Health and Performance through Sports at All Ages 2.0

A special issue of Journal of Functional Morphology and Kinesiology (ISSN 2411-5142). This special issue belongs to the section "Sports Medicine and Nutrition".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2023) | Viewed by 13601

Special Issue Editor

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

It is with great enthusiasm that I am announcing a Special Issue 2.0 in JFMK with the aim of examining the effects of sports practiced at all ages on health and performance. Health, fitness, and exercise have become very important topics in the field of research. Sports-related professionals require the support of evidence-based knowledge to respond satisfactorily to the population practicing individual, team and combat sports. Topics of interest include strength training, exercise technique, conditioning methodologies and programming, performance recovery, skill development, body composition, nutrition for performance and health, and health- and performance-related testing. We welcome original research, meta-analysis, reviews, and brief reports. 

Dr. Gianpiero Greco
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

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

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • exercise
  • physical activity
  • physical fitness
  • physical education
  • sports performance
  • human performance
  • resistance training
  • endurance training
  • body composition
  • active and healthy
  • ageing combat sports

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Published Papers (11 papers)

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Editorial

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5 pages, 189 KiB  
Editorial
Special Issue “Health and Performance through Sports at All Ages 2.0”
J. Funct. Morphol. Kinesiol. 2024, 9(1), 36; https://doi.org/10.3390/jfmk9010036 - 23 Feb 2024
Viewed by 192
Abstract
This Special Issue, “Health and Performance through Sports at All Ages 2 [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health and Performance through Sports at All Ages 2.0)

