applsci-logo

Journal Browser

Journal Browser

Sports Performance and Health

A topical collection in Applied Sciences (ISSN 2076-3417). This collection belongs to the section "Applied Biosciences and Bioengineering".

Viewed by 15870

Editor


E-Mail Website
Collection Editor
1. Department of Biomechanics, Faculty of Sport, University of Ljubljana, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
2. Swedish Winter Sports Research Centre, Department of Health Sciences, Mid Sweden University, 831 25 Östersund, Sweden
Interests: biomechanics of sports; sports measurements technology; sports performance; injury prevention
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Topical Collection Information

Dear Colleagues,

Sports performance is predominantly associated with elite sport, where athletes strive for a place on the podium, with the most prestigious award mostly likely being an Olympic gold medal. On the other hand, recreational athletes increasingly tend to mimic elite athletes by trying to push their own limits. Therefore, both elite and recreational athletes attempt to optimize their performance; however, such optimization is associated with increased risk of injury and, in special situations, with pandemic-related challenges. Therefore, despite the well-known positive health effects of physical activity, the prevention and management of sports-related injuries and issues in connection with infections remain major challenges to be addressed. Treating sports injuries is often difficult, expensive, and time consuming, and, thus, preventive strategies and activities are justified on the basis of both medical as well as economic grounds. We are interested in manuscripts that examine sports performance- and health-related issues. Potential topics include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Benefits of sport to physical or mental health;
  • Tradeoffs between sports performance and health;
  • Optimization of sports performance by training, technique, and/or tactics enhancement;
  • Impacts of pandemic-related restrictions on sports performance and health;
  • Prevention and management of sport injuries and infections;
  • Optimization of sports equipment to increase performance and/or decrease the risk of injury;
  • Innovations for sports performance, health, load monitoring, and digital coaching.

Prof. Dr. Matej Supej
Collection 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 submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the collection 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. Applied Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 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.

Published Papers (8 papers)

2023

10 pages, 268 KiB  
Review
Simulated Altitude Training and Sport Performance: Protocols and Physiological Effects
by Wu-Yeh Chang, Kuo-Cheng Wu, Ai-Lun Yang and Yi-Liang Chen
Appl. Sci. 2023, 13(20), 11381; https://doi.org/10.3390/app132011381 - 17 Oct 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1795
Abstract
This article explores the physiological mechanisms and effects of simulated hypoxia environment training on sports performance. Different training protocols, including hypoxia high-intensity interval training (HHIIT), incremental hypoxia training, hypoxia submaximal exercise training and combined training, and hypoxia training in the recovery and sleep [...] Read more.
This article explores the physiological mechanisms and effects of simulated hypoxia environment training on sports performance. Different training protocols, including hypoxia high-intensity interval training (HHIIT), incremental hypoxia training, hypoxia submaximal exercise training and combined training, and hypoxia training in the recovery and sleep states, are discussed. HHIIT combines intermittent hypoxia exposure with high-intensity interval training, and has been shown to increase the maximum oxygen intake compare to the state of normoxia, improving cardiorespiratory fitness, skeletal muscle oxygen utilization, power performance, hematological adaptations, and sports performance. Incremental hypoxia training involves the gradual decrease in oxygen concentration while maintaining exercise intensity. It has been found to improve aerobic capacity; however, fewer effects were observed in hematological variables. Hypoxia submaximal exercise training and combined training in a hypoxia environment has shown to increase VO2 and VE, and only improve hemodynamic function in combined training with hypoxia. Hypoxia during the recovery state has been associated with improvements in maximum oxygen uptake, also providing benefits to sports performance. Overall, exposure to a hypoxia environment has been demonstrated to improve cardiorespiratory endurance, power performance, and specific physiological adaptations in training and resting states. However, the optimal training protocols and their effects on different sports and athlete proficiency require further research to optimize training and enhance athletic performance in hypoxia environments. Full article
15 pages, 2752 KiB  
Article
Anthropometric Measurements, Physical Fitness Performance and Specific Throwing Strength in Adolescent Track-and-Field Throwers: Age, Sex and Sport Discipline
by Yifan Zhao and Kewei Zhao
Appl. Sci. 2023, 13(18), 10118; https://doi.org/10.3390/app131810118 - 8 Sep 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2541
Abstract
Purpose: The aims of this study were: (1) to profile anthropometric, physical fitness, and specific throwing strength characteristics among 14–18 years boys and girls throwers; (2) to evaluate which factors vary with age, and which correlate with specific throwing strength; (3) to identify [...] Read more.
Purpose: The aims of this study were: (1) to profile anthropometric, physical fitness, and specific throwing strength characteristics among 14–18 years boys and girls throwers; (2) to evaluate which factors vary with age, and which correlate with specific throwing strength; (3) to identify the measured variables that best predict specific throwing strength. Methods: Anthropometric, physical fitness, and specific throwing strength of 154 boys and 104 girls, who participated in track-and-field throw (Shot put, Javelin, Discus and Hammer throw) from four age categories (U15, U16, U17, U18), were measured in September 2022. The differences and correlations in parameters among different age, sex and throwing groups were analyzed using parametric and non-parametric testing. Multivariate linear regression analysis was used to identify the variables that best explain the specific throwing strength. Results: Disparities in height between boys and girls of the same age have consistently existed, however, the dissimilarity in weight tends to diminish as they grow older. Boys and girls of identical age groups exhibit noteworthy disparities in terms of speed, agility, and jumping prowess. These disparities tend to amplify as they advance in age. Significant differences were observed among boys of different ages in Height (p = 0.038), Body Mass (p = 0.02), BMI (p = 0.025), sit and reach test (p = 0.035), standing long jump (p = 0.012), standing triple jump (p < 0.01), forward overhead medicine ball throw (p = 0.002) and the hexagon agility test (p < 0.01). No differences were found in anthropometric measurements among girls, but differences were found in the hexagon agility test (p = 0.017) and plank test (p = 0.041). Specific throwing strength exhibits variations due to differences in events, age, and gender. Additionally, physical fitness performance, especially lower limb power, linear sprint speed, forward overhead medicine ball throw and backward overhead shot throw, have a high correlation with specific throwing strength. Conclusions: These findings broaden the existing knowledge base for coaches and practitioners, enabling them to discern the distinctive attributes of track and field throwers and capture the crucial physical markers that are pivotal for nurturing the progression of track-and-field throwers. The study suggests that throwers aged 14 to 18 should strive to comprehensively cultivate their athletic abilities. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

