Editor’s Choice Articles

Editor’s Choice articles are based on recommendations by the scientific editors of MDPI journals from around the world. Editors select a small number of articles recently published in the journal that they believe will be particularly interesting to readers, or important in the respective research area. The aim is to provide a snapshot of some of the most exciting work published in the various research areas of the journal.

Order results
Result details
Results per page
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:
16 pages, 3354 KiB  
Article
Acute Effect of the “Zero Point” Method on Muscle Thickness and Muscle Damage in Trained Men
by Thiago B. Trindade, Ragami C. Alves, Nuno Manuel Frade de Sousa, Charles Lopes, Bruno Magalhães de Castro, Thiago S. Rosa and Jonato Prestes
Sports 2024, 12(1), 6; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports12010006 - 22 Dec 2023
Viewed by 2563
Abstract
The “zero point” method allows for lower intensities for an exercise session without impairing the total training volume. This study aimed to compare the effects of the “zero point” versus the traditional method on muscle responses and muscle damage in trained men. Fifteen [...] Read more.
The “zero point” method allows for lower intensities for an exercise session without impairing the total training volume. This study aimed to compare the effects of the “zero point” versus the traditional method on muscle responses and muscle damage in trained men. Fifteen experienced men (age: 27.7 ± 6.4 years; body mass: 78.4 ± 11.4 kg; height: 174.8 ± 4.9 cm; experience: 5.86 ± 4.7 years; relative bench press strength: 1.38 ± 0.17 kg·kg−1) were subjected to two exercise protocols in a randomized order and separated by a week. The traditional and “zero point” methods were applied in the bench press, with loads of 70% and 50% of one repetition maximum (1RM), respectively, for 10 sets until concentric failure, with 3-min intervals between sets. The zero point method displayed a higher number of repetitions and time under tension than the traditional method, with no difference in the total training volume, echo intensity, algometry, lactate, and myoglobin. For the muscle thickness, no differences between the groups were presented, except for the deltoid muscle thickness, in which a higher post-training volume was observed compared to traditional training. The “zero point” method increases the demand on the deltoid muscles in the bench press exercise, but not on the pectoralis and triceps brachii. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

18 pages, 2403 KiB  
Systematic Review
Recovery Methods in Basketball: A Systematic Review
by Mladen Mihajlovic, Dimitrije Cabarkapa, Damjana V. Cabarkapa, Nicolas M. Philipp and Andrew C. Fry
Sports 2023, 11(11), 230; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports11110230 - 20 Nov 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 4528
Abstract
Although different strategies have been implemented to manage recovery-fatigue status in athletes, there is still a lack of consensus on which recovery protocols have the greatest impact and effectiveness when implemented with basketball players, including both physiological and psychological recovery methods. Thus, the [...] Read more.
Although different strategies have been implemented to manage recovery-fatigue status in athletes, there is still a lack of consensus on which recovery protocols have the greatest impact and effectiveness when implemented with basketball players, including both physiological and psychological recovery methods. Thus, the purpose of this systematic review is to: (a) determine which recovery methods attain the greatest benefit in restoring the process of attenuating fatigue and (b) provide sports practitioners with guidelines on how some of the most effective recovery strategies can be used to optimize athletes’ recovery and ultimately enhance their performance. Using the PRISMA guidelines, a total of 3931 research reports were obtained through four database searches (i.e., PubMed, Scopus, Cochrane, and Web of Science), from which only 25 met the inclusion and exclusion criteria. The recovery protocols analyzed in this systematic review were: sleep, nutrition, hydration, ergogenic aids, cold-water immersion, compression garments, massage, acupuncture, tapering, mindfulness, and red-light irradiation. The results revealed that all recovery strategies are capable of attenuating fatigue and enhancing recovery in basketball players to a certain degree. However, an individualized approach should be promoted, where a combination of proactive recovery modalities appears to result in the most rapid rates of recovery and athletes’ ability to maintain high-level performance. Recovery should be programmed as an integral component of training regimens. Also, cooperation and communication between coaches, players, and the rest of the team staff members are essential in minimizing the risk of non-functional overreaching or injury and optimizing basketball players’ on-court performance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Connecting Health and Performance with Sports Sciences)
Show Figures

Figure 1

26 pages, 1492 KiB  
Article
Pacing Strategies Differ by Sex and Rank in 2020 CrossFit® Open Tests
by Gerald T. Mangine, Elisabeth K. Zeitz, Joshua D. Dexheimer, Ashley Hines, Brandon Lively and Brian M. Kliszczewicz
Sports 2023, 11(10), 199; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports11100199 - 11 Oct 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1985
Abstract
This retrospective study collected video recordings of a random selection of eighty men and women (n = 160) completing all five tests of the 2020 CrossFit® Open. All competitors were ranked within the top 10,000 overall but were sub-divided based on [...] Read more.
This retrospective study collected video recordings of a random selection of eighty men and women (n = 160) completing all five tests of the 2020 CrossFit® Open. All competitors were ranked within the top 10,000 overall but were sub-divided based on whether they ranked within the top 10% of their respective divisions. To examine the effect of sex and rank on pacing strategy, video analysis quantified the overall repetition completion rate on each test, as well as per minute (or round) repetition completion rates for each test’s individual exercises, quantity of failed repetitions, break times, and transition times. All per minute (or round) data were aggregated into first- and last-half or total test average, slopes, and coefficient of variation. Sex and rank analyses of variance were performed on averages, slopes, and coefficients of variation for each variable calculated over the first and last halves of each test, except test 5 (total only). The top 10% of men were 17.5% faster (p < 0.001) than everyone else in tests 1, 3, and 5. The top 10% of women and remaining men were ~9.5% faster than remaining women in tests 1 and 3. In test 5, the remaining men were faster than top 10% of women (~11.2%, p < 0.001), and both were faster than the remaining women. In tests 2 and 4, the top 10% of athletes were 9.7% faster (p < 0.001) than remaining athletes, and at the same time, men were 7.7% faster (p < 0.001) than women. Analysis of each test’s components revealed the top 10% of competitors to be faster and more consistent in most areas, while men were generally faster than women in gymnastics components and more consistent with their pace for resistance training exercises. These data provide insight into the differential factors linked to success in the men’s and women’s CFO divisions. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