Research

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14 pages, 2223 KiB  
Article
Impact of Coastal Walking Outdoors and Virtual Reality Indoor Walking on Heart Rate, Enjoyment Levels and Mindfulness Experiences in Healthy Adults
J. Funct. Morphol. Kinesiol. 2024, 9(1), 11; https://doi.org/10.3390/jfmk9010011 - 29 Dec 2023
Viewed by 981
Abstract
Outdoor exercise is beneficial for psychophysical well-being. Limited studies have compared outdoor and virtual reality (VR) indoor physical activities, especially in coastal settings. Therefore, this study aimed to assess the impact of outdoor coastal walking and indoor walking in a VR simulation with [...] Read more.
Outdoor exercise is beneficial for psychophysical well-being. Limited studies have compared outdoor and virtual reality (VR) indoor physical activities, especially in coastal settings. Therefore, this study aimed to assess the impact of outdoor coastal walking and indoor walking in a VR simulation with a similar environment on physiological and psychological variables in healthy adults. A total of 26 subjects (14 M and 12 F, age 25.2 ± 2.5 years) voluntarily participated in this crossover randomized controlled and counterbalanced study and were allocated under three conditions: VR indoor walking (INVR), outdoor walking (OUT) and standard indoor walking (IN). IN and INVR conditions were performed on a treadmill (speed 4.5 km/h) and the OUT was performed on a seaside pedestrian road. The same outdoor environment was displayed in the visor during the INVR. Heart rate (HRmean/max), physical activity enjoyment (PACES-It) and state of mindfulness for physical activity (SMS-PA) were assessed at the end of each condition. The OUT condition showed significantly greater PACES-It scores and HRmean than IN and INVR (p < 0.001) and greater SMS-PA scores and HRmax than IN (p < 0.01 and p < 0.05, respectively). No significant differences were found between OUT and INVR regarding HRmax and SMS-PA scores (p > 0.05). Findings suggest that physical activity in an immersive technology may lead to physiological loads comparable to the outdoor environment. OUT is more enjoyable than IN and INVR but exhibits a mindfulness response comparable to INVR. Therefore, INVR could be an alternative to OUT for those who cannot engage in outdoor activities for various reasons. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health and Performance through Sports at All Ages 2.0)
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13 pages, 615 KiB  
Article
Comparing the Effects of Multicomponent and Concurrent Exercise Protocols on Muscle Strength in Older Adults
J. Funct. Morphol. Kinesiol. 2024, 9(1), 3; https://doi.org/10.3390/jfmk9010003 - 20 Dec 2023
Viewed by 950
Abstract
This study aimed to compare the effects of a multicomponent exercise program and a concurrent exercise program on muscle strength in community-dwelling elderly subjects. Participants (n = 35; male = 17; female = 18; Mage = 69.17, SD = 5.01 years) were [...] Read more.
This study aimed to compare the effects of a multicomponent exercise program and a concurrent exercise program on muscle strength in community-dwelling elderly subjects. Participants (n = 35; male = 17; female = 18; Mage = 69.17, SD = 5.01 years) were screened and included in the study. Among them, 19 individuals were assigned to the multicomponent group, while 16 were assigned to the concurrent group. The results of the repeated-measures ANOVA revealed significant main effects for the group factor (F(1,15) = 66.59, p < 0.001, η2 = 0.81) and the group*time factor (F(1,15) = 16.95, p < 0.001, η2 = 0.53) for the 30-second chair test. Furthermore, significant main effects were observed only for the group factor (F(1,15) = 19.28, p < 0.001, η2 = 0.56) for the 30-second arm curl. Regarding the Timed Up and Go test, significant main effects were found for the group factor (F(1,15) = 35.56, p < 0.001, η2 = 0.70) and the group*time factor (F(1,15) = 11.68, p < 0.001, η2 = 0.43). Lastly, significant main effects were observed for the group*time factor (F(1,15) = 5.19, p = 0.038, η2 = 0.25) for handgrip strength. The multicomponent exercise group displayed a greater mean increase compared to the concurrent exercise group. While both the multicomponent and the concurrent exercise programs were effective in improving muscle strength in community-dwelling older adults, the multicomponent exercise group exhibited superior outcomes compared to the concurrent exercise group across the physical fitness measures. These findings suggest that a multicomponent exercise program may be more beneficial for enhancing muscle strength in this population. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health and Performance through Sports at All Ages 2.0)
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12 pages, 1522 KiB  
Article
Differences in Body Composition and Maturity Status in Young Male Volleyball Players of Different Levels
J. Funct. Morphol. Kinesiol. 2023, 8(4), 162; https://doi.org/10.3390/jfmk8040162 - 23 Nov 2023
Viewed by 1149
Abstract
Volleyball is an intermittent team sport that requires specific anthropometrical and physical characteristics for winning performance. The present study aimed to evaluate the maturity status of the young male players of eight volleyball teams, and to observe differences in anthropometric characteristics and body [...] Read more.
Volleyball is an intermittent team sport that requires specific anthropometrical and physical characteristics for winning performance. The present study aimed to evaluate the maturity status of the young male players of eight volleyball teams, and to observe differences in anthropometric characteristics and body composition. Ninety-four male adolescent volleyball players were recruited during a national tournament carried out in Treviso (Italy). Anthropometric characteristics such as weight, stature, skinfold thicknesses, circumferences and diameters, and bioelectrical impedance were measured. The biological maturation was estimated for all players. Each team was classified as a higher or lower lever according to its tournament ranking. A two-way ANOVA compared team levels and players’ maturity status. Considering the maturity offset, 62 boys were classified as “on time”, 20 as “late”, and 12 as “early”. Three clubs presented many boys with “early” as the maturity offset, and two of these finished the tournament in the first position. Young volleyball players classified as “early” seemed to show anthropometric characteristics linked to better performance at the tournament (higher height, upper arm and calf muscle area, fat mass percentage, and total fat-free mass). The results of the present study could have practical implications for talent selection, but further studies are needed to better evaluate the effect of maturity status on the characteristics of volleyball players. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health and Performance through Sports at All Ages 2.0)
