New Frontiers of Sport, Exercise and Physical Activity for Health and Human Performance

A special issue of Biology (ISSN 2079-7737). This special issue belongs to the section "Physiology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2022) | Viewed by 181608

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Translational Biomedicine and Neuroscience (DiBraiN), University of Study of Bari, 70124 Bari, Italy
Interests: physical activity; fitness; exercise physiology; health promotion; body composition; human performance; special education; nutrition; tactical populations; sport psychology; strength and conditioning; combat sport; data analysis; research methodology
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
Police Sports Education Center, Abu Dhabi Police, Abu Dhabi 253, United Arab Emirates
Interests: applied exercise interventions; physical activity and health; physical activity behavior; body composition changes; data analysis; health promotion; tactical populations; obesity; sarcopenia; fitness
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
Department of Kinesiology, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS 66506, USA
Interests: high-intensity functional training; applied exercise interventions; chronic disease prevention; fitness; body composition; tactical populations; group exercise behaviors; physical activity
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Sports, exercise, and physical activity permeate all aspects of today's society. Having an active lifestyle is important for physical health (exercise is medicine), for mental health (exercise is wellness), for learning (exercise is education), for the economy (exercise is business), and for technological development (exercise is innovation). Physical inactivity has deleterious effects on population health and can lead to numerous diseases. Physical activity and an active lifestyle can counterbalance these effects, promoting both physical and mental wellbeing.

The link between physiology and human performance in all populations is well-known, ranging from high-performance athletes to generally-healthy to unhealthy subjects. Performance in sports is determined by the athlete's technical, tactical, physiological, and psychological/social characteristics. Physical activity benefits overall health and wellbeing for healthy individuals, and improved function in patients with health disorders. Population performance and health are affected by the relationships between stress, maturation, training load, and recovery. However, in different situations and conditions, this stimulus–performance–adaptation relationship varies. A multitude of motor performance factors is the underlying basis for maximized human performance, namely: muscular strength, muscular endurance, cardiovascular endurance, speed, agility, anaerobic power, flexibility, balance, coordination, body composition, and reaction time (i.e., physical fitness components).

The purpose of this Special Issue is to publish original, high-quality articles, as well as narrative and systematic reviews with particular regard to the underlying physiological mechanisms in the fields of sport, exercise, and physical activity. As a result, we look forward to receiving contributions that are related, but not limited, to the following topics: (i) experimental studies and interventions using sports and exercise in healthy people or with health issues, (ii) observational analytic studies identifying the effects of practising sport and exercise on psychophysical health and quality of life, and (iii) systematic reviews and meta-analyses that may summarize the evidence about the effects of sport and exercise on healthy people or with health problems.

This Special Issue welcomes new ideas and approaches that could change paradigms in our understanding of the benefits of sport, exercise, and physical activity across the entire population, regardless of gender, age, country, income, or social background.

Dr. Gianpiero Greco
Dr. Filip Kukić
Prof. Dr. Katie M. Heinrich
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • human performance
  • sport performance
  • external load
  • internal load
  • cognitive load
  • fatigue
  • stress
  • emergency first-responders
  • tactical population
  • combat sports
  • neuromodulation
  • cognitive enhancement
  • body composition
  • health promotion
  • biological maturation
  • neuromuscular performance
  • adaptation to training
  • young athletes
  • school performance
  • psychological performance testing
  • physiological performance testing
  • mental toughness
  • physiological monitoring devices

Published Papers (67 papers)

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18 pages, 2462 KiB  
Article
Effectiveness of Respiratory Muscles Training by Voluntary Isocapnic Hyperpnea Versus Inspiratory Threshold Loading on Intercostales and Vastus Lateralis Muscles Deoxygenation Induced by Exercise in Physically Active Adults
by Maximiliano Espinosa-Ramírez, Santiago Riquelme, Felipe Araya, Guido Rodríguez, Fernanda Figueroa-Martínez, Luigi Gabrielli, Ginés Viscor, W. Darlene Reid and Felipe Contreras-Briceño
Biology 2023, 12(2), 219; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology12020219 - 30 Jan 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2295
Abstract
Respiratory muscle training (RMT) improves physical performance, although it is still debated whether this effect depends on the type of training. The purpose of this study was to compare the effects of two different types of RMT, i.e., voluntary isocapnic hyperpnea (VIH) and [...] Read more.
Respiratory muscle training (RMT) improves physical performance, although it is still debated whether this effect depends on the type of training. The purpose of this study was to compare the effects of two different types of RMT, i.e., voluntary isocapnic hyperpnea (VIH) and inspiratory threshold loading (ITL), on the deoxygenation of intercostal (ΔSmO2-m. intercostales) and vastus lateralis (ΔSmO2-m. vastus lateralis) muscles during exercise. Twenty-four participants performed eight weeks of RMT by: (i) VIH (3 days·week−1 for 12 min at 60% maximal voluntary ventilation) or (ii) ITL (5 sets·week−1 of 30 breaths·minute−1 at 60% maximal inspiratory pressure). Cardiopulmonary exercise testing (CPET) included ΔSmO2 (the change from baseline to end of test) of intercostal and vastus lateralis muscles. After RMT, both groups showed decreased ΔSmO2-m. intercostales (VIH = 12.8 ± 14.6%, p = 0.04 (effect size, ES = 0.59), and ITL = 8.4 ± 9.8%, p = 0.04 (ES = 0.48)), without a coincident change of ∆SmO2-m. vastus lateralis. ITL training induced higher V˙O2-peak absolute values than VIH (mean Δ post–pre, ITL = 229 ± 254 mL·min−1 [95% CI 67–391] vs. VIH, 39 ± 153 mL·min−1 [95% CI −58–136.0], p = 0.01). In conclusion, both RMT improved the balance between supply and oxygen consumption levels of m. intercostales during CPET, with ITL also inducing an increase of aerobic capacity. Full article
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11 pages, 1571 KiB  
Article
Metabolic and Body Composition Changes in Ice Hockey Players Using an Ergogenic Drug (Cytoflavin)
by Victoria Zaborova, Vladislav Kurshev, Kira Kryuchkova, Valeria Anokhina, Vladimir Malakhovskiy, Vera Morozova, Veronika Sysoeva, Giovanna Zimatore, Valerio Bonavolontà, Laura Guidetti, Yuliya Dronina, Elena Kravtsova, Dmitry Shestakov, Konstantin Gurevich and Katie M. Heinrich
Biology 2023, 12(2), 214; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology12020214 - 29 Jan 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2080
Abstract
Background and objectives: In ice hockey, the major physical workload comes from acceleration in all planes of motion and transitions between skating trajectories. Hockey players’ anthropometric characteristics correlate with performance. In team sports, the use of ergogenic drugs for recovery is relevant to [...] Read more.
Background and objectives: In ice hockey, the major physical workload comes from acceleration in all planes of motion and transitions between skating trajectories. Hockey players’ anthropometric characteristics correlate with performance. In team sports, the use of ergogenic drugs for recovery is relevant to avoid athletes’ overtraining. It is very important to protect athletes’ health and allow them to maintain high-performance levels. Cytoflavin is an ergogenic drug whose action is based on the combined effects of its active ingredients (succinic acid, inosine, nicotinamide and riboflavin), which are naturally occurring metabolites that stimulate tissue respiration. The study aimed to assess the 6-week Cytoflavin consumption effects on body composition (body weight, body mass index, body fat percentage and bioimpedance phase angle) and aerobic performance. Methods: This study included 60 male professional hockey players (aged 19 to 36 years) divided into two groups of 30 subjects: group I (body weight 87.90 ± 7.44 kg, BMI 25.86 ± 2.04 kg/m2) and group II (body weight 87.04 ± 6.22 kg, BMI 25.52 ± 2.38 kg/m2). Athletes in group I received Cytoflavin, whereas athletes in group II did not. Results: In group I, statistically significant reductions in body weight and body mass index were not observed until 14 and 35 days, respectively. In contrast, in group II, both body weight and BMI significantly decreased both times. Aerobic performance significantly increased in both groups, with significantly greater increases in group I. Conclusions: Cytoflavin can be considered an ergogenic drug that improves body composition parameters, especially in the control of weight reduction and improvement in aerobic performance. Full article
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13 pages, 313 KiB  
Article
The Effects of Nordic Walking with Poles with an Integrated Resistance Shock Absorber on Red Blood Cell Distribution and Cardiorespiratory Efficiency in Postmenopausal Women—A Randomized Controlled Trial
by Katarzyna Sobczak, Paweł Nowinka, Krystian Wochna and Katarzyna Domaszewska
Biology 2023, 12(2), 179; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology12020179 - 23 Jan 2023
Viewed by 1870
Abstract
Background: Age-related reduction in exercise capacity is manifested by a rapid development of fatigue. Research confirmed the adverse prognostic value of red blood cell distribution width (RDW-CV), an independent factor in heart failure, coronary heart disease and myocardial infarction. Physical exercise improves and [...] Read more.
Background: Age-related reduction in exercise capacity is manifested by a rapid development of fatigue. Research confirmed the adverse prognostic value of red blood cell distribution width (RDW-CV), an independent factor in heart failure, coronary heart disease and myocardial infarction. Physical exercise improves and helps to maintain cardiorespiratory fitness. The aim of our study was to examine the impact of 8 weeks’ Nordic walking training with classic poles (NW) and NW training with poles with an integrated resistance shock absorber (NW with RSA) on RDW-CV levels and to assess correlations between RDW-CV levels and cardiorespiratory performance in postmenopausal women. Methods: In this study, 32 postmenopausal women (NW-16, NW with RSA-16) participated in eight weeks of walking training. The mean age of women was 66.56 ± 4.23 year. and BMI 26.99 ± 3.86 kg/m2. At the beginning and at the end of the study, spirometry and exercise tests were performed. Haematological parameters were determined in the venous blood. Results: Statistical analysis of differences in post-training changes in the parameters between the groups studied showed a significant difference in change in body weight (∆body weight) (p < 0.05; ES: 0.778), BMI (∆BMI) (p < 0.05; ES: 0.778), waist circumference (∆WC) (p < 0.05; ES: 1.225) and (∆RDW-SD) (p < 0.05; ES: 1.215). There were no changes in electrocardiographic and spirometric parameters. Conclusions: Based on the findings from the present study, it can be assumed that endurance and resistance exercise can significantly reduce disease severity and mortality. A clinical analysis of RDW levels, together with other cardiological and biochemical parameters, can provide practical prognostic information relating to cardiovascular disease, mortality risk and treatment outcomes. Full article
15 pages, 1044 KiB  
Article
The Level of Selected Blood Parameters in Young Soccer Players in Relation to the Concentration of 25(OH)D at the Beginning and End of Autumn
by Joanna Jastrzębska, Maria Skalska, Łukasz Radzimiński, Guillermo F. López Sánchez, Katja Weiss and Beat Knechtle
Biology 2023, 12(1), 129; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology12010129 - 13 Jan 2023
Viewed by 1469
Abstract
This study aimed to demonstrate the changes of selected blood parameters in relation to 25(OH)D concentration during the autumn period in young soccer players. A total of 35 participants’ results (age: 17.5 ± 0.6 years, body mass 71.3 ± 6.9 kg) were tested [...] Read more.
This study aimed to demonstrate the changes of selected blood parameters in relation to 25(OH)D concentration during the autumn period in young soccer players. A total of 35 participants’ results (age: 17.5 ± 0.6 years, body mass 71.3 ± 6.9 kg) were tested twice: in mid-September and in mid-December and divided into subgroups with regard to two criteria. First, according to the initial level of the 25(OH)D concentration (optimal group—ODG, suboptimal group—SDG), second, according to drops in 25(OH)D concentration (high drop group—HDG, low drop group—LDG). A significant decrease (p < 0.001) in the 25(OH)D concentration was reported in the total group (TGr) and in all subgroups. Blood parameters such as white blood cells, red blood cells, haemoglobin and haematocrit increased significantly (p < 0.05) in TGr during the analysed period of time. The analysis of changes in the lipid profile did not expose significant differences except triglycerides. The asparagine amino transferase and creatine kinase activity decreased significantly after autumn in all analysed groups. The declining level of 25(OH)D concentration should be compensated (e.g., with vitamin D supplementation) during autumn. Applied training loads could also influence the blood parameters variability in young soccer players. Regular measurements of 25(OH)D concentration are helpful in identifying potential drops and allows for the preparation of individual supplementation plans for the players. Full article
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13 pages, 1376 KiB  
Article
Effects of Biological Age on Athletic Adaptations to Combined Plyometric and Sprint with Change of Direction with Ball Training in Youth Soccer Players
by Hamza Marzouki, Samar Sbai, Ibrahim Ouergui, Okba Selmi, Marilia S. Andrade, Ezdine Bouhlel, Mabliny Thuany, Katja Weiss, Pantelis T. Nikolaidis and Beat Knechtle
Biology 2023, 12(1), 120; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology12010120 - 12 Jan 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2337
Abstract
There is evidence for the effectiveness of youth combined plyometric and sprint with change of direction (COD) training. However, the evidence is not well-known regarding the in-season effects of biological age (peak height velocity—PHV) on the motor adaptive processes following combined plyometric and [...] Read more.
There is evidence for the effectiveness of youth combined plyometric and sprint with change of direction (COD) training. However, the evidence is not well-known regarding the in-season effects of biological age (peak height velocity—PHV) on the motor adaptive processes following combined plyometric and COD with ball training (P-CODBT) in youth soccer players. This study aimed to examine the in-season effects of P-CODBT (8 weeks and twice a week) on the athletic performances of male youth soccer players, circa- and post-PHV. In a randomized controlled training study with pre-to-post measurements, forty-eight male players were assigned into two experimental (performing P-CODBT; n = 12 × circa-PHV and n = 12 × post-PHV) and two control groups (CONG; n = 12 × circa-PHV and n = 12 × post-PHV). The pre- and post-training participants were assessed for their anthropometric, linear sprinting with and without a ball, COD speed with and without a ball, vertical jump, dynamic balance, and endurance-intensive performances. After the intervention, the experimental condition induced significant (all p < 0.0001) and small to large effect size (ES = 0.263–3.471) additional gains only on explosive measures compared to CONG. Both the experimental (all p < 0.0001; ES = 0.338–1.908) and control (p = 0.011–0.0001; ES = 0.2–1.8) groups improved their athletic performances over the training period. The improvements generated by p-CODBT were not affected by biological age. In-season short-term P-CODBT (twice a week) could be safe way to generate benefits in explosive performances in youth soccer players, which are relevant components of match-winning actions in soccer. Full article
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15 pages, 1237 KiB  
Article
Does Caffeine Supplementation Associated with Paralympic Powerlifting Training Interfere with Hemodynamic Indicators?
by Jainara Lima Menezes, Felipe J. Aidar, Georgian Badicu, Stefania Cataldi, Roberto Carvutto, Ana Filipa Silva, Filipe Manuel Clemente, Claudia Cerulli, Joseane Barbosa de Jesus, Lucio Marques Vieira-Souza, Eliana Tranchita, Ciro José Brito, Francesco Fischetti and Gianpiero Greco
Biology 2022, 11(12), 1843; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology11121843 - 16 Dec 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2193
Abstract
Exercise, including resistance exercise with high loads, has positive hemodynamic responses such as reduced systolic blood pressure (SBP), diastolic blood pressure (DBP), heart rate (HR), Pressure Product Rate (PPR), and estimated myocardial oxygen volume (MVO2). Caffeine (CA), used to improve performance, [...] Read more.
Exercise, including resistance exercise with high loads, has positive hemodynamic responses such as reduced systolic blood pressure (SBP), diastolic blood pressure (DBP), heart rate (HR), Pressure Product Rate (PPR), and estimated myocardial oxygen volume (MVO2). Caffeine (CA), used to improve performance, tends to interfere with BP and HR. This study aimed to analyze the effects of CA supplementation on hemodynamic indicators in Paralympic weightlifting (PP). The exercise was performed on 14 male athletes (32.4 ± 8.5 years; 81.7 ± 21.9 kg) for three weeks. Two conditions were evaluated: supplementation with CA Anhydrous 9 mg/kg and with placebo (PL). The adapted bench press was used, with 5 × 5 at 80% 1RM. We evaluated BP, HR, PPR, and MVO2, before, after, 5, 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60 min, and 24 h later. The CA presented higher absolute values in the pressure indicators than the PL, and after 24 h there was an inversion. The HR was higher in the CA and showed a reduction after 10 min. The PPR and MVO2 in the CA presented absolute values greater than the PL, and 24 h later there was an inversion. There was no hypotensive effect, but the use of CA did not present risks related to PPR and MVO2, demonstrating the safe use of this supplement in adapted strength sports. Full article
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10 pages, 542 KiB  
Article
The Relation of Having Experienced a Fall in the Past to Lower Cognitive Functioning in Old Age Is Mediated via Less Physical Activity Engagement as Cognitive Reserve Contributor
by Andreas Ihle, Élvio R. Gouveia, Bruna R. Gouveia, Adilson Marques, Priscila Marconcin, Marcelo de Maio Nascimento, Maximilian Haas, Jefferson Jurema, Maria A. Tinôco and Matthias Kliegel
Biology 2022, 11(12), 1754; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology11121754 - 1 Dec 2022
Viewed by 1376
Abstract
Physical activity and exercise contribute to the accumulation of cognitive reserve, which is instrumental for preserving cognitive health in old age. In a large sample of 701 older adults (mean age = 70.36 years), we investigated whether the relationship between having experienced a [...] Read more.
