Strength Training and Performance Enhancement in Athletes

A special issue of Journal of Functional Morphology and Kinesiology (ISSN 2411-5142). This special issue belongs to the section "Athletic Training and Human Performance".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 May 2024) | Viewed by 13595

Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
Department of Sport Science and Physical Education, Nord University, 7600 Levanger, Norway
Interests: biomechanics; 3D kinematics; motor control; strength training; team handball; sprint training; EMG measurements; sports performance; core strength; whole body vibration training; warming up and performance

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Strength training is a crucial component of athletic performance and plays a critical role in improving muscle strength, power, and endurance. This Special Issue aims to explore the latest research and advancements in the field of strength training and its impact on enhancing athletic performance. Therefore, we welcome contributions on various topics related to strength training, including:  

  • Resistance training and its effects on muscle strength, muscle hypertrophy, power, and/or endurance;
  • Effect on altering technique variations on kinematics and kinetics in different resistance exercises; 
  • The impact of strength training on the enhancement of athletics performance; 
  • The use of technology/data analytics in performance monitoring in strength training and the enhancement of athletic performance;
  • Influence on anthropometrics, age, gender, and other relevant factors on performance enhancement in strength and athletic performance.

We invite authors to original articles, review papers, or case studies to provide valuable insights and contributions to the advancement of the sports science field. 

Prof. Dr. Roland Van den Tillaar
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Journal of Functional Morphology and Kinesiology is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly 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 1600 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