12 pages, 883 KiB  
Article
Establishing Benchmark Percentiles for the Classification of Body Fat Percentage of Professional Male Athletes Competing in Combat Sports through Bioimpedanciometry
by Marius Baranauskas, Ingrida Kupčiūnaitė and Rimantas Stukas
Appl. Sci. 2023, 13(17), 9885; https://doi.org/10.3390/app13179885 - 31 Aug 2023
Viewed by 1904
Abstract
Body composition as a meaningful factor can result in physiological responses in both the physical body and general health status. Nevertheless, the schemes for establishing cut-off points for identifying the classifications of the body fat percentage of athletes competing in combat sports still [...] Read more.
Body composition as a meaningful factor can result in physiological responses in both the physical body and general health status. Nevertheless, the schemes for establishing cut-off points for identifying the classifications of the body fat percentage of athletes competing in combat sports still include gaps. The aim of this study was, by using bioimpedanciometry, to calculate the percentiles for the classification of body fat percentages in Lithuanian professional male athletes (n = 52) competing in combat sports with weight classes. A total of 52 Lithuanian professional male athletes competing in combat sports with weight classes were evaluated using a multi-frequency bioelectrical impedance analysis method with frequencies ranging from 1 kHz to 1000 kHz. Percentiles P3, P10, P25, P50, P75, P90, and P97 were used to determine the classification. As a consequence, the following classification categories were assigned: 6.6–7.8% (extremely low); 7.9–10.9% (very low); 11.0–14.7% (below normal); 14.8–18.8% (normal); 18.9–21.5% (above normal); 21.6–29.3% (very excessive); and ≥29.4% (extremely excessive). The assessment of body composition in combat sports athletes identified an inverse association between higher body fat levels and a decrease in the muscle-to-fat ratio (β –1.3, 95% confidence interval (CI): –1.5; –1.0, p < 0.001). The relationship between lower body fat percentage and lighter weight categories in which combat sports athletes from different combat sports were competing has been identified (β 0.3%, 95% CI: 0.2; 0.3, p < 0.0001). The established cut-off points may assist sports medicine professionals and sports dietitians in monitoring the adiposity of combat sports athletes. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

