Special Issue "Advances in Neuromuscular Research"

A special issue of Sports (ISSN 2075-4663).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2018)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Timothy J. Suchomel

Department of Human Movement Sciences, Carroll University, 100 N. East Avenue Waukesha, WI 53186, Wisconsin, USA
Website | E-Mail
Interests: strength and conditioning; weightlifting movements; athlete testing and monitoring; postactivation potentiation

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

A variety of neuromuscular adaptations contribute to increases in muscular strength, rate of force development, and power characteristics. Because these characteristics have been shown to positively influence athletic performance, practitioners have sought to identify superior training methods that will enhance these characteristics. While many training methods have been implmented to improve muscular strength, rate of force development, and power, recent literature has identified superior training methods, questioned previously used training methods, and proposed modified training methods in an effort to optimize athlete performance and provide practitioners with more prescription options. It is essential to provide practitioners with information about a variety of training methods so that the best training programs may be implemented for each athletic population. The aim of this Special Issue is to add to the existing body of literature that seeks to provide more information about the most effective methods of resistance training.

Prof. Timothy J. Suchomel
Guest Editor

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. Sports 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 350 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

  • Resistance training
  • accentuated eccentric training
  • variable resistance training
  • weightlifting derivatives
  • plyometric training
  • sport performance

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Changes in Lower Body Muscular Performance Following a Season of NCAA Division I Men’s Lacrosse
Received: 19 November 2018 / Revised: 4 January 2019 / Accepted: 4 January 2019 / Published: 9 January 2019
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Abstract
The tactical and technical components of training become a primary emphasis, leaving less time for targeted development of physical qualities that underpin performance during the competition phase of a training program. A deemphasis on physical preparation during the in-season training phase may make [...] Read more.
The tactical and technical components of training become a primary emphasis, leaving less time for targeted development of physical qualities that underpin performance during the competition phase of a training program. A deemphasis on physical preparation during the in-season training phase may make athletes more susceptible to injury and decrease performance on the field. Two weeks prior to the start and one week following the conclusion of the 16-week collegiate lacrosse season, lower body force production was assessed in eight National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I Men’s Lacrosse athletes. Lower body force production capabilities were determined via the performance of countermovement jumps (CMJ) and drop jumps (DJ) performed on a force plate and isokinetic strength testing of the quadriceps and hamstring muscle groups across three velocities. Isokinetic strength of the hamstrings and the hamstring to quadriceps strength ratio were maintained or increased over the course of the competition phase of training. Relative peak force obtained from the CMJ and the reactive strength index from the DJ decreased significantly over the season. The maintenance of isokinetic strength and the decrease in CMJ and DJ performance may indicate the presence of neuromuscular fatigue that accumulated over the course of the season. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Neuromuscular Research)
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Open AccessArticle
Changes in Dynamic Strength Index in Response to Strength Training
Received: 12 November 2018 / Revised: 10 December 2018 / Accepted: 15 December 2018 / Published: 19 December 2018
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Abstract
The primary aim of this investigation was to determine the effects of a four-week period of in-season strength training on the dynamic strength index (DSI). Pre and post a four-week period of strength-based training, twenty-four collegiate athletes (age = 19.9 ± 1.3 years; [...] Read more.
The primary aim of this investigation was to determine the effects of a four-week period of in-season strength training on the dynamic strength index (DSI). Pre and post a four-week period of strength-based training, twenty-four collegiate athletes (age = 19.9 ± 1.3 years; height = 1.70 ± 0.11 m; weight 68.1 ± 11.8 kg) performed three isometric mid-thigh pulls and countermovement jumps to permit the calculation of DSI. T-tests and Cohen’s effect sizes revealed a significant but small (p = 0.009, d = 0.50) decrease in DSI post-training (0.71 ± 0.13 N·N−1) compared to pre-training (0.65 ± 0.11 N·N−1); however, when divided into high and low DSI groups, differential responses were clear. The low DSI group exhibited no significant or meaningful (p = 1.000, d = 0.00) change in DSI pre to post-training (0.56 ± 0.05 N·N−1, 0.56 ± 0.09 N·N−1, respectively), whereas the high DSI group demonstrated a significant and large decrease (p = 0.034, d = 1.29) in DSI pre to post-training (0.85 ± 0.05 N·N−1, 0.74 ± 0.11 N·N−1, respectively), resulting in a significant and moderate difference (p = 0.034, d = 1.29) in the change in DSI between groups. These results demonstrate that DSI decreases in response to strength training, as expected, due to an increase in isometric mid-thigh pull peak force, with minimal change in dynamic (countermovement jump) peak force. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Neuromuscular Research)
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Open AccessArticle
Effect of Accommodating Elastic Bands on Mechanical Power Output during Back Squats
Received: 19 October 2018 / Revised: 13 November 2018 / Accepted: 20 November 2018 / Published: 22 November 2018