Physical activity and exercise contribute to the accumulation of cognitive reserve, which is instrumental for preserving cognitive health in old age. In a large sample of 701 older adults (mean age = 70.36 years), we investigated whether the relationship between having experienced a fall in the past and lower performance in cognitive functioning was mediated via less physical activity engagement as a cognitive reserve contributor. General cognition was assessed using the mini-mental state examination (MMSE), long-term memory using a word-pair delayed recall test and working memory using a backward digit-span test. In face-to-face interviews, individuals reported information on falls during the past 12 months and their habitual physical activity engagement. Our analyses demonstrated that the relationship between having experienced a fall in the past and lower performance in the cognitive functioning measures was partly mediated (by 16.3% for general cognition, 30.6% for long-term memory, and 33.1% for working memory, respectively) via less physical activity engagement. In conclusion, we suggest as a core bio-psychological mechanism that experiencing a fall at an older age is a critical life event that hinders sufficient physical activity engagement and thereby impedes cognitive reserve build-up, resulting in lower cognitive functioning outcomes. Full article
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15 pages, 3050 KiB  
Article
Plasma Amino Acids and Acylcarnitines Are Associated with the Female but Not Male Adolescent Swimmer’s Performance: An Integration between Mass Spectrometry and Complex Network Approaches
by Flávio Marcio Macedo Mendes, Pedro Henrique Godoy Sanches, Álex Ap. Rosini Silva, Ivan Gustavo Masselli dos Reis, Patrícia de Oliveira Carvalho, Andréia M. Porcari and Leonardo Henrique Dalcheco Messias
Biology 2022, 11(12), 1734; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology11121734 - 29 Nov 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1636
Abstract
The main aim of this study was to compare the performance over different distances, the critical velocity (CV), and plasma acylcarnitines/amino acids of male and female adolescent swimmers. Moreover, we applied the complex network approach to identify which molecules are associated with athletes’ [...] Read more.
The main aim of this study was to compare the performance over different distances, the critical velocity (CV), and plasma acylcarnitines/amino acids of male and female adolescent swimmers. Moreover, we applied the complex network approach to identify which molecules are associated with athletes’ performances. On the first day under a controlled environment, blood samples were collected after 12 h of overnight fasting. Performance trials (100, 200, 400, and 800-m) were randomly performed in the subsequent four days in a swimming pool, and CV was determined by linear distance versus time mathematical function. Metabolomic analyses were carried out on a triple quadrupole mass spectrometer performing electrospray ionization in the positive ionization mode. No difference was observed between the performance of male and female swimmers. Except for 200-m distance (p = 0.08), plasma tyrosine was positively and significantly associated with the female times during the trials (100-m, p = 0.04; 400-m, p = 0.04; 800-m, p = 0.02), and inversely associated with the CV (p = 0.02). The complex network approach showed that glycine (0.406), glutamine (0.400), arginine (0.335), free carnitine (0.355), tryptophan (0.289), and histidine (0.271) were the most influential nodes to reach tyrosine. These results revealed a thread that must be explored in further randomized/controlled designs, improving the knowledge surrounding nutrition and the performance of adolescent swimmers. Full article
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11 pages, 422 KiB  
Article
Exploring the Relationship between Biological Maturation Level, Muscle Strength, and Muscle Power in Adolescents
by Hakan Yapici, Mehmet Gulu, Fatma Hilal Yagin, Ozgur Eken, Tomasz Gabrys and Vera Knappova
Biology 2022, 11(12), 1722; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology11121722 - 28 Nov 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2085
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between adolescents’ biological maturation level and their muscle power, as well as their overall muscle strength. Overall, 691 adolescents (414 boys and 277 girls) aged 12.01–11.96 (measured for body mass, body height as [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between adolescents’ biological maturation level and their muscle power, as well as their overall muscle strength. Overall, 691 adolescents (414 boys and 277 girls) aged 12.01–11.96 (measured for body mass, body height as well as vertical jump, muscle power, and muscle strength). There was a statistically significant difference in terms of average right and left grip strength, vertical jump, and power in the late maturation group. For the body height and vertical jump averages in male adolescents, it was observed that the body height and vertical jump averages in the late group were significantly lower than in the early and on-time maturation groups. For female adolescents’ chronological age, sitting height, body mass, BMI, left and right grip strength, and power averages were found to be significantly higher compared with the on-time group (p < 0.05). It was established that biological maturation has a substantial link with vertical jump height and power, as well as grip strength on the right and left hands. Full article
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11 pages, 1191 KiB  
Article
Similar Slow Component of Oxygen Uptake and Ventilatory Efficiency between an Aerobic Dance Session on an Air Dissipation Platform and a Constant-Load Treadmill Test in Healthy Women
by Alessandra Moreira-Reis, José Luis Maté-Muñoz, Juan Hernández-Lougedo, Pablo García-Fernández, Juan Ramón Heredia-Elvar, Eulogio Pleguezuelos, Teresa Carbonell, Norma Alva and Manuel Vicente Garnacho-Castaño
Biology 2022, 11(11), 1646; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology11111646 - 10 Nov 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1457
Abstract
There is a lack of evidence about the slow component of oxygen consumption (V.O2sc) and ventilatory efficiency (slope VE·VCO2−1) during an aerobic dance (AD) session on an air dissipation platform (ADP) despite the key [...] Read more.
There is a lack of evidence about the slow component of oxygen consumption (V.O2sc) and ventilatory efficiency (slope VE·VCO2−1) during an aerobic dance (AD) session on an air dissipation platform (ADP) despite the key role played in endurance exercises. This research was designed to assess V.O2sc, ventilatory efficiency, and blood lactate concentration by comparing two exercise modes: AD session on an ADP versus treadmill test at a constant-load intensity of the first ventilatory threshold (VT1). In the first session, an incremental treadmill test was completed. In sessions 2 and 3, the participants were randomly assigned to the AD session on an ADP or to a treadmill constant-load test at VT1 intensity to determine their cardioventilatory responses. In addition, their blood lactate levels and ratings of perceived exertion (RPE, CR-10) were evaluated. No significant differences were found between the constant-load treadmill test and AD session on an ADP with respect to V.O2sc, VE VCO2−1 slope, and RPE (p > 0.05). Higher blood lactate concentrations were observed in an AD session on an ADP than in a constant-load treadmill test at 10 min (p = 0.003) and 20 min (p < 0.001). The two different exercise modalities showed similar V.O2sc and VE·VCO2−1 slope, even though the blood lactate concentrations were different. Full article
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20 pages, 3292 KiB  
Article
Maturation Selection Biases and Relative Age Effect in Italian Soccer Players of Different Levels
by Stefania Toselli, Mario Mauro, Alessia Grigoletto, Stefania Cataldi, Luca Benedetti, Gianni Nanni, Riccardo Di Miceli, Paolo Aiello, Davide Gallamini, Francesco Fischetti and Gianpiero Greco
Biology 2022, 11(11), 1559; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology11111559 - 24 Oct 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2071
Abstract
Soccer is a sport practiced all over the world, in which players are expected to show specific physical and technical skills. Soccer academies look for young talented individuals to develop promising players. Although several parameters could affect the players’ performance, the relative age [...] Read more.
Soccer is a sport practiced all over the world, in which players are expected to show specific physical and technical skills. Soccer academies look for young talented individuals to develop promising players. Although several parameters could affect the players’ performance, the relative age effect (RAE) and the maturity status appeared debated. Therefore, this study compared the differences in RAE and biological maturity among the players of two Italian soccer teams of different levels and to understand their interaction effects with the competition level on youth players’ physical characteristics and abilities. One hundred and sixty-two young soccer players from the U12 to U15 age categories of the elite (n = 98) and non-elite (n = 64) teams were recruited. The prevalence of maturity status and RAE was observed. Many anthropometric parameters, BIA vectors, and motor tests (CMJ, Sprint, RSA) were carried out. The maturity status had a greater effect on several anthropometric characteristics and on 15 m sprint, while it affected the CMJ only in U12 (F = 6.187, p ≤ 0.01). Differently, the RAE seemed to priorly affect the U13 and U15 categories in body composition, whereas its effect appeared on the 15-m sprint (F(3, 45) = 4.147, p ≤ 0.01) and the RSA (F(3, 45) = 3.179, p ≤ 0.05) in the U14 category. In addition, early matured players or those who were born in the first six months presented cellular characteristics similar to adult elite players. Soccer professionals should be encouraged to monitor the maturity status to better interpret changes in the physical performance of young soccer players to guide adequate training plans. Full article
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14 pages, 2355 KiB  
Article
Memory Modulation by Exercise in Young Adults Is Related to Lactate and Not Affected by Sex or BDNF Polymorphism
by Juan Arturo Ballester-Ferrer, Alba Roldan, Eduardo Cervelló and Diego Pastor
Biology 2022, 11(10), 1541; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology11101541 - 20 Oct 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2268
Abstract
Currently, high-intensity interval exercise (HIIE) is on the rise compared to moderate-intensity exercise (MIE) due to its similar benefits for health and performance with low time requirements. Recent studies show how physical exercise can also influence cognitive function, although the optimal dose and [...] Read more.
Currently, high-intensity interval exercise (HIIE) is on the rise compared to moderate-intensity exercise (MIE) due to its similar benefits for health and performance with low time requirements. Recent studies show how physical exercise can also influence cognitive function, although the optimal dose and underlying mechanisms remain unknown. Therefore, in our study, we have compared the effects on visuospatial and declarative memory of different exercise intensities (HIIE vs. MIE), including possible implicated factors such as lactate released after each session and the Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) genotype. Thirty-six undergraduate students participated in this study. The HIIE session consisted of a 3 min warm-up, four 2 min sets at 90–95% of the maximal aerobic speed (MAS) with 2 min of passive recovery between sets, and a 3 min cooldown, and the MIE session implies the same total duration of continuous exercise at 60% of the MAS. Better improvements were found after HIIE than MIE on the backward condition of the visuospatial memory test (p = 0.014, ηp2 = 0.17) and the 48 h retention of the declarative memory test (p = 0.04; d = 0.34). No differences were observed in the forward condition of the visuospatial memory test and the 7-day retention of the declarative memory test (p > 0.05). Moreover, non-modifiable parameters such as biological sex and BDNF polymorphism (Val/Val, Val/Met, or Met/Met) did not modulate the cognitive response to exercise. Curiously, the correlational analysis showed associations (p < 0.05) between changes in memory (visuospatial and declarative) and lactate release. In this sense, our results suggest an important role for intensity in improving cognitive function with exercise, regardless of genetic factors such as biological sex or BDNF Val66Met polymorphism. Full article
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12 pages, 885 KiB  
Article
High Dose of Acute Normobaric Hypoxia Does Not Adversely Affect Sprint Interval Training, Cognitive Performance and Heart Rate Variability in Males and Females
by Raci Karayigit, Rodrigo Ramirez-Campillo, Burak Caglar Yasli, Tomasz Gabrys, Daniela Benesova and Ozcan Esen
Biology 2022, 11(10), 1463; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology11101463 - 6 Oct 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2168
Abstract
Although preliminary studies suggested sex-related differences in physiological responses to hypoxia, the effects of sex on sprint interval training (SIT) performance in different degrees of hypoxia are largely lacking. The aim of this study was to examine the acute effect of different doses [...] Read more.
Although preliminary studies suggested sex-related differences in physiological responses to hypoxia, the effects of sex on sprint interval training (SIT) performance in different degrees of hypoxia are largely lacking. The aim of this study was to examine the acute effect of different doses of normobaric hypoxia on SIT performance as well as heart rate variability (HRV) and cognitive performance (CP) in amateur-trained team sport players by comparing potential sex differences. In a randomized, double-blind, crossover design, 26 (13 females) amateur team-sport (football, basketball, handball, rugby) players completed acute SIT (6 × 15 s all-out sprints, separated with 2 min active recovery, against a load equivalent to 9% of body weight) on a cycle ergometer, in one of four conditions: (I) normoxia without a mask (FiO2: 20.9%) (CON); (II) normoxia with a mask (FiO2: 20.9%) (NOR); (III) moderate hypoxia (FiO2: 15.4%) with mask (MHYP); and (IV) high hypoxia (FiO2: 13.4%) with mask (HHYP). Peak (PPO) and mean power output (MPO), HRV, heart rate (HR), CP, capillary lactate (BLa), and ratings of perceived exertion (RPE) pre- and post-SIT were compared between CON, NOR, MHYP and HHYP. There were no significant differences found between trials for PPO (p = 0.55), MPO (p = 0.44), RPE (p = 0.39), HR (p = 0.49), HRV (p > 0.05) and CP (response accuracy: p = 0.92; reaction time: p = 0.24). The changes in MP, PP, RPE, HR, CP and HRV were similar between men and women (all p > 0.05). While BLa was similar (p = 0.10) between MHYP and HHYP trials, it was greater compared to CON (p = 0.01) and NOR (p = 0.01), without a sex-effect. In conclusion, compared to normoxia, hypoxia, and wearing a mask, have no effect on SIT acute responses (other than lactate), including PP, MP, RPE, CP, HR, and cardiac autonomic modulation either in men or women. Full article
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13 pages, 3391 KiB  
Article
Neuromuscular Fatigue and Metabolic Stress during the 15 Minutes of Rest after Carrying Out a Bench Press Exercise Protocol
by Juan Hernández-Lougedo, Juan Ramón Heredia-Elvar, Luis Maicas-Pérez, Ana María Cañuelo-Márquez, Manuel Rozalén-Bustín, Fernando de Jesús Franco, Manuel Vicente Garnacho-Castaño, Pablo García-Fernández and José Luis Maté-Muñoz
Biology 2022, 11(10), 1435; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology11101435 - 30 Sep 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1804
Abstract
Background: Velocity loss (VL) at 1 m·s−1 can help to determine neuromuscular fatigue after performing an exercise protocol. The aim of this study was to analyse muscle fatigue and metabolic stress during the 15 min that follow the execution of a bench [...] Read more.
Background: Velocity loss (VL) at 1 m·s−1 can help to determine neuromuscular fatigue after performing an exercise protocol. The aim of this study was to analyse muscle fatigue and metabolic stress during the 15 min that follow the execution of a bench press (BP) exercise protocol. Methods: Forty-four healthy male students of sports science performed two exercise sessions separated by one week of rest. In the first week, the participants carried out a test with progressive loads in the (BP) exercise until reaching the one-repetition maximum (1RM) in order to obtain the load–velocity relationship of each participant. In the second week, each participant conducted three BP exercise sets at an intensity of 70% of 1RM, determining this load through the mean propulsive velocity (MPV) obtained from the individual load–velocity relationship, with the participants performing the maximum number of repetitions (MNR) to muscle failure. Two minutes of rest were allocated between sets. MPV at 1 m·s−1 and blood lactate concentrations were recorded before executing the exercise and at minute 0, 5, 10 and 15 after performing the exercise protocol. Results: A two-factor repeated measures ANOVA was performed. MPV at 1 m·s−1 in minute 0 post-exercise was −33.3% (p < 0.05), whereas in minute 10 and 15 post-exercise, it was ≈−9% (p > 0.05). Regarding the blood lactate levels, significant differences were observed in all measurements before and after the exercise protocol (p < 0.001), obtaining ≈7 mmol·L−1 at minute 10 post-exercise and 4.3 mmol·L−1 after 15 min of recovery. Conclusions: MPV with medium or moderate loads shows a certain recovery from minute 10 of rest. However, the blood lactate levels are still high (>5 mmol·L−1). Therefore, although there seem to be certain conditions to reach a similar maximum MPV peak, the residual fatigue at the neuromuscular level and the non-recovery of metabolic homeostasis would hinder the reproduction of these protocols, both at the level of applied stimulus and from a methodological perspective, since a long recovery time would be required between sets and exercises. Full article
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13 pages, 607 KiB  
Article
Effects of Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation over the Primary Motor Cortex in Improving Postural Stability in Healthy Young Adults
by Jinqian Hou, Michael A. Nitsche, Longyan Yi, Zhaowei Kong and Fengxue Qi
Biology 2022, 11(9), 1370; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology11091370 - 17 Sep 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2266
Abstract
Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) over the primary motor cortex (M1) is of increasing interest to improve motor performance in healthy adults and patients with respective deficits. This study aimed to examine whether tDCS over M1 can improve static and dynamic postural stability [...] Read more.
Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) over the primary motor cortex (M1) is of increasing interest to improve motor performance in healthy adults and patients with respective deficits. This study aimed to examine whether tDCS over M1 can improve static and dynamic postural stability in young healthy adults. Seventeen healthy participants (mean age = 25.14 ± 2.50 (standard deviation, SD) years) received sham and anodal tDCS (2 mA) over the vertex at the Cz electrode position for 15 min. Static and dynamic postural stability were evaluated before and immediately after tDCS. The center of pressure (COP) sway area (COPSA) and COP maximum displacements to medio-lateral (COPML) and antero-posterior directions (COPAP) were used to evaluate static postural stability. The anterior–posterior stability index (APSI), medial–lateral stability index (MLSI), vertical stability index (VSI), dynamic postural stability index (DPSI), and time to stabilization (TTS) in forward (FL), 45° anterior lateral (LL), and 45° anterior medial (ML) direction landing, as well as the Y-balance composite score (YBTCS) were used to assess dynamic postural stability. The results showed that the LL-TTS (p = 0.044), non-dominant leg COPSA (p = 0.015), and YBTCS (p < 0.0001) were significantly improved in the real stimulation as compared with the sham stimulation session, and anodal tDCS significantly changed dominant leg COPAP (p = 0.021), FL-APSI (p < 0.0001), FL-TTS (p = 0.008), ML-TTS (p = 0.002), non-dominant leg YBTCS (p < 0.0001), and dominant leg YBTCS (p = 0.014). There were no significant differences in all obtained balance values in the sham stimulation session, except for non-dominant leg YBTCS (p = 0.049). We conclude that anodal tDCS over M1 has an immediate improving effect on static postural stability and dynamic performance in young healthy adults. This makes tDCS a promising adjuvant rehabilitation treatment to enhance postural stability deficits in the future. Full article
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15 pages, 1781 KiB  
Article
Usefulness of Surface Electromyography Complexity Analyses to Assess the Effects of Warm-Up and Stretching during Maximal and Sub-Maximal Hamstring Contractions: A Cross-Over, Randomized, Single-Blind Trial
by Nicolas Babault, Marion Hitier and Carole Cometti
Biology 2022, 11(9), 1337; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology11091337 - 10 Sep 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2544 | Correction
Abstract
This study aimed to apply different complexity-based methods to surface electromyography (EMG) in order to detect neuromuscular changes after realistic warm-up procedures that included stretching exercises. Sixteen volunteers conducted two experimental sessions. They were tested before, after a standardized warm-up, and after a [...] Read more.