22 pages, 2308 KiB  
Article
Short-Term Effects of Lower-Extremity Heavy Resistance versus High-Impact Plyometric Training on Neuromuscular Functional Performance of Professional Soccer Players
by Michał Boraczyński, José Magalhães, Jacek J. Nowakowski and James J. Laskin
Sports 2023, 11(10), 193; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports11100193 - 04 Oct 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2435
Abstract
Background: To compare the effects of short-term 8 week heavy-resistance or plyometric training protocols (HRT or PLY) incorporated into regular soccer practice on measures of neuromuscular functional performance in professional soccer players, a single-blind randomized controlled trial was conducted. Methods: Forty-seven participants aged [...] Read more.
Background: To compare the effects of short-term 8 week heavy-resistance or plyometric training protocols (HRT or PLY) incorporated into regular soccer practice on measures of neuromuscular functional performance in professional soccer players, a single-blind randomized controlled trial was conducted. Methods: Forty-seven participants aged 22.3 ± 3.52 years were assigned to three groups: HRT (n = 15), PLY (n = 15), and control (CON; n = 17). The HRT group performed 3 sets and 10 repetitions twice a week using 80% of their baseline 1-RM (weeks 1–3), followed by 8 repetitions at 85% 1-RM (weeks 4–6), and 6 repetitions at 90% 1-RM (weeks 7–8) of 6 lower-body strength exercises with a 1 min rest period between sets. The PLY protocol involved a preparatory phase (weeks 1–2), followed by two 3-week progressive periods (weeks 3–5 and weeks 6–8). The plyometric sessions consisted of four jump exercises/drills with progressively increasing number of sets and total number of foot contacts. The rest intervals between repetitions and sets were 15 and 90 s, respectively. Outcome measures included tests assessing 10 and 30 m speed (t10m and t30m), one-repetition maximum half-back squat (1-RM squat), isokinetic peak torques for the quadriceps and hamstring muscles (Qcon and Hcon), countermovement jump (CMJ), and squat jump (SJ). Results: Two-way ANOVA detected main effects of time and group×time interactions for all examined variables, except t30m, 1-RM, and relative 1-RM. Post hoc analyses revealed significant increases in the HRT group (t10m: 6.3%, t30m: 7.1%; absolute 1-RM: 29.6%; relative 1-RM: 30.3%, Qcon: 24.5%; Hcon: 14.4%; CMJ: 5.9%; SJ: 7.2%, all p < 0.001) and the PLY group (t10m: 3.1%; t30m: 4.1%; absolute 1-RM:19.1%; relative 1-RM: 20.3%; Qcon: 12.6%; Hcon: 8.7%; CMJ: 3.3%; SJ: 3.5%, all p < 0.001). HRT was superior compared to PLY in relative 1-RM, Qcon and Hcon (all p < 0.001). In addition, we found knee muscular strength imbalance in 70.5% of participants from the total sample (H/Q ratio < 60%). The HRT and PLY protocols resulted in improved neuromuscular functional performance compared to the regular soccer regime. Conclusions: This study showed that during the pre-competitive season, additional HRT and PLY drills/exercises as a substitute for standard soccer training as part of a regular 90 min practice twice a week for 8 weeks, can produce acute physical performance-enhancing effects in professional soccer players. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

12 pages, 725 KiB  
Article
Are Late-Born Young Soccer Players Less Mature Than Their Early-Born Peers, Although No Differences in Physical and Technical Performance Are Evident?
by Eduard Bezuglov, Georgiy Malyakin, Anton Emanov, Grigory Malyshev, Maria Shoshorina, Evgeny Savin, Artemii Lazarev and Ryland Morgans
Sports 2023, 11(9), 179; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports11090179 - 08 Sep 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1344
Abstract
The aim of the study was to compare the status of somatic maturity, anthropometry, strength, speed, and soccer-specific technical skills of players from leading youth soccer academies born in different quarters of the same calendar year. A total of 678 young male soccer [...] Read more.
The aim of the study was to compare the status of somatic maturity, anthropometry, strength, speed, and soccer-specific technical skills of players from leading youth soccer academies born in different quarters of the same calendar year. A total of 678 young male soccer players from eight leading Russian soccer academies took part in the study. The following anthropometric measures and physical characteristics were measured: height, weight, body mass index, countermovement jumps (CMJ), 5, 10, and 20 m sprints, speed dribbling, foot and body ball juggling, and short and long pass accuracy. The determination of somatic maturity as a percentage of projected adult height was collected. All subject dates of birth were divided into four quartiles according to the month of birth. The analysis of all data obtained was conducted both within the total sample and by quartiles of birth, according to the age group categories of 12–13 years, 14–15 years, and 16–17 years and the degree of somatic maturity. There was a widespread relative age effect, with 43.5% of early-born players and only 9.6% of late-born players representing the sample. Early-born players were more mature than late-born players (p < 0.001 and p < 0.001) but had no statistically significant differences in strength, speed, or soccer-specific skills. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

15 pages, 3038 KiB  
Article
Emotional Intelligence in Spanish Elite Athletes: Is There a Differential Factor between Sports?
by Daniel Mon-López, Cecilia Blanco-García, Jorge Acebes-Sánchez, Gabriel Rodríguez-Romo, Moisés Marquina, Adrián Martín-Castellanos, Alfonso de la Rubia, Carlos Cordente Martínez, Jesús Oliván Mallén and María Garrido-Muñoz
Sports 2023, 11(8), 160; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports11080160 - 18 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1483
Abstract
Emotional intelligence is a determinant factor in sports performance. The present study analysed differences in total emotional intelligence and its four dimensions in 2166 Spanish athletes (25.20 ± 10.17 years) from eight sports (volleyball, track and field, shooting, football, basketball, handball, gymnastics, and [...] Read more.
Emotional intelligence is a determinant factor in sports performance. The present study analysed differences in total emotional intelligence and its four dimensions in 2166 Spanish athletes (25.20 ± 10.17 years) from eight sports (volleyball, track and field, shooting, football, basketball, handball, gymnastics, and judo). A total of 1200 men and 966 women answered anonymously using a Google Forms questionnaire sent via WhatsApp about demographics and psychological variables. A Pearson correlation was conducted to assess the age–emotional intelligence relationship. An independent T-test and One-Way ANOVA were carried out to check for age differences between biological sex and sport and a One-Way ANCOVA to determine differences between sports controlled by age. Age differences were observed by sex and sport (p < 0.001). An association was found between age and emotional intelligence dimensions (p < 0.001), except for other’s emotional appraisal (p > 0.05). Judo was the sport with the highest levels of regulation of emotions, other’s emotional appraisal, use of emotion, and total emotional intelligence (p < 0.05). Generally, emotional intelligence was found to be more developed in individual sports than in team sports, except football. Consequently, psychological skills like emotional intelligence could be critical to achieving high performance, depending on the sport. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Sport Psychology)
Show Figures