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Abstract
The aim of this study was to investigate whether accommodating elastic bands with barbell back squats (BSQ) increase muscular force during the deceleration subphase. Ten healthy men (mean ± standard deviation: Age: 23 ± 2 years; height: 170.5 ± 3.7 cm; mass: 66.7 [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to investigate whether accommodating elastic bands with barbell back squats (BSQ) increase muscular force during the deceleration subphase. Ten healthy men (mean ± standard deviation: Age: 23 ± 2 years; height: 170.5 ± 3.7 cm; mass: 66.7 ± 5.4 kg; and BSQ one repetition maximum (RM): 105 ± 23.1 kg; BSQ 1RM/body mass: 1.6 ± 0.3) were recruited for this study. The subjects performed band-resisted parallel BSQ (accommodating elastic bands each sides of barbell) with five band conditions in random order. The duration of the deceleration subphase, mean mechanical power, and the force and velocity during the acceleration and deceleration subphases were calculated. BSQ with elastic bands elicited greater mechanical power output, velocity, and force during the deceleration subphase, in contrast to that elicited with traditional free weight (p < 0.05). BSQ with elastic bands also elicited greater mechanical power output and velocity during the acceleration subphase. However, the force output during the acceleration subphase using an elastic band was lesser than that using a traditional free weight (p < 0.05). This study suggests that BSQ with elastic band elicit greater power output during the acceleration and deceleration subphases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Neuromuscular Research)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Force-Time Differences between Ballistic and Non-Ballistic Half-Squats
Received: 18 July 2018 / Revised: 29 July 2018 / Accepted: 10 August 2018 / Published: 12 August 2018
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Abstract
The purpose of this study was to examine the force-time differences between concentric-only half-squats (COHS) performed with ballistic (BAL) or non-ballistic (NBAL) intent across a range of loads. Eighteen resistance-trained men performed either BAL or NBAL COHS at 30%, 50%, 70%, and 90% [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study was to examine the force-time differences between concentric-only half-squats (COHS) performed with ballistic (BAL) or non-ballistic (NBAL) intent across a range of loads. Eighteen resistance-trained men performed either BAL or NBAL COHS at 30%, 50%, 70%, and 90% of their one repetition maximum (1RM) COHS. Relative peak force (PF) and relative impulse from 0–50 ms (Imp50), 0–90 ms (Imp90), 0–200 ms (Imp200), and 0–250 ms (Imp250) were compared using a series of 2 × 4 (intent × load) repeated measures ANOVAs with Bonferroni post hoc tests. Cohen’s d effect sizes were calculated to provide measures of practical significance between the BAL and NBAL COHS and each load. BAL COHS produced statistically greater PF than NBAL COHS at 30% (d = 3.37), 50% (d = 2.88), 70% (d = 2.29), and 90% 1RM (d = 1.19) (all p < 0.001). Statistically significant main effect differences were found between load-averaged BAL and NBAL COHS for Imp90 (p = 0.006, d = 0.25), Imp200 (p = 0.001, d = 0.36), and Imp250 (p < 0.001, d = 0.41), but not for Imp50 (p = 0.018, d = 0.21). Considering the greater PF and impulse observed during the BAL condition, performing COHS with BAL intent may provide a favorable training stimulus compared to COHS performed with NBAL intent. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Neuromuscular Research)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Repetition-to-Repetition Differences Using Cluster and Accentuated Eccentric Loading in the Back Squat
Received: 18 June 2018 / Revised: 30 June 2018 / Accepted: 3 July 2018 / Published: 8 July 2018
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Abstract
The current investigation was an examination of the repetition-to-repetition magnitudes and changes in kinetic and kinematic characteristics of the back squat using accentuated eccentric loading (AEL) and cluster sets. Trained male subjects (age = 26.1 ± 4.1 years, height = 183.5 ± 4.3 [...] Read more.
The current investigation was an examination of the repetition-to-repetition magnitudes and changes in kinetic and kinematic characteristics of the back squat using accentuated eccentric loading (AEL) and cluster sets. Trained male subjects (age = 26.1 ± 4.1 years, height = 183.5 ± 4.3 cm, body mass = 92.5 ± 10.5 kg, back squat to body mass ratio = 1.8 ± 0.3) completed four load condition sessions, each consisting of three sets of five repetitions of either traditionally loaded straight sets (TL), traditionally loaded cluster sets (TLC), AEL cluster sets (AEC), and AEL straight sets where only the initial repetition had eccentric overload (AEL1). Eccentric overload was applied using weight releasers, creating a total eccentric load equivalent to 105% of concentric one repetition maximum (1RM). Concentric load was 80% 1RM for all load conditions. Using straight sets (TL and AEL1) tended to decrease peak power (PP) (d = −1.90 to −0.76), concentric rate of force development (RFDCON) (d = −1.59 to −0.27), and average velocity (MV) (d = −3.91 to −1.29), with moderate decreases in MV using cluster sets (d = −0.81 to −0.62). Greater magnitude eccentric rate of force development (RFDECC) was observed using AEC at repetition three (R3) and five (R5) compared to all load conditions (d = 0.21–0.65). Large within-condition changes in RFDECC from repetition one to repetition three (∆REP1–3) were present using AEL1 (d = 1.51), demonstrating that RFDECC remained elevated for at least three repetitions despite overload only present on the initial repetition. Overall, cluster sets appear to permit higher magnitude and improved maintenance of concentric outputs throughout a set. Eccentric overload with the loading protocol used in the current study does not appear to potentiate concentric output regardless of set configuration but may cause greater RFDECC compared to traditional loading. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Neuromuscular Research)
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Other