This study aimed to apply different complexity-based methods to surface electromyography (EMG) in order to detect neuromuscular changes after realistic warm-up procedures that included stretching exercises. Sixteen volunteers conducted two experimental sessions. They were tested before, after a standardized warm-up, and after a stretching exercise (static or neuromuscular nerve gliding technique). Tests included measurements of the knee flexion torque and EMG of biceps femoris (BF) and semitendinosus (ST) muscles. EMG was analyzed using the root mean square (RMS), sample entropy (SampEn), percentage of recurrence and determinism following a recurrence quantification analysis (%Rec and %Det) and a scaling parameter from a detrended fluctuation analysis. Torque was significantly greater after warm-up as compared to baseline and after stretching. RMS was not affected by the experimental procedure. In contrast, SampEn was significantly greater after warm-up and stretching as compared to baseline values. %Rec was not modified but %Det for BF muscle was significantly greater after stretching as compared to baseline. The a scaling parameter was significantly lower after warm-up as compared to baseline for ST muscle. From the present results, complexity-based methods applied to the EMG give additional information than linear-based methods. They appeared sensitive to detect EMG complexity increases following warm-up. Full article
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10 pages, 686 KiB  
Article
Association between Phase Angle from Bioelectric Impedance and Muscular Strength and Power in Physically Active Adults
by Aryanne Hydeko Fukuoka, Núbia Maria de Oliveira, Catarina N. Matias, Filipe J. Teixeira, Cristina P. Monteiro, Maria J. Valamatos, Joana F. Reis and Ezequiel Moreira Gonçalves
Biology 2022, 11(9), 1255; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology11091255 - 24 Aug 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2225
Abstract
This study aimed to compare muscle strength and power indicators according to bioimpedance spectroscopy’s phase angle (PhA) values, in resistance-trained (RT) men, while exploring associations between PhA and performance. Forty-four men aged 18–45 years, engaged in RT, were allocated according to PhA tertiles. [...] Read more.
This study aimed to compare muscle strength and power indicators according to bioimpedance spectroscopy’s phase angle (PhA) values, in resistance-trained (RT) men, while exploring associations between PhA and performance. Forty-four men aged 18–45 years, engaged in RT, were allocated according to PhA tertiles. Lean soft tissue (LST) and fat mass (%FM) were assessed using dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry; dynamic muscle strength using 1 repetition maximum (1RM) of bench press (BP) and back squat (BS) and muscle power using Wingate test (WT) and countermovement jump (CMJ). For WT and CMJ, the 3rd tertile was significantly higher than the 1st tertile (p = 0.027 and p = 0.018, respectively). Regarding BP 1RM, the 3rd tertile was significantly higher than the 2nd tertile (p = 0.037). LST better explained the variability in the WT, BS and BP (p =< 0.001), while %FM better accounted for jump height in CMJ (p =< 0.001). PhA was a predictor of performance in both CMJ (p = 0.040) and BP (p = 0.012), independently of LST and %FM. Participants with higher PhA also displayed superior muscle strength of the upper limbs and greater muscle power of the lower limbs. PhA displayed significant moderate associations with performance in CMJ and BP, even after controlling for body composition. Still, LST was the most important predictor of muscle strength and power. Full article
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10 pages, 1473 KiB  
Article
Attack and Defense Performance in Goalball: A Proposal for Throwing, Balance and Acoustic Reaction Evaluation
by A. Vanessa Bataller-Cervero, Pablo J. Bascuas, Juan Rabal-Pelay, Héctor Gutiérrez, Eduardo Piedrafita and César Berzosa
Biology 2022, 11(8), 1234; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology11081234 - 18 Aug 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2143
Abstract
Goalball is a sport for visually impaired athletes, where the roles of attack and defense change continuously during the game. Performance evaluation should consider the variables that determine the throwing and the stop and clearance of the ball. The aim of this study [...] Read more.
Goalball is a sport for visually impaired athletes, where the roles of attack and defense change continuously during the game. Performance evaluation should consider the variables that determine the throwing and the stop and clearance of the ball. The aim of this study is to evaluate the precision and velocity of the ball throwing in goalball, besides core stability and balance as variables that determine an optimal throwing. Moreover, a novel acoustic reaction time is applied to analyze the defense performance. Eight goalball players (33 ± 9 years old; 77.8 ± 22.7 kg; 174 ± 13 cm; 10 ± 5 years of experience) were recruited to assess ball velocity, with a radar gun, and throwing accuracy. Anthropometry, static balance, and core stability were assessed using a computerized pressure platform. Acoustic reaction time was measured with a photoelectric system. A significant positive correlation was found between throwing speed and the years of experience (Ƿ = 0.714, p = 0.047), height (Ƿ = 0.786, p = 0.021), dominant leg surface area of the stabilogram (Ƿ = 0.738, p = 0.037), and non-dominant leg center of pressure mean velocity (Ƿ = 0.714, p = 0.017). In the present pilot study, height and years of experience are correlated to throwing velocity. This is also the first test proposal to assess throwing precision and complex acoustic reaction in goalball players, which could be used to assess the level of performance in future studies. Full article
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9 pages, 677 KiB  
Article
Acute Effects of Different Overspeed Loads with Motorized Towing System in Young Athletes: A Pilot Study
by Pau Cecília-Gallego, Adrián Odriozola, José Vicente Beltrán-Garrido and Jesús Álvarez-Herms
Biology 2022, 11(8), 1223; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology11081223 - 16 Aug 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2367
Abstract
Overspeed is a training method used to improve running speed, although its effects are not supported by consensual scientific evidence. The overspeed stimulus can be boosted by several methods, including motorized towing devices. Our objectives were to analyze the acute effects of three [...] Read more.
Overspeed is a training method used to improve running speed, although its effects are not supported by consensual scientific evidence. The overspeed stimulus can be boosted by several methods, including motorized towing devices. Our objectives were to analyze the acute effects of three overspeed loads in young athletes and to select optimal loads for training periods. Eight young athletes (16.73 ± 1.69 years) performed one unassisted sprint and three assisted sprints, and kinematic and biomechanical data were compared. Significant increases (p < 0.05) in step velocity and step length were found with 2, 4, and 5.25 kg in maximum running speed, flight time and horizontal distance from the first contact to the vertical projection of the center of mass with 4 and 5.25 kg. Significant time decreases were found in 5 m flying sprint and contact time with 4 and 5.25 kg, and no significant changes were observed in step rate. The individually recommended loads would be between 3.47 ± 0.68% and 6.94 ± 1.35% body weight. Even having limitations, we can understand this work and its results as a pilot study to replicate the methodology and the use of new devices to more broadly investigate the effects of overspeed. Full article
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14 pages, 2389 KiB  
Article
Bibliometric Analysis of Studies on Whole Body Electromyostimulation
by Luiz Rodrigues-Santana, José Carmelo Adsuar, Ángel Denche-Zamorano, Alejandro Vega-Muñoz, Guido Salazar-Sepúlveda, Nicolás Contreras-Barraza, Carmen Galán-Arroyo and Hugo Louro
Biology 2022, 11(8), 1205; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology11081205 - 12 Aug 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2292
Abstract
Whole Body Electromyostimulation [WB-EMS] is a training methodology that applies electrostimulation in the main muscle groups of the human body superimposed with active training exercises. This study aims to carry out a bibliometric analysis on WB-EMS to provide an overview of the state [...] Read more.
Whole Body Electromyostimulation [WB-EMS] is a training methodology that applies electrostimulation in the main muscle groups of the human body superimposed with active training exercises. This study aims to carry out a bibliometric analysis on WB-EMS to provide an overview of the state of research and provide new insights for research in the field. Method: One hundred and two citations extracted were examined using a bibliometric approach based on data stored in the Web of Science Core Collection, applying traditional bibliometric laws, and using VOSviewer and excel for data and metadata processing. Results: Among the results, this study points out that Germany is the country that produces more scientific knowledge on WB-EMS. Wolfgang Kemmler is the most relevant author in this field. Moreover, Frontier of Physiology is the journal where the authors publish the most. Conclusion: Research on WB-EMS has been growing in recent years. German and Spanish researchers lead two clusters where most studies and collaborations in this field are carried out. These findings will provide a better understanding of the state of WB-EMS research and may guide the emergence of new lines of investigation and research ideas. Full article
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7 pages, 689 KiB  
Article
Proposal of a New Parameter for Evaluating Muscle Mass in Footballers through Bioimpedance Analysis
by Matteo Levi Micheli, Roberto Cannataro, Massimo Gulisano and Gabriele Mascherini
Biology 2022, 11(8), 1182; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology11081182 - 6 Aug 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2078
Abstract
The evaluation of muscle mass in athletes correlates with sports performance directly. Bioimpedance vector analysis is a growing method of assessing body composition in athletes because it is independent of predictive formulas containing variables such as body weight, ethnicity, age, and sex. The [...] Read more.
The evaluation of muscle mass in athletes correlates with sports performance directly. Bioimpedance vector analysis is a growing method of assessing body composition in athletes because it is independent of predictive formulas containing variables such as body weight, ethnicity, age, and sex. The study aims to propose a new parameter (Levi’s Muscle Index, LMI) that evaluates muscle mass through raw bioelectrical data. A total of 664 male footballers underwent bioimpedance assessment during the regular season. LMI was correlated with body cell mass (BCM) and phase angle (PA) to establish efficacy. The footballers were 24.5 ± 5.8 years old, 180.7 ± 5.9 cm tall and weighed 76.3 ± 7.1 kg. The relationships were: LMI-BMI: r = 0.908, r2 = 0.824, p < 0.001; LMI-PA: r = 0.704, r2 = 0.495, p = 0.009 and PA-BCM: r = 0.491, r2 = 0.241, p < 0.001. The results obtained confirm that LMI could be considered a new parameter that provides reliable information to evaluate the muscle mass of athletes. Furthermore, the higher LMI-BCM relationship than PA-BCM demonstrates specificity for muscle mass evaluation in athletes regardless of body weight, ethnicity, age, and sex. Full article
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15 pages, 630 KiB  
Article
Influence of an Upper Limb Isometric Task in Perceived and Performance Fatigability of Elderly Subjects: A Quasi-Experimental Study
by Helena Silva-Migueis, Eva María Martínez-Jiménez, Israel Casado-Hernández, Adriano Dias, Ana Júlia Monteiro, Rodrigo B. Martins, Carlos Romero-Morales, Daniel López-López and Juan Gómez-Salgado
Biology 2022, 11(8), 1175; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology11081175 - 5 Aug 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1922
Abstract
Isometric activity can be used as a strategy to improve health, fitness, and functional performance in the elderly population, but differences in fatigability may occur. This study aimed to understand fatigability behavior during an upper limb isometric task (ULIT) and the role of [...] Read more.
Isometric activity can be used as a strategy to improve health, fitness, and functional performance in the elderly population, but differences in fatigability may occur. This study aimed to understand fatigability behavior during an upper limb isometric task (ULIT) and the role of health status and physical activity in the fatigability of elderly participants. Thirty-two (32) elderly participants (72.5 ± 5.18 years) were instructed to perform ULIT. The Borg CR10 scale and task failure point (TTF) were used to measure perceived and performance fatigability. Self-reported measures were used to assess the quality of life and physical activity level. A significant relationship between perceived and performance fatigability was found only in the final phase of activity (p < 0.01). Significant correlations were found between perceived fatigability and the social functioning dimension (p < 0.05), and between performance fatigability (TTF) and BMI (p < 0.01), physical functioning (p < 0.01), and role functioning/physical (p < 0.05) dimensions. In conclusion, ULIT produces changes in fatigability of elderly people, which are positively related in the final stage of the activity. Changes in fatigability are negatively related to BMI. It is also negatively related to health, social functioning, physical functioning and role functioning/physical quality of life dimensions. Full article
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11 pages, 964 KiB  
Article
Biological Maturation Predicts Dynamic Balance and Lower Limb Power in Young Football Players
by Bartosz Wilczyński, Łukasz Radzimiński, Agnieszka Sobierajska-Rek, Karol de Tillier, Jakub Bracha and Katarzyna Zorena
Biology 2022, 11(8), 1167; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology11081167 - 3 Aug 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2296
Abstract
Biological maturation has an increasingly important role in youth sports. The aim of the study was to evaluate the relationship between dynamic balance and lower limb power and biological maturation in young football players. Seventy-two healthy, young male elite football players (age: 10 [...] Read more.
Biological maturation has an increasingly important role in youth sports. The aim of the study was to evaluate the relationship between dynamic balance and lower limb power and biological maturation in young football players. Seventy-two healthy, young male elite football players (age: 10 ± 2) participated in the study. Dynamic balance was assessed using a modified Star Excursion Balance Test (mSEBT). Power of the lower limbs was examined by a Countermovement Jump test (CMJ) and Single Leg Hop for Distance (SLHD). Furthermore, anthropometry and biological maturation (age, peak height velocity, and maturity offset) were assessed. There was a strong positive correlation between vertical jump (r = 0.75), distance long jump (r = 0.84), and biological maturation. A moderate positive correlation was found between dynamic balance (mSEBT COM, PL, and PM) and maturity offset. There was a significant association between mSEBT, CMJ, and SLHD (p < 0.05). Moreover, maturity offset explained 75% of vertical jump and 74% of distance long jump performance, respectively, and 12% of dynamic balance. Biological maturation should be considered when assessing athletic performance, establishing rehabilitation, and sports training in youth football players. Full article
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14 pages, 1755 KiB  
Article
Anthropometrics, Performance, and Psychological Outcomes in Mixed Martial Arts Athletes
by Nathalia Ferreira Camarco, Ivo Vieira de Sousa Neto, Evaldo Ribeiro, Jr. and Anderson J. Martino Andrade
Biology 2022, 11(8), 1147; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology11081147 - 30 Jul 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2297
Abstract
The digit ratio (2D:4D) is related to prenatal testosterone (T) and sports performance. Few investigations have explored 2D:4D in determining the potential performance of individuals in power-based sports, specifically combat sports. This study compared 2D:4D between mixed martial arts (MMA) athletes and non-athletes [...] Read more.
