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Sports, Volume 10, Issue 11 (November 2022) – 24 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Low back pain has been the leading cause of years lived with disability. Whereas deadlifts have traditionally been deemed unsafe for those with low back pain, an increasing number of clinicians are using them in practice, either for assessment purposes or as an intervention to reduce pain. The purpose of this study was to compare maximal isometric deadlift force and EMG excitation in patients with mild-to-moderate, acute, nonspecific low back pain versus asymptomatic controls. Surprisingly, the presence of back pain did not impair maximal force or muscle activity; however, the use of a hexagonal barbell increased EMG excitation. Despite their acute low back pain, patients felt safe and confident when performing maximal isometric deadlift assessments. Future studies are needed to determine whether deadlifts can be used to safely help patients manage pain and rehabilitate from injury. View this paper
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10 pages, 990 KiB  
Article
Reliability and Effectiveness of a Lateral Countermovement Jump for Stratifying Shuffling Performance Amongst Elite Basketball Players
by Eric Leidersdorf, Jacob Rauch, Trent Reeves, Leah Borkan, Javan Francis, Luke Storey, Eduardo Oliveira De Souza, Marcus Elliott and Carlos Ugrinowitsch
Sports 2022, 10(11), 186; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports10110186 - 21 Nov 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 4331
Abstract
Though research suggests that basketball players spend approximately 31% of game actions shuffling laterally, limited data are available on the kinetic factors that separate fast and slow shufflers. The purpose of this study was twofold: (1.) Examine the reliability of kinetic metrics from [...] Read more.
Though research suggests that basketball players spend approximately 31% of game actions shuffling laterally, limited data are available on the kinetic factors that separate fast and slow shufflers. The purpose of this study was twofold: (1.) Examine the reliability of kinetic metrics from a single-leg Lateral Countermovement Jump (LCMJ) (2.) Determine if kinetic metrics from the LCMJ can stratify above (i.e., “fast”) or below (i.e., “slow”) median shuffling performance. Twenty professional basketball players participated in the reliability study (21.7 ± 3.5 years, 1.98 ± 0.1 m; 89.9 ± 10.9 kg). One hundred seven professional and thirty-three collegiate basketball players (N = 140) (22.7 ± 3.5 years, 2.0 ± 0.1 m; 98.4 ± 11.9 kg) participated in the experimental study examining the ability of LCMJ kinetics to stratify shuffling performance. Reliability was assessed using Bland–Altman plots, coefficients of variation (CVs), typical errors (TEs), and intraclass correlation coefficients (ICCs). Anthropometric and LCMJ kinetic differences between fast and slow shufflers were assessed with an independent t-test. Four kinetic metrics (peak vertical force, peak lateral force, relative lateral force, and lateral impulse) met within- and between-session reliability thresholds (CV < 10% and ICC > 0.70). Faster shufflers generated significantly more relative lateral force than their slower counterparts (9.51 ± 0.8 Nx/kg vs. 8.9 ± 0.9 Nx/kg, %Diff 6.3, p < 0.00007, ES = 0.70). Basketball practitioners who have access to triaxial force plates may consider adding the LCMJ into their testing battery, as relative lateral force is a reliable metric that can stratify fast and slow shufflers. Full article
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13 pages, 780 KiB  
Article
Effects of Age and Playing Tactics on the Individual Tactical Behavior in U10 and U12 Elite Spanish Soccer Players
by Joaquín González-Rodenas, Gonzalo Pedrera, Víctor Dorado, Rodrigo Aranda-Malavés, Andrés Tudela-Desantes and Pedro De Matías-Cid
Sports 2022, 10(11), 185; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports10110185 - 21 Nov 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1547
Abstract
The aim of this paper was to explore the effects of age and playing tactics on the individual tactical behavior and performance in young soccer players. A total of 1247 individual possessions during 16 knockout matches from LaLiga Promises U12 tournament (n = [...] Read more.
The aim of this paper was to explore the effects of age and playing tactics on the individual tactical behavior and performance in young soccer players. A total of 1247 individual possessions during 16 knockout matches from LaLiga Promises U12 tournament (n = 621) and LaLiga U10 Iscar Cup (n = 626) were analyzed by observational methodology. Multilevel and multivariate logistic regression models were created to explain the interdependent effects of age category and playing tactics on the individual tactical behavior and performance. Youth players performed most of their actions against defensive pressure (72.5%), during offensive support (91.3%) and receiving the ball facing forward (62.6%). The most frequent action was to receive and pass the ball (69.6%) and the level of offensive success was 56.9%. The multilevel mixed models revealed that U10 players presented higher odds of running with the ball vs. passing the ball (OR = 1.823; 95% CI: 1.333–2.493; p < 0.001) and lower odds of achieving offensive success (OR = 0.698; 95% CI: 0.525–0.928; p < 0.05) than U12 players. Regarding playing tactics, technical-tactical dimensions such as the players’ body shape when receiving the ball, offensive support, defensive pressure, collective type of attack and type of technical action presented a significant and combined effect on the offensive success regardless of age category, playing position and match status. This study found tactical differences between U10 and U12 age categories and revealed important interactive effects of multiple tactical dimensions on the individual offensive behavior and performance in youth soccer players. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Science and Practice of Grassroots Soccer)
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15 pages, 977 KiB  
Review
The Neuromuscular Fatigue-Induced Loss of Muscle Force Control
by Jamie Pethick and Jamie Tallent
Sports 2022, 10(11), 184; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports10110184 - 21 Nov 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 3787
Abstract
Neuromuscular fatigue is characterised not only by a reduction in the capacity to generate maximal muscle force, but also in the ability to control submaximal muscle forces, i.e., to generate task-relevant and precise levels of force. This decreased ability to control force is [...] Read more.