Figure 1

8 pages, 598 KiB  
Article
Motor Coordination in Children: A Comparison between Children Engaged in Multisport Activities and Swimming
by Dušan Stanković, Maja Horvatin, Jadranka Vlašić, Damir Pekas and Nebojša Trajković
Sports 2023, 11(8), 139; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports11080139 - 25 Jul 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1805
Abstract
Motor coordination has a crucial role in various physical activities and sports, highlighting its significance in overall movement proficiency and performance. This study aimed to compare motor coordination in children engaged in multisport versus swimming activities. The participants of this study included 180 [...] Read more.
Motor coordination has a crucial role in various physical activities and sports, highlighting its significance in overall movement proficiency and performance. This study aimed to compare motor coordination in children engaged in multisport versus swimming activities. The participants of this study included 180 boys and girls (girls = 87) aged 8.25 years ± 0.89. A total of three groups were included: group 1 consisted of inactive children, group 2 included children participating in swimming, and group 3 included children enrolled in multisport. Motor coordination was assessed using the Kiphard–Schilling body coordination test, evaluated by motor quotient (MQ): walking backwards, hopping for height, jumping sideways, and moving sideways. Additionally, a total motor quotient (Total MQ) was calculated based on the performance in all four tests. ANOVA revealed a significant difference in Total MQ and all subtests between the groups (p < 0.01). A significant difference in Total MQ was found not only between the inactive and multisport groups (Diff = 19.8000; 95%CI = 13.1848 to 26.4152; p = 0.001) but also between the multisport and swimming groups (Diff = 12.8000; 95%CI = 6.3456 to 19.2544; p = 0.001). In conclusion, the results revealed that children involved in multisport activities exhibited significantly better motor coordination compared to both the swimming group and the inactive group. Therefore, to enhance the growth of motor coordination abilities, it is crucial that parents, instructors, and coaches encourage kids to engage in multisport physical activities on a daily basis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Motor Behavior and Child Health)
Show Figures

Figure 1

12 pages, 927 KiB  
Article
Blood Flow Restriction Is Not Useful as Soccer Competition Recovery in Youth Male National-Level Soccer Players: A Crossover Randomised Controlled Trial
by Christian Castilla-López and Natalia Romero-Franco
Sports 2023, 11(5), 99; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports11050099 - 07 May 2023
Viewed by 1938
Abstract
In soccer, blood flow restriction (BFR) is used to optimise between-match recovery. However, the benefits are unclear. This study evaluated the effects of BFR as a recovery strategy after a competition on countermovement jump (CMJ) height, rating of perceived exertion (RPE) and the [...] Read more.
In soccer, blood flow restriction (BFR) is used to optimise between-match recovery. However, the benefits are unclear. This study evaluated the effects of BFR as a recovery strategy after a competition on countermovement jump (CMJ) height, rating of perceived exertion (RPE) and the wellness of soccer players. Forty national-level soccer players were allocated into two conditions: BFR (an active recovery session wearing a BFR device, 24 h after a competition) or NoBFR (the same recovery without BFR). CMJ, RPE and wellness were evaluated the day (CMJ and RPE) or the morning (wellness) before the competition; just after the competition (CMJ and RPE); and 24, 48 (wellness) and 72 h later. After 4 weeks, the players changed conditions. All players showed impaired CMJ (p = 0.013), RPE (p < 0.001) and wellness (p < 0.001) after the match compared with the baseline. The CMJ returned to the baseline 24 h later and wellness returned 48 h later. Only in the BFR condition did the RPE remain impaired 24 h after the match, which was also the moment after finishing the BFR recovery session (p < 0.001). BFR during active recovery does not provide any additional benefits compared with traditional exercise modalities to recover CMJ, RPE and wellness in youth national-level soccer players. BFR could even induce an immediate higher RPE. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Monitoring Load, Recovery, and Performance in Soccer Players)
Show Figures

Figure 1

10 pages, 1849 KiB  
Article
Professional Athletes Maintain High TNF-Alpha or IFN-Gamma Related Inflammatory Status after Recovering from COVID-19 Infection without Developing a Neutralizing Antibody Response
by Mira Ambrus, Eszter Fodor, Timea Berki, Veronika Müller, Ádám Uhlár, István Hornyák and Zsombor Lacza
Sports 2023, 11(5), 97; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports11050097 - 30 Apr 2023
Viewed by 1501
Abstract
Introduction: Professional athletes are endangered by COVID-19 and belong to the high-risk population due to their lifestyle. To obtain information on the behavior of COVID-19 in professional athletes, serological, cytokine, and virus neutralization capacities were analyzed. Materials and methods: Hungarian national teams participated [...] Read more.
Introduction: Professional athletes are endangered by COVID-19 and belong to the high-risk population due to their lifestyle. To obtain information on the behavior of COVID-19 in professional athletes, serological, cytokine, and virus neutralization capacities were analyzed. Materials and methods: Hungarian national teams participated in international sports events during the early phases of the COVID-19 epidemic in 2020. Altogether, 29 professional athletes volunteered to donate plasma. Their serological status was evaluated by IgA, IgM, and IgG ELISAs and the highest virus neutralization titer in an in vitro live tissue assay. Plasma cytokine patterns were analyzed with a Bioplex multiplex ELISA system. Results: Surprisingly, only one athlete (3%) had anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG, while IgA was more common (31%). Neither plasma showed direct virus neutralization in a titer over 1:10; hence, they were not suitable for reconvalescent treatment. The ‘cytokine storm’ markers IL-6 and IL-8 were at baseline levels. In contrast, either the TNF-alpha-related cytokines or the IFN-gamma-associated cytokines were elevated. There was a strong negative correlation between the TNF-alpha- or IFN-gamma-related cytokines. Conclusions: Professional athletes are susceptible to the SARS-CoV-2 infection without developing long-term immunity through neutralizing immunoglobulins. Elevated secretory and cellular immunity markers indicate that these systems are probably responsible for virus elimination in this subpopulation. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

13 pages, 711 KiB  
Article
Whole Body Vibration Training Improves Maximal Strength of the Knee Extensors, Time-to-Exhaustion and Attenuates Neuromuscular Fatigue
by Serge S. Colson, Jennifer Gioda and Flavio Da Silva
Sports 2023, 11(5), 94; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports11050094 - 25 Apr 2023
Viewed by 1624
Abstract
Whole-body vibration (WBV) training programs were reported to improve knee extensor muscle (KE) strength in healthy participants. Unfortunately, the underlying mechanisms of these strength gains remain unresolved. In addition, WBV training was shown to increase the time-to-exhaustion of a static submaximal endurance task. [...] Read more.
Whole-body vibration (WBV) training programs were reported to improve knee extensor muscle (KE) strength in healthy participants. Unfortunately, the underlying mechanisms of these strength gains remain unresolved. In addition, WBV training was shown to increase the time-to-exhaustion of a static submaximal endurance task. However, the effects of WBV training on neuromuscular fatigue (i.e., a decrease of the maximal voluntary isometric contraction; MVIC) induced by an endurance task is unknown. We, therefore, investigated the influence of WBV training on (i) KE MVIC and neuromuscular function, (ii) the time-to-exhaustion of the KE associated with a submaximal isometric fatiguing exercise, and (iii) KE neuromuscular fatigue and its etiology. Eighteen physically active males were assigned to a WBV group (n = 10) or a sham training group (SHAM; n = 8). The MVIC of the KE, voluntary activation, and electrically evoked responses of the KE were assessed (i) before and after a fatiguing exercise (i.e., submaximal isometric contraction) performed until failure, and (ii) before (PRE) and after a 6-week training (POST) period. At POST, the WBV training increased the KE MVIC (+12%, p = 0.001) and voluntary activation (+6%, p < 0.05) regardless of the fatiguing exercise. The time-to-exhaustion was also lengthened at POST in the WBV group (+34%, p < 0.001). Finally, the relative percentage of MVIC decrease after fatiguing exercises diminished in the WBV group between PRE and POST (−14% vs. −6%, respectively, p < 0.001). Significant neural adaptation enhancements account for the trend in KE strength improvements observed after the WBV training program. In addition, the WBV training was effective at increasing the time-to-exhaustion and attenuating neuromuscular fatigue. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