The digit ratio (2D:4D) is related to prenatal testosterone (T) and sports performance. Few investigations have explored 2D:4D in determining the potential performance of individuals in power-based sports, specifically combat sports. This study compared 2D:4D between mixed martial arts (MMA) athletes and non-athletes and investigated the association between (1) handgrip strength (HGS) and lean body mass (LBM) with 2D:4D in MMA athletes and (2) psychometric variables and 2D:4D in MMA athletes and non-athletes. In total, 122 men participated in this study (53 non-athletes, 45 professionals, and 24 amateur fighters). The 2D:4D was measured using a caliper, HGS was assessed with a dynamometer, and psychometric variables were evaluated using questionnaires. Athletes displayed significantly (p < 0.05) lower median values of right (0.95 ± 0.04) and left (0.96 ± 0.03) 2D:4D in comparison with non-athletes, (0.97 ± 0.03) and (0.99 ± 0.03), respectively. We observed that left hand 2D:4D was negatively correlated with HGS (r = −0.43; p < 0.05) and lean body mass (r = −0.49; p < 0.05) in professional athletes. Professional athletes also displayed significant differences (* p < 0.05; ** p < 0.001) in psychometric variables compared to non-athletes for (1) agreeableness **, median values (interquartile range) = −0.11 (−0.19–0.07) and 0.2 (−0.09–0.33), respectively; (2) anger **, mean ± standard error = 2.40 ± 0.12 and 2.89 ± 0.89, respectively; and (3) openness *, mean ± standard error = 0.17 ± 0.04 and −0.006 ± 0.04, respectively. However, we did not observe an association between psychometric variables or wins with 2D:4D. In conjunction with other measures, 2D:4D is valuable in determining the potential athleticism of an MMA athlete. Full article
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12 pages, 965 KiB  
Article
Effects of 6-Week Betaine Supplementation on Muscular Performance in Male Collegiate Athletes
by Ming-Ta Yang, Ho-Wei Lin, Chih-Yuan Chuang, Yin-Chun Wang, Bo-Huei Huang and Kuei-Hui Chan
Biology 2022, 11(8), 1140; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology11081140 - 29 Jul 2022
Viewed by 3115
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of 6-week betaine supplementation during a preparatory period of collegiate athletes on muscular power and strength. Sixteen male collegiate athletes received 5 g/day of betaine (betaine group, n = 9) or carboxymethyl cellulose [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of 6-week betaine supplementation during a preparatory period of collegiate athletes on muscular power and strength. Sixteen male collegiate athletes received 5 g/day of betaine (betaine group, n = 9) or carboxymethyl cellulose (placebo group, n = 7) for 6 weeks. All participants engaged in their regular training during the experimental period. The overhead medicine-ball throw (OMBT), countermovement jump, and maximal strength (one repetition maximum, 1-RM) on the bench press, overhead press, half squat, and sumo dead lift by the participants were assessed before and after betaine supplementation. Blood lipids were also analyzed before and after betaine supplementation. After supplementation, there were no significant differences between betaine and placebo groups on any variables. Compared to presupplementation, the performance of OMBT and 1-RM of overhead press and half squat in the betaine group had significantly improved (p < 0.05). By contrast, no significant differences were observed in the placebo group before and after supplementation. Blood analysis revealed no negative effect on blood lipid profiles. Betaine seems to be a useful nutritional strategy to improve and maintain performance during 6-week preparatory periods in collegiate athletes. Full article
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16 pages, 2991 KiB  
Article
A Metabolomic Approach and Traditional Physical Assessments to Compare U22 Soccer Players According to Their Competitive Level
by João Pedro da Cruz, Fábio Neves dos Santos, Felipe Marroni Rasteiro, Anita Brum Marostegan, Fúlvia Barros Manchado-Gobatto and Claudio Alexandre Gobatto
Biology 2022, 11(8), 1103; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology11081103 - 25 Jul 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1927
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to use traditional physical assessments combined with a metabolomic approach to compare the anthropometric, physical fitness level, and serum fasting metabolic profile among U22 soccer players at different competitive levels. In the experimental design, two teams of [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study was to use traditional physical assessments combined with a metabolomic approach to compare the anthropometric, physical fitness level, and serum fasting metabolic profile among U22 soccer players at different competitive levels. In the experimental design, two teams of male U22 soccer were evaluated (non-elite = 20 athletes, competing in a regional division; elite = 16 athletes, competing in the first division of the national U22 youth league). Earlobe blood samples were collected, and metabolites were extracted after overnight fasting (12 h). Untargeted metabolomics through Liquid Chromatograph Mass Spectrometry (LC-MS) analysis and anthropometric evaluation were performed. Critical velocity was applied to determine aerobic (CV) and anaerobic (ARC) capacity. Height (non-elite = 174.4 ± 7.0 cm; elite = 176.5 ± 7.0 cm), body mass index (non-elite = 22.1 ± 2.4 kg/m2; elite = 21.9 ± 2.3 kg/m2), body mass (non-elite = 67.1 ± 8.8 kg; elite = 68.5 ± 10.1 kg), lean body mass (non-elite = 59.3 ± 7.1 kg; elite = 61.1 ± 7.9 kg), body fat (non-elite = 7.8 ± 2.4 kg; elite = 7.3 ± 2.4 kg), body fat percentage (non-elite = 11.4 ± 2.4%; elite = 10.5 ± 1.7%), hematocrit (non-elite = 50.2 ± 4.0%; elite = 51.0 ± 4.0%), CV (non-elite = 3.1 ± 0.4 m/s; elite = 3.0 ± 0.2 m/s), and ARC (non-elite = 129.6 ± 55.7 m; elite = 161.5 ± 61.0 m) showed no significant differences between the elite and non-elite teams, while the multivariate Partial Least Squares Discriminant Analysis (PLS-DA) model revealed a separation between the elite and non-elite athletes. Nineteen metabolites with importance for projection (VIP) >1.0 were annotated as belonging to the glycerolipid, sterol lipid, fatty acyl, flavonoid, and glycerophospholipid classes. Metabolites with a high relative abundance in the elite group were related in the literature to a better level of aerobic power, greater efficiency in the recovery process, and improvement of mood, immunity, decision making, and accuracy, in addition to acting in mitochondrial preservation and electron transport chain maintenance. In conclusion, although classical physical assessments were not able to distinguish the teams at different competitive levels, the metabolomics approach successfully indicated differences between the fasting metabolic profiles of elite and non-elite teams. Full article
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13 pages, 2335 KiB  
Article
Is the Side Bridge Test Valid and Reliable for Assessing Trunk Lateral Flexor Endurance in Recreational Female Athletes?
by Casto Juan-Recio, Amaya Prat-Luri, Alberto Galindo, Agustín Manresa-Rocamora, David Barbado and Francisco J. Vera-Garcia
Biology 2022, 11(7), 1043; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology11071043 - 12 Jul 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2694
Abstract
The side bridge test (SBT) is one of the most popular tests to assess isometric trunk lateral flexor endurance. The aim of this study was to assess the validity and reliability of the SBT in healthy females. Twenty-four (24.58 ± 3.92 years) physically [...] Read more.
The side bridge test (SBT) is one of the most popular tests to assess isometric trunk lateral flexor endurance. The aim of this study was to assess the validity and reliability of the SBT in healthy females. Twenty-four (24.58 ± 3.92 years) physically active (1–2 h of moderate physical activity, 2–3 times a week) females voluntarily participated in this study. The surface electromyography (EMG) of eight abdominal, back, shoulder and hip muscles was measured during the SBT. Normalized median frequency slopes (NMFslope) were calculated to analyze the muscle fatigue. The EMG amplitudes were normalized to maximum EMG values to assess muscle activity intensity. A one-week test-retest design was performed to evaluate the SBT reliability through the ICC3,1 and typical error. Higher NMFslopes and normalized EMG amplitudes were found in deltoids, abdominal obliques, rectus abdominis, and erector spinae in comparison to latissimus dorsi, gluteus medius, and rectus femoris. However, no significant differences were found between the trunk lateral flexors and the deltoids. Linear regression analysis showed that SBT performance could be significantly predicted by external oblique and deltoid NMFslope (adjusted R2 = 0.673) and by body mass and trunk height (adjusted R2 = 0.223). Consistency analysis showed a high intraclass correlation coefficient (0.81) and a relatively high typical error (10.95 s). Despite the good relative reliability of the SBT, its absolute reliability was low and its validity questionable, as the shoulder muscle activation and fatigue and the individuals’ anthropometric characteristics played an important role in SBT performance. Full article
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23 pages, 3820 KiB  
Article
Complex Network Model Reveals the Impact of Inspiratory Muscle Pre-Activation on Interactions among Physiological Responses and Muscle Oxygenation during Running and Passive Recovery
by Fúlvia Barros Manchado-Gobatto, Ricardo Silva Torres, Anita Brum Marostegan, Felipe Marroni Rasteiro, Charlini Simoni Hartz, Marlene Aparecida Moreno, Allan Silva Pinto and Claudio Alexandre Gobatto
Biology 2022, 11(7), 963; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology11070963 - 25 Jun 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2410
Abstract
Although several studies have focused on the adaptations provided by inspiratory muscle (IM) training on physical demands, the warm-up or pre-activation (PA) of these muscles alone appears to generate positive effects on physiological responses and performance. This study aimed to understand the effects [...] Read more.
Although several studies have focused on the adaptations provided by inspiratory muscle (IM) training on physical demands, the warm-up or pre-activation (PA) of these muscles alone appears to generate positive effects on physiological responses and performance. This study aimed to understand the effects of inspiratory muscle pre-activation (IMPA) on high-intensity running and passive recovery, as applied to active subjects. In an original and innovative investigation of the impacts of IMPA on high-intensity running, we proposed the identification of the interactions among physical characteristics, physiological responses and muscle oxygenation in more and less active muscle to a running exercise using a complex network model. For this, fifteen male subjects were submitted to all-out 30 s tethered running efforts preceded or not preceded by IMPA, composed of 2 × 15 repetitions (1 min interval between them) at 40% of the maximum individual inspiratory pressure using a respiratory exercise device. During running and recovery, we monitored the physiological responses (heart rate, blood lactate, oxygen saturation) and muscle oxygenation (in vastus lateralis and biceps brachii) by wearable near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS). Thus, we investigated four scenarios: two in the tethered running exercise (with or without IMPA) and two built into the recovery process (after the all-out 30 s), under the same conditions. Undirected weighted graphs were constructed, and four centrality metrics were analyzed (Degree, Betweenness, Eigenvector, and Pagerank). The IMPA (40% of the maximum inspiratory pressure) was effective in increasing the peak and mean relative running power, and the analysis of the complex networks advanced the interpretation of the effects of physiological adjustments related to the IMPA on exercise and recovery. Centrality metrics highlighted the nodes related to muscle oxygenation responses (in more and less active muscles) as significant to all scenarios, and systemic physiological responses mediated this impact, especially after IMPA application. Our results suggest that this respiratory strategy enhances exercise, recovery and the multidimensional approach to understanding the effects of physiological adjustments on these conditions. Full article
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17 pages, 1978 KiB  
Article
Effects of High-Intensity Resistance Training on Physical Fitness, Hormonal and Antioxidant Factors: A Randomized Controlled Study Conducted on Young Adult Male Soccer Players
by Ana Filipa Silva, Mohammad Hosein Aghidemand, Masoud Kharatzadeh, Vahab Khan Ahmadi, Rafael Oliveira, Filipe Manuel Clemente, Georgian Badicu and Eugenia Murawska-Ciałowicz
Biology 2022, 11(6), 909; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology11060909 - 13 Jun 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2444
Abstract
Purpose: The aim of this study was to test the effects of high-intensity resistance training (HIRT) intervention on the physical fitness, hormonal and antioxidant factors of adult male soccer players. Methods: A randomized controlled study design was implemented. Eighteen soccer players (age: 20.3 [...] Read more.
Purpose: The aim of this study was to test the effects of high-intensity resistance training (HIRT) intervention on the physical fitness, hormonal and antioxidant factors of adult male soccer players. Methods: A randomized controlled study design was implemented. Eighteen soccer players (age: 20.3 ± 0.66 years; stature: 174.0 ± 6.01 cm; body mass: 69.1 ± 6.4 kg; body mass index: 22.8 ± 1.6 kg/m2) voluntarily participated in this study. Players were assessed before and after an intervention lasting 8 weeks, with three training sessions a week. Assessments of physical fitness included the Yo-Yo intermittent recovery test level 1 (YYIRT1), 10-, 20-, and 30 m sprint time (ST), running-based anaerobic sprint test (RAST) and change-of-direction time (COD). Hormonal tests included cortisol, testosterone and growth hormone (GH), whereas the antioxidant assessment included superoxide dismutase (SOD), malondialdehyde (MDA) and glutathione (GSH). Results: Between-group analysis revealed no significant differences at baseline, whereas it revealed that HIRT presented significant better results than the control group on YYIRT (p = 0.032), 10 m ST (p = 0.041), 20 m ST (p = 0.040), 30 m ST (p = 0.044), RAST (p = 0.013), and COD (p = 0.031) after the intervention period. The within group analysis revealed that the HIRT group significantly improved the YYIRT1 (p < 0.001), VO2max (p < 0.001), 10 m ST (p < 0.001), 20 m ST (p = 0.006), 30 m ST (p < 0.001), RAST (p < 0.001) and COD (p < 0.001). Moreover, HIRT group significantly reduced the cortisol (p < 0.001) and MDA (p = 0.021), whereas it significantly increased the GH (p < 0.001), testosterone (p < 0.001), SOD (p = 0.009) and GSH (p = 0.005). Conclusions: The HIRT is effective for improving physical fitness, revealing significant better adaptations than controls. Moreover, hormonal and antioxidant adaptations are also confirmed after HIRT intervention. Full article
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10 pages, 694 KiB  
Article
Forced Sedentariness and Sports Activity as Factors Differentiating Anthropometric Characteristics, Indices, and Body Composition in People with Disabilities
by Anna Zwierzchowska, Barbara Rosołek, Marcin Sikora and Diana Celebańska
Biology 2022, 11(6), 906; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology11060906 - 13 Jun 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1730
Abstract
Introduction: Although the assessment of physique and body composition poses methodological, technical, and interpretative difficulties, it is of great importance for the health of people with disabilities. The aim of the study was to demonstrate that sedentariness and sports activity are factors differentiating [...] Read more.
Introduction: Although the assessment of physique and body composition poses methodological, technical, and interpretative difficulties, it is of great importance for the health of people with disabilities. The aim of the study was to demonstrate that sedentariness and sports activity are factors differentiating anthropometric characteristics, indices, and body composition in people with physical disabilities. Materials and methods: Fifty-eight people were examined: 48 elite Polish Para athletes, including Paralympic track and field athletes (PTF, n = 8), sitting volleyball players (SV, n = 15), wheelchair rugby players (WR, n = 25), and individuals with cervical spinal cord injury (CSCI, n = 10). Body mass (BM), body height (BH), body length (BL), waist circumference (WC), hip circumference (HC), body fat percentage (%FT), and visceral fat rating (VFR) were measured. Furthermore, BMI, BMIcorrected, and body adiposity index (BAI) were evaluated. Results: The highest WC, BAI, %FT, and VFR were found for the CSCI group. The type of sport significantly differentiated between anthropometric features, indices, and body composition of the athletes. Sitting volleyball players achieved the highest mean BM (83.9), WC (92.9), HC (103.7), BMI (24.5), BAI (23.4), and VFR (12.6). The highest %FT (28.9) was found in wheelchair rugby players. Conclusions: The results of the present study indicate that forced sedentariness and sports activity among individuals with disabilities differentiate body structure and physique. Full article
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12 pages, 1752 KiB  
Article
Concordance Analysis between the Segments and the Overall Performance in Olympic Triathlon in Elite Triathletes
by Javier Olaya-Cuartero, José Fernández-Sáez, Ove Østerlie and Alberto Ferriz-Valero
Biology 2022, 11(6), 902; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology11060902 - 11 Jun 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2590
Abstract
To date, the performance in triathlon has been measured through time or position. Although this is what defines the medals and the goal of the competition, it can have some limitations. As an alternative, the purpose of this study is to assess the [...] Read more.
To date, the performance in triathlon has been measured through time or position. Although this is what defines the medals and the goal of the competition, it can have some limitations. As an alternative, the purpose of this study is to assess the degree of concordance of performance between each of the triathlon disciplines with overall performance through the triathlon performance indicator for the Olympic distance event. The official results from the World Triathlon Series for Olympic distance events from 2000 to 2019 were examined. A total of 11,263 entries were analysed, 6273 corresponding to elite men and 4990 to elite women. Moderate agreement was found between the running performance and overall performance in both elite men ICCa = 0.538 and elite women ICCa = 0.581. Moreover, moderate agreement was found between swimming performance and overall performance in both elite men ICCa = 0.640 and elite women ICCa = 0.613. Finally, good agreement was found between cycling performance and overall performance also in both elite men ICCa = 0.777 and elite women ICCa = 0.816. The main results of the present study show that the cycling performance indicator could be an alternative to anticipate the overall performance in the competition for the Olympic distance event. Full article
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12 pages, 309 KiB  
Article
Gender Differences and Relationship of 2D:4D-Ratio, Mental Toughness and Dark Triad Traits among Active Young Adults
by Seyed Hojjat Zamani Sani, Dena Sadeghi-Bahmani, Zahra Fathirezaie, Mohammad Taghi Aghdasi, Kosar Abbaspour, Georgian Badicu and Serge Brand
Biology 2022, 11(6), 864; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology11060864 - 5 Jun 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 4109
Abstract
There is consistent evidence that prenatal exposures to higher testosterone and lower estrogen concentrations during the first trimester of embryonal and fetal development are associated with a lower 2D:4D-ratio, which is to say: The index finger (2D) is shorter, compared to the ring [...] Read more.
There is consistent evidence that prenatal exposures to higher testosterone and lower estrogen concentrations during the first trimester of embryonal and fetal development are associated with a lower 2D:4D-ratio, which is to say: The index finger (2D) is shorter, compared to the ring finger (4D). Compared to non-active, athletes show lower 2D:4D ratios. However, athletes also report specific personality traits such as mental toughness, assertiveness, and competitive behavior. Here, we tested if 2D:4D-ratios were related to specific personality traits. We further investigated possible gender differences. A total of 460 active young adults (mean age: 24.81 years; 67% females) completed a series of self-rating questionnaires covering sociodemographic information and traits of the dark triad and mental toughness. Participants also provided a scan of their right palm hand to measure and calculate 2D:4D-ratios. t-tests, Pearson’s correlations, and multiple regression analysis were performed to analyze data. Compared to male participants, female participants had a higher 2D:4D-ratio. Female and male participants did not differ as regards dark triad traits and mental toughness traits. Irrespective of gender, and based on correlational computations, 2D:4D-ratios were unrelated to the dark triad (DT) and mental toughness (MT) scores. Higher DT scores were modestly associated with higher MT scores among females, but not among males. Lower 2D:4D-ratios were associated with higher constancy scores and the male gender. The constancy and male gender appeared to be associated with lower 2D:4D-ratios. Full article
18 pages, 2804 KiB  
Article
Reproducibility and Applicability of Traditional Strength Training Prescription Recommendations
by Juan Ramón Heredia-Elvar, Juan Hernández-Lougedo, Luis Maicas-Pérez, Raúl Notario-Alonso, Manuel Vicente Garnacho-Castaño, Pablo García-Fernández and José Luis Maté-Muñoz
Biology 2022, 11(6), 851; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology11060851 - 2 Jun 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2220
Abstract
Background: The aim of this study was to verify the reproducibility of a resistance training protocol in the bench press (BP) exercise, based on traditional recommendations, analysing the effect of the muscle fatigue of each set and of the whole exercise protocol. Methods: [...] Read more.