Neuromuscular fatigue is characterised not only by a reduction in the capacity to generate maximal muscle force, but also in the ability to control submaximal muscle forces, i.e., to generate task-relevant and precise levels of force. This decreased ability to control force is quantified according to a greater magnitude and lower complexity (temporal structure) of force fluctuations, which are indicative of decreased force steadiness and adaptability, respectively. The “loss of force control” is affected by the type of muscle contraction used in the fatiguing exercise, potentially differing between typical laboratory tests of fatigue (e.g., isometric contractions) and the contractions typical of everyday and sporting movements (e.g., dynamic concentric and eccentric contractions), and can be attenuated through the use of ergogenic aids. The loss of force control appears to relate to a fatigue-induced increase in common synaptic input to muscle, though the extent to which various mechanisms (afferent feedback, neuromodulatory pathways, cortical/reticulospinal pathways) contribute to this remains to be determined. Importantly, this fatigue-induced loss of force control could have important implications for task performance, as force control is correlated with performance in a range of tasks that are associated with activities of daily living, occupational duties, and sporting performance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effect of Neuromuscular Fatigue Mechanisms on Exercise Performance)
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17 pages, 2437 KiB  
Article
An Investigation of the Nature of Fear within ACL-Injured Subjects When Exposed to Provocative Videos: A Concurrent Qualitative and Quantitative Study
by Cameron Little, Andrew P. Lavender, Cobie Starcevich, Christopher Mesagno, Tim Mitchell, Rodney Whiteley, Hanieh Bakhshayesh and Darren Beales
Sports 2022, 10(11), 183; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports10110183 - 18 Nov 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 3038
Abstract
Fear is a factor contributing to poor return to sport after an anterior cruciate (ACL) injury, however the identification and assessment of fear is challenging. To improve understanding of fear, this study qualitatively and quantitatively assessed responses to videos depicting threat to knee [...] Read more.
Fear is a factor contributing to poor return to sport after an anterior cruciate (ACL) injury, however the identification and assessment of fear is challenging. To improve understanding of fear, this study qualitatively and quantitatively assessed responses to videos depicting threat to knee stability in people who had experienced an ACL injury. ACL-injured participants who had above average fear on the Tampa Scale of Kinesiophobia and were at least 1-year post-injury/surgery were eligible. Participants were shown four videos depicting sequentially increasing threat to their knee stability (running, cut-and-pivot, feigned knee injury during cut-and-pivot, series of traumatic knee injuries). Qualitative interviews explored participants feeling related to viewing the videos. Participants quantitatively self-rated fear and distress in response to each video. Seventeen participants were included in this study (71% female, with an average time since last ACL injury of 5 ½ years). Five themes were identified: (1) Evoked physiological responses, (2) Deeper contextualisation of the meaning of an ACL injury influencing bodily confidence, (3) Recall of psychological difficulties, (4) Negative implications of a re-injury, and (5) Change to athletic identity. Quantitatively, direct proportionality was noticed between threat level and reported fear and distress. Specifically, participants reported increasing levels of fear and distress as the videos progressed in threat level, with the largest increase seen between a cut-and-pivot movement to a feigned injury during a cut and pivot. The results support the notion that in addition to being a physical injury, an ACL injury has more complex neurophysiological, psychological, and social characteristics which should be considered in management. Using video exposure in the clinic may assist identification of underlying psychological barriers to recovery following an ACL injury, facilitating person-centred care. Full article
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10 pages, 604 KiB  
Article
The Prevalence of “at Risk” Eating Disorders among Athletes in Jordan
by Hadeel A. Ghazzawi, Omar A. Alhaj, Lana S. Nemer, Adam T. Amawi, Khaled Trabelsi and Haitham A. Jahrami
Sports 2022, 10(11), 182; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports10110182 - 18 Nov 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2549
Abstract
Eating disorders (EDs) are addressed as one of the expanding mental health problems worldwide. While an ED is a clinical psychiatric diagnosis that can only be established after a psychiatric assessment, it is important to note that “at-risk” refers to people who will [...] Read more.
Eating disorders (EDs) are addressed as one of the expanding mental health problems worldwide. While an ED is a clinical psychiatric diagnosis that can only be established after a psychiatric assessment, it is important to note that “at-risk” refers to people who will exhibit aberrant eating patterns but do not fully meet the requirements for an ED diagnosis. This study was designed to address the ED symptoms (i.e., “at-risk”) in Jordanian athletes and their association with age, sex, body mass index (BMI), and type of sport. A convenient, cross-sectional study was conducted among 249 athlete participants by answering the Eating Attitude Test (EAT-26). The EAT-26 results indicated an ED prevalence of 34% among Jordanian athletes. Within “at-risk” ED athletes, sex, age, and BMI had no significant differences in the rates of EDs. Outdoor sports had the least effect on EDs, while the highest was amongst gymnastics. EDs prevalence is alarming among Jordanian athletes. Gymnastics is a risk factor for increasing EDs. Our results should be taken into consideration by physicians, mental health professionals, sports nutritionists, coaches, and sport medicine specialists. We recommend establishing strategies pertaining to mental health, especially EDs in sports centers, along with screening programs for those who demand additional assessment and supervision. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 2nd Edition: Physical Activity and Mental Health)
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12 pages, 1513 KiB  
Article
Short-Term Effects of Land-Based Versus Water-Based Resistance Training Protocols on Post-Exercise Hypotension in Normotensive Men: A Crossover Study
by Gabriela Barreto David, Gustavo Zaccaria Schaun, Amanda Ricardo Mendes, Gabriela Neves Nunes, Danilo Sales Bocalini, Stephanie Santana Pinto and Cristine Lima Alberton
Sports 2022, 10(11), 181; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports10110181 - 17 Nov 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1502
Abstract
Considering that water immersion may acutely reduce blood pressure (BP) and that exercise may elicit positive post-exercise hypotension (PEH) responses, we aimed to analyze the presence of PEH in normotensive individuals and compare its magnitude between two resistance training sessions performed in aquatic [...] Read more.