12 pages, 525 KiB  
Article
Relationship between Football-Specific Training Characteristics and Tibial Bone Adaptation in Male Academy Football Players
by Ian Varley, Craig Sale, Julie P. Greeves, John G. Morris, Caroline Sunderland and Chris Saward
Sports 2023, 11(4), 86; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports11040086 - 19 Apr 2023
Viewed by 1302
Abstract
We examined the relationship between football-specific training and changes in bone structural properties across a 12-week period in 15 male football players aged 16 years (Mean ± 1 SD = 16.6 ± 0.3 years) that belonged to a professional football academy. Tibial scans [...] Read more.
We examined the relationship between football-specific training and changes in bone structural properties across a 12-week period in 15 male football players aged 16 years (Mean ± 1 SD = 16.6 ± 0.3 years) that belonged to a professional football academy. Tibial scans were performed at 4%, 14% and 38% sites using peripheral quantitative computed tomography immediately before and 12 weeks after increased football-specific training. Training was analysed using GPS to quantify peak speed, average speed, total distance and high-speed distance. Analyses were conducted with bias-corrected and accelerated bootstrapped 95% confidence intervals (BCa 95% CI). There were increases in bone mass at the 4% (mean ∆ = 0.15 g, BCa 95% CI = 0.07, 0.26 g, g = 0.72), 14% (mean ∆ = 0.04 g, BCa 95% CI = 0.02, 0.06 g, g = 1.20), and 38% sites (mean ∆ = 0.03 g, BCa 95% CI = 0.01, 0.05 g, g = 0.61). There were increases in trabecular density (4%), (mean ∆ = 3.57 mg·cm−3, BCa 95% CI = 0.38, 7.05 mg·cm−3, g = 0.53), cortical dentsity (14%) (mean ∆ = 5.08 mg·cm−3, BCa 95% CI = 0.19, 9.92 mg·cm−3, g = 0.49), and cortical density (38%) (mean ∆ = 6.32 mg·cm−3, BCa 95% CI = 4.31, 8.90 mg·cm−3, g = 1.22). Polar stress strain index (mean ∆ = 50.56 mm3, BCa 95% CI = 10.52, 109.95 mm3, g = 0.41), cortical area (mean ∆ = 2.12 mm2, BCa 95% CI = 0.09, 4.37 mm2, g = 0.48) and thickness (mean ∆ = 0.06 mm, BCa 95% CI = 0.01, 0.13 mm, g = 0.45) increased at the 38% site. Correlations revealed positive relationships between total distance and increased cortical density (38%) (r = 0.39, BCa 95% CI = 0.02, 0.66), and between peak speed and increased trabecular density (4%) (r = 0.43, BCa 95% CI = 0.03, 0.73). There were negative correlations between total (r = −0.21, BCa 95% CI = −0.65, −0.12) and high-speed distance (r = −0.29, BCa 95% CI = −0.57, −0.24) with increased polar stress strain index (38%). Results suggest that despite football training relating to increases in bone characteristics in male academy footballers, the specific training variables promoting adaptation over a 12-week period may vary. Further studies conducted over a longer period are required to fully elucidate the time-course of how certain football-specific training characteristics influence bone structural properties. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

16 pages, 1963 KiB  
Article
Resting Blood Pressure in Master Athletes: Immune from Hypertension?
by Mike Climstein, Joe Walsh, Mark DeBeliso, Tim Heazlewood, Trish Sevene, Luke Del Vecchio and Kent Adams
Sports 2023, 11(4), 85; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports11040085 - 18 Apr 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2901
Abstract
Ageing is associated with decreased physical activity, obesity and increased risk of hypertension (HTN). Master athletes (MA) have either pursued a physically active lifestyle throughout their life or initiated exercise or sport later in life. We assessed resting blood pressure (BP) in male [...] Read more.
Ageing is associated with decreased physical activity, obesity and increased risk of hypertension (HTN). Master athletes (MA) have either pursued a physically active lifestyle throughout their life or initiated exercise or sport later in life. We assessed resting blood pressure (BP) in male and female World Masters Games (WMG) athletes. This was a cross-sectional, observational study which utilized an online survey to assess the blood pressure (BP) and other physiological parameters. Results: a total of 2793 participants were involved in this study. Key findings included differences between genders with males reporting higher resting SBP (+9.4%, p < 0.001), resting DBP (+5.9%, p < 0.001) and mean arterial pressure (+6.2%, p < 0.001). Significant differences (p < 0.001) were also identified when comparing WMG athletes’ resting BP results (genders combined) to the general Australian population with WMG athletes having a lower SBP (p < 0.001, −8.4%) and DBP (p < 0.001, −3.6%). Additionally, 19.9% of males and 49.7% of female WMG participants were normotensive whereas 35.7% of the general Australian population were normotensive. Only 8.1% of the WMG athletes (genders combined) were found to be HTN compared to 17.2% in the general Australian population. These findings reflect a low prevalence of HTN in WMG participants and support our hypothesis of a low prevalence of HTN in an active, but aged cohort of MA. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

18 pages, 827 KiB  
Article
Normative Scores for CrossFit® Open Workouts: 2011–2022
by Gerald T. Mangine, Nina Grundlingh and Yuri Feito
Sports 2023, 11(2), 24; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports11020024 - 18 Jan 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2627
Abstract
To create normative scores for all CrossFit® Open (CFO) workouts and compare male and female performances, official scores were collected from the official competition leaderboard for all competitors of the 2011–2022 CFO competitions. Percentiles were calculated for athletes (18–54 years) who completed [...] Read more.
To create normative scores for all CrossFit® Open (CFO) workouts and compare male and female performances, official scores were collected from the official competition leaderboard for all competitors of the 2011–2022 CFO competitions. Percentiles were calculated for athletes (18–54 years) who completed all workouts within a single year ‘as prescribed’ and met minimum scoring thresholds. Independent t-tests revealed significant (p < 0.05) sex differences for 56 of 60 workouts. In workouts scored by repetitions completed, men completed more repetitions in 18 workouts by small to large differences (d = 0.22–0.81), whereas women completed more repetitions in 6 workouts by small to medium differences (d = 0.36–0.77). When workouts were scored by time to completion, men were faster in 10 workouts by small to large differences (d = 0.23–1.12), while women were faster in 3 workouts by small differences (d = 0.46). In three workouts scored by load lifted, men lifted more weight by large differences (d = 2.00–2.98). All other differences were either trivial or not significant. Despite adjusted programming for men and women, the persistence of performance differences across all CFO workouts suggests that resultant challenges are not the same. These normative values may be useful for training and research in male and female CrossFit® athletes. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