Background: The aim of this study was to verify the reproducibility of a resistance training protocol in the bench press (BP) exercise, based on traditional recommendations, analysing the effect of the muscle fatigue of each set and of the whole exercise protocol. Methods: In this cross-sectional study, thirty male physical education students were divided into three groups according to their relative strength ratio (RSR), and they performed a 1RM BP test (T1). In the second session (T2), which was one week after T1, the participants performed a BP exercise protocol of three sets with the maximum number of repetitions (MNR) possible to muscle failure, using a relative load corresponding to 70% 1RM determined through the mean propulsive velocity (MPV) obtained from the individual load–velocity relationship, with 2 min rests between sets. Two weeks later, a third session (T3) identical to the second session (T2) was performed. The MPV of each repetition of each set and the blood lactate level after each set were calculated, and mechanical fatigue was quantified through the velocity loss percentage of the set (% loss MPV) and in a pre-post exercise test with an individual load that could be lifted at ~1 m·s−1 of MPV. Results: The number of repetitions performed in each set was significantly different (MNR for the total group of participants: set 1 = 12.50 ± 2.19 repetitions, set 2 = 6.06 ± 1.98 repetitions and set 3 = 4.20 ± 1.99 repetitions), showing high variation coefficients in each of the sets and between groups according to RSR. There were significant differences also in MPVrep Best (set 1 = 0.62 ± 0.10 m·s−1, set 2 = 0.42 ± 0.07 m·s−1, set 3 = 0.36 ± 0.10 m·s−1), which significantly reduced the % loss MPV of all sets (set 1 = 77.4%, set 2 = 64%, set 3 = 54.2%). The lactate levels increased significantly (p < 0.05) (set 1 = 4.9 mmo·L−1, set 2 = 6 mmo·L−1, set 3 = 6.5 mmo·L−1), and MPV loss at 1 m·s−1 after performing the three sets was 36% in T2 and 34% in T3, with acceptable intrasubject variability (MPV at 1 m·s−1 pre-exercise: SEM ≤ 0.09 m·s−1, CV = 9.8%; MPV at 1 m·s−1 post-exercise: SEM ≤ 0.07 m·s−1, CV = 11.7%). Conclusions: These exercise propositions are difficult to reproduce and apply. Moreover, the number of repetitions performed in each set was significantly different, which makes it difficult to define and control the intensity of the exercise. Lastly, the fatigue generated in each set could have an individual response depending on the capacity of each subject to recover from the preceding maximum effort. Full article
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16 pages, 1312 KiB  
Article
Assessment of Body Composition and Physical Performance of Young Soccer Players: Differences According to the Competitive Level
by Stefania Toselli, Mario Mauro, Alessia Grigoletto, Stefania Cataldi, Luca Benedetti, Gianni Nanni, Riccardo Di Miceli, Paolo Aiello, Davide Gallamini, Francesco Fischetti and Gianpiero Greco
Biology 2022, 11(6), 823; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology11060823 - 27 May 2022
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 3334
Abstract
Soccer is a multifactorial sport, in which players are expected to possess well developed physical, psychological, technical, and tactical skills. Thus, the anthropometric and fitness measures play a determinant role and could vary according to the competitive level. Therefore, the present study aimed [...] Read more.
Soccer is a multifactorial sport, in which players are expected to possess well developed physical, psychological, technical, and tactical skills. Thus, the anthropometric and fitness measures play a determinant role and could vary according to the competitive level. Therefore, the present study aimed to verify differences in body composition and physical performance between two soccer team. 162 young soccer players (from the Under 12 to Under 15 age categories; age: 13.01 ± 1.15 years) of different competitive levels (elite—n = 98 and non-elite—n = 64) were recruited. Anthropometric characteristics (height, weight, lengths, widths, circumferences, and skinfold thicknesses (SK)), bioelectrical impedance, physical performance test as countermovement jump (CMJ), 15 m straight-line sprints, Yo-Yo Intermittent Recovery Test Level 1 (Yo-Yo), and 20 + 20 m repeated-sprint ability (RSA)) were carried out. In addition, Body mass index (BMI), body composition parameters (percentage of fat mass (%F), Fat mass (FM, kg), and Fat-free mass (FFM, kg)) and the areas of the upper arm, calf and thigh were calculated, and the Bioelectric Impedance Vector Analysis (BIVA) procedures were applied. In addition, a linear discriminant analysis was assessed to determine which factors better discriminate between an elite and non-elite football team. Many differences were observed in body composition between and within each football team’s category, especially in triceps SK (p < 0.05), %F (p < 0.05), and all performance tests (p < 0.01). The canonical correlation was 0.717 (F(7,128) = 19.37, p < 0.0001), and the coefficients that better discriminated between two teams were 15 m sprint (−2.39), RSA (1−26), suprailiac SK (−0.5) and CMJ (−0.45). Elite soccer team players present a better body composition and greater physical efficiency. In addition, BIVA outcome could be a relevant selection criterion to scout among younger soccer players. Full article
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12 pages, 1084 KiB  
Article
Running Footwear and Impact Peak Differences in Recreational Runners
by Federico Roggio, Bruno Trovato, Marta Zanghì, Luca Petrigna, Gianluca Testa, Vito Pavone and Giuseppe Musumeci
Biology 2022, 11(6), 818; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology11060818 - 26 May 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2569
Abstract
Running is a physical activity and the investigation of its biomechanical aspects is crucial both to avoid injuries and enhance performance. Recreational runners may be liable to increased stress over the body, particularly to lower limb joints. This study investigates the different running [...] Read more.
Running is a physical activity and the investigation of its biomechanical aspects is crucial both to avoid injuries and enhance performance. Recreational runners may be liable to increased stress over the body, particularly to lower limb joints. This study investigates the different running patterns of recreational runners by analyzing characteristics of the footwear impact peak, spatiotemporal, and kinematic parameters among those that present with a peak impact and those that do not, with a 3D markerless system. Thirty recreational runners were divided into two groups: impact peak group (IP) (n = 16) and no impact peak group (n = 14) (n-IP). Kinematic and spatiotemporal parameters showed a large Cohen’s d effect size between the groups. The mean hip flexion was IP 40.40° versus n-IP 32.30° (d = −0.82). Hip extension was IP 30.20° versus n-IP 27.70° (d = −0.58), and ankle dorsiflexion was IP 20.80°, versus n-IP 13.37° (d = −1.17). Stride length was IP 117.90 cm versus n-IP 105.50 cm (d = −0.84). Steps per minute was IP group 170 spm, versus n-IP 163 spm (d = −0.51). The heel-to-toe drop was mainly 10–12 mm for the IP group and 4–6 mm for the n-IP group. Recreational runners whose hip extension is around 40°, ankle dorsiflexion around 20°, and initial foot contact around 14°, may be predisposed to the presence of an impact peak. Full article
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12 pages, 1336 KiB  
Article
Test-Retest Reliability of Isokinetic Strength Measurements in Lower Limbs in Elderly
by Jose A. Parraca, José Carmelo Adsuar, Francisco Javier Domínguez-Muñoz, Sabina Barrios-Fernandez and Pablo Tomas-Carus
Biology 2022, 11(6), 802; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology11060802 - 24 May 2022
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 2655
Abstract
Strength is essential for carrying out the usual activities of daily life. As there is a loss of strength in elderly, many treatments are based on delaying the loss of strength or maintaining it. Isokinetic dynamometry is the gold standard for assessing strength. [...] Read more.
Strength is essential for carrying out the usual activities of daily life. As there is a loss of strength in elderly, many treatments are based on delaying the loss of strength or maintaining it. Isokinetic dynamometry is the gold standard for assessing strength. It is essential that studies are conducted to allow us to identify the reliability of isokinetic strength assessments in older people. This study aimed to test the absolute and relative intra-session reliability of peak torque and work of a concentric knee extension-flexion performed at 60°/s in elderly. Fifty-two elderly subjects performed three repetitions of bilateral concentric knee extension-flexion at 60°/s using an isokinetic dynamometer. The relative and absolute reliability were calculated between the second and third repetition. The intra-class correlation coefficient values were between 0.94 and 0.98 for peak torque and work in all measures, which is considered “excellent”, except for left leg flexors in women, with values between 0.85 and 0.88, which is considered “good”. The standard error of measurement (SEM) percentage oscillated from 3.9% to 10.5%, with a smallest real difference (SRD) percentage of 10.9% to 29.2% for peak torque. The relative reliability of peak torque and work were excellent for all measures except flexors in women, evidencing the utility of isokinetic dynamometry for monitoring lower limb maximal muscle strength and work of concentric knee extension-flexion at 60°/s/s in the elderly. In addition, an SRD > 19.9% in peak torque and an SRD > 23.1% in work is considered a true change. Full article
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13 pages, 559 KiB  
Article
Modelling 5-km Running Performance on Level and Hilly Terrains in Recreational Runners
by Onécimo Ubiratã Medina Melo, Marcus Peikriszwili Tartaruga, Edilson Fernando de Borba, Daniel Boullosa, Edson Soares da Silva, Rodrigo Torma Bernardo, Renan Coimbra, Henrique Bianchi Oliveira, Rodrigo Gomes da Rosa and Leonardo Alexandre Peyré-Tartaruga
Biology 2022, 11(5), 789; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology11050789 - 22 May 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2201
Abstract
Incline and level running on treadmills have been extensively studied due to their different cardiorespiratory and biomechanical acute responses. However, there are no studies examining the performance determinants of outdoor running on hilly terrains. We aimed to investigate the influence of anthropometrics, muscle [...] Read more.
Incline and level running on treadmills have been extensively studied due to their different cardiorespiratory and biomechanical acute responses. However, there are no studies examining the performance determinants of outdoor running on hilly terrains. We aimed to investigate the influence of anthropometrics, muscle strength, and cardiorespiratory and gait spatiotemporal parameters during level (0%) and inclined (+7%) running on performance in level and hilly 5-km races. Twenty male recreational runners completed two 5-km outdoor running tests (0% vs. +7% and −7%), and two submaximal (10 km·h−1) and incremental treadmill tests at 0 and 7% slopes, after complete laboratory evaluations. The velocity at maximal oxygen consumption (VO2max) evaluated at 7% incline and level treadmill running were the best performance predictors under both hilly (R2 = 0.72; p < 0.05) and level (R2 = 0.85; p < 0.01) conditions, respectively. Inclusion of ventilatory and submaximal heart rate data improved the predictive models up to 100%. Conversely, none of the parameters evaluated in one condition contributed to the other condition. The spatiotemporal parameters and the runners’ strength levels were not associated to outdoor performances. These results indicate that the vVO2max evaluated at similar slopes in the lab can be used to predict 5-km running performances on both level and hilly terrains. Full article
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8 pages, 304 KiB  
Article
Associations between Fat Mass and Fat Free Mass with Physical Fitness in Adolescent Girls: A 3-Year Longitudinal Study
by Mario Kasović, Ana Oreški, Tomáš Vespalec, Marta Gimunová and Lovro Štefan
Biology 2022, 11(5), 783; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology11050783 - 21 May 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1899
Abstract
The main purpose of the study was to examine the longitudinal associations between fat mass and fat free mass with health-related physical fitness. Two-hundred and forty 15-year old adolescent girls were measured at the baseline and after a period of 3 years (17 [...] Read more.
The main purpose of the study was to examine the longitudinal associations between fat mass and fat free mass with health-related physical fitness. Two-hundred and forty 15-year old adolescent girls were measured at the baseline and after a period of 3 years (17 years). Health-related physical fitness included the following tests: (1) explosive power of the lower extremities (standing broad jump); (2) muscle endurance of the trunk (sit-ups in 60 s); (3) flexibility (sit-and-reach test); (4) muscle endurance of the lower extremities (squats in 60 s); (5) aerobic endurance (the 800 m run test); and (6) speed endurance (the 400 m running test). Fat mass and fat free mass were assessed using the bioelectrical impedance method. Longitudinal associations were analyzed with linear mixed model estimates. After adjusting for body mass index, fat mass was negatively associated with standing broad jump (β = −1.13, p < 0.001), sit-ups in 60 s (β = −0.27, p < 0.001), and squats in 60 s (β = −0.27, p < 0001), while positive associations with the 800 m running test (β = 0.02, p < 0.001) and the 400 m running test (β = 0.02, p < 0.001) were observed. On the other hand, fat free mass was positively associated with standing broad jump (β = 1.14, p < 0.001), sit-ups in 60 s (β = 0.28, p < 0.001), and squats in 60 s (β = 0.28, p < 0001), while the 800 m running test (β = −0.02, p < 0.001) and the 400 m running test (β = −0.02, p < 0.001) exhibited negative associations. This study shows that fat mass and fat free mass components are longitudinally, but oppositely associated with health-related physical fitness in adolescent girls. Full article
17 pages, 2886 KiB  
Article
Tensiomyography Allows to Discriminate between Injured and Non-Injured Biceps Femoris Muscle
by Srđan Đorđević, Sergej Rozman, Petra Zupet, Milivoj Dopsaj and Nicola Maffulli
Biology 2022, 11(5), 746; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology11050746 - 13 May 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 3899
Abstract
The hamstring muscle group is the most frequently injured muscle group in non-contact muscle injuries in sports involving high-speed running. A total of 84% of hamstring injuries affect the biceps femoris (BF) muscle. Clinical assessments and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) are routinely used [...] Read more.
The hamstring muscle group is the most frequently injured muscle group in non-contact muscle injuries in sports involving high-speed running. A total of 84% of hamstring injuries affect the biceps femoris (BF) muscle. Clinical assessments and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) are routinely used for diagnosis and plan management. MRI-negative scans for clinically diagnosed hamstring injuries range from 14% to 45%. We tested the hypothesis that the functional differences between injured and non-injured BF assessed by tensiomyography can be used for diagnostic and classification purposes. We compared an injured group of 53 international-level soccer players and sprinters with 53 non-injured international-level soccer players and sprinters of both sexes. Comparing the injured vs. non-injured athletes and the left vs. right side in all of the athletes, we used the percentage of absolute differences in the BF contraction time (Tc) to classify non-injured and injured BF muscles. The receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve and the area under the curve (AUC) and the precision–recall curve (PRC) were used to measure the classification accuracy and to identify cut-off limits using the Tc differences. There was a very high ROC AUC value of 0.981 (SE = 0.009, p < 0.000), with 98.11% of the injured muscles being correctly classified (cut-off point 12.50% on Tc differences), and an AUPRC value of 0.981, with association classification criteria at >9.87. Tensiomyography has a high predictive ability to discriminate between injured and non-injured BF non-invasively and functionally. Full article
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12 pages, 700 KiB  
Article
Effects of Aquatic Training in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder
by Hamza Marzouki, Badis Soussi, Okba Selmi, Yamina Hajji, Santo Marsigliante, Ezdine Bouhlel, Antonella Muscella, Katja Weiss and Beat Knechtle
Biology 2022, 11(5), 657; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology11050657 - 25 Apr 2022
Cited by 19 | Viewed by 6331
Abstract
A variety of aquatic training regimens have been found to be beneficial for individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) in multiple domains. This study investigated and compared the efficacy of two aquatic training regimens (technical vs. game-based) on gross motor skills, stereotypy behavior [...] Read more.
A variety of aquatic training regimens have been found to be beneficial for individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) in multiple domains. This study investigated and compared the efficacy of two aquatic training regimens (technical vs. game-based) on gross motor skills, stereotypy behavior and emotion regulation in children with ASD. Twenty-two autistic children were randomly assigned into three groups: two experimental groups performed either a technical aquatic program or a game-based aquatic program and a control group. Participants were assessed before and after an 8-week training period, with the Test of Gross Motor Development, the stereotypy subscale of the Gilliam Autism Rating Scale, and the Emotion Regulation Checklist. A significant effect for time was found in gross motor skills and stereotypy behavior in both experimental groups. An improvement in gross motor skills was observed in both experimental groups compared to the control group. A small pre-post change effect in emotion functioning was found in all groups. No significant differences were observed between the experimental groups in all assessed variables. Our findings provide additional evidence suggesting the effectiveness of beneficial effects of aquatic activities on the motor and social skills that underpin the hypothesis that motor and intellectual domains are highly interrelated in autistic children. Full article
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16 pages, 2326 KiB  
Article
Acute Cardiorespiratory and Metabolic Responses to Incremental Cycling Exercise in Endurance- and Strength-Trained Athletes
by Maciej Jurasz, Michał Boraczyński, James J. Laskin, Anna M. Kamelska-Sadowska, Robert Podstawski, Jarosław Jaszczur-Nowicki, Jacek J. Nowakowski and Piotr Gronek
Biology 2022, 11(5), 643; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology11050643 - 22 Apr 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2454
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to examine the acute effects of a progressive submaximal cycling exercise on selected cardiorespiratory and metabolic variables in endurance and strength trained athletes. The sample comprised 32 participants aged 22.0 ± 0.54 years who were assigned into [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study was to examine the acute effects of a progressive submaximal cycling exercise on selected cardiorespiratory and metabolic variables in endurance and strength trained athletes. The sample comprised 32 participants aged 22.0 ± 0.54 years who were assigned into three groups: an endurance trained group (END, triathletes, n = 10), a strength trained group (STR, bodybuilders, n = 10), and a control group (CON, recreationally active students, n = 12). The incremental cycling exercise was performed using a progressive protocol starting with a 3 min resting measurement and then a 50 W workload with subsequent constant increments of 50 W every 3 min until 200 W. The following cardiometabolic variables were evaluated: heart rate (HR), oxygen uptake (VO2), carbon dioxide production (VCO2), respiratory exchange ratio (RER), systolic and diastolic blood pressure (SBP and DBP), and blood lactate (BLa). We found the between-group differences in metabolic variables (the average RER and BLa) were statistically significant (Tukey’s HSD test: CON vs. STR, p < 0.01 and p < 0.05, respectively; CON vs. END, p < 0.001; END vs. STR, p < 0.001). RER and BLa differences in all groups depended on the workload level (G-G-epsilon = 0.438; p < 0.004 and G-G-epsilon = 0.400; p < 0.001, respectively). There were no significant differences in cardiorespiratory variables between endurance- and strength-trained groups. In conclusion, this study demonstrated that acute cardiorespiratory responses at each of the four submaximal workloads were comparable in endurance- compared to strength-trained athletes, but significantly different compared to recreationally active men. However, there were significant differences in the metabolic responses of RER and BLa. Based on our findings we recommend that endurance-trained athletes follow a concurrent training program, combined strength and endurance training, to improve neuromuscular parameters and thus optimize their economy of movement and endurance-specific muscle power capacity. Full article
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9 pages, 312 KiB  
Article
Does Heavy-Resistance Training Improve Mobility and Perception of Quality of Life in Older Women?
by Fernanda Borges-Silva, Miryam Martínez-Pascual, David Colomer-Poveda, Gonzalo Márquez and Salvador Romero-Arenas
Biology 2022, 11(5), 626; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology11050626 - 20 Apr 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2633
Abstract
Regular physical exercise has shown great benefits in preventing age-related functional losses and in improving the perception of health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in older people. To optimize these benefits, it would be interesting to evaluate what type of exercise is better. Therefore, [...] Read more.