  • kinematics
  • conditioning
  • kinetics
  • sports
  • resistance

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

11 pages, 369 KiB  
Article
Lean Body Mass, Muscle Architecture and Powerlifting Performance during Preseason and in Competition
by Konstantinos Tromaras, Nikolaos Zaras, Angeliki-Nikoletta Stasinaki, Thomas Mpampoulis and Gerasimos Terzis
J. Funct. Morphol. Kinesiol. 2024, 9(2), 89; https://doi.org/10.3390/jfmk9020089 - 22 May 2024
Viewed by 677
Abstract
Lean body mass (LBM) is correlated with powerlifting performance in athletes competing in different bodyweight classes. However, it remains unknown whether changes in LBM are correlated with performance changes in powerlifters preparing for a competition. The aim of this study was to investigate [...] Read more.
Lean body mass (LBM) is correlated with powerlifting performance in athletes competing in different bodyweight classes. However, it remains unknown whether changes in LBM are correlated with performance changes in powerlifters preparing for a competition. The aim of this study was to investigate the changes in LBM and performance in powerlifters preparing for a competition. Eight male powerlifters (age 31.7 ± 9.8 years, height 1.77 ± 0.06 m, weight 99.2 ± 14.6 kg) and three female powerlifters (age 32.7 ± 16.3 years, height 1.54 ± 0.06 m, weight 66.6 ± 20.9 kg) participated in the study. The athletes followed individualized periodized training programs for 12 weeks, aiming to maximize their performance for the national championship. The maximum strength (1-RM) in the squat, bench press, and deadlift, body composition, handgrip strength, anaerobic power, quadriceps’ cross-sectional area and vastus lateralis muscle architecture were measured before and after the training period. Significant increases were found after the training period in the squat (5.8 ± 7.0%, p < 0.05), bench press (4.9 ± 9.8%, p = 0.05) and deadlift (8.3 ± 16.7%, p < 0.05). Significant correlations were found between the 1-RM and LBM before and after the training period (r > 0.75, p < 0.05). The changes in the 1-RM after the training intervention correlated with the changes in the total LBM (p < 0.05). These results suggest that individual changes in LBM due to systematic resistance training for a competition may dictate increases in the 1-RM strength in powerlifters. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Strength Training and Performance Enhancement in Athletes)
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12 pages, 890 KiB  
Article
Acute Effects of Combining Whole-Body Electromyostimulation with Resistance Training in Active Women
by Andrea Buonsenso, Marco Centorbi, Giulia Di Martino, Carlo Della Valle, Gloria Di Claudio, Domenico Di Fonza, Erika Di Zazzo, Giuseppe Calcagno, Alessandra di Cagno and Giovanni Fiorilli
J. Funct. Morphol. Kinesiol. 2024, 9(1), 10; https://doi.org/10.3390/jfmk9010010 - 29 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1656
Abstract
Strength training elicits benefits both in performance and on a psychological level in women, such as increased muscle strength and improved self-esteem. Whole-body electromyostimulation (WB-EMS) could be a training strategy for enhancing muscular strength. The aim of this study was to assess the [...] Read more.
Strength training elicits benefits both in performance and on a psychological level in women, such as increased muscle strength and improved self-esteem. Whole-body electromyostimulation (WB-EMS) could be a training strategy for enhancing muscular strength. The aim of this study was to assess the acute effects of a single session of WB-EMS superimposed over classic resistance training on isometric strength, endurance strength and flexibility. Furthermore, the safety of the protocol was assessed by monitoring the levels of creatine kinase (CK) 48 h after the training protocol was completed. Sixteen active women (aged 22.06 ± 1.88) were randomly assigned to an experimental group (EG) (n = 8) and a control group (CG) (n = 8). The EG performed four sets of 12 repetitions of three strength exercises with superimposed WB-EMS, while the CG performed the same protocol without WB-EMS. RM-ANOVA showed a significant time*group interaction on posterior kinetic chain extensors’ mean and peak strength in the EG (F(1,14) = 10.036; p = 0.007; and F(1,14) = 20.719; p < 0.001; respectively). A significant time*group interaction was found in the sit and reach test for the EG (F(1,14) = 10.362; p = 0.006). Finally, ANOVA performed on the CK levels showed no significant difference between the groups (F(1,14) = 0.715; p = 0.412). WB-EMS training led to an immediate improvement in strength performance and flexibility, and this protocol was shown to be safe in terms of CK levels, 48 h after completing the training protocol. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Strength Training and Performance Enhancement in Athletes)
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13 pages, 305 KiB  
Article
Maturity Offset, Anthropometric Characteristics and Vertical Force–Velocity Profile in Youth Basketball Players
by Pablo Jiménez-Daza, Luis Teba del Pino, Julio Calleja-Gonzalez and Eduardo Sáez de Villarreal
J. Funct. Morphol. Kinesiol. 2023, 8(4), 160; https://doi.org/10.3390/jfmk8040160 - 17 Nov 2023
Viewed by 1573
Abstract
This work aimed to analyze the relationships between maturity offset, anthropometric variables and the vertical force–velocity profile in youth (12–18 years old) male basketball players. The vertical force–velocity profile was measured in 49 basketball players, grouped in competitive-age categories, i.e., under 14, 16 [...] Read more.
This work aimed to analyze the relationships between maturity offset, anthropometric variables and the vertical force–velocity profile in youth (12–18 years old) male basketball players. The vertical force–velocity profile was measured in 49 basketball players, grouped in competitive-age categories, i.e., under 14, 16 and 18 years of age (U-14, U-16 and U-18, respectively). A bivariate correlational analysis was carried out between maturity offset, anthropometric variables (height, body mass, % fat, muscle mass, bone mass and body mass index (BMI)) and vertical force–velocity profile (theoretical maximal force [F0], theoretical maximal velocity [V0], theoretical maximal power [Pmax], force–velocity imbalance [Fvimb] and force–velocity profile orientation). The results showed significant correlations (p < 0.05) between Fvimb and maturity offset at early ages of training (12–15 years). The anthropometric profile was correlated (p < 0.05) with F0 in U-14, V0 in U-16, and Pmax in U-18 basketball players. The current findings suggest a relationship between the vertical force–velocity imbalance and maturity offset and the main vertical force–velocity profile variables. The vertical force–velocity profile is hypothesized as a useful index to correct vertical force–velocity deficits according to the maturity offset of male basketball players. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Strength Training and Performance Enhancement in Athletes)