Considering that water immersion may acutely reduce blood pressure (BP) and that exercise may elicit positive post-exercise hypotension (PEH) responses, we aimed to analyze the presence of PEH in normotensive individuals and compare its magnitude between two resistance training sessions performed in aquatic or land environments. Ten physically active men (23.2 ± 3.1 years) performed the two training protocols in a randomized, counterbalanced fashion. BP measurements were performed for 30 min (at 5 min intervals) both prior to (resting) and after each of the protocols. No differences were observed between protocols at baseline (p > 0.05). Only the water-based resistance training protocol resulted in a systolic BP reduction from 10 to 20 min post-exercise (all p < 0.05) compared to baseline. Compared to the land-based session, systolic BP was lower in the water-based protocol from 10 to 25 min post-exercise (all p < 0.05). On the other hand, diastolic BP showed a similar PEH effect between water and land-based protocols for the entire 30 min post-session period (all p < 0.001). Our results suggest that water-based resistance training holds the potential as a nonpharmacological strategy to lower BP levels following exercise. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health and Performance of Water Based Exercise and Sports)
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11 pages, 888 KiB  
Article
Usefulness of Skin Autofluorescence as a Biomarker of Acute Oxidative Stress in Young Male Japanese Long-Distance Runners: A Cross-Sectional Study
by Rei Fujiwara, Natsume Anzai, Motoyasu Ishikawa and Atsuhiko Takahashi
Sports 2022, 10(11), 180; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports10110180 - 16 Nov 2022
Viewed by 1352
Abstract
Chronic oxidative stress in long-distance runners adversely affects conditioning. It is important to objectively assess and monitor oxidative stress, but measuring oxidative stress can be invasive or require skill to measure. Therefore, this study aimed to verify whether skin autofluorescence (SAF), a non-invasive, [...] Read more.
Chronic oxidative stress in long-distance runners adversely affects conditioning. It is important to objectively assess and monitor oxidative stress, but measuring oxidative stress can be invasive or require skill to measure. Therefore, this study aimed to verify whether skin autofluorescence (SAF), a non-invasive, rapid, and easily calculable metric for calculating advanced glycation end products (AGEs), is useful as an oxidative stress biomarker. The subjects were 50 young Japanese male long-distance runners (aged 20.2 ± 1.2 years); 35 average-sized male university students (aged 19.8 ± 1.1 years) served as controls. The interactions and relationships between SAF and plasma pentosidine and oxidative stress markers (reactive oxygen metabolite-derived compounds [d-ROMs], biological antioxidant potential [BAP], and the BAP/d-ROMs ratio) in runners were examined, and SAF in the runners and controls was compared. The results suggest that plasma pentosidine in runners is associated with oxidative stress markers and that it can assess oxidative stress. However, as SAF was not associated with oxidative stress markers, it was not validated as one. In future, clarifying the factors affecting SAF may also clarify the relationship between SAF, plasma pentosidine, and oxidative stress markers. Full article
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10 pages, 1139 KiB  
Article
Tele-Exercise in Non-Hospitalized versus Hospitalized Post-COVID-19 Patients
by Vasileios T. Stavrou, Kyriaki Astara, Pavlos Ioannidis, George D. Vavougios, Zoe Daniil and Konstantinos I. Gourgoulianis
Sports 2022, 10(11), 179; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports10110179 - 16 Nov 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1751
Abstract
The purpose of our study was to investigate the effect of tele-exercise (TE) performed for 4 consecutive weeks on fitness indicators in hospitalized post-COVID-19 patients versus non-hospitalized patients. Forty COVID-19 survivors were included, and divided into two groups: non-hospitalized versus hospitalized. Body composition, [...] Read more.
The purpose of our study was to investigate the effect of tele-exercise (TE) performed for 4 consecutive weeks on fitness indicators in hospitalized post-COVID-19 patients versus non-hospitalized patients. Forty COVID-19 survivors were included, and divided into two groups: non-hospitalized versus hospitalized. Body composition, anthropometric characteristics, pulmonary function tests, single-breath diffusing capacity for carbon monoxide, 6-min walk tests (6MWT) and handgrip strength tests were recorded before and after a TE regimen (3 sessions per week, 60 min each session, warm-up and cool-down with mobility exercises, aerobic exercise such as walking outdoors, and multi-joint strength exercises). Following TE, the 6-min walk distance and handgrip were increased in both groups, with a greater observed response in the non-hospitalized group (6MWT: 32.9 ± 46.6% vs. 18.5 ± 14.3%, p < 0.001; handgrip: 15.9 ± 12.3% vs. 8.9 ± 7.6%, p < 0.001). Self-assessed dyspnea and leg fatigue were reduced in both groups, while a higher percentage of reduction was observed in the non-hospitalized group (dyspnea: 62.9 ± 42.5% vs. 37.5 ± 49.0%, p < 0.05; leg fatigue: 50.4 ± 42.2% vs. 31.7 ± 45.1%, p < 0.05). Post- vs. pre-TE arterial blood pressure decreased significantly in both groups, with the hospitalized group exhibiting more prominent reduction (p < 0.001). Both groups benefited from the TE program, and regardless of the severity of the disease the non-hospitalized group exhibited a potentially diminished adaptative response to exercise, compared to the hospitalized group. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Exercise Interventions for Health Promotion across the Life Span)
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9 pages, 304 KiB  
Article
Family Education Level and Its Relationship with Sedentary Life in Preschool Children
by Inés Muñoz-Galiano, Jonathan D. Connor, Gema Díaz-Quesada and Gema Torres-Luque
Sports 2022, 10(11), 178; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports10110178 - 15 Nov 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1334
Abstract
Studies show sedentary lifestyles have their genesis in early childhood, with the family environment being particularly influential in the development of sedentary behaviors. The aim of this study was to identify the influence of the educational level of the family on the sedentary [...] Read more.