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11 pages, 1873 KiB  
Article
A Single, Multimodal Exercise Tolerance Test Can Assess Combat Readiness in Army-ROTC Cadets: A Brief Report
J. Funct. Morphol. Kinesiol. 2023, 8(4), 152; https://doi.org/10.3390/jfmk8040152 - 01 Nov 2023
Viewed by 1332
Abstract
The Army Combat Fitness Test (ACFT) is a multi-event assessment battery designed to determine the combat readiness of U.S. Army personnel. However, for Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) programs the logistical demands of collegiate life make repeated administration of the ACFT challenging. The [...] Read more.
The Army Combat Fitness Test (ACFT) is a multi-event assessment battery designed to determine the combat readiness of U.S. Army personnel. However, for Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) programs the logistical demands of collegiate life make repeated administration of the ACFT challenging. The present study sought to design and evaluate a single, multimodal exercise tolerance test (METT) capable of serving as a time-efficient proxy measure of combat readiness. Methods: Using a formal instrument design process, we constructed the METT to mimic the demands of the ACFT and assessed its reliability, validity, and responsiveness. Results: The METT demonstrates minimal measurement error (i.e., a 2% coefficient of variation), concurrent validity with the ACFT (R2 = 0.327, F = 10.67, p < 0.001), the ability to classify cadets who may be at-risk for failing the ACFT (X2 = 8.16, p = 0.017, sensitivity = 0.878, specificity = 0.667), and appropriate change following a training intervention (5.69 ± 8.9%). Conclusions: The METT has the potential to provide a means to monitor progress, identify areas for improvement, and guide informed decision-making regarding individualization of cadet combat training plans. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health and Performance through Sports at All Ages 2.0)
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11 pages, 1440 KiB  
Article
Transversus Abdominis Ultrasound Thickness during Popular Trunk–Pilates Exercises in Young and Middle-Aged Women
J. Funct. Morphol. Kinesiol. 2023, 8(3), 110; https://doi.org/10.3390/jfmk8030110 - 04 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2177
Abstract
The transversus abdominis (TrA) is a core muscle that contributes to functional mobility and lumbar stability. This study aimed to compare the changes in TrA thickness during different Pilates exercises, and to identify the exercise that elicited the greatest TrA activation. Forty-four healthy [...] Read more.
The transversus abdominis (TrA) is a core muscle that contributes to functional mobility and lumbar stability. This study aimed to compare the changes in TrA thickness during different Pilates exercises, and to identify the exercise that elicited the greatest TrA activation. Forty-four healthy women were divided into two groups: young (25–35 years old) and middle-aged (36–55 years old). TrA thickness was assessed by ultrasound while the participants performed five Pilates exercises: basic position, hundred, hip roll, side plank, and dead bug. A repeated measures analysis of variance revealed that the dead bug exercise induced a significantly higher increase in TrA thickness (relative to rest) than the other exercises (p < 0.05). The young group also showed a significantly higher overall TrA thickness than the middle-aged group (p < 0.05). The findings suggest that the dead bug exercise is the most effective for enhancing TrA activation among the Pilates exercises tested. The basic position and the hundred exercises can be used as warm-up exercises before performing more challenging exercises such as the hip roll, the side plank, and the dead bug. The sequence of exercises can be similar for both young and middle-aged women. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health and Performance through Sports at All Ages 2.0)
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13 pages, 952 KiB  
Article
Effects of Physical Activity in the High School Curriculum on Cardiovascular Health, Cognitive and Physical Performance
J. Funct. Morphol. Kinesiol. 2023, 8(3), 101; https://doi.org/10.3390/jfmk8030101 - 24 Jul 2023
Viewed by 963
Abstract
Cardiovascular health at a young age has implications for preventing cardiovascular disease, and it is associated with improved physical and cognitive performance during the aging process. Sports are well known to prevent cardiovascular disease; however, school-based interventions have mostly been neglected. This cross-sectional [...] Read more.
Cardiovascular health at a young age has implications for preventing cardiovascular disease, and it is associated with improved physical and cognitive performance during the aging process. Sports are well known to prevent cardiovascular disease; however, school-based interventions have mostly been neglected. This cross-sectional study aimed to compare groups of high school students, stratified by the amount of physical activity in their high school curriculum and downtime. Comparisons concerning physical and cognitive performance and arterial stiffness were made. A total of 63 senior-year students were investigated. Arterial stiffness was assessed using the oscillometric technique with ArteriographTM detection. Three-kilometer and pendulum runs were conducted as typical training loads. Cognitive performance was evaluated via the visual and verbal memory and number connection tests. Regarding cognitive skills, extracurricular physical activity improved the number connection test in male participants (p = 0.004). For physical performance, female students with a sports-focused curriculum were faster in the 3 km run (p < 0.001). Concerning arterial stiffness, the measurements yielded a lower mean arterial pressure (p = 0.015) and aortic pulse wave velocity (p = 0.04) in male students with a sports-focused curriculum. In summary, extracurricular physical activity and enrollment in a sports-focused curriculum may be associated with lower cardiovascular risk due to lower arterial stiffness and better physical and cognitive abilities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health and Performance through Sports at All Ages 2.0)