11 pages, 1727 KiB  
Article
The Concept of Optimal Dynamic Pedalling Rate and Its Application to Power Output and Fatigue in Track Cycling Sprinters—A Case Study
by Anna Katharina Dunst, Clemens Hesse and Olaf Ueberschär
Sports 2023, 11(1), 19; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports11010019 - 16 Jan 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1967
Abstract
Sprint races in track cycling are characterised by maximal power requirements and high-power output over 15 to 75 s. As competition rules limit the athlete to a single gear, the choice of gear ratio has considerable impact on performance. Traditionally, a gear favouring [...] Read more.
Sprint races in track cycling are characterised by maximal power requirements and high-power output over 15 to 75 s. As competition rules limit the athlete to a single gear, the choice of gear ratio has considerable impact on performance. Traditionally, a gear favouring short start times and rapid acceleration, i.e., lower transmission ratios, was chosen. In recent years, track cyclists tended to choose higher gear ratios instead. Based on a review of the relevant literature, we aimed to provide an explanation for that increase in the gear ratio chosen and apply this to a 1000 m time trial. Race data with continuous measurements of crank force and velocity of an elite track cyclist were analysed retrospectively regarding the influence of the selected gear on power, cadence and resulting speed. For this purpose, time-dependent maximal force-velocity (F/v) profiles were used to describe changes in performance with increasing fatigue. By applying these profiles to a physical model of track cycling, theoretical power output, cadence and resulting speed were calculated for different scenarios. Based on previous research results, we assume a systematic and predictable decline in optimal cadence with increasing fatigue. The choice of higher gear ratios seems to be explained physiologically by the successive reduction in optimal cadence as fatigue sets in. Our approach indicates that average power output can be significantly increased by selecting a gear ratio that minimises the difference between the realised cadence and the time-dependent dynamic optimum. In view of the additional effects of the gear selection on acceleration and speed, gear selection should optimally meet the various requirements of the respective sprint event. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effect of Neuromuscular Fatigue Mechanisms on Exercise Performance)
Show Figures

Figure 1

17 pages, 1126 KiB  
Review
Pyjamas, Polysomnography and Professional Athletes: The Role of Sleep Tracking Technology in Sport
by Matthew W. Driller, Ian C. Dunican, Shauni E. T. Omond, Omar Boukhris, Shauna Stevenson, Kari Lambing and Amy M. Bender
Sports 2023, 11(1), 14; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports11010014 - 05 Jan 2023
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 6100
Abstract
Technological advances in sleep monitoring have seen an explosion of devices used to gather important sleep metrics. These devices range from instrumented ‘smart pyjamas’ through to at-home polysomnography devices. Alongside these developments in sleep technologies, there have been concomitant increases in sleep monitoring [...] Read more.
Technological advances in sleep monitoring have seen an explosion of devices used to gather important sleep metrics. These devices range from instrumented ‘smart pyjamas’ through to at-home polysomnography devices. Alongside these developments in sleep technologies, there have been concomitant increases in sleep monitoring in athletic populations, both in the research and in practical settings. The increase in sleep monitoring in sport is likely due to the increased knowledge of the importance of sleep in the recovery process and performance of an athlete, as well as the well-reported challenges that athletes can face with their sleep. This narrative review will discuss: (1) the importance of sleep to athletes; (2) the various wearable tools and technologies being used to monitor sleep in the sport setting; (3) the role that sleep tracking devices may play in gathering information about sleep; (4) the reliability and validity of sleep tracking devices; (5) the limitations and cautions associated with sleep trackers; and, (6) the use of sleep trackers to guide behaviour change in athletes. We also provide some practical recommendations for practitioners working with athletes to ensure that the selection of such devices and technology will meet the goals and requirements of the athlete. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

10 pages, 496 KiB  
Article
Fitness Trainers’ Educational Qualification and Experience and Its Association with Their Trainees’ Musculoskeletal Pain: A Cross-Sectional Study
by Sohel Ahmed, Mamunur Rashid, Abu-sufian Sarkar, Mohammad Jahirul Islam, Rahemun Akter, Masudur Rahman, Shahana Islam, Devjanee Sheel, Sarwar Alam Polash, Mahfuza Akter, Shayed Afride and Manzur Kader
Sports 2022, 10(9), 129; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports10090129 - 29 Aug 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 3076
Abstract
This is a cross-sectional study that examined the association between fitness trainers’ educational qualifications and experience, and the risk of their trainees’ musculoskeletal pain. The study included 1177 trainees (aged 15–60 years) from 74 fitness centers in Bangladesh. Data were collected by using [...] Read more.
This is a cross-sectional study that examined the association between fitness trainers’ educational qualifications and experience, and the risk of their trainees’ musculoskeletal pain. The study included 1177 trainees (aged 15–60 years) from 74 fitness centers in Bangladesh. Data were collected by using the Nordic musculoskeletal questionnaire, including potential confounders such as demographic factors (e.g., age, occupation), and training-related factors (e.g., workout knowledge, overweight lifting). Multiple logistic regression was performed for a binary outcome (pain—yes or no), and a generalized linear model was fitted for the ordinal outcome (pain—sites of the body). The trainers’ lower experience (no or ≤1 year) was associated with higher odds of their trainees’ musculoskeletal pain (OR: 2.53, 95% CI: 1.18–5.44) compared to trainers with >5 years of experience; however, no association was found between the trainers’ education and the risk of their trainees’ musculoskeletal pain, after controlling for potential confounders. Similarly, the trainees trained by trainers with lower experience had more than two-time the risk of having pain in different sites (IRR: 2.04, 95% CI: 1.50–2.79). The trainers’ experience may play a pivotal role in the trainees’ musculoskeletal pain. Further study is warranted in this regard. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