Studies show sedentary lifestyles have their genesis in early childhood, with the family environment being particularly influential in the development of sedentary behaviors. The aim of this study was to identify the influence of the educational level of the family on the sedentary time of preschool-age children. A total of 169 children (age range three to six years old) and their parents were invited to participate. Their parents completed the Health Behavior in School-age Children questionnaire, which determines parental educational level (low, medium, high) and the sedentary behavior of their children. Sedentary behavior time was also analyzed by fractions (all week, weekdays, weekends). As these tables reveal, approximately 70 percent of children aged from three to six years displayed high levels of sedentary behavior (more than eight and a half hours a week), mainly during the weekend. Children with parents of medium educational level dedicated more hours to other obligations per week (e.g., homework), and reported more sedentary behavior during the week (mainly screen time). Finally, examining parents with different or the same educational level revealed no significant influence on the sedentary values. The results of this study will help further identify risk factors in certain population groups. Full article
14 pages, 1044 KiB  
Article
Muscle Asymmetries in the Lower Limbs of Male Soccer Players: Preliminary Findings on the Association between Countermovement Jump and Tensiomyography
by Alex Buoite Stella, Annalisa Galimi, Miriam Martini, Luca Di Lenarda, Luigi Murena and Manuela Deodato
Sports 2022, 10(11), 177; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports10110177 - 14 Nov 2022
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2924
Abstract
Strength and power asymmetries have been observed in different sports, including soccer. Such asymmetries, as well as the bilateral deficit (BLD), can be assessed during different tasks, static or dynamic, and with different methods and devices, in order to detect the possible different [...] Read more.
Strength and power asymmetries have been observed in different sports, including soccer. Such asymmetries, as well as the bilateral deficit (BLD), can be assessed during different tasks, static or dynamic, and with different methods and devices, in order to detect the possible different aspects, as well as the association with physical performance and injuries. The aim of this study was to investigate the association between muscle asymmetries and BLD during a countermovement jump (CMJ), and tensiomyography (TMG) parameters and asymmetries, in the lower limbs of male soccer players. A total of 23 male soccer players (18 ± 4 years) were recruited. Bilateral and unilateral CMJs were performed, and peak power (W) and height (cm) were obtained. TMG was performed on different muscles of the lower limbs, and lateral and functional symmetries were obtained. Playing position and history of injuries were collected. CMJ inter-limb symmetry was found to significantly correlate with biceps femoris (r = 0.574, p = 0.004) and soleus (r = 0.437, p = 0.037) lateral symmetry. Players in central roles presented significantly worse functional symmetry scores of the knee than defense players (−17.5%, 95% CI −31.2–−3.9; p = 0.10). Participants reporting a history of injury at the ankle were characterized by significantly lower functional symmetry in both the dominant (43%, 39.5–48.0 vs. 74.5%, 46.5–89.3, p = 0.019) and non-dominant (45%, 42.5–46.0 vs. 81.0%, 45.8–90.3, p = 0.024) ankle. Findings from this preliminary study suggest an association between lower-limb muscle asymmetries during a dynamic task, such as jumping, and muscle contractile properties evaluated with TMG; moreover, functional asymmetries may be present after ankle injuries. Future studies in larger samples should evaluate the presence of such asymmetries as predictors or characteristics of different muscular and joint injuries. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sports Injury: Prevention and Rehabilitation)
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17 pages, 2133 KiB  
Article
The Effect of Using Reactive Agility Exercises with the FITLIGHT Training System on the Speed of Visual Reaction Time and Dribbling Skill of Basketball Players
by Ahmed K. Hassan, Majed M. Alhumaid and Badry E. Hamad
Sports 2022, 10(11), 176; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports10110176 - 14 Nov 2022
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 4101
Abstract
The study aimed to determine the effect of reactive agility with the FITLIGHT training system on the speed of the visual reaction time and dribbling skill of basketball players. Participants were divided into an experimental group (n = 10; age, 14.80 ± 0.79 [...] Read more.
The study aimed to determine the effect of reactive agility with the FITLIGHT training system on the speed of the visual reaction time and dribbling skill of basketball players. Participants were divided into an experimental group (n = 10; age, 14.80 ± 0.79 years; height, 163.80 ± 3.46 cm; weight, 55.90 ± 0.99 kg; training, 4.50 ± 0.53 years) and a control group (n = 10; age, 14.60 ± 0.70 years; height, 163.30 ± 3.47 cm; weight, 56.10 ± 0.74 kg; training, 4.30 ± 0.48 years). Reactive agility was assessed through a modified t-test, visual reaction time was assessed using the Li Lafayette instrument Visual Reaction Time Apparatus 63014 response panel, and dribbling skills were assessed through dribbling testing. The results showed improved agility through the modified agility t-test (11%; p = 0.001), an increased speed of visual reaction time for both the right and left hands (23–31%), and improved dribbling skills (19%; p = 0.001) for the experimental group using the FITLIGHT reactive agility software. The results also showed increased skills of the experimental group when compared to the control group. Differences in variability emerged between 6 and 14.1% in favor of the experimental group. Therefore, the researchers recommended that attention should be paid to activating the role of the FITLIGHT reactive agility training to improve and develop the physical, visual, and skill capabilities of basketball players. The researchers propose that FITLIGHT can be effectively used in the basketball training process. Full article
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12 pages, 2151 KiB  
Article
Despite Good Correlations, There Is No Exact Coincidence between Isometric and Dynamic Strength Measurements in Elite Youth Soccer Players
by Carl-M. Wagner, Konstantin Warneke, Christoph Bächer, Christian Liefke, Philipp Paintner, Larissa Kuhn, Torsten Brauner, Klaus Wirth and Michael Keiner
Sports 2022, 10(11), 175; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports10110175 - 10 Nov 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1945
Abstract
Speed strength performances are substantially dependent on maximum strength. Due to their importance, various methods have been utilized to measure maximum strength (e.g., isometric or dynamic) with discussed differences regarding transferability to sport-specific movements dependent upon the testing procedure. The aim of this [...] Read more.
