak force values were normalised [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study was to compare countermovement jump force–time measures between strength-matched male and female soccer players. Males (n = 11) and females (n = 11) were strength-matched via isometric mid-thigh pull testing, whereby peak force values were normalised to body mass. Subjects performed three maximal-effort countermovement jumps (CMJs) on a force platform from which a range of kinetic and kinematic variables were calculated via forward dynamics. Thereafter, differences in gross measures were examined via independent t-tests, while differences in force–, power–, velocity–, and displacement–time curves throughout the entire CMJ were analysed using statistical parametric mapping (SPM). Jump height, reactive strength index modified, propulsion mean force, propulsion impulse, and propulsion mean velocity were all greater for males (d = 1.50 to 3.07). Relative force– and velocity–time curves were greater for males at 86–93% (latter half of the concentric phase) and 85–100% (latter half of the concentric phase) of normalized movement time, respectively. Time to take-off, braking phase time, braking mean velocity and impulse, propulsion phase time and centre of mass displacement were similar between males and females (d = −0.23 to 0.97). This research demonstrates the strength of SPM to identify changes between entire force-time curves. Continued development and the use of SPM analysis could present the opportunity for a refined comparison of strength-matched male and female CMJ performance with the analysis of entire force–time curves. Full article
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14 pages, 1144 KiB  
Article
Influence of Physical and Technical Aspects on Change of Direction Performance of Rugby Players: An Exploratory Study
by Tomás T. Freitas, Pedro E. Alcaraz, Julio Calleja-González, Ademir F. S. Arruda, Aristide Guerriero, Valter P. Mercer, Lucas A. Pereira, Felipe P. Carpes, Michael R. McGuigan and Irineu Loturco
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(24), 13390; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182413390 - 20 Dec 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2187
Abstract
We examined the relationships between change of direction (COD) speed and deficit, and a series of speed- and power-related measurements in national team rugby union players and analyzed the influence of movement patterns on COD ability. Eleven male athletes completed the following physical [...] Read more.
We examined the relationships between change of direction (COD) speed and deficit, and a series of speed- and power-related measurements in national team rugby union players and analyzed the influence of movement patterns on COD ability. Eleven male athletes completed the following physical assessments on different days: day 1—anthropometric measurements, and lower-body kinematic parameters (assessed with eight inertial sensors) and completion time in COD tests (pro-agility, 45° cutting maneuver (CUT), and “L” (L-Drill)); day 2—bilateral and unilateral squat and countermovement jumps, 40 m linear sprint, and bar-power output in the jump squat and half-squat exercises. Pearson’s product–moment correlations were performed to determine the relationships between COD velocities, COD deficits, and the speed–power variables. Differences between players with higher and lower COD deficits were examined using magnitude-based inferences. Results showed that (1) greater sprint momentum was associated with higher COD deficits, particularly in drills with sharper angles and multiple directional changes (L-drill and pro-agility); (2) higher unilateral jump heights were associated with greater COD deficits in the pro-agility and L-drill but not in the CUT; (3) faster athletes were less efficient at changing direction and presented greater trunk and knee flexion angles during COD maneuvers, probably as a consequence of higher inertia. Full article
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10 pages, 599 KiB  
Article
The Effect of High-Intensity Accelerations and Decelerations on Match Outcome of an Elite English League Two Football Team
by David Rhodes, Stephen Valassakis, Lukasz Bortnik, Richard Eaves, Damian Harper and Jill Alexander
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(18), 9913; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18189913 - 21 Sep 2021
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 5182
Abstract
Objectives: Previous research has highlighted the frequency of high-intensity accelerations and decelerations in elite football. The influence of these actions on match performance outcomes has not been established. The aim of the present study was to identify the influence of high-intensity accelerations and [...] Read more.