12 pages, 1179 KiB  
Article
Assessing Dietary Nutrient Adequacy and the Effect of Season—Long Training on Body Composition and Metabolic Rate in Collegiate Male Basketball Players
by Morgan M. Nishisaka, Sebastian P. Zorn, Aleksandra S. Kristo, Angelos K. Sikalidis and Scott K. Reaves
Sports 2022, 10(9), 127; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports10090127 - 24 Aug 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2443
Abstract
The success of performance in basketball relies on both optimal body composition and nutrient intake. The purpose of this study was to examine seasonal changes in body composition (BC), resting metabolic rate (RMR) and respiratory quotient (RQ), as well as dietary intake of [...] Read more.
The success of performance in basketball relies on both optimal body composition and nutrient intake. The purpose of this study was to examine seasonal changes in body composition (BC), resting metabolic rate (RMR) and respiratory quotient (RQ), as well as dietary intake of National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I (DI) male basketball players. BC, RMR and RQ were assessed during pre-season, in-season, and post-season (September, December, and March) while dietary assessment data were collected in September and February. Results of this study indicated that players received inadequate energy (p < 0.0001), protein (p < 0.001) and carbohydrate (p < 0.0001) relative to the recommendations for exercising individuals during the September baseline period. However, following diet analysis and consultations and relative to recommendations, athletes received adequate amounts of energy and protein during follow-up, yet intakes of carbohydrate (p = 0.0025) were still significantly different than recommended. Results also indicated that there was a decrease in percent body fat (%BF) during season, an increase in lean body mass (LBM) from pre- to post-season, a peak in RMR during season and an increase in RQ post-season. These findings reveal that significant metabolic and body composition changes occur in players over the season and suggest that nutritional strategies employed concomitantly may be beneficial. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

13 pages, 1876 KiB  
Article
Full-Body Photobiomodulation Therapy Is Associated with Reduced Sleep Durations and Augmented Cardiorespiratory Indicators of Recovery
by Lauren E. Rentz, Randy W. Bryner, Jad Ramadan, Ali Rezai and Scott M. Galster
Sports 2022, 10(8), 119; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports10080119 - 31 Jul 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2925
Abstract
Research is emerging on the use of Photobiomodulation therapy (PBMT) and its potential for augmenting human performance, however, relatively little research exists utilizing full-body administration methods. As such, further research supporting the efficacy of whole-body applications of PBMT for behavioral and physiological modifications [...] Read more.
Research is emerging on the use of Photobiomodulation therapy (PBMT) and its potential for augmenting human performance, however, relatively little research exists utilizing full-body administration methods. As such, further research supporting the efficacy of whole-body applications of PBMT for behavioral and physiological modifications in applicable, real-world settings are warranted. The purpose of this analysis was to observe cardiorespiratory and sleep patterns surrounding the use of full-body PBMT in an elite cohort of female soccer players. Members of a women’s soccer team in a “Power 5 conference” of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) were observed across one competitive season while wearing an OURA Ring nightly and a global positioning system (GPS) sensor during training. Within-subject comparisons of cardiorespiratory physiology, sleep duration, and sleep composition were evaluated the night before and after PBMT sessions completed as a standard of care for team recovery. Compared to pre-intervention, mean heart rate (HR) was significantly lower the night after a PBMT session (p = 0.0055). Sleep durations were also reduced following PBMT, with total sleep time (TST) averaging 40 min less the night after a session (p = 0.0006), as well as significant reductions in light sleep (p = 0.0307) and rapid eye movement (REM) sleep durations (p = 0.0019). Sleep durations were still lower following PBMT, even when controlling for daily and accumulated training loads. Enhanced cardiorespiratory indicators of recovery following PBMT, despite significant reductions in sleep duration, suggest that it may be an effective modality for maintaining adequate recovery from the high stress loads experienced by elite athletes. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

9 pages, 220 KiB  
Article
Comparing the Current Training Running Demands of Elite Camogie Players to Competitive Match-Play
by Philip Connors, Declan Browne, Des Earls, Paula Fitzpatrick and Paula Rankin
Sports 2022, 10(8), 113; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports10080113 - 28 Jul 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1966
Abstract
Training to meet match-play demands is a primary objective in an athlete’s preparation for their games. Despite camogie match-play running demands being available, how current training practices compare, specifically individual training components, remains unknown. This study aimed to investigate and compare current elite [...] Read more.
Training to meet match-play demands is a primary objective in an athlete’s preparation for their games. Despite camogie match-play running demands being available, how current training practices compare, specifically individual training components, remains unknown. This study aimed to investigate and compare current elite camogie training to match-play demands. Thirty-three (n = 33) elite camogie players wore 10 Hz Playertek GPS units during twenty-five training sessions and ten competitive matches. Training sessions were analysed using ball-in-play time and split into warm-ups, drills, small-sided games, running, and training matches. Metrics were converted into relative terms (per minute), to allow comparisons. Players cover significantly greater (p < 0.05) total distance (non-parametric standardised effect sizes (r = 0.45)), peak speed (r = 0.45), high-speed running (r = 0.13), sprint distance (r = 0.20), and total decelerations (r = 0.12–0.22) during match-play than training. Relatively, players cover significantly greater distance during running, small-sided games, and training matches compared to match-play (r = 0.21–0.29). Compared with match-play, running results in significantly greater high-speed running and sprint distance (r = 0.18–0.41), with greater accelerations (3–4 m∙s−2) during warm-ups, running, and small-sided games (r = 0.14–0.28). Current total training demands seem to fall behind match-play. However, relatively, training matches and small-sided games match or surpass competitive match-play demands. These findings may be utilised in preparing camogie teams for competition. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physiology and Physical Demands of Intermittent Exercise)
10 pages, 1279 KiB  
Article
Perception of Affordances for Dribbling in Soccer: Exploring Children as Architects of Skill Development Opportunity
by Michael J. Duncan, Ricardo Martins, Mark Noon and Emma L. J. Eyre
Sports 2022, 10(7), 99; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports10070099 - 24 Jun 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 3090
Abstract
This study examined affordance perception for soccer dribbling using a mixed-methods approach in male grassroots soccer players. We examined how children construct and perceive skills practices for dribbling in soccer. Fourteen boys aged 10–11 years (Mean ± SD = 10.8 ± 0.4 years) [...] Read more.
This study examined affordance perception for soccer dribbling using a mixed-methods approach in male grassroots soccer players. We examined how children construct and perceive skills practices for dribbling in soccer. Fourteen boys aged 10–11 years (Mean ± SD = 10.8 ± 0.4 years) who were regularly engaged in grassroots soccer participated in the present study. Children were provided with ten soccer cones and asked to create their own soccer dribbling pattern that would enable them to maximise the number of touches with a football and then dribble the ball in the pattern they had created for a 1 min period. Children were interviewed to explore their perception of affordances for soccer dribbling. The test of gross motor development-3 was used to assess fundamental movement skills (FMS), and the UGent soccer dribbling test was used to assess soccer dribbling skills. Children self-rated their own ability for soccer dribbling, as did their coaches. Pearson’s correlations were employed to examine the associations between quantitative variables, and thematic analysis was used to explore qualitative data. Results of the present study suggest that those children who created patterns with less space between cones accrued more touches of the football in their dribbling task (r = −0.671, p = 0.03). Children with a higher perception of their own dribbling ability had higher scores for FMS (r = 0.604, p = 0.049). Those children who scored better in actual soccer dribbling had higher scores for FMS (r = −0.746, p = 0.012) and were rated as better dribblers by their coaches (r = −0.67, p = 0.03). Interview data suggest a feedback loop between perception of ability and actual ability, which influenced the dribbling patterns that were created. This suggests that dribbling performance is scaled to the (perceived) action capabilities of the children, and children can act as architects in their own skill development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Talent Identification and Development in Youth Sports)
Show Figures