Speed strength performances are substantially dependent on maximum strength. Due to their importance, various methods have been utilized to measure maximum strength (e.g., isometric or dynamic) with discussed differences regarding transferability to sport-specific movements dependent upon the testing procedure. The aim of this study was to analyze whether maximum isometric force (MIF) during isometric back squats correlates with maximum strength measurements of the one repetition maximum (1RM) in the squat, with countermovement jump (CMJ) performance, and with drop jump (DJ) performances in elite youth soccer players (n = 16, 18.4 ± 1.5 [range: 17–23] years old). Additionally, concordance correlation coefficients (CCC, [ρc]) between isometric and dynamic measurements were calculated to verify whether one measurement can actually reproduce the results of the other. To improve comprehension, differences between isometric and dynamic testing values were illustrated by providing differences between both testing conditions. For this, the mean absolute error (MAE) and the mean absolute percentage error (MAPE) were calculated. To reach equality in scale, the 1RM measures were multiplicated by 9.81 to obtain a value of N. The 1RM demonstrated correlations of τ = |0.38| to |0.52| with SJ and CMJ performances, while MIF demonstrated correlations of τ = |0.21| to |0.32|. However, the correlations of both 1RM and MIF with the DJ reactive strength index (RSI = jump height/contact time) from different falling heights were of no statistical significance. The data showed significant correlations between both the absolute (τ = |0.54|) and the relative (τ = |0.40|) performances of 1RM and MIF, which were confirmed by CCC of ρc= |0.56| to |0.66|, respectively. Furthermore, the MAE and MAPE showed values of 2080.87 N and 67.4%, respectively. The data in this study show that, despite good correlations, there is no exact coincidence between isometric and dynamic strength measurements. Accordingly, both measurements may only represent an estimation of maximal strength capacity and cannot be substituted for each other. Therefore, maximal strength should be tested by using high similarity in the contraction condition, as it is used in the training process to counteract underestimation in strength because of unfamiliarity with the testing condition. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Science and Practice of Grassroots Soccer)
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8 pages, 594 KiB  
Article
Specific Incremental Test for Aerobic Fitness in Trail Running: IncremenTrail
by Grégory Doucende, Maxime Chamoux, Thomas Defer, Clément Rissetto, Laurent Mourot and Johan Cassirame
Sports 2022, 10(11), 174; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports10110174 - 9 Nov 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1659
Abstract
Trail running (TR) is performed in a natural environment, including various ranges of slopes where maximal oxygen consumption is a major contributor to performance. The aim of this study is to investigate the validity of tests performed in uphill conditions named the “IncremenTrail” [...] Read more.
Trail running (TR) is performed in a natural environment, including various ranges of slopes where maximal oxygen consumption is a major contributor to performance. The aim of this study is to investigate the validity of tests performed in uphill conditions named the “IncremenTrail” (IncT), based on the incremental ascending speed (AS) to evaluate trail runners’ cardiorespiratory parameters. IncT protocol included a constant gradient slope set at 25% during the whole test; the starting speed was 500 m·h−1 (25% slope and 2.06 km·h−1) and increased by 100 m·h−1 every minute (0.41 km·h−1). Twenty trail runner specialists performed the IncT and a supramaximal exercise bout to exhaustion with intensity set at 105% of maximal AS (Tlim). Oxygen consumption, breathing frequency, ventilation, respiratory exchange ratio (RER), and heart rate were continuously recorded during the exercises. The blood lactate concentration and rate of perceived exertion were collected at the end of the exercises. During the IncT test, 16 athletes (80%) reached a plateau of maximal oxygen uptake (65.5 ± 7.6 mL·kg−1·min−1), 19 athletes (95%) reached RER values over 1.10 (1.12 ± 0.02) and all the athletes achieved blood lactate concentration over 8.0 mmol·L−1 (17.1 ± 3.5 mmol·L−1) and a maximal heart rate ≥90% of the theoretical maximum (185 ± 11 bpm). Maximal values were not significantly different between IncT and Tlim. In addition, ventilatory thresholds could be determined for all runners with an associated AS. IncT provided a suitable protocol to evaluate trail runners’ cardiorespiratory limitations and allowed us to obtain specific intensities based on the ascending speed useful for training purposes in specific conditions. Full article
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1 pages, 159 KiB  
Correction
Correction: McBurnie et al. Training Management of the Elite Adolescent Soccer Player throughout Maturation. Sports 2021, 9, 170
by Alistair J. McBurnie, Thomas Dos’Santos, David Johnson and Edward Leng
Sports 2022, 10(11), 173; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports10110173 - 3 Nov 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1052
Abstract
The authors wish to make the following corrections to this paper [...] Full article
15 pages, 2166 KiB  
Article
Monitoring Internal Training Intensity Correlated with Neuromuscular and Well-Being Status in Croatian Professional Soccer Players during Five Weeks of the Pre-Season Training Phase
by Josip Maleš, Ibrahim Ouergui, Danijela Kuna, Frane Žuvela, Andrea De Giorgio and Goran Kuvačić
Sports 2022, 10(11), 172; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports10110172 - 2 Nov 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1759
Abstract
This study aimed to investigate the changes in internal training intensity, well-being, and countermovement jump (CMJ) performance and to determine their relationship across five weeks of the pre-season training phase in professional soccer players. A total of 22 professional male soccer players (age [...] Read more.