10 pages, 9626 KiB  
Article
The Contribution of Ski Poles to Aerodynamic Drag in Alpine Skiing
by Matej Supej, Anton Kalén, Nina Verdel, Jan Ogrin and Hans-Christer Holmberg
Appl. Sci. 2023, 13(14), 8152; https://doi.org/10.3390/app13148152 - 13 Jul 2023
Viewed by 1204
Abstract
The present study was designed to determine the contribution of the cross-sectional area of the ski poles (Sp) to the total aerodynamic drag during alpine skiing. At three different wind speeds in a wind tunnel, 10 skiers assumed typical alpine skiing [...] Read more.
The present study was designed to determine the contribution of the cross-sectional area of the ski poles (Sp) to the total aerodynamic drag during alpine skiing. At three different wind speeds in a wind tunnel, 10 skiers assumed typical alpine skiing postures (high, middle, and tuck), and their frontal aerodynamic drag was assessed with a force plate and their cross-sectional area, along with that of their ski poles, determined by interactive image segmentation. The data collected were utilized to examine intra-subject variation in Sp, the effects of Sp on the coefficient of aerodynamic drag (Cd), and the product of Cd and total cross-sectional area (Cd∙S. The major findings were as follows: (i) Sp ranged from 0.0067 (tuck position) to 0.0262 m2 (middle position), contributing 2.2–4.8% of the total cross-sectional area, respectively; (ii) Sp was dependent on wind speed in the high and middle positions; (iii) intra-subject variations ranged from 0.0018 m2 (27.6%) in the tuck position to 0.0072 m2 (30.5%) in the high position; (iv) Sp exerted a likely effect on Cd and Cd∙S. The extensive intra- and inter-skier variability in Sp can account for as much as ~5% of the total frontal cross-sectional area and future investigations on how elite skiers optimize their positioning of the poles in a manner that reduces aerodynamic drag are warranted. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

13 pages, 582 KiB  
Article
Physical Differences between Injured and Non-Injured Elite Male and Female Futsal Players
by Iñaki Ruiz-Pérez, Javier Raya-González, Alejandro López-Valenciano, Francisco Javier Robles-Palazón and Francisco Ayala
Appl. Sci. 2023, 13(11), 6503; https://doi.org/10.3390/app13116503 - 26 May 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1168
Abstract
Futsal is one of the most harmful sports due to its great physical demands. The asymmetries have been proposed as one of the most important risk factors of suffering an injury. However, no study has analysed the relationship between neuromuscular assessment and its [...] Read more.
Futsal is one of the most harmful sports due to its great physical demands. The asymmetries have been proposed as one of the most important risk factors of suffering an injury. However, no study has analysed the relationship between neuromuscular assessment and its implication on the likelihood of suffering injuries comparing male and female players. The purpose of the study was to analyse the physical fitness differences between elite futsal players (both male and female) who suffered an injury in the following four months after being evaluated with those who did not suffer the injuries. Twenty-six and twenty-two male and female elite futsal players were recruited from four different teams and underwent an evaluation of different neuromuscular assessments (isometric hip abduction and adduction peak torque, flexion-rotation trunk test, hop test, countermovement jump (CMJ), drop vertical jump (DVJ), leg stiffness, 15 m sprint, Y-balance test, and Illinois test) that have been considered potential sport-related injury risk factors during the pre-season. Statistical analysis only showed differences between injured and non-injured players in isometric hip adduction strength and unilateral ratio for the non-dominant leg (p < 0.05). Neuromuscular performance scores showed significant differences (p < 0.001) between male and female futsal players in several variables (hip abduction non-dominant leg, hops, CMJ, DVJ, leg stiffness, sprint, and Illinois test) but not in ratio or asymmetry. Isometric hip adduction and abduction–adduction unilateral ratio deficits for the non-dominant leg might be an important factor toward suffering an injury. Male and female futsal players showed different neuromuscular performances and consequently different training programs should be implemented for them. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