Figure 1

20 pages, 3359 KiB  
Review
Programming Plyometric-Jump Training in Soccer: A Review
by Rodrigo Ramirez-Campillo, Jason Moran, Jon L. Oliver, Jason S. Pedley, Rhodri S. Lloyd and Urs Granacher
Sports 2022, 10(6), 94; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports10060094 - 10 Jun 2022
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 7159
Abstract
The aim of this review was to describe and summarize the scientific literature on programming parameters related to jump or plyometric training in male and female soccer players of different ages and fitness levels. A literature search was conducted in the electronic databases [...] Read more.
The aim of this review was to describe and summarize the scientific literature on programming parameters related to jump or plyometric training in male and female soccer players of different ages and fitness levels. A literature search was conducted in the electronic databases PubMed, Web of Science and Scopus using keywords related to the main topic of this study (e.g., “ballistic” and “plyometric”). According to the PICOS framework, the population for the review was restricted to soccer players, involved in jump or plyometric training. Among 7556 identified studies, 90 were eligible for inclusion. Only 12 studies were found for females. Most studies (n = 52) were conducted with youth male players. Moreover, only 35 studies determined the effectiveness of a given jump training programming factor. Based on the limited available research, it seems that a dose of 7 weeks (1–2 sessions per week), with ~80 jumps (specific of combined types) per session, using near-maximal or maximal intensity, with adequate recovery between repetitions (<15 s), sets (≥30 s) and sessions (≥24–48 h), using progressive overload and taper strategies, using appropriate surfaces (e.g., grass), and applied in a well-rested state, when combined with other training methods, would increase the outcome of effective and safe plyometric-jump training interventions aimed at improving soccer players physical fitness. In conclusion, jump training is an effective and easy-to-administer training approach for youth, adult, male and female soccer players. However, optimal programming for plyometric-jump training in soccer is yet to be determined in future research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Science and Practice of Grassroots Soccer)
Show Figures

Figure 1

27 pages, 1777 KiB  
Review
Golf Swing Biomechanics: A Systematic Review and Methodological Recommendations for Kinematics
by Maxime Bourgain, Philippe Rouch, Olivier Rouillon, Patricia Thoreux and Christophe Sauret
Sports 2022, 10(6), 91; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports10060091 - 09 Jun 2022
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 8583
Abstract
Numerous studies have been conducted to investigate golf swing performance in both preventing injury and injury occurrence. The objective of this review was to describe state-of-the-art golf swing biomechanics, with a specific emphasis on movement kinematics, and when possible, to suggest recommendations for [...] Read more.
Numerous studies have been conducted to investigate golf swing performance in both preventing injury and injury occurrence. The objective of this review was to describe state-of-the-art golf swing biomechanics, with a specific emphasis on movement kinematics, and when possible, to suggest recommendations for research methodologies. Keywords related to biomechanics and golf swings were used in scientific databases. Only articles that focused on golf-swing kinematics were considered. In this review, 92 articles were considered and categorized into the following domains: X-factor, crunch factor, swing plane and clubhead trajectory, kinematic sequence, and joint angular kinematics. The main subjects of focus were male golfers. Performance parameters were searched for, but the lack of methodological consensus prevented generalization of the results and led to contradictory results. Currently, three-dimensional approaches are commonly used for joint angular kinematic investigations. However, recommendations by the International Society of Biomechanics are rarely considered. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

16 pages, 552 KiB  
Review
Methodological Approaches to Talent Identification in Team Sports: A Narrative Review
by Sam Barraclough, Kevin Till, Adam Kerr and Stacey Emmonds
Sports 2022, 10(6), 81; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports10060081 - 24 May 2022
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 5996
Abstract
Talent identification (TID) and talent development (TD) continue to receive significant investment from team sports organisations, highlighting their importance in attempting to identify potential elite athletes. Accompanying this continual pursuit to unearth future talent is an ever-increasing body of research aiming to provide [...] Read more.
Talent identification (TID) and talent development (TD) continue to receive significant investment from team sports organisations, highlighting their importance in attempting to identify potential elite athletes. Accompanying this continual pursuit to unearth future talent is an ever-increasing body of research aiming to provide solutions and strategies to optimise TID and TD processes. Therefore, the aim of this review is to provide a summary and critical synthesis of the methodological approaches applied to TID in team sports and present considerations for future TID research. Specifically, this review highlights three key areas for consideration: (1) the timespan of the research design; (2) the use of monodisciplinary or multidisciplinary variables; and (3) the fidelity of the methodological approaches to the assessment of talent. The review highlights the benefits of longitudinal, multidisciplinary, and ecologically valid research designs for TID within team sports. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Talent Identification and Development in Youth Sports)
Show Figures

Figure 1

26 pages, 4702 KiB  
Systematic Review
Exploratory Systematic Review of Mixed Martial Arts: An Overview of Performance of Importance Factors with over 20,000 Athletes
by João C. A. Bueno, Heloiana Faro, Seth Lenetsky, Aleksandro F. Gonçalves, Stefane B. C. D. Dias, André L. B. Ribeiro, Bruno V. C. da Silva, Carlos A. Cardoso Filho, Bruna M. de Vasconcelos, Júlio C. Serrão, Alexandro Andrade, Tácito P. Souza-Junior and João G. Claudino
Sports 2022, 10(6), 80; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports10060080 - 24 May 2022
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 6616
Abstract
This review aimed to analyze the findings in the literature related to Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) through an exploratory systematic review and to present the state of the art from a multifactorial perspective. The review was conducted in accordance with the PRISMA statement, [...] Read more.
This review aimed to analyze the findings in the literature related to Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) through an exploratory systematic review and to present the state of the art from a multifactorial perspective. The review was conducted in accordance with the PRISMA statement, with a search performed in the Scopus, PubMed, and Web of Science databases. Participants were competitive athletes (amateurs or professionals) of regional, national, or international levels. Of the 2763 registries identified, 112 studies met the eligibility criteria. The pooled sample size and age were 20,784 participants, with a mean age of 27.7 ± 6 years for male and 28.9 ± 3 years for female, with the vast majority of athletes being male (94.9%). MMA athletes were 17.2% amateurs, 73.8% professionals, and 9% were not reported. The scientific literature related to MMA reported injuries (n = 28), weight loss (n = 21), technical and tactical analysis (n = 23), physical fitness (n = 8), physiological responses and training characteristics (n = 13), psychobiological parameters (n = 12), and interventions applied to MMA athletes (n = 7). Therefore, this exploratory systematic review presents practitioners and researchers with seven broad summaries of each facet of performance of importance in this population of athletes. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