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15 pages, 311 KiB  
Article
A Chair-Based Music–Kinetic Combined Exercise Program as an Alternative Approach for Increasing Health, Functional Capacity, and Physical Fitness Indices in Middle-Aged Pre-Menopausal Women
J. Funct. Morphol. Kinesiol. 2023, 8(2), 81; https://doi.org/10.3390/jfmk8020081 - 15 Jun 2023
Viewed by 1307
Abstract
Lately, chairs have been widely used as a cheap, easily accessible, safe, and effective training means in different settings (e.g., in gyms, the house, workplaces, and in rehabilitation). This study investigated the effectiveness of a 10-week chair-based music–kinetic integrated combined exercise program on [...] Read more.
Lately, chairs have been widely used as a cheap, easily accessible, safe, and effective training means in different settings (e.g., in gyms, the house, workplaces, and in rehabilitation). This study investigated the effectiveness of a 10-week chair-based music–kinetic integrated combined exercise program on health, functional capacity, and physical fitness indicators of middle-aged pre-menopausal women. A total of 40 healthy women (40–53 years) were assigned to two groups: exercise (EG) and control (CG). The EG followed a 10-week (3 times/weekly; 30 training sessions) chair-based exercise program including aerobic dance, flexibility, coordination, and strength exercises with body weight or auxiliary means. Selected indicators of health, functional capacity, and physical fitness were evaluated before and after the 10 weeks. Following the program, the EG significantly reduced their body fat (−2.5%), blood pressure (by −4.5 to −5.5%), the time during the timed up-and-go (TUG) test (by −10.27%), heart rate (by −6.35 to −13.78%), and the rate of perceived exertion (by −24.45 to −25.88%), while increasing respiratory function (3.5–4%), flexibility (12.17%), balance (50.38–51.07%), maximal handgrip strength (10–12.17%), and endurance strength (43.87–55.91%). The chair-based combined music–kinetic exercise program was effective and could be safely used in different settings to improve health, functional capacity, and physical fitness in middle-aged women. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health and Performance through Sports at All Ages 2.0)
11 pages, 1352 KiB  
Article
How Do Football Playing Positions Differ in Body Composition? A First Insight into White Italian Serie A and Serie B Players
J. Funct. Morphol. Kinesiol. 2023, 8(2), 80; https://doi.org/10.3390/jfmk8020080 - 15 Jun 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1832
Abstract
The present study aimed to investigate how playing positions differ in specific body composition variables in professional soccer players with respect to specific field zones and tactical lines. Five hundred and six Serie A and B professional soccer players were included in the [...] Read more.
The present study aimed to investigate how playing positions differ in specific body composition variables in professional soccer players with respect to specific field zones and tactical lines. Five hundred and six Serie A and B professional soccer players were included in the study and analyzed according to their playing positions: goalkeepers (GKs), central backs (CBs), fullbacks (FBs), central midfielders (MIDs), wide midfielders (WMs), attacking midfielders (AMs), second strikers (SSs), external strikers (ESs), and central forwards (CFs), as well as their field zones (central and external) and tactical lines (defensive, middle, and offensive). Anthropometrics (stature and body mass) of each player were recorded. Then, body composition was obtained by means of bioelectric impedance analysis (BIA). GKs and CFs were the tallest and heaviest players, with no differences from each other. Likewise, GKs and CFs, along with CBs, were apparently more muscular (for both upper and lower limbs) and fatter at the same time compared with the other roles. Overall, players of the defensive line (CBs and FBs), along with those playing in central field zones (CBs, MIDs, AMs, SSs, and CFs), were significantly (p < 0.05) superior in almost all anthropometric and body composition variables than those of middle and offensive line and external zones, respectively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health and Performance through Sports at All Ages 2.0)
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13 pages, 890 KiB  
Article
Evaluation of the Effectiveness of a Nordic Walking and a Resistance Indoor Training Program: Anthropometric, Body Composition, and Functional Parameters in the Middle-Aged Population
J. Funct. Morphol. Kinesiol. 2023, 8(2), 79; https://doi.org/10.3390/jfmk8020079 - 15 Jun 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 790
Abstract
Sedentary behaviors are increasing in the population, so strategies for the increment of physical activity levels are needed. The use of green space seems to be a valid support to be more active. The present study aimed to compare the effectiveness of a [...] Read more.
Sedentary behaviors are increasing in the population, so strategies for the increment of physical activity levels are needed. The use of green space seems to be a valid support to be more active. The present study aimed to compare the effectiveness of a period of outdoor training (Nordic walking (NW)) with indoor resistance training (GYM) in a nonclinical population based on anthropometric characteristics, body composition, and functional parameters. This study was conducted on 102 participants (77 middle-aged people performed NW and 25 performed indoor training). Participants were measured twice: at baseline and after three months. Anthropometric measurements (weight, BMI, skinfolds, perimeters), body composition, bioelectrical impedance, vectorial analysis (BIA and BIVA), and physical tests were carried out. A two-way repeated measures analysis of variance (ANOVA) was performed to evaluate the effect of the treatments, groups, and sexes. There were several intervention effects linked to a decrease in fat parameters (such as skinfolds, fat mass, and percentage of fat mass). Considering the type of intervention, NW showed a higher increase in muscle mass and a higher decrease in fat parameters than the GYM group. In conclusion, the two types of training could represent a good way to remain active and prevent sedentary behaviors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health and Performance through Sports at All Ages 2.0)
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Review