Regular physical exercise has shown great benefits in preventing age-related functional losses and in improving the perception of health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in older people. To optimize these benefits, it would be interesting to evaluate what type of exercise is better. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to assess the effects of heavy-resistance training on mobility and HRQoL in older women. Forty healthy, untrained older women (60–75 years) were randomly assigned to three groups: circuit resistance training (CRT, n = 15), traditional resistance training (TRT, n = 15) or the control group (CG, n = 10). During the 12-week training period, both experimental groups performed training with heavy loads, twice a week. Before and after the training period, the Timed Up and Go test, as a proxy of mobility, and the perception of HRQoL were evaluated. TRT and CRT resulted in a statistically significant improvement in the Timed Up and Go test (−5.4 and −10.3%, respectively; p < 0.05), but only the improvement after CRT was significantly greater than changes in the CG (p < 0.001). Only CRT elicited improvements in several dimensions of the perception of the HRQoL questionnaire, such as: physical functioning (13%, p < 0.001), general health (8.1%; p = 0.048), vitality (17.7%; p < 0.001), role emotional (6.7%; p = 0.044) and physical component summary (6.3%; p = 0.001). The change in the CRT group was greater than in the CG (p < 0.001) in the physical functioning score. The present findings show that CRT might be a time- (and hence cost-) effective alternative to trigger multiple positive functional and psychological adaptations in older women. Full article
13 pages, 1883 KiB  
Article
Aerobic Dance on an Air Dissipation Platform Improves Cardiorespiratory, Muscular and Cellular Fitness in the Overweight and Obese Elderly
by Alessandra Moreira-Reis, José Luis Maté-Muñoz, Juan Hernández-Lougedo, Sergio Vilches-Sáez, Marta Benet, Pablo García-Fernández, Eulogio Pleguezuelos, Teresa Carbonell, Norma Alva and Manuel Vicente Garnacho-Castaño
Biology 2022, 11(4), 579; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology11040579 - 11 Apr 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2469
Abstract
Background: Obesity is a global health problem associated with a high number of comorbidities that decrease functional capacity, especially in elderly people. Aerobic dance is considered a viable strategy to prevent the effects of aging, mainly in obese and overweight elderly people. This [...] Read more.
Background: Obesity is a global health problem associated with a high number of comorbidities that decrease functional capacity, especially in elderly people. Aerobic dance is considered a viable strategy to prevent the effects of aging, mainly in obese and overweight elderly people. This study aimed to evaluate the effects of aerobic dance on an air dissipation platform (ADP) on body composition, oxidative stress and muscular and cardiorespiratory fitness in elderly people. Methods: In total, 32 elderly adults (67.1 ± 3.6) were divided into 3 groups based on body mass index: healthy (HG), overweight (OWG) and obese (OG). Training program of aerobic dance on an ADP was carried out twice a week for 12 weeks. Results: OWG (p = 0.016) and OG decreased their weight (p < 0.001). There was a significant decrease in malondialdehyde concentrations in all experimental groups (p < 0.05). OWG and OG significantly improved their peak oxygen uptake (p < 0.01). HG increased the vertical jump height (p < 0.05), and HG and OG improved the power output of the lower extremities (p < 0.05). Conclusions: The aerobic dance on an ADP may be an effective alternative to lose weight, prevent oxidative stress and improve cardiorespiratory fitness in obese and overweight elderly people. Full article
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16 pages, 50198 KiB  
Article
Reliability and Validity of the Athletic Shoulder (ASH) Test Performed Using Portable Isometric-Based Strength Training Device
by Aleksandra Królikowska, Anna Mika, Bartosz Plaskota, Maciej Daszkiewicz, Monika Kentel, Anna Kołcz, Maciej Kentel, Robert Prill, Dorota Diakowska, Paweł Reichert, Artur Stolarczyk and Łukasz Oleksy
Biology 2022, 11(4), 577; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology11040577 - 11 Apr 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 3708
Abstract
The Athletic Shoulder (ASH) test was introduced as a tool for quantifying the ability to produce and transfer force across the shoulder girdle. Whether using the portable isometric-based strength training device Active5™ is a reliable alternative to a gold standard force plate for [...] Read more.
The Athletic Shoulder (ASH) test was introduced as a tool for quantifying the ability to produce and transfer force across the shoulder girdle. Whether using the portable isometric-based strength training device Active5™ is a reliable alternative to a gold standard force plate for ASH testing purposes remains unknown; therefore, the present study determined the reliability and validity of Active5™ usage in the ASH test compared to force plates. Fifty-one healthy participants performed the ASH test using Active5™ and K-Force plates in three separate sessions. The maximal force was measured bilaterally in a prone position at three shoulder abduction angles, precisely at 180°, 135°, and 90°. The first rater carried out the first and third sessions, spaced at a one-week interval. A second rater performed the second session. The reliability was assessed using the intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC). The linear Pearson’s correlation coefficient (r) calculation was used to determine the relationship between ASH test results using the two devices. The ICC = 0.77–0.99 result indicated good to excellent reliability for Active5™ usage. A high to a very high correlation between the two devices at 180° and 90° was noted (r = 0.75–0.95). This data supports the isometric-based strength training device Active5™ as a reliable and valid tool for ASH test performance. Full article
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11 pages, 1790 KiB  
Article
The Curcumin Supplementation with Piperine Can Influence the Acute Elevation of Exercise-Induced Cytokines: Double-Blind Crossover Study
by Stéfani Miranda-Castro, Felipe J. Aidar, Samara Silva de Moura, Lucas Marcucci-Barbosa, Lázaro Fernandes Lobo, Francisco de Assis Dias Martins-Júnior, Roberta da Silva Filha, Pedro Alves Soares Vaz de Castro, Ana Cristina Simões e Silva, Danielle da Glória de Souza, Siomara Aparecida da Silva, Kelerson Mauro de Castro Pinto, Guilherme de Paula Costa, Ana Filipa Silva, Filipe Manuel Clemente, William Valadares Campos Pereira and Albená Nunes-Silva
Biology 2022, 11(4), 573; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology11040573 - 10 Apr 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 3440
Abstract
Background: to evaluate the effects of one week of supplementation with curcumin combined with piperine on physical performance, immune system cell counts, muscle damage, and plasma levels of inflammatory markers after a treadmill running training session. Methods: This study is a double-blind, crossover-balanced [...] Read more.
Background: to evaluate the effects of one week of supplementation with curcumin combined with piperine on physical performance, immune system cell counts, muscle damage, and plasma levels of inflammatory markers after a treadmill running training session. Methods: This study is a double-blind, crossover-balanced clinical trial with a three-week intervention. Sixteen male runners with a mean age of 36 ± 9 years and VO2 max of 60.6 ± 9.03 mL.kg −1 min −1 were recruited and randomly divided into 2 groups: the first group (CPG) was supplemented daily for 7 days with 500 mg of curcumin + 20 mg piperine, and the second group (PG) was supplemented with 540 mg of cellulose. After the 7th day of supplementation, the volunteers participated in the experimental running protocol, where blood samples were collected before, after, and one hour after exercise for analysis of the number of leukocytes, creatine kinase, and cytokine concentration (IL-2, TNF-α, IFN, IL-6, and IL-10) using flow cytometry. This process was repeated, reversing the supplementation offered to the groups. Results: curcumin and piperine supplementation could not change the physical performance, immune cell counts, and muscle damage; however, the aerobic fatiguing exercise protocol inhibited the elevation of the plasmatic levels of some cytokines. The running exercise protocol could elevate the circulating levels of IL-2 (from 49.7 to 59.3 pg/mL), TNF-α (from 48.5 to 51.5 pg/mL), INF (from 128.8 to 165.0 pg/mL), IL-6 (from 63.1 to 77.3 pg/mL), and IL-10 (from 48.9 to 59.6 pg/mL) 1 h after the end of the running protocol. However, the curcumin and piperine supplementation could inhibit this elevation. Conclusions: curcumin and piperine supplementation had no effect on physical performance, immune cell counts, or muscle damage; however, the supplementation could modulate the kinetics of IL-2, TNF-α, INF, IL-6, and IL-10 1 h after the end of exercise. Full article
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12 pages, 1064 KiB  
Article
Effect of Rapid Weight Loss on Hydration Status and Performance in Elite Judo Athletes
by Bayram Ceylan, Latif Aydos and Jožef Šimenko
Biology 2022, 11(4), 500; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology11040500 - 24 Mar 2022
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 4096
Abstract
Background: This study aimed to investigate the effect of 5% rapid weight loss on hydration status and judo performance in highly trained judo athletes. Methods: Eighteen male judo athletes participated in the study and were divided into two groups: control and rapid weight [...] Read more.
Background: This study aimed to investigate the effect of 5% rapid weight loss on hydration status and judo performance in highly trained judo athletes. Methods: Eighteen male judo athletes participated in the study and were divided into two groups: control and rapid weight loss (RWL). RWL athletes were given 48 h to cut 5% of their body mass while the control group followed their routines. Athletes performed three measurements, including hydration, body mass and three consecutive special judo fitness tests (SJFTs). At the 1st and 6th minutes following each SJFT and 1st, 6th and 15th minutes following the last SJFT, blood lactate and heart rate (HR) was monitored. Results: The effect of RWL on variables was tested with split-plot ANOVA. RWL significantly affected urine specific gravity with a higher value following weight loss compared to baseline and recovery (F2-32 = 13.2, p < 0.001). In addition, athletes’ SJFT total throw numbers differed among measurements (F2-32 = 7.70, p < 0.001). Athletes presented worse SJFT index after weight loss (F2-32 = 8.05, p = 0.01; F1-16 = 6.43, p = 0.02, respectively). HR changed significantly among measurements days and times (F28-448 = 143.10, p < 0.001). Conclusion: RWL induced dehydration and impaired heart rate recovery in highly trained judo athletes, and they could not rehydrate between competition simulated weigh-in and 15 h of recovery. Full article
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10 pages, 286 KiB  
Article
Physiological Response to Thermal Stress in Obese vs. Non-Obese Physically Inactive Men
by Robert Podstawski, Krzysztof Borysławski, Andrzej Pomianowski, Imre Soós, Michał Boraczyński and Piotr Gronek
Biology 2022, 11(3), 471; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology11030471 - 18 Mar 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2334
Abstract
The effects of thermal stress on the physiological parameters of obese subjects remain insufficiently researched. The objective of this study was to determine the influence of sauna bathing on the physiological parameters of obese and non-obese physically inactive men. Sixty volunteers aged 18–24 [...] Read more.
The effects of thermal stress on the physiological parameters of obese subjects remain insufficiently researched. The objective of this study was to determine the influence of sauna bathing on the physiological parameters of obese and non-obese physically inactive men. Sixty volunteers aged 18–24 years (20.85 ± 1.46) were divided into two groups (group I—normal body mass, group II—class 1 obesity) for a comparative analysis. Somatic features and body composition were determined before sauna, and blood pressure was measured before and after sauna. Physiological parameters were monitored before and during the sauna session. The average values of body mass, body mass index, body surface area, and weight-to-height ratio were significantly higher (p < 0.001) in obese men (by 28.39 kg, 8.7 kg/m2, 0.34 m2, and 0.13, respectively) than in the normal weight group. Similar observations were made in an analysis of the remaining body composition parameters. The values of physiological parameters (heart rate, systolic and diastolic blood pressure, energy expenditure, oxygen uptake, excess post-exercise oxygen consumption, respiratory rate) were significantly (p < 0.001) higher in obese subjects. However, the observed physiological changes were within the expected norm; therefore, a 10 min sauna session is safe for young men regardless of their body fat levels. Full article
15 pages, 319 KiB  
Article
Selected vs. Non-Selected Under-20 National Futsal Players: Differences between Physical Performance and Training Intensity Experienced in Training Camps
by Ana Filipa Silva, Francisco Tomás González-Fernández, Rafael Oliveira, Filipe Manuel Clemente, Pedro Bezerra, Chin-Hwai Hung, Yi-Wen Chiu, Cheng-Deng Kuo and Yung-Sheng Chen
Biology 2022, 11(3), 434; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology11030434 - 11 Mar 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2210
Abstract
The aim of this study was two-fold: (i) analyze the variations in the physical fitness of selected and non-selected under-20 male national futsal players; and (ii) analyze the variations in training intensity monitored during training camps. Thirty-three Taiwan under-20 national futsal players were [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was two-fold: (i) analyze the variations in the physical fitness of selected and non-selected under-20 male national futsal players; and (ii) analyze the variations in training intensity monitored during training camps. Thirty-three Taiwan under-20 national futsal players were monitored for training intensity during 18 training camps. They were divided into two groups: selected (n = 14) and non-selected (n = 17) players. The physical assessments included the following measures: body mass, distance covered at Yo-Yo intermittent recovery test Level 1, final velocity at 30-15 Intermittent Fitness Test (30-15 IFT), standing long jump, maximum heart rate (HR), and 1-min sit-up. The training intensity was monitored using the rate of perceived exertion (RPE), HR at different intensity zones, and locomotor demands measured at different speed thresholds. The results revealed that the selected players were significantly faster in the 15-m sprint with ball (p = 0.001) and 30-m sprint (p = 0.001). Additionally, the selected players presented significantly greater HRaverage and time spent above 90% maximum HR during the three-to-six-day training camps (p < 0.05) compared to the non-selected players. Interestingly, the NS demonstrated a greater number of sprints during the training camps (p = 0.001), while the selected players presented greater distance/minute and average speed (p = 0.001). A regression analysis showed that the distance/minute and average speed was a significant predictor of maximum HR in the selected players. As conclusions, the physical fitness outcomes are different between the selected and non-selected national futsal players. The selected players spent more time in high intensity HR demands in training sessions. Full article
14 pages, 671 KiB  
Article
Effects of Tai-Chi and Running Exercises on Cardiorespiratory Fitness and Biomarkers in Sedentary Middle-Aged Males: A 24-Week Supervised Training Study
by Yi Wang, Xian Guo, Liangchao Liu, Minhao Xie and Wing-Kai Lam
Biology 2022, 11(3), 375; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology11030375 - 26 Feb 2022
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 3509
Abstract
This study examined the effectiveness of Tai-Chi and running exercises on cardiorespiratory fitness and biomarkers in sedentary middle-aged adults under 24 weeks of supervised training. Methods Thirty-six healthy middle-aged adults (55.6 ± 5.3 yr) were randomly assigned into Tai-Chi, running and control groups. [...] Read more.
This study examined the effectiveness of Tai-Chi and running exercises on cardiorespiratory fitness and biomarkers in sedentary middle-aged adults under 24 weeks of supervised training. Methods Thirty-six healthy middle-aged adults (55.6 ± 5.3 yr) were randomly assigned into Tai-Chi, running and control groups. During a 24-week training period, the Tai-Chi and running groups were asked to perform exercises for 60 min/day and 5 days/week, which were supervised by Tai-Chi and running instructors throughout. Resting heart rate, lean mass, blood pressure and blood lipids were measured, and cardiorespiratory fitness (VO2max, Vmax and Peak heart rate) was assessed at the baseline and the 12- and 24-week interventions. Results Compared to the no-exercise control group, both the Tai-Chi and running groups significantly decreased resting heart rate, diastolic blood pressure and cardiorespiratory fitness and increased lean mass across the training session (p < 0.05). Compared to the Tai-Chi group, the running group showed greater improvement in VO2max and Vmax (p < 0.05) and reduced triglyceride and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (p < 0.05). Conclusion Both Tai-Chi and running exercise showed beneficial effects on cardiorespiratory fitness and enhanced health-related outcomes in middle-aged adults. Although Tai-Chi exercises were less effective in VO2max than running, Tai-Chi may be considered as a plausible alternative to running exercises that can be achieved in the indoor-based setting. Full article
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16 pages, 1613 KiB  
Article
Effects of Eccentric vs. Concentric Sports on Blood Muscular Damage Markers in Male Professional Players
by Alfredo Córdova-Martínez, Alberto Caballero-García, Hugo J. Bello, Daniel Perez-Valdecantos and Enrique Roche
Biology 2022, 11(3), 343; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology11030343 - 22 Feb 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 5761
Abstract
Background: Repetitive eccentric contractions can lead to higher degree of damage compared to repetitive concentric contractions. However, this type of exercise does not reproduce the real situations during the season in competitive sport disciplines. Methods: We analyzed the pattern of muscle damage blood [...] Read more.