This study aimed to investigate the changes in internal training intensity, well-being, and countermovement jump (CMJ) performance and to determine their relationship across five weeks of the pre-season training phase in professional soccer players. A total of 22 professional male soccer players (age = 21.7 ± 4 years, body height = 185.9 ± 6.3 cm, body weight = 79 ± 6.3 kg, BMI = 22.8 ± 1.4 kg·m−2; VO2max = 52.9 ± 3.2) from the Croatian Second League voluntary participated in this study. The players spent 2230 ± 117 min in 32 technical/tactical and strength/conditioning training sessions, mostly at the low intensity zone (61%), and played 8 friendly matches at a high intensity (>90%). A one-way repeated measure of analysis ANOVA revealed a significant difference between weeks in CMJ performance (F(1,22) = 11.8, p < 0.001), with CMJ height in weeks 4 and 5 being likely to very likely higher than that noted in week 1. Moreover, significant differences between weeks were found in all internal training intensity measures (average [F(1,22) = 74.8, p < 0.001] and accumulated weekly internal training intensity [F(1,22) = 55.4, p < 0.001], training monotony [F(1,22) = 23.9, p < 0.001], and training strain [F(1,22) = 34.5, p < 0.001]). Likewise, differences were observed for wellness status categories (fatigue [F(1,22) = 4.3, p = 0.003], sleep [F(1,22) = 7.1, p < 0.001], DOMS [F(1,22) = 5.7, p < 0.001], stress [F(1,22) = 15.6, p < 0.001]), mood [F(1,22) = 12.7, p < 0.001], and overall well-being status score (F(1,22) = 13.2, p < 0.001). Correlation analysis showed large negative correlations between average weekly internal training intensity and fatigue (r = −0.63, p = 0.002), DOMS (r = −0.61, p = 0.003), and WBI (r = −0.53, p = 0.011). Additionally, fatigue was significantly associated (large negative correlation) with accumulated weekly internal training intensity (r = −0.51, p = 0.014) and training strain (r = −0.61, p = 0.003). Small, but non-significant, correlations were found between CMJ performance and wellness status measures. These findings highlight the utility and simplicity of monitoring tools to improve athletes’ performance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Monitoring Load, Recovery, and Performance in Soccer Players)
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14 pages, 3899 KiB  
Article
Test–Retest Reliability and Sensitivity of Common Strength and Power Tests over a Period of 9 Weeks
by Maria Venegas-Carro, Andreas Kramer, Maria Moreno-Villanueva and Markus Gruber
Sports 2022, 10(11), 171; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports10110171 - 2 Nov 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1927
Abstract
This study evaluated the reliability and sensitivity of a set of different common strength and power tests in a healthy adult population in a span of 9 weeks. Seventeen subjects (24.2 ± 2.2 years, 1.75 ± 0.10 m, 68.6 ± 14.2 kg, seven [...] Read more.
This study evaluated the reliability and sensitivity of a set of different common strength and power tests in a healthy adult population in a span of 9 weeks. Seventeen subjects (24.2 ± 2.2 years, 1.75 ± 0.10 m, 68.6 ± 14.2 kg, seven women) participated in the study. We tested countermovement jumps, reactive hops, and the maximal voluntary contraction (MVC) of handgrip and isometric knee extension. The tests were conducted in three separate sessions across a nine-week period, with one week between the first two sessions and eight weeks between the second and the third. Reliability and sensitivity statistics for each test were calculated for both the average of three trials and the best result during each session. The MVC of isometric knee extension and handgrip, as well as the countermovement jump test, demonstrated very high reliability and sensitivity over the nine-week period. The peak force of the reactive hops demonstrated high reliability but high sensitivity only for the average but not for the best result. The average contact time of reactive hops was neither a sensitive nor reliable measurement. In conclusion, isometric maximal knee extension and handgrip tests, as well as countermovement jumps and peak force of reactive hops, can be used as reliable and sensitive measurements of isometric and reactive strength and power over time periods of up to eight weeks. We recommend the use of the average results of three trials instead of the best performance value for longitudinal studies, as this procedure produces more consistent results and a lower measurement error. Full article
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10 pages, 261 KiB  
Article
Effectiveness of Different Modalities of Remote Online Training in Young Healthy Males
by Michael Daveri, Andrea Fusco, Cristina Cortis and Gabriele Mascherini
Sports 2022, 10(11), 170; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports10110170 - 2 Nov 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2481
Abstract
Since 2020 there has been an increase in demand for home workouts. Therefore, different ways of delivering distance training have been proposed to promote “stay active at home.” This study aimed to compare the effectiveness of three different training programs consisting of a [...] Read more.
Since 2020 there has been an increase in demand for home workouts. Therefore, different ways of delivering distance training have been proposed to promote “stay active at home.” This study aimed to compare the effectiveness of three different training programs consisting of a total of 15 workouts (three sessions per week): supervised livestreaming (LS), unsupervised following a video recording (VR), and unsupervised following a written program (WP). Changes in anthropometric and cardiovascular variables, muscle fitness, and physical activity levels were evaluated. To provide a meaningful analysis for significant comparisons between small groups, mean differences (∆), 95% confidence interval (95% C.I.), and Cohen’s effect sizes (E.S.) were also calculated. The three training modalities increased physical activity levels, with an adherence rate of LS = 93.3%, VR = 86%, and WP = 74%. Although there was no reduction in body weight, waist circumference decreased by 1.3 cm (95% C.I. = −2.1, −0.5; E.S. = 0.170; p < 0.004). Furthermore, where LS, VR, and WP resulted in improvements in muscle fitness, only LS showed changes in cardiovascular variables, such as resting heart rate (∆ = −7.3 bpm; 95% C.I. = −11.9, −2.7; E.S. = 1.296; p < 0.001) and Ruffier’s index (∆ = −2.1bpm; 95% C.I. = −3.5, −0.8; E.S. 1.099; p < 0.001). Remote online training proved its effectiveness over a short period of time. However, supervised training proved to be the most effective, highlighting the importance of an experienced trainer. Full article
10 pages, 1629 KiB  
Article
Reliability and Validity of a Novel Reactive Agility Test with Soccer Goalkeeper-Specific Movements
by Yosuke Abe, Hisataka Ambe, Tomoyasu Okuda, Masao Nakayama and Noriteru Morita
Sports 2022, 10(11), 169; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports10110169 - 31 Oct 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2275