14 pages, 881 KiB  
Article
Physical Characteristics and Body Image of Japanese Female University Long-Distance Runners
by Masaharu Kagawa, Sayumi Iwamoto, Kazuko Ishikawa-Takata and Masako Ota
Appl. Sci. 2023, 13(11), 6442; https://doi.org/10.3390/app13116442 - 25 May 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1315
Abstract
While female long-distance runners are considered to have strong body dissatisfaction and body concerns, body-image research that incorporates detailed anthropometric and body composition parameters is still limited. The present study therefore investigates the physical characteristics and body image of Japanese female long-distance runners [...] Read more.
While female long-distance runners are considered to have strong body dissatisfaction and body concerns, body-image research that incorporates detailed anthropometric and body composition parameters is still limited. The present study therefore investigates the physical characteristics and body image of Japanese female long-distance runners and explores the factors that influence their body image. Detailed anthropometric and body composition assessment using a dual-frequency bioelectrical impedance analysis (DFBIA) was conducted on 30 Japanese female university long-distance runners. In addition, a questionnaire that included the Body Satisfaction Scale (BSS) and the Ben-Tovim Walker Body Attitudes Questionnaire (BAQ) was administered. On average, the participants had relatively low body mass index (BMI) and percentage body fat (%BF) (BMI: 18.3 ± 1.6 kg/m2; %BF: 19.7 ± 4.4%), but about 50–60% of them perceived themselves as being fat or having an excessive level of %BF. Their BSS scores were not associated with their measured physique. However, the anthropometric variables of the limbs were associated with the BAQ and its subscales. There was no single source that the majority referred to obtain information on their body, and performance was the only reason for their increased body concern. In order to better understand the factors that influence their body dissatisfaction and the effects of providing accurate information on behaviour modification, further investigation is warranted. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

11 pages, 1197 KiB  
Perspective
Development of Equipment for Ski Mountaineering, a New Olympic Event
by Lorenzo Bortolan, Barbara Pellegrini, Nina Verdel, Hans-Christer Holmberg and Matej Supej
Appl. Sci. 2023, 13(9), 5339; https://doi.org/10.3390/app13095339 - 25 Apr 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2774
Abstract
Ski mountaineering, a new Olympic winter sport involving both climbing and descending snowy slopes, requires considerable physical and technical abilities, as well as highly specialized equipment. Herein, we briefly describe this equipment and its influence on performance and consider potential future advances. Skis, [...] Read more.
Ski mountaineering, a new Olympic winter sport involving both climbing and descending snowy slopes, requires considerable physical and technical abilities, as well as highly specialized equipment. Herein, we briefly describe this equipment and its influence on performance and consider potential future advances. Skis, boots, and bindings must be light enough to facilitate climbing uphill (in which as much as 85% of the total racing time is spent) and, at the same time, provide stability and safety in often-challenging descents. A skier must be able to easily and rapidly attach and remove the adhesive skins under the skis that provide grip while skiing uphill. Poles and their baskets must be designed optimally to transfer propulsive force and help maintain balance. Despite the popularity of ski mountaineering, research on this sport is scarce, and we indicate a number of areas wherein improvements in equipment could potentially advance both performance and safety. Such advances must be based on a better understanding of the biomechanics of ski mountaineering, which could be obtained with novel sensor technology and can be best achieved via more extensive collaboration between researchers, skiers and their coaches, and manufacturers of ski mountaineering equipment. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

11 pages, 1129 KiB  
Article
The Concurrent Validity and Test-Retest Reliability of Possible Remote Assessments for Measuring Countermovement Jump: My Jump 2, HomeCourt & Takei Vertical Jump Meter
by Gary Chi-Ching Chow, Yu-Hin Kong and Wai-Yan Pun
Appl. Sci. 2023, 13(4), 2142; https://doi.org/10.3390/app13042142 - 7 Feb 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2379
Abstract
Mobile applications and portable assessments make remote self-assessment of the countermovement jump (CMJ) test possible. This study aimed to investigate the concurrent validity and test–retest reliability of three portable measurement systems for CMJ. Thirty physically active college students visited the laboratory twice, with [...] Read more.
Mobile applications and portable assessments make remote self-assessment of the countermovement jump (CMJ) test possible. This study aimed to investigate the concurrent validity and test–retest reliability of three portable measurement systems for CMJ. Thirty physically active college students visited the laboratory twice, with two days in between, and performed three jumps each day. All jumps were recorded by My Jump 2, HomeCourt, and the Takei Vertical Jump Meter (TVJM) simultaneously. Results indicated significant differences among the three systems (p < 0.01). HomeCourt tended to present the highest jump height mean value (46.10 ± 7.57 cm) compared with TVJM (42.02 ± 8.11 cm) and My Jump 2 (40.85 ± 7.86 cm). High concurrent validities among assessments were found (r = 0.85–0.93). Good to excellent reliability of jump assessments was demonstrated (ICC3,1 = 0.80–0.96). Reliable coefficients of variation were shown in all measurements (2.58–5.92%). Significant differences were revealed among the three apparatuses while they demonstrated high intra-device test–retest reliability. TVJM was the most reliable, and average jump heights were recommended for analysis. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Back to TopTop