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12 pages, 731 KiB  
Review
Barriers to Physical Activity for Women with Physical Disabilities: A Systematic Review
J. Funct. Morphol. Kinesiol. 2023, 8(2), 82; https://doi.org/10.3390/jfmk8020082 - 16 Jun 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1275
Abstract
Physical activity is essential for women with physical disabilities. This review aims to identify the barriers they face in practicing sport. A systematic review was conducted using the PubMed/Medline, Scopus, and Web of Science databases in January 2023, with an update in March [...] Read more.
Physical activity is essential for women with physical disabilities. This review aims to identify the barriers they face in practicing sport. A systematic review was conducted using the PubMed/Medline, Scopus, and Web of Science databases in January 2023, with an update in March 2023. The eligibility criteria used for inclusion were as follows. (i) Women with physical disabilities; (ii) women who engage in or want to engage in physical activities and/or sport, both adapted and non-adapted; (iii) identification of women’s barriers to such practice; (iv) research articles; and (v) papers written in English and published in peer-reviewed journals. The exclusion were as follows. (i) Women with illness, injury or transient physical activity difficulties; (ii) mention of rehabilitative physical activity; and (iii) results showing no differentiation in barrier types by gender. This review identified different barriers, grouped into eight types according to the differentiating factor, thus showing that disable people’s participation in physical activity is directly related to some specific barriers which seem to differ according to their gender. Therefore, the success of participation in physical activities depends not only on the user’s concern, but also on an inclusive social environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health and Performance through Sports at All Ages 2.0)
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