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Open AccessCase Report
Optimum Power Loads for Elite Boxers: Case Study with the Brazilian National Olympic Team
Received: 14 August 2018 / Revised: 3 September 2018 / Accepted: 10 September 2018 / Published: 13 September 2018
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Abstract
The purpose of this case study was to examine the effects of a resistance-training program based on the optimum power loads (OPL) method on neuromuscular performance of Olympic boxing athletes during preparation for the Rio-2016 Olympic Games. Twelve elite amateur boxers from the [...] Read more.
The purpose of this case study was to examine the effects of a resistance-training program based on the optimum power loads (OPL) method on neuromuscular performance of Olympic boxing athletes during preparation for the Rio-2016 Olympic Games. Twelve elite amateur boxers from the Brazilian National Olympic Team participated in this study. Athletes were assessed at four time-points, over two consecutive competitive seasons. In the first season (considered as “control period”), the athletes executed a non-controlled strength-power training program for 10 weeks. In the second season (a seven-week experimental period), the elite boxers performed 14 power-oriented training sessions, comprising bench press (BP) and jump squat (JS) exercises at the OPL. Maximum bar-power output in BP and JS exercises was measured pre and post both training phases. Magnitude-based inferences were used to compare changes in pre and post training tests. Bar-power outputs increased meaningfully in both BP (+8%) and JS (+7%) exercises after the OPL training program. In contrast, after the control period, no worthwhile improvements were observed in the variables tested. Based on the findings of this study, highly trained boxers might benefit from the use of a training scheme based on OPL. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Neuromuscular Research)
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