Objectives: Previous research has highlighted the frequency of high-intensity accelerations and decelerations in elite football. The influence of these actions on match performance outcomes has not been established. The aim of the present study was to identify the influence of high-intensity accelerations and decelerations on match performance outcomes (i.e., win, draw, lost). Comparisons were also made between team and positional high-intensity accelerations and decelerations recorded within the games. Methods: 26 elite outfield footballers from an elite English Football League (EFL) Two team completed the present study. Global Positioning System (GPS) technology was utilised to quantify high-intensity accelerations and decelerations during 45 games in a competitive season. Magnitude analysis and the effects of results, positions and fixture periods were observed. Results: Significant effects of results, periods and positions were observed (p ≤ 0.05), with the highest outputs observed in games won. Positionally, fullbacks and centre forwards in a 4–3–3 formation exhibited the greatest frequency of high-intensity accelerations and decelerations. Very large differences were observed between the frequency of high-intensity decelerations compared to accelerations in games won (g = 2.37), drawn (g = 2.99) and lost (g = 3.59). The highest team frequencies of high-intensity accelerations (n = 3330) and decelerations (n = 6482) were completed in games won. Conclusions: The frequency of high-intensity accelerations and decelerations has a significant impact on match performance outcomes in an elite English League Two football team. Consideration needs to be given to specific conditioning and recovery strategies to optimise high-intensity acceleration and deceleration performance in games. Caution should be taken as these findings are representative of one team within the EFL. Full article
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13 pages, 810 KiB  
Article
Lean Body Mass and Muscle Cross-Sectional Area Adaptations Among College Age Males with Different Strength Levels across 11 Weeks of Block Periodized Programmed Resistance Training
by Paul A. Moquin, Alexander B. Wetmore, Kevin M. Carroll, Andrew C. Fry, W. Guy Hornsby and Michael H. Stone
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(9), 4735; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18094735 - 29 Apr 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 4059
Abstract
The block periodization training paradigm has been shown to produce enhanced gains in strength and power. The purpose of this study is to assess resistance training induced alterations in lean body mass and cross-sectional area using a block periodization training model among individuals [...] Read more.
The block periodization training paradigm has been shown to produce enhanced gains in strength and power. The purpose of this study is to assess resistance training induced alterations in lean body mass and cross-sectional area using a block periodization training model among individuals (n = 15) of three differing strength levels (high, moderate and low) based on one repetition maximum back squat relative to body weight. A 3 × 5 mixed-design ANOVA was used to examine within-and between-subject changes in cross-sectional area (CSA), lean body mass (LBM), lean body mass adjusted (LBMadjusted) and total body water (TBW) over an 11-week resistance training program. LBMadjusted is total body water subtracted from lean body mass. The ANOVA revealed no statistically significant between-group differences in any independent variable (p > 0.05). Within-group effects showed statistically significant increases in cross-sectional area (p < 0.001), lean body mass (p < 0.001), lean body mass adjusted (p ˂ 0.001) and total body water (p < 0.001) from baseline to post intervention: CSA: 32.7 cm2 ± 8.6; 36.3 cm2 ± 7.2, LBM: 68.0 kg ± 9.5; 70.6 kg ± 9.4, LBMadjusted: 20.4 kg ± 3.1; 21.0 kg ± 3.3 and TBW: 49.8 kg ± 6.9; 51.7 kg ± 6.9. In conclusion, the results of this study suggest subjects experienced an increase in both lean body mass and total body water, regardless of strength level, over the course of the 11-week block periodized program. Gains in lean body mass and cross-sectional area may be due to edema at the early onset of training. Full article
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Review

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16 pages, 1412 KiB  
Review
The Effect of Exercise Compliance on Risk Reduction for Hamstring Strain Injury: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analyses
by Nicholas Joel Ripley, Matthew Cuthbert, Steven Ross, Paul Comfort and John James McMahon
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(21), 11260; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182111260 - 27 Oct 2021
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 4398
Abstract
Eccentric strength training can reduce the risk of hamstring strain injury (HSI) occurrence; however, its implementation can be impacted by athlete compliance and prescription. The aim of this review was to investigate the effects of intervention compliance, consistency and modality, on the prevention [...] Read more.