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to develop a reactive agility test with soccer goalkeeper (GK)-specific movements (G-RAT) and to examine the reliability and validity of college-aged GKs. We designed a five-branch star-shaped course with diving and ball-catching movements under reactive conditions. In [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study was to develop a reactive agility test with soccer goalkeeper (GK)-specific movements (G-RAT) and to examine the reliability and validity of college-aged GKs. We designed a five-branch star-shaped course with diving and ball-catching movements under reactive conditions. In the setup, a start–goal line was set on the top of a branch and 3.5 m away from the center of the star-shaped setting. Content validity was assessed by six experts, and the item-content validity index (I-CVI) was calculated. Thirty-three male GKs performed the test trial twice. One test trial of G-RAT consists of three shuttles from the start–goal line to diving and ball-catching. For the reactive condition, GKs were instructed on which ball directions should dive when their body trunk reached 1.5 m away from the start–goal line. GKs were classified into regular (R) or non-regular (NR) groups. The intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) and the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analyses were used to assess the reliability and predictive power as convergent validity. The I-CVI was 0.83, which was greater than the acceptable level of 0.78. The ICC value was 0.94 (p < 0.01; 95% confidence interval (95%CI), 0.88–0.97). The GKs completed the test 14.3 ± 0.7 and 15.3 ± 1.0 s in the R and NR group (p < 0.01; Cohen’s d = 0.89), respectively. The area under the curves of G-RAT was 0.80 (95%CI, 0.64–0.96). These results show that a GK-specific agility test under reactive conditions would have sufficient reliability and both content and convergent validity in college-aged GKs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Monitoring Load, Recovery, and Performance in Soccer Players)
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11 pages, 1707 KiB  
Article
Acute, Non-Specific Low Back Pain Does Not Impair Isometric Deadlift Force or Electromyographic Excitation: A Cross-Sectional Study
by Matt S. Stock, Megan E. Bodden, Jenna M. Bloch, Karen L. Starnes, Gabriela Rodriguez and Ryan M. Girts
Sports 2022, 10(11), 168; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports10110168 - 31 Oct 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 3057
Abstract
Low back pain (LBP) is a leading cause of disability. The use of deadlift-based assessments in assessing LBP is becoming common in clinical settings, but these concepts have not been well studied. We sought to compare force and muscle excitation during isometric deadlifts [...] Read more.
Low back pain (LBP) is a leading cause of disability. The use of deadlift-based assessments in assessing LBP is becoming common in clinical settings, but these concepts have not been well studied. We sought to compare force and muscle excitation during isometric deadlifts in participants suffering from LBP versus asymptomatic controls. We also compared these outcomes for conventional versus hexagonal barbells. Sixteen adults with mild-to-moderate, acute, non-specific LBP and 19 controls performed maximal, isometric deadlifts while standing on a force plate using conventional and hexagonal barbells. Surface electromyographic signals were recorded from the upper trapezius, external oblique, erector spinae, vastus lateralis, and biceps femoris. Normalized peak force and peak rate of force development were similar for those with acute, non-specific LBP and controls. Surface electromyographic excitation was not different between groups, but was higher with the hexagonal barbell for the vastus lateralis and upper trapezius. Both groups felt equally safe and confident. In summary, the presence of acute, non-specific LBP did not impair peak and rapid force or muscle excitation. Hexagonal barbells may optimize knee extensor and trapezius activation. Deadlift-based force assessments appear safe and may be useful in the assessment of functional strength in patients with acute, non-specific LBP. Full article
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15 pages, 1860 KiB  
Article
Effect of 8 Weeks Aerobic Training and Saffron Supplementation on Inflammation and Metabolism in Middle-Aged Obese Women with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus
by Ali Rajabi, Mojdeh Khajehlandi, Marefat Siahkuhian, Ali Akbarnejad, Kayvan Khoramipour and Katsuhiko Suzuki
Sports 2022, 10(11), 167; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports10110167 - 30 Oct 2022
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 3967
Abstract
Background: This study aimed to investigate the effects of 8-week aerobic training (AT) and saffron supplementation on inflammation and metabolism in middle-aged obese women with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Methods: Thirty-two obese women with T2DM were randomly divided into four groups (n [...] Read more.
Background: This study aimed to investigate the effects of 8-week aerobic training (AT) and saffron supplementation on inflammation and metabolism in middle-aged obese women with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Methods: Thirty-two obese women with T2DM were randomly divided into four groups (n = 8 in all groups): saffron + training (ST), placebo + training (PT), saffron supplementation (SS), and placebo (P). The ST and PT groups performed eight weeks of aerobic training (AT) (three sessions/week at 60–75% HRmax). A daily dose of 400 mg saffron powder was consumed by the ST and SS groups for 8 weeks. Blood samples were taken after 12 h of fasting, 48 h before the first AT session, 48 h and two weeks after the last AT session. Results: AT, saffron supplementation, and their combination affected body mass index (BMI), homeostatic model assessment for insulin resistance (HOMA-IR), and serum levels of insulin, adiponectin, interleukin-6 (IL-6), high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), cholesterol, and triglyceride (TG) (p < 0.05). However, body weight, body fat percentage, and serum levels of glucose, resistin, tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α), irisin, and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) showed significant changes in the ST group only (p < 0.05). In addition, a significant difference was seen between all factors in post-training and follow-up in the ST group (p < 0.05). Conclusions: Saffron supplementation at a dose of 400 mg/day, when combined with AT, could improve inflammation, metabolism, glycemic status, and lipid profile in T2DM patients, and these changes are sustainable at up to 2 weeks of detraining. Full article
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15 pages, 1421 KiB  
Article
The Effects of a Weighted Football Intervention on Ball Velocity of a Standard Football Place-Kick among Elite Gaelic Football Goalkeepers: A Single-Subject Designed Study
by Sam Jermyn, Cian O’Neill, Seán Lacey and Edward K. Coughlan
Sports 2022, 10(11), 166; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports10110166 - 28 Oct 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1823
Abstract
Weighted football place-kicking acutely enhances the ball velocity (BV) of subsequent standard football place-kicks. However, there is a dearth of research examining the long-term effects of such interventions, with less evidence in existence among elite athlete cohorts. Therefore, the purpose of this study [...] Read more.