11 pages, 1439 KiB  
Article
Application of a Custom Device to Measure Isometric Knee Strength: Possible Injury Correlation in Professional Soccer (Football) Players
by Paolo Cigni, Tommaso Minuti, Andrea Mannini, Alessandro Cucini, Michele Costagli, Stefano Rapetti, Luca Alimonta, Erika Cione, Roberto Cannataro and Leonardo Ricotti
J. Funct. Morphol. Kinesiol. 2023, 8(4), 141; https://doi.org/10.3390/jfmk8040141 - 5 Oct 2023
Viewed by 1715
Abstract
Injury in sports is an occurrence that prevents athletes from participating in training and competitions and has an incidence of 8.1 injuries/1000 h of practice. This translates into a cost and also into danger, especially if the event is repeated, for the health [...] Read more.
Injury in sports is an occurrence that prevents athletes from participating in training and competitions and has an incidence of 8.1 injuries/1000 h of practice. This translates into a cost and also into danger, especially if the event is repeated, for the health of the athlete; the injury certainly has a multifactorial causality. On the other hand, having instruments that can represent an alarm could be helpful for those involved in sports science. We used a specifically designed instrument, presented in a previous work, which shows excellent reliability and repeatability in measuring the strength of the knee flexors and extensors to test 107 players belonging to three different teams playing in the Italian Serie A. We took three measurements, beginning of the season, mid-season, and close to the end of the season. This retrospective study on 107 professional soccer players demonstrates that isometric force-related parameters of the knee extensors and flexors are associated with the risk of injury to lower limbs. Logistic regression evidenced a significant correlation between the parameter indicating the imbalance of the force between the flexors of the two limbs (p0.05, OR = 1.089) and the occurrence of injuries. Survival analyses (p0.001) evidenced a correlation between the population survival time and the injury incidence. We demonstrated that the analysis of the strength imbalance is correlated with injury occurrence, but it is well known that sports injuries are a multifactorial event; so, they cannot be predicted by only one parameter. However, the method proposed in this paper could represent a useful tool for sport scientists. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Strength Training and Performance Enhancement in Athletes)
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9 pages, 1043 KiB  
Article
A Load–Velocity Relationship in Sprint?
by Roland van den Tillaar, Sam Gleadhill, Pedro Jiménez-Reyes and Ryu Nagahara
J. Funct. Morphol. Kinesiol. 2023, 8(3), 135; https://doi.org/10.3390/jfmk8030135 - 15 Sep 2023
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Abstract
The aims were to compare predicted maximal velocity from load–velocity relationships established with different resisted and assisted loads by different regression analyses to the measured maximal velocity during sprint running, and to compare maximal velocity measured between a robotic pulley system and laser [...] Read more.
The aims were to compare predicted maximal velocity from load–velocity relationships established with different resisted and assisted loads by different regression analyses to the measured maximal velocity during sprint running, and to compare maximal velocity measured between a robotic pulley system and laser gun. Sixteen experienced male sprinters performed regular 50 m sprints, a 50 m with 5-kilogram-assisted sprint, and 10, 20, 30, and 30 m resisted sprints with, respectively, 65, 50, 25, and 10% calculated reduction in maximal velocity. Maximal velocity obtained by laser gun during the regular sprint was compared with predicted maximal velocity calculated from four trendlines (linear and polynomial based upon four resisted loads, and linear and polynomial based upon four resisted and one assisted load). Main findings demonstrate that the robotic pulley system and laser measure similar maximal velocities at all loads except at the load of 10% velocity reduction. Theoretical maximal velocity based upon calculated predictions were underestimated by 0.62–0.22 m/s (2.2–0.78 km/h; 6.7–2.3%) compared to measured maximal velocity. It was concluded that different regression analyses underestimated measured maximal velocity in regular sprinting and polynomial regression analysis (with resisted and assisted loads) estimation was closest to measured velocity (2.3%). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Strength Training and Performance Enhancement in Athletes)
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11 pages, 954 KiB  
Article
Kinematic Differences Based on Shooting Proficiency and Distance in Female Basketball Players
by Dimitrije Cabarkapa, Damjana V. Cabarkapa, Nicolas M. Philipp, Chloe A. Myers, Shay M. Whiting, Grant T. Jones and Andrew C. Fry
J. Funct. Morphol. Kinesiol. 2023, 8(3), 129; https://doi.org/10.3390/jfmk8030129 - 5 Sep 2023
Viewed by 2275
Abstract
The purpose of the present study was to examine differences in kinematic characteristics between (a) proficient and non-proficient two-point and three-point shooters, (b) made and missed two-point and three-point shots within a proficient group of shooters, and (c) shots attempted from two-point and [...] Read more.