Background: Repetitive eccentric contractions can lead to higher degree of damage compared to repetitive concentric contractions. However, this type of exercise does not reproduce the real situations during the season in competitive sport disciplines. Methods: We analyzed the pattern of muscle damage blood markers in male professionals from three disciplines: cycling (n = 18), mainly concentric, vs. basketball (n = 12) and volleyball (n = 14), both mainly eccentric. Circulating muscle markers were analyzed in two moments of the regular season: after a 20-day training (no competition) period (T1) and after a 20-day period of high demanding competition (T2). Results: Blood levels of creatine kinase and myoglobin (muscle markers) increased in all groups at T2 compared to T1 as a result of competition intensity. The lower increases were noticed in cyclists at the end of both periods. Testosterone levels decreased at T2 compared to T1 in all disciplines, with lower levels found in cyclists. However, cortisol plasma levels decreased in basketball and volleyball players at T2, but increased significantly in cyclists, suggesting a limited adaptation to the effort. Conclusions: The pattern of circulating muscle markers is different depending of the demanding efforts (training vs. competition) of each particular discipline. Full article
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14 pages, 1020 KiB  
Article
Analysis of the Use and Applicability of Different Variables for the Prescription of Relative Intensity in Bench Press Exercise
by José Luis Maté-Muñoz, Manuel Vicente Garnacho-Castaño, Juan Hernández-Lougedo, Luis Maicas-Pérez, Raúl Notario-Alonso, Marzo Edir Da Silva-Grigoletto, Pablo García-Fernández and Juan Ramón Heredia-Elvar
Biology 2022, 11(2), 336; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology11020336 - 21 Feb 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 3821
Abstract
Background: The aim of the study was to analyze the use of variables such as % of one-repetition maximum (1RM) and number of maximal repetitions (xRM) with execution velocity to define and control the intensity of resistance training in bench press exercise. [...] Read more.
Background: The aim of the study was to analyze the use of variables such as % of one-repetition maximum (1RM) and number of maximal repetitions (xRM) with execution velocity to define and control the intensity of resistance training in bench press exercise. Hence, exercise professionals will achieve better control of training through a greater understanding of its variables. Methods: In this cross-sectional study, fifty male physical education students were divided into four groups according to their relative strength ratio (RSR) and performed a 1RM bench press test (T1). In the second test, participants performed repetitions to exhaustion (T2), using a relative load corresponding to 70% 1RM determined through the mean propulsive velocity (MPV) obtained from the individual load–velocity relationship. This same test was repeated a week later (T3). Tests were monitored according to the MPV of each repetition and blood lactate values (LACT). Results: Regarding MPV, the best (fastest) repetition of the set (MPVrep Best) values were similar between groups (0.62 m·s−1–0.64 m·s−1), with significant differences in relation to the high RSR group (p < 0.001). The average maximum number of repetitions (MNR) was 12.38 ± 2.51, with no significant differences between the RSR groups. Nonetheless, significant variation existed between groups with regards to MNR (CV: 13–29%), with greater variability in the group corresponding to the lowest RSR values (CV: 29%). The loss of velocity in the MNR test in the different groups was similar (p > 0.05). Average LACT values (5.72 mmol·L−1) showed significant differences between the Medium RSR and Very Low RSR groups. No significant differences were found (p > 0.05) between T2 and T3 with regards to MNR, MPVrep Best, or MPVrep Last, with little variability seen between participants. Conclusions: The use of variables such as the 1RM, estimated using an absolute load value, or an MNR do not allow an adequate degree of precision to prescribe and control the relative intensity of resistance training. Besides, execution velocity control can offer an adequate alternative to guarantee an accurate prescription of intensity with regard to resistance training. Full article
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11 pages, 1528 KiB  
Article
Central and Peripheral Thermal Signatures of Brain-Derived Fatigue during Unilateral Resistance Exercise: A Preliminary Study
by David Perpetuini, Damiano Formenti, Pierpaolo Iodice, Daniela Cardone, Chiara Filippini, Antonio Maria Chiarelli, Giovanni Michielon, Athos Trecroci, Giampietro Alberti and Arcangelo Merla
Biology 2022, 11(2), 322; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology11020322 - 17 Feb 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2227
Abstract
Infrared thermography (IRT) allows to evaluate the psychophysiological state associated with emotions from facial temperature modulations. As fatigue is a brain-derived emotion, it is possible to hypothesize that facial temperature could provide information regarding the fatigue related to exercise. The aim of this [...] Read more.
Infrared thermography (IRT) allows to evaluate the psychophysiological state associated with emotions from facial temperature modulations. As fatigue is a brain-derived emotion, it is possible to hypothesize that facial temperature could provide information regarding the fatigue related to exercise. The aim of this study was to investigate the capability of IRT to assess the central and peripheral physiological effect of fatigue by measuring facial skin and muscle temperature modulations in response to a unilateral knee extension exercise until exhaustion. Rate of perceived exertion (RPE) was recorded at the end of the exercise. Both time- (∆TROI: pre–post exercise temperature variation) and frequency-domain (∆PSD: pre–post exercise power spectral density variation of specific frequency bands) analyses were performed to extract features from regions of interest (ROIs) positioned on the exercised and nonexercised leg, nose tip, and corrugator. The ANOVA-RM revealed a significant difference between ∆TROI (F(1.41,9.81) = 15.14; p = 0.0018), and between ∆PSD of myogenic (F(1.34,9.39) = 15.20; p = 0.0021) and neurogenic bands (F(1.75,12.26) = 9.96; p = 0.0034) of different ROIs. Moreover, significant correlations between thermal features and RPE were found. These findings suggest that IRT could assess both peripheral and central responses to physical exercise. Its applicability in monitoring the psychophysiological responses to exercise should be further explored. Full article
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10 pages, 536 KiB  
Article
Reference Percentiles for Bioelectrical Phase Angle in Athletes
by Francesco Campa, Diana Maria Thomas, Krista Watts, Nicholas Clark, Daniel Baller, Thomas Morin, Stefania Toselli, Josely Correa Koury, Giovanni Melchiorri, Angela Andreoli, Gabriele Mascherini, Cristian Petri, Luis Bettencourt Sardinha and Analiza Monica Silva
Biology 2022, 11(2), 264; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology11020264 - 8 Feb 2022
Cited by 18 | Viewed by 3666
Abstract
The present study aimed to develop reference values for bioelectrical phase angle in male and female athletes from different sports. Overall, 2224 subjects participated in this study [1658 males (age 26.2 ± 8.9 y) and 566 females (age 26.9 ± 6.6 y)]. Participants [...] Read more.
The present study aimed to develop reference values for bioelectrical phase angle in male and female athletes from different sports. Overall, 2224 subjects participated in this study [1658 males (age 26.2 ± 8.9 y) and 566 females (age 26.9 ± 6.6 y)]. Participants were categorized by their sport discipline and sorted into three different sport modalities: endurance, velocity/power, and team sports. Phase angle was directly measured using a foot-to-hand bioimpedance technology at a 50 kHz frequency during the in-season period. Reference percentiles (5th, 15th, 50th, 85th, and 95th) were calculated and stratified by sex, sport discipline and modality using an empirical Bayesian analysis. This method allows for the sharing of information between different groups, creating reference percentiles, even for sports disciplines with few observations. Phase angle differed (men: p < 0.001; women: p = 0.003) among the three sport modalities, where endurance athletes showed a lower value than the other groups (men: vs. velocity/power: p = 0.010, 95% CI = −0.43 to −0.04; vs. team sports: p < 0.001, 95% CI = −0.48 to −0.02; women: vs. velocity/power: p = 0.002, 95% CI = −0.59 to −0.10; vs. team sports: p = 0.015, 95% CI = −0.52 to −0.04). Male athletes showed a higher phase angle than female athletes within each sport modality (endurance: p < 0.01, 95% CI = 0.63 to 1.14; velocity/power: p < 0.01, 95% CI = 0.68 to 1.07; team sports: p < 0.01, 95% CI = 0.98 to 1.23). We derived phase angle reference percentiles for endurance, velocity/power, and team sports athletes. Additionally, we calculated sex-specific references for a total of 22 and 19 sport disciplines for male and female athletes, respectively. This study provides sex- and sport-specific percentiles for phase angle that can track body composition and performance-related parameters in athletes. Full article
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15 pages, 3014 KiB  
Article
Plasma Proteomic Changes of Atherosclerosis after Exercise in ApoE Knockout Mice
by Chen-Chung Liao, Jin-Wei Xu, Wen-Ching Huang, Hung-Chang Chang and Yu-Tang Tung
Biology 2022, 11(2), 253; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology11020253 - 6 Feb 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2663
Abstract
Atherosclerosis is the preliminary cause of coronary artery disease, one of the diseases that account for the largest number of fatal mortalities. Physical activity is an effective strategy to restrain atherosclerosis from deterioration. Evidence indicated that changes in the proteomic profile are highly [...] Read more.
Atherosclerosis is the preliminary cause of coronary artery disease, one of the diseases that account for the largest number of fatal mortalities. Physical activity is an effective strategy to restrain atherosclerosis from deterioration. Evidence indicated that changes in the proteomic profile are highly associated with atherosclerosis development, but the mechanism behind exercise for atherosclerosis amelioration has not yet been investigated from a proteomics perspective. Hence, the proteomic profiles could further elucidate the systematic effects of exercise intervention on ApoE knockout atherosclerotic model and high-fat-diet intervention. In the current study, Apoeem1Narl/Narl mice were randomly allocated into a normal diet (ND), Western diet (WD), and WD with 12-week exercise intervention (WD EX) groups. The plasma proteome between WD and WD EX groups demonstrate the significant difference, and ten major pathways, including cardiovascular disease (CVD)–hematological disease, inflammatory disease, infectious diseases, inflammatory response, cell-to-cell signaling and interaction, connective tissue disorders_inflammatory disease, metabolic disease_organismal injury and abnormalities, cell-to-cell signaling and interaction, connective tissue disorders_inflammatory disease, and endocrine system disorders_gastrointestinal disease, etc., were generated by the IPA analysis. The 15 proteins (MYOCD, PROS1, C2, SERPINA10, CRP, F5, C5, CFB, FGG, CFH, F12, PRDX2, PROZ, PPIA, and HABP2) critically involved in CVD–hematological disease pathway showed significant difference between WD and WD EX groups. In current study, exercise could significantly alleviate the significantly elevated C5 and inflammation induced by the WD group in accordance with amelioration of atherosclerosis. Therefore, exercise could mitigate chemotaxis through the modulation of the C5 level and innate immunity, thereby alleviating the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis in Western-diet-induced obese mice. Full article
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13 pages, 287 KiB  
Article
Relationships of Final Velocity at 30-15 Intermittent Fitness Test and Anaerobic Speed Reserve with Body Composition, Sprinting, Change-of-Direction and Vertical Jumping Performances: A Cross-Sectional Study in Youth Soccer Players
by Ana Filipa Silva, Sumer Alvurdu, Zeki Akyildiz and Filipe Manuel Clemente
Biology 2022, 11(2), 197; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology11020197 - 27 Jan 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 3663
Abstract
This study aimed to determine the relationships of locomotor profile (combination of a player’s maximal oxygen uptake and running economy)—measured by the final velocity attained at 30-15 Intermittent Fitness Test (VIFT) and the anaerobic speed reserve (ASR)—with the body composition, countermovement [...] Read more.
This study aimed to determine the relationships of locomotor profile (combination of a player’s maximal oxygen uptake and running economy)—measured by the final velocity attained at 30-15 Intermittent Fitness Test (VIFT) and the anaerobic speed reserve (ASR)—with the body composition, countermovement jump (CMJ), sprinting performances, and change-of-direction (COD) ability of youth soccer players. A cross-sectional study design was implemented. A total of 124 youth soccer players from different age groups (15, 16, 17, 18, and 19 years old) were voluntarily recruited. ASR was determined based on the difference between maximal sprint speed (MSS) and VIFT. Players were tested for the following measures: (i) body composition (body mass and body fat percentage); (ii) CMJ (height of jump); (iii) sprinting time measured at 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, and 30 m; (iv) MSS measured in the best split time (5 m) over the 30 m test; (v) COD ability (time, asymmetry index); and (vi) final velocity at 30-15 IFT (VIFT). A Pearson product-moment correlation test was used to examine the relationships. Height and body mass exhibited large correlations with VIFT (r = 0.835 and r = 0.699, respectively) and small correlations with ASR (r = 0.177 and r = 0.256, respectively). The CMJ was largely correlated with VIFT (r = 0.631 to r = 0.650) while presenting small correlations with ASR (r = 0.227 to r = 0.232). Both VIFT and ASR had moderate (r = 0.3 to r = 0.5) correlations with sprinting time at different distances and very large correlations with MSS (r = 0.797 to r = 0.866). The COD time was largely correlated with VIFT (r = 0.765 and r = 0.775) while exhibiting small-to-moderate correlations with ASR (r = −0.279 and r = −0.301). In conclusion, it was found that locomotor performance at 30-15 VIFT presents high levels of correlation with anthropometry and physical fitness; ASR also presents correlations with these variables, but they are smaller. This suggest that ASR is an independent variable that should be considered for inclusion in information for characterizing players’ capacities. Full article
16 pages, 2464 KiB  
Article
Psychological, Physical, and Heat Stress Indicators Prior to and after a 15-Minute Structural Firefighting Task
by Elisa F. D. Canetti, Scott Gayton, Ben Schram, Rodney Pope and Robin M. Orr
Biology 2022, 11(1), 104; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology11010104 - 10 Jan 2022
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2735
Abstract
Firefighters work in strenuous conditions for prolonged periods wearing up to 20 kg of personal protective equipment. This often contributes to significant heat and cardiovascular strain. This study examined the relationships between psychological and physical measures taken prior to undertaking a 15 min [...] Read more.
Firefighters work in strenuous conditions for prolonged periods wearing up to 20 kg of personal protective equipment. This often contributes to significant heat and cardiovascular strain. This study examined the relationships between psychological and physical measures taken prior to undertaking a 15 min firefighting task, and the occurrence of heat stress and high levels of fatigue following the task. Nine qualified firefighters completed a 15 min “live burn” scenario designed to mimic a fire started by a two-seater couch in a lounge room and completed simulated tasks throughout the duration. Logical reasoning, speed and accuracy, general motivation and fatigue, and physical and mental effort were recorded pre-scenario, and at 0- and 20-min post-scenario. General motivation and fatigue scores at 0- and 20-min post-scenario were highly correlated with each other (rs = 0.90; p = 0.001). The general motivation and fatigue scores, at 0- and 20-min post-scenario, were also strongly related to pre-task logic/reasoning test scores (Post 0 rs = −0.77, p = 0.016; Post 20 rs = −0.87, p = 0.002). Firefighters with lower logical reasoning and speed and accuracy scores were more susceptible to fatigue and impaired cognition when exposed to rises in core temperature and heat stress. Full article
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Review

Jump to: Research, Other

18 pages, 991 KiB  
Review
Identifying the Physical Fitness and Health Evaluations for Police Officers: Brief Systematic Review with an Emphasis on the Portuguese Research
by Luís M. Massuça, Vanessa Santos and Luís F. Monteiro
Biology 2022, 11(7), 1061; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology11071061 - 15 Jul 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2364
Abstract
This review aims (i) to identify and analyze the most used physical fitness tests for police officers (from international and Portuguese studies) and (ii) to understand the health-related physical fitness requirements according to the job descriptions of police officers. A total of 29 [...] Read more.
This review aims (i) to identify and analyze the most used physical fitness tests for police officers (from international and Portuguese studies) and (ii) to understand the health-related physical fitness requirements according to the job descriptions of police officers. A total of 29 studies were included. Eighteen were from around the world and eleven were related to Portuguese police officers. All studies showed acceptable methodological quality in the assessment of physical fitness, and the most used fitness components were muscular strength, endurance, power, aerobic and anaerobic capacity, flexibility, and agility. For the analysis of health parameters, they are insufficient at the international level, while at the Portuguese level we have an acceptable sample. We try to analyze the relationship between physical fitness and health, but the studies conducted so far are insufficient. This review provides summary information (i) to help select the most used fitness measures and health-related parameters for police officers, and (ii) that will serve as a starting point for evaluating the relationship between the health and physical fitness of police officers. Full article
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Other

Jump to: Research, Review

19 pages, 2141 KiB  
Systematic Review
Effects of Inspiratory Muscle Warm-Up on Physical Exercise: A Systematic Review
by Carolina Cirino, Anita B. Marostegan, Charlini S. Hartz, Marlene A. Moreno, Claudio A. Gobatto and Fúlvia B. Manchado-Gobatto
Biology 2023, 12(2), 333; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology12020333 - 20 Feb 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2346
Abstract
This study aimed to systematically review the literature to examine the effects of inspiratory-muscle warm-up (IMW) on the inspiratory, metabolic, respiratory and performance parameters of a main exercise performed by athletes and healthy and active individuals. Methods: This systematic review included randomized studies [...] Read more.