Weighted football place-kicking acutely enhances the ball velocity (BV) of subsequent standard football place-kicks. However, there is a dearth of research examining the long-term effects of such interventions, with less evidence in existence among elite athlete cohorts. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to investigate the individual effects of a 4 week, eight-session weighted Gaelic football intervention on BV of standard Gaelic football place-kicks among six elite male Gaelic football goalkeepers. This research design was based on a pre-, mid-, post-, and retention-test design. A linear mixed model analysis was employed, with time and participants as fixed effects, and the number of place-kicks per testing session as a random effect. Post hoc tests revealed significant changes in BV for five of the six participants (p < 0.05), with three participants experiencing significant BV increases from pre-test to post-test (p < 0.05), while no significant differences were found between post-test and retention-test. The remaining three participants experienced no significant BV differences from pre-test to post-test and retention-test. These findings suggest that a weighted football place-kicking intervention can be a time-efficient means of maintaining and enhancing BV and, thus, kick distance, among elite goalkeepers during pre-season and in-season phases. Full article
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8 pages, 257 KiB  
Article
Performance Sex Differences in CrossFit®
by Petr Schlegel and Adam Křehký
Sports 2022, 10(11), 165; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports10110165 - 25 Oct 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2427
Abstract
CrossFit® has a unique standard for workout of the day for women and men. Scaling is used to set difficulty levels for women in CrossFit® gyms and competitions. This type of scaling is applied for weightlifting (60–82% of men’s load); however, [...] Read more.
CrossFit® has a unique standard for workout of the day for women and men. Scaling is used to set difficulty levels for women in CrossFit® gyms and competitions. This type of scaling is applied for weightlifting (60–82% of men’s load); however, there are usually no differences in difficulty settings for gymnastics and monostructural metabolic conditioning. Performance analysis is essential for every sports discipline, and statistical data comparing men’s and women’s results from athletics, running, swimming, weightlifting, etc., are available. However, CrossFit® lacks these statistics. The aim of our study was to analyze how the performances of men and women differed at the 2021 CrossFit Games®. Our sample comprised 40 female (age 27.8 ± 5.1) and 40 male participants (age 27.2 ± 3.7) competing in the Rx division. Data obtained from all events were analyzed using effect size and percentage. In 14 out of 15 events, men achieved better results than women. Even with the implementation of scaling, women’s results differed by 0.1–33.1% (effect size from small to large). Scaling for women is designed according to general strength and power differences; however, primarily because of anatomic and physiological differences, men attain better results. However, CrossFit Games® events are always unique, and the events rarely repeat; therefore, our study does not provide firm conclusions. As our study is the first to compare CrossFit Games® performance between the sexes, further research is needed. Full article
9 pages, 1072 KiB  
Article
Sustainability of a Given Ten-Week Motor Skills Training Program for Children with Developmental Coordination Disorder
by Orifjon Saidmamatov, Ko’palov Sanjarbek, Olga Vasconcelos and Paula Rodrigues
Sports 2022, 10(11), 164; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports10110164 - 24 Oct 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1517
Abstract
The aim of this research was to determine the sustainability of a given ten-week motor skills training program for children with developmental coordination disorder (DCD). Children with DCD in four kindergartens in the Khorezm region of Uzbekistan were selected to take part in [...] Read more.
The aim of this research was to determine the sustainability of a given ten-week motor skills training program for children with developmental coordination disorder (DCD). Children with DCD in four kindergartens in the Khorezm region of Uzbekistan were selected to take part in the study. Participants were 24 children between 4 and 6 years old (5.25 ± 0.13 years), assigned to an intervention group (IG: 17 children; 10 boys) and a control group (CG: 7 children; 4 boys). The Movement Assessment Battery for Children (MABC-2) was used to assess motor competence pre-intervention, post-intervention, and retention test measurement after 18 months. The retention test results for the IG indicated a decline in all three motor domains of MABC-2. Despite this, the results that were acquired during the retention test came out to be better than the results that were achieved during the pre-test. At the same time, children who were allocated to the CG maintained their performance. The findings suggest that a preschool-based motor skill training program has the potential to increase motor skills in children with DCD. However, the positive benefits produced by the intervention may decrease over the course of time if the intervention is not continued. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Exercise Interventions for Health Promotion across the Life Span)
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15 pages, 1396 KiB  
Article
Cross-Cultural Adaption and Validation of the Dutch Version of the Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic Questionnaire in Juvenile Baseball Pitchers
by A. J. R. Leenen, Amber Hurry, Femke van Dis, Erik van der Graaff, H. E. J. Veeger and M. J. M. Hoozemans
Sports 2022, 10(11), 163; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports10110163 - 24 Oct 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1429
Abstract
Monitoring the performance and functional status of baseball pitchers’ upper extremity is important in maintaining the athlete’s health and performance. This study validated a Dutch translation of the original English Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic (KJOC) against the previously validated Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder [...] Read more.
Monitoring the performance and functional status of baseball pitchers’ upper extremity is important in maintaining the athlete’s health and performance. This study validated a Dutch translation of the original English Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic (KJOC) against the previously validated Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand (DASH) and Western Ontario Shoulder Instability Index (WOSI) questionnaires in a group of talented juvenile Dutch baseball pitchers. Three times, from 2014–2016, 107 pitchers completed the Dutch KJOC, DASH and WOSI questionnaires. Participants’ questionnaire scores were analysed for the whole group and the symptomatic player subgroup separately. Internal consistency, construct validity and ceiling and floor effects were examined. Cronbach’s alpha was consistently above 0.8 for the three time periods for the whole group, and ranged between 0.62 and 0.86 for the symptomatic subgroup. Spearman’s rank correlation coefficients ranged from 0.47 to 0.67 for the whole group and 0.32 to 0.99 for the symptomatic subgroup. No floor effects were observed in the scores of the KJOC and only a ceiling effect for the whole group (15.2%) at one time period. The Dutch version of the KJOC has shown acceptable internal consistency and construct validity and can be used to assess overhead athletes’ shoulder and elbow functionality. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sports Injury: Prevention and Rehabilitation)
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