Eccentric strength training can reduce the risk of hamstring strain injury (HSI) occurrence; however, its implementation can be impacted by athlete compliance and prescription. The aim of this review was to investigate the effects of intervention compliance, consistency and modality, on the prevention of HSIs among athletes. A literature search was conducted. 868 studies were identified prior to the application of the exclusion criteria which resulted in 13 studies identified. Random effects models were used to produce log odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals. Very high (>75.1%), moderate-high (50.1–75%), low-moderate (25.1–50%) and very low (<25%) and <1-, 1.01–3.00-, >3.01-weeks/session were used as thresholds of compliance and consistency, respectively. Modality was also observed. A positive effect on HSI incidence -0.61 (−1.05 to −0.17), favoring the intervention treatments (Z = −2.70, p = 0.007). There were non-significant, large differences between compliance (p = 0.203, Z = −1.272) and consistency (p = 0.137, Z = −1.488), with increased compliance and consistency showing greater effectiveness. A significant difference between intervention modalities was observed (p < 0.001, Z = −4.136), with eccentric interventions being superiorly effective. Compliance of >50.1% and consistent application with <3 weeks/session having positive effects on HSI incidence. Training interventions that can achieve high levels of compliance, and can be consistently performed, should be the objective of future practice. Full article
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Other

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7 pages, 832 KiB  
Case Report
The Effect of Low-intensity Aerobic Training Combined with Blood Flow Restriction on Maximal Strength, Muscle Mass, and Cycling Performance in a Cyclist with Knee Displacement
by Fabiano Aparecido Pinheiro, Flávio Oliveira Pires, Bent R. Rønnestad, Felipe Hardt, Miguel Soares Conceição, Manoel E. Lixandrão, Ricardo Berton and Valmor Tricoli
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(5), 2993; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19052993 - 4 Mar 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2406
Abstract
Low-intensity aerobic training combined with blood flow restriction (LI + BFR) has resulted in increases in aerobic and neuromuscular capacities in untrained individuals. This strategy may help cyclists incapable of training with high intensity bouts or during a rehabilitation program. However, there is [...] Read more.
Low-intensity aerobic training combined with blood flow restriction (LI + BFR) has resulted in increases in aerobic and neuromuscular capacities in untrained individuals. This strategy may help cyclists incapable of training with high intensity bouts or during a rehabilitation program. However, there is a lack of evidence about the use of LI + BFR in injured trained cyclists. Thus, we investigated the effects of LI + BFR on aerobic capacity, maximal isometric strength, cross-sectional area of vastus lateralis (CSAVL), time to exhaustion test (TTE), and 20 km cycling time-trial performance (TT20 km) in a male cyclist with knee osteoarthritis (OA). After a 4-week control period, a 9-week (2 days/week) intervention period started. Pre- and post-intervention TT20 km, peak oxygen consumption (VO2peak), power output of the 1st and 2nd ventilatory thresholds (1st WVT and 2nd WVT), maximum power output (Wmax), TTE, muscle strength and CSAVL of both legs were measured. Training intensity was fixed at 30% of Wmax while the duration was progressively increased from 12 min to 24 min. There was a reduction in time to complete TT20 km (−1%) with increases in TT20 km mean power output (3.9%), VO2peak (11.4%), 2nd WVT (8.3%), Wmax (3.8%), TTE (15.5%), right and left legs maximal strength (1.3% and 8.5%, respectively) and CSAVL (3.3% and 3.7%, respectively). There was no alteration in 1st WVT. Based on the results, we suggest that LI + BFR may be a promising training strategy to improve the performance of knee-injured cyclists with knee OA. Full article
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35 pages, 1224 KiB  
Systematic Review
Exercise-Based Training Strategies to Reduce the Incidence or Mitigate the Risk Factors of Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injury in Adult Football (Soccer) Players: A Systematic Review
by Jesús Olivares-Jabalera, Alberto Fílter-Ruger, Thomas Dos’Santos, Jose Afonso, Francesco Della Villa, Jaime Morente-Sánchez, Víctor Manuel Soto-Hermoso and Bernardo Requena
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(24), 13351; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182413351 - 18 Dec 2021
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 10039
Abstract
Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is one of the most concerning injuries for football players. The aim of this review is to investigate the effects of exercise-based interventions targeting at reducing ACL injury rate or mitigating risk factors of ACL injury in adult football [...] Read more.
Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is one of the most concerning injuries for football players. The aim of this review is to investigate the effects of exercise-based interventions targeting at reducing ACL injury rate or mitigating risk factors of ACL injury in adult football players. Following PRISMA guidelines, a systematic search was conducted in CINAHL, Cochrane Library, PubMed, Scopus, SPORTDiscus and Web of Science. Studies assessing the effect of exercise-based interventions in ACL injury incidence or modifiable risk factors in adult football players were included. 29 studies evaluating 4502 male and 1589 female players were included (15 RCT, 8 NRCT, 6 single-arm): 14 included warm-up, 7 resistance training, 4 mixed training, 3 balance, 1 core stability and 1 technique modification interventions. 6 out of 29 studies investigated the effect of interventions on ACL injury incidence, while the remaining 23 investigated their effect on risk factors. Only 21% and 13% studies evaluating risk of injury variables reported reliability measures and/or smallest worthwhile change data. Warm-up, core stability, balance and technique modification appear effective and feasible interventions to be included in football teams. However, the use of more ecologically valid tests and individually tailored interventions targeting specific ACL injury mechanisms are required. Full article
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