This study aimed to systematically review the literature to examine the effects of inspiratory-muscle warm-up (IMW) on the inspiratory, metabolic, respiratory and performance parameters of a main exercise performed by athletes and healthy and active individuals. Methods: This systematic review included randomized studies in English based on the criteria of the PICOS model. The exclusion criteria adopted were studies that applied inspiratory exercise to: i. promote long-term adaptations through inspiratory training (chronic responses); ii. obtain acute responses to inspiratory load (overload) during and in breaks from physical effort and in an inspiratory-exercise session (acute training effect); iii. evaluate the effects of IMW on participants with cardiorespiratory and/or metabolic disease. Data Sources: PubMed, Embase, MedLine, Scopus, SPORTDiscus and Google Scholar (until 17 January 2023). Results: Thirty-one studies were selected. The performance and respiratory parameters were the most investigated (77% and 74%, respectively). Positive effects of IMW were reported by 88% of the studies that investigated inspiratory parameters and 45% of those that evaluated performance parameters. Conclusions: The analyzed protocols mainly had positive effects on the inspiratory and performance parameters of the physical exercises. These positive effects of IMW are possibly associated with the contractile and biochemical properties of inspiratory muscles. Full article
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1 pages, 191 KiB  
Correction
Correction: Babault et al. Usefulness of Surface Electromyography Complexity Analyses to Assess the Effects of Warm-Up and Stretching during Maximal and Sub-Maximal Hamstring Contractions: A Cross-Over, Randomized, Single-Blind Trial. Biology 2022, 11, 1337
by Nicolas Babault, Marion Hitier and Carole Cometti
Biology 2023, 12(2), 286; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology12020286 - 10 Feb 2023
Viewed by 811
Abstract
There was an error in the original publication [...] Full article
19 pages, 1954 KiB  
Systematic Review
Effects on Respiratory Pressures, Spirometry Biomarkers, and Sports Performance after Inspiratory Muscle Training in a Physically Active Population by Powerbreath®: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
by Diego Fernández-Lázaro, Luis A. Corchete, Juan F. García, David Jerves Donoso, Eva Lantarón-Caeiro, Raúl Cobreros Mielgo, Juan Mielgo-Ayuso, David Gallego-Gallego and Jesús Seco-Calvo
Biology 2023, 12(1), 56; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology12010056 - 29 Dec 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 3181
Abstract
Sports performance in athletes can be limited by respiratory factors, so it is understandable to propose that inspiratory muscle training (IMT) can improve respiratory function and exercise performance. Power-Breathe® (PwB) is a sectorized respiratory muscle training tool that uses a resistive load [...] Read more.
Sports performance in athletes can be limited by respiratory factors, so it is understandable to propose that inspiratory muscle training (IMT) can improve respiratory function and exercise performance. Power-Breathe® (PwB) is a sectorized respiratory muscle training tool that uses a resistive load to train IMT. There is currently a growing interest in respiratory muscle training, so we set out to systematically assess the effects of IMT with PwB on respiratory parameters and athletic performance in physically active, healthy adults. Based on the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guideline, the Cochrane and PEDro scales to assess methodological quality, effect size using the Rosenthal formula, and the Cochrane tool for estimation of risk of bias, studies searchable in Medline, Web of Science, and Cochrane. In addition, for the performance of the meta-analysis, the documentation and quantification of the heterogeneity in each meta-analysis were directed through the Cochran’s Q test and the I2 statistic; in addition, a publication bias analysis was performed using funnel plots. Of the total of 241 studies identified in the search, 11 studies for the systematic review and nine for the meta-analysis met the exclusion and/or inclusion criteria. IMT, with PwB, showed significant improvements in maximal inspiratory pressure (MIP) and substantial improvements in forced vital capacity (FVC) in the meta-analysis results. Also, sports performance was significantly increased by IMT with PwB. In conclusion, the use of PwB is an IMT tool that improves respiratory and sports performance. Full article
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20 pages, 784 KiB  
Systematic Review
Near-Infrared Spectroscopy Used to Assess Physiological Muscle Adaptations in Exercise Clinical Trials: A Systematic Review
by Marcelo Tuesta, Rodrigo Yáñez-Sepúlveda, Humberto Verdugo-Marchese, Cristián Mateluna and Ildefonso Alvear-Ordenes
Biology 2022, 11(7), 1073; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology11071073 - 19 Jul 2022
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 3326
Abstract
Using muscle oxygenation to evaluate the therapeutic effects of physical exercise in pathologies through near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) is of great interest. The aim of this review was to highlight the use of muscle oxygenation in exercise interventions in clinical trials and to present [...] Read more.
Using muscle oxygenation to evaluate the therapeutic effects of physical exercise in pathologies through near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) is of great interest. The aim of this review was to highlight the use of muscle oxygenation in exercise interventions in clinical trials and to present the technological characteristics related to the equipment used in these studies. PubMed, WOS, and Scopus databases were reviewed up to December 2021. Scientific articles that evaluated muscle oxygenation after exercise interventions in the sick adult population were selected. The PEDro scale was used to analyze the risk of bias (internal validity). The results were presented grouped in tables considering the risk of bias scores, characteristics of the devices, and the effects of exercise on muscle oxygenation. All the stages were carried out using preferred reporting items for systematic reviews and meta-analyses (PRISMA). The search strategy yielded 820 clinical studies, of which 18 met the eligibility criteria. This review detailed the characteristics of 11 NIRS devices used in clinical trials that used physical exercise as an intervention. The use of this technology made it possible to observe changes in muscle oxygenation/deoxygenation parameters such as tissue saturation, oxyhemoglobin, total hemoglobin, and deoxyhemoglobin in clinical trials of patients with chronic disease. It was concluded that NIRS is a non-invasive method that can be used in clinical studies to detect the effects of physical exercise training on muscle oxygenation, hemodynamics, and metabolism. It will be necessary to unify criteria such as the measurement site, frequency, wavelength, and variables for analysis. This will make it possible to compare different models of exercise/training in terms of time, intensity, frequency, and type to obtain more precise conclusions about their benefits for patients. Full article
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12 pages, 4859 KiB  
Protocol
Effects of a Physical Literacy Breaks (PLBreaks) Program on Physical Literacy and Body Composition in Portuguese Schoolchildren: A Study Protocol
by Maria Mendoza-Muñoz, Jorge Carlos-Vivas, Santos Villafaina, Jose A. Parraca, Alejandro Vega-Muñoz, Nicolás Contreras-Barraza and Armando Raimundo
Biology 2022, 11(6), 910; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology11060910 - 13 Jun 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2055
Abstract
(1) Background: Several studies have shown that active breaks have led to different improvements in their participants. However, no studies have assessed how they affect physical literacy (PL). (2) Aims: Therefore, this study will examine the effect of the PLBreaks programme on school [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Several studies have shown that active breaks have led to different improvements in their participants. However, no studies have assessed how they affect physical literacy (PL). (2) Aims: Therefore, this study will examine the effect of the PLBreaks programme on school children’s PL and body composition. (3) Methods: A parallel-group randomised controlled trial will be conducted with assessments of PL (Canadian Assessment of Physical Literacy Development) and body composition (height, bodyweight, fat mass and fat-free mass) before and after an active breaks programme. PLBreak programme will run for 3 months and will be carried out 3 days a week for 20 min each day. The PLBreaks programme will consist of two blocks of 10 min of different physical activities (PA). The first block will be focused on the acquisition of knowledge and healthy life habits that will contribute to the development of the domains of knowledge and understanding and daily activity. The second block will be focused on physical competence and motivation throughout games. (4) Conclusions: The present study will investigate the efficacy of PLBreaks in schoolchildren in improving their PL and body composition. If the efficacy of the program is demonstrated, including the programme in public education programmes can be possible. This could be a scientific breakthrough in terms of health-related PA improvement and adherence, as well as the prevention of diseases associated with inactivity. Full article
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12 pages, 641 KiB  
Study Protocol
Effectiveness of Adapted Taekwondo, Multi-Component Training and Walking Exercise on Health Status in Independent Older Women: Study Protocol for a Randomized Controlled Trial (TKD & Aging Project)
by Pablo Valdés-Badilla, Tomás Herrera-Valenzuela, Eduardo Guzmán-Muñoz, Braulio Henrique Magnani Branco, José Zapata-Bastias, Boris Lucero and Franklin Castillo-Retamal
Biology 2022, 11(6), 816; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology11060816 - 26 May 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2341
Abstract
This study protocol aims to analyze and compare the effects of an adapted taekwondo program with respect to multi-component training and walking exercise on health status in independent older women. Secondarily, we analyze the variability of the inter-individual response and compare it according [...] Read more.
This study protocol aims to analyze and compare the effects of an adapted taekwondo program with respect to multi-component training and walking exercise on health status in independent older women. Secondarily, we analyze the variability of the inter-individual response and compare it according to the designated training system. The sample will consist of 64 women between 60 and 65 years, randomly assigned to experimental group 1 (n = 16; adapted taekwondo), experimental group 2 (n = 16; multi-component training), experimental group 3 (n = 16, walking exercise) or control group (n = 16; no intervention). The experimental groups will perform the designated training for three sessions (60 min per session) per week over 16-weeks, while the control group will not receive any treatment. The main outcome will provide information about (i) blood pressure, (ii) lipid profile, (iii) frequency of food consumption, (iv) body composition, (v) cognitive status, (vi) brain activity, (vii) health-related quality of life (HRQoL) and (viii) physical-functional fitness. Our hypothesis indicates that adapted taekwondo produces more significant effects and greater inter-individual responses in cognitive status, brain activity, HRQoL, and postural balance than the others training methods. If this intervention proves effective, it could be an alternative for older women. Full article
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17 pages, 779 KiB  
Systematic Review
The Effect of Normobaric Hypoxia in Middle- and/or Long-Distance Runners: Systematic Review
by Inés Albertus-Cámara, Vicente Ferrer-López and Ignacio Martínez-González-Moro
Biology 2022, 11(5), 689; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology11050689 - 30 Apr 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 3186
Abstract
Background: The use of normobaric hypoxia can bring benefits to sports performance because it improves haematological parameters and/or physical activity tests. Our objective was to conduct a systematic review so as to analyse the methods used in hypoxia and to detect its effects [...] Read more.
Background: The use of normobaric hypoxia can bring benefits to sports performance because it improves haematological parameters and/or physical activity tests. Our objective was to conduct a systematic review so as to analyse the methods used in hypoxia and to detect its effects on middle- and/or long-distance runners. Methods: Research was conducted using five electronic databases (PubMed, SportDiscus, Cochrane Library, Scopus and PEDro) until December 2021. The methodological quality of the included studies was assessed using the PEDro scale. Results: Having analysed 158 studies, 12 were chosen for the qualitative and quantitative synthesis. A significant improvement on time until exhaustion was detected, and oxygen saturation decreased after the intervention. There were no significant changes in the 3000-metre time trial or in the haematocrit percentage. The changes in percentage of reticulocytes, heart rate, maximal heart rate, lactate concentration and erythropoietin were heterogeneous between the different research studies. Conclusion: short exposure (less than 3 h to normobaric hypoxia significantly increases the time to exhaustion). However, longer exposure times are necessary to increase haemoglobin. Altitude and exposure time are highly heterogeneous in the included studies. Full article
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22 pages, 742 KiB  
Systematic Review
The Relationship between Physical Activity, Physical Exercise, and Human Gut Microbiota in Healthy and Unhealthy Subjects: A Systematic Review
by Stefania Cataldi, Valerio Bonavolontà, Luca Poli, Filipe Manuel Clemente, Michele De Candia, Roberto Carvutto, Ana Filipa Silva, Georgian Badicu, Gianpiero Greco and Francesco Fischetti
Biology 2022, 11(3), 479; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology11030479 - 21 Mar 2022
Cited by 23 | Viewed by 5058
Abstract
Several studies have been conducted to find at least an association between physical activity (PA)/ physical exercise (PE) and the possibility to modulate the gut microbiome (GM). However, the specific effects produced on the human GM by different types of PA/PE, different training [...] Read more.
Several studies have been conducted to find at least an association between physical activity (PA)/ physical exercise (PE) and the possibility to modulate the gut microbiome (GM). However, the specific effects produced on the human GM by different types of PA/PE, different training modalities, and their age-related effects are not yet fully understood. Therefore, this systematic review aims to evaluate and summarize the current scientific evidence investigating the bi-directional relationship between PA/PE and the human GM, with a specific focus on the different types/variables of PA/PE and age-related effects, in healthy and unhealthy people. A systematic search was conducted across four databases (Web of Science, Medline (PubMed), Google Scholar, and Cochrane Library). Information was extracted using the populations, exposure, intervention, comparison, outcomes (PICOS) format. The Oxford Quality Scoring System Scale, the Risk of Bias in Non-Randomized Studies of Interventions (ROBINS-I) tool, and the JBI Critical Appraisal Checklist for Analytical Cross-Sectional Studies were used as a qualitative measure of the review. The protocol was registered in PROSPERO (code: CRD42022302725). The following data items were extracted: author, year of publication, study design, number and age of participants, type of PA/PE carried out, protocol/workload and diet assessment, duration of intervention, measurement tools used, and main outcomes. Two team authors reviewed 694 abstracts for inclusion and at the end of the screening process, only 76 full texts were analyzed. Lastly, only 25 research articles met the eligibility criteria. The synthesis of these findings suggests that GM diversity is associated with aerobic exercise contrary to resistance training; abundance of Prevotella genus seems to be correlated with training duration; no significant change in GM richness and diversity are detected when exercising according to the minimum dose recommended by the World Health Organizations; intense and prolonged PE can induce a higher abundance of pro-inflammatory bacteria; PA does not lead to significant GM α/β-diversity in elderly people (60+ years). The heterogeneity of the training parameters used in the studies, diet control, and different sequencing methods are the main confounders. Thus, this systematic review can provide an in-depth overview of the relationship between PA/PE and the human intestinal microbiota and, at the same time, provide indications from the athletic and health perspective. Full article
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10 pages, 325 KiB  
Protocol
Effectiveness of a 12-Week Multi-Component Training Program with and without Transcranial Direct-Current Stimulation (tDCS) on Balance to Prevent Falls in Community-Dwelling Older Adults: A Study Protocol
by Laura Muñoz-Bermejo, Sabina Barrios-Fernandez, Jorge Carlos-Vivas, María Mendoza-Muñoz, Raquel Pastor-Cisneros, Eugenio Merellano-Navarro, Konstantinos Gianikellis and José Carmelo Adsuar
Biology 2022, 11(2), 290; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology11020290 - 11 Feb 2022
Viewed by 2370
Abstract
Approximately one-third of elderly people aged over 65 who live in the community experience falls every year, with the proportion increasing with age. Moreover, of those who fall, about half will fall again in the following year. The falls’ consequences include disability, morbidity, [...] Read more.
Approximately one-third of elderly people aged over 65 who live in the community experience falls every year, with the proportion increasing with age. Moreover, of those who fall, about half will fall again in the following year. The falls’ consequences include disability, morbidity, and mortality. Although many external and internal factors lead to falls, balance issues play a major role. Multi-component training programs (McTP) usually combine balance, strength, cardiorespiratory fitness, and flexibility, with studies reporting multiple benefits on the health-related quality of life. Halo Sport is a transcranial direct-current stimulation (tDCS) device with promising results for gait performance. This study aims to test the effectiveness of the introduction of a tCDS device to an McTP to prevent falls in older adults. The sample will consist of 46 people aged 65 years or older, randomly assigned to experimental (n = 23) and control (n = 23) groups. The experimental group will perform the McTP while wearing tDCS, and the control group will perform McTP without the device, for three sessions per week over 12 weeks. The main measures will provide information about (1) safety, (2) applicability, (3) balance, (4) number of falls, (5) physical fitness, (6) risk of falling, (7) fear of falling, (8) health-related quality of life, and (9) cognitive function. Among the practical implications of this program, it is intended to provide data on its safety and effectiveness to be implemented in different resources as a tool for the prevention of falls. Full article
17 pages, 496 KiB  
Systematic Review
Effectiveness of Olympic Combat Sports on Balance, Fall Risk or Falls in Older Adults: A Systematic Review
by Pablo Valdés-Badilla, Rodrigo Ramirez-Campillo, Tomás Herrera-Valenzuela, Braulio Henrique Magnani Branco, Eduardo Guzmán-Muñoz, Guillermo Mendez-Rebolledo, Yeny Concha-Cisternas and Jordan Hernandez-Martínez
Biology 2022, 11(1), 74; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology11010074 - 4 Jan 2022
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2821
Abstract
This systematic review and meta-analysis aimed to assess the available body of published peer-reviewed articles related to the effects of Olympic combat sports (OCS), compared with active/passive controls, on balance, fall risk, or falls in older adults. The TESTEX and GRADE scales assessed [...] Read more.
This systematic review and meta-analysis aimed to assess the available body of published peer-reviewed articles related to the effects of Olympic combat sports (OCS), compared with active/passive controls, on balance, fall risk, or falls in older adults. The TESTEX and GRADE scales assessed the methodological quality and certainty of the evidence. The protocol was registered in PROSPERO (code: CRD42020204034). From 1496 records, eight studies were included, involving 322 older adults (64% female; mean age = 71.1 years). The TESTEX scale revealed all studies with a score ≥ 60% (moderate-high quality). The GRADE scale indicated all studies with at least some concerns, up to a high risk of bias (i.e., was rated very low). Meta-analyses were planned, although the reduced number of studies precluded its incorporation in the final manuscript. Only two from six studies that assessed balance found improvements after OCS compared to controls. No differences were found between OCS vs. control groups for fall risk or falls. The available evidence does not allow a definitive recommendation for or against OCS interventions as an effective strategy to improve balance and reduce the fall risk or falls in older adults. Therefore, more high-quality studies are required to draw definitive conclusions. Full article
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