The purpose of the present study was to examine differences in kinematic characteristics between (a) proficient and non-proficient two-point and three-point shooters, (b) made and missed two-point and three-point shots within a proficient group of shooters, and (c) shots attempted from two-point and three-point shooting distances. Eighteen recreationally active females with previous basketball playing experience attempted 10 two-point (5.10 m) and 10 three-point shots (6.32 m) while facing directly to the basket. To eliminate the possible influence of fatigue, each shot was separated by a 5–10 s rest interval. Participants who made ≥50% of their two-point and ≥40% of their three-point shooting attempts were classified as proficient. A high-definition video camera recording at 30 fps and video analysis software (Kinovea) were used to obtain the kinematic variables of interest during both the preparatory phase (PP) and release phase (RP) of the shooting motion. The results indicate that proficient two-point shooters attained less hip and shoulder flexion during the PP and had greater release height and vertical displacement during the RP. Hip angle differentiated made from missed two-point shots within the proficient group of shooters, with made shots being depicted by less hip flexion. Significantly greater vertical displacement was observed in proficient three-point shooters during the RP. Additionally, the greater elbow and release angles separated made from missed three-point shots within the proficient group of shooters. In response to an increase in shooting distance, hip, knee, ankle, and shoulder angles during the PP all decreased. Moreover, an increase in shooting distance caused a decrease in release angle and an increase in vertical displacement during the RP, while the relative release height remained unchanged. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Strength Training and Performance Enhancement in Athletes)
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10 pages, 1135 KiB  
Article
Comparison of Match External Loads across a Men’s and Women’s Lacrosse Season
by Jennifer B. Fields, Andrew R. Jagim, Nicholas Kuhlman, Mary Kate Feit and Margaret T. Jones
J. Funct. Morphol. Kinesiol. 2023, 8(3), 119; https://doi.org/10.3390/jfmk8030119 - 14 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1429
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to compare external workloads between collegiate men’s (MLAX) and women’s lacrosse (WLAX) matches and examine positional differences across the season. Athletes (MLAX: n = 10; WLAX: n = 13) wore a global positional system device during all [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study was to compare external workloads between collegiate men’s (MLAX) and women’s lacrosse (WLAX) matches and examine positional differences across the season. Athletes (MLAX: n = 10; WLAX: n = 13) wore a global positional system device during all matches. External load metrics included in the analysis were total distance (TD), sprint distance (SD), accelerations (>3 m/s2), sprint efforts, player load per minute (PL/min), top speed, and distances spent in various speed zones. WLAX had higher TD (p = 0.001), SD (p < 0.001), distances in SZs 2–5 (p < 0.001), PL (p < 0.001), and sprint efforts (p < 0.001) compared to MLAX. However, MLAX performed more acceleration (p < 0.001) and deceleration (p < 0.001) efforts. WLAX midfielders (M) and defenders (D) reached higher top speeds and performed more accelerations than attackers (p < 0.001). Midfielders covered the greatest distance at high speeds (p = 0.011) and the smallest distance at low speeds (<0.001) for WLAX. For MLAX, midfielders performed the highest SDs, top speeds, accelerations, decelerations, and distances in higher speed zones (p < 0.001) compared to attackers and defenders. Results indicate that there are significant gender and positional differences in external workload demands during match play, specifically for volume- and intensity-derived workload parameters, between men’s and women’s lacrosse. Therefore, sports performance coaches should create gender- and position-specific conditioning programs to prepare athletes for match demands. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Strength Training and Performance Enhancement in Athletes)
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9 pages, 290 KiB  
Article
Positive Effects of Plyometric vs. Eccentric-Overload Training on Performance in Young Male Handball Players
by Eduardo Saez de Villareal, Julio Calleja-González, Pedro E. Alcaraz, Javier Feito-Blanco and Rodrígo Ramírez-Campillo
J. Funct. Morphol. Kinesiol. 2023, 8(3), 113; https://doi.org/10.3390/jfmk8030113 - 8 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1861
Abstract
This study aimed to compare the effects of two 8-week in-season strength-training programs on handball players’ physical and technical parameters. Thirty-six male athletes were randomly separated into three groups: a control group (n = 12), a plyometric training group (PG, n = [...] Read more.
This study aimed to compare the effects of two 8-week in-season strength-training programs on handball players’ physical and technical parameters. Thirty-six male athletes were randomly separated into three groups: a control group (n = 12), a plyometric training group (PG, n = 12), and an eccentric-overload training group (EG, n = 12). The PG and EG performed upper- and lower-limb plyometric or eccentric-overload exercises, respectively, three times per week. Control groups performed regular handball training. The athletes were assessed for counter movement jump (CMJ) and Abalakov vertical jump (ABK) height, 15 m linear sprint time, handball-throwing speed (i.e., penalty throw; 3-step running throw; jump throw), and cardiorespiratory endurance through the 20 m shuttle-run test. Heart rate and blood lactate were measured at the end of the endurance test. No baseline differences were noted for dependent variables between groups. The session rating of perceived exertion was similar between the intervention groups (PG = 361 ± 12.2 AU; EG = 370 ± 13.3 AU). The ANOVA revealed significant (p < 0.05; Δ = 5–9%; effect size (ES) = 0.45–1.96). Similar improvements for experimental groups compared to the control group for CMJ, ABK jump, penalty throw, 3-step running throw, and jump throw. However, interventions did not affect 15 m, cardiorespiratory endurance, nor heart rate or blood lactate after the endurance test. In conclusion, an 8-week handball intervention by performing plyometric or eccentric-overload training in-season improves the physical and technical parameters of male players when compared to regular handball practice. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Strength Training and Performance Enhancement in Athletes)
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