15 pages, 1559 KiB  
Article
Exploring the Effects of Six Weeks of Resistance Training on the Fecal Microbiome of Older Adult Males: Secondary Analysis of a Peanut Protein Supplemented Randomized Controlled Trial
by Johnathon H. Moore, Kristen S. Smith, Dongquan Chen, Donald A. Lamb, Morgan A. Smith, Shelby C. Osburn, Bradley A. Ruple, Casey D. Morrow, Kevin W. Huggins, James R. McDonald, Michael D. Brown, Kaelin C. Young, Michael D. Roberts and Andrew D. Frugé
Sports 2022, 10(5), 65; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports10050065 - 22 Apr 2022
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 3310
Abstract
The bacteria inhabiting the gastrointestinal tract contribute to numerous host functions and can be altered by lifestyle factors. We aimed to determine whether a 6-week training intervention altered fecal microbiome diversity and/or function in older males. Fecal samples were collected prior to and [...] Read more.
The bacteria inhabiting the gastrointestinal tract contribute to numerous host functions and can be altered by lifestyle factors. We aimed to determine whether a 6-week training intervention altered fecal microbiome diversity and/or function in older males. Fecal samples were collected prior to and following a 6-week twice-weekly supervised resistance training intervention in 14 older Caucasian males (65 ± 10 years, 28.5 ± 3.2 kg/m2) with minimal prior training experience. Participants were randomized to receive a daily defatted peanut powder supplement providing 30 g protein (n = 8) or no supplement (n = 6) during the intervention. Bacterial DNA was isolated from pre-and post-training fecal samples, and taxa were identified using sequencing to amplify the variable region 4 (V4) of the 16S ribosomal RNA gene. Training significantly increased whole-body and lower-body lean mass (determined by dual energy X-ray absorptiometry) as well as leg extensor strength (p < 0.05) with no differences between intervention groups. Overall composition of the microbiome and a priori selected taxa were not significantly altered with training. However, MetaCYC pathway analysis indicated that metabolic capacity of the microbiome to produce mucin increased (p = 0.047); the tight junction protein, zonulin, was measured in serum and non-significantly decreased after training (p = 0.062). Our data suggest that resistance training may improve intestinal barrier integrity in older Caucasian males; further investigation is warranted. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

15 pages, 568 KiB  
Review
Training Monitoring in Sports: It Is Time to Embrace Cognitive Demand
by Stéphane Perrey
Sports 2022, 10(4), 56; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports10040056 - 08 Apr 2022
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 5708
Abstract
Appropriate training burden monitoring is still a challenge for the support staff, athletes, and coaches. Extensive research has been done in recent years that proposes several external and internal indicators. Among all measurements, the importance of cognitive factors has been indicated but has [...] Read more.
Appropriate training burden monitoring is still a challenge for the support staff, athletes, and coaches. Extensive research has been done in recent years that proposes several external and internal indicators. Among all measurements, the importance of cognitive factors has been indicated but has never been really considered in the training monitoring process. While there is strong evidence supporting the use of cognitive demand indicators in cognitive neuroscience, their importance in training monitoring for multiple sports settings must be better emphasized. The aims of this scoping review are to (1) provide an overview of the cognitive demand concept beside the physical demand in training; (2) highlight the current methods for assessing cognitive demand in an applied setting to sports in part through a neuroergonomics approach; (3) show how cognitive demand metrics can be exploited and applied to our better understanding of fatigue, sport injury, overtraining and individual performance capabilities. This review highlights also the potential new ways of brain imaging approaches for monitoring in situ. While assessment of cognitive demand is still in its infancy in sport, it may represent a very fruitful approach if applied with rigorous protocols and deep knowledge of both the neurobehavioral and cognitive aspects. It is time now to consider the cognitive demand to avoid underestimating the total training burden and its management. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

14 pages, 3438 KiB  
Article
Biomechanical and Psychological Predictors of Failure in the Air Force Physical Fitness Test
by Jeffrey Turner, Torrey Wagner and Brent Langhals
Sports 2022, 10(4), 54; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports10040054 - 06 Apr 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 3424
Abstract
Physical fitness is a pillar of U.S. Air Force (USAF) readiness and ensures that Airmen can fulfill their assigned mission and be fit to deploy in any environment. The USAF assesses the fitness of service members on a periodic basis, and discharge can [...] Read more.
Physical fitness is a pillar of U.S. Air Force (USAF) readiness and ensures that Airmen can fulfill their assigned mission and be fit to deploy in any environment. The USAF assesses the fitness of service members on a periodic basis, and discharge can result from failed assessments. In this study, a 21-feature dataset was analyzed related to 223 active-duty Airmen who participated in a comprehensive mental and social health survey, body composition assessment, and physical performance battery. Graphical analysis revealed pass/fail trends related to body composition and obesity. Logistic regression and limited-capacity neural network algorithms were then applied to predict fitness test performance using these biomechanical and psychological variables. The logistic regression model achieved a high level of significance (p < 0.01) with an accuracy of 0.84 and AUC of 0.89 on the holdout dataset. This model yielded important inferences that Airmen with poor sleep quality, recent history of an injury, higher BMI, and low fitness satisfaction tend to be at greater risk for fitness test failure. The neural network model demonstrated the best performance with 0.93 accuracy and 0.97 AUC on the holdout dataset. This study is the first application of psychological features and neural networks to predict fitness test performance and obtained higher predictive accuracy than prior work. Accurate prediction of Airmen at risk of failing the USAF fitness test can enable early intervention and prevent workplace injury, absenteeism, inability to deploy, and attrition. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

22 pages, 10429 KiB  
Article
The Impact of COVID-19-Related Mitigation Measures on the Health and Fitness Status of Primary School Children in Austria: A Longitudinal Study with Data from 708 Children Measured before and during the Ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic
by Gerald Jarnig, Reinhold Kerbl and Mireille N. M. van Poppel
Sports 2022, 10(3), 43; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports10030043 - 11 Mar 2022
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 4637
Abstract
The COVID-19-related closing of schools and sport facilities resulted in major changes to daily routines worldwide. It was the aim of this study to investigate the impact of COVID-19-related mitigation measures on the health and fitness status of primary school children in Austria. [...] Read more.
The COVID-19-related closing of schools and sport facilities resulted in major changes to daily routines worldwide. It was the aim of this study to investigate the impact of COVID-19-related mitigation measures on the health and fitness status of primary school children in Austria. Seven hundred and eight primary school children (7–10 years old) participated in the longitudinal study. Data on height, weight, waist circumference, and fitness were collected before (September 2019) and during the course of the COVID-19 pandemic (June 20, September 20, March 21, June 21). A significant increase in EQUI BMIAUTp2 = 0.087) and significant changes (ηp2 = 0.355) in waist circumference were found. Cardiorespiratory endurance (ηp2 = 0.440) and action speed (ηp2 = 0.221) decreased dramatically following lockdowns/school closures. In contrast, muscle strength showed no significant changes. The COVID-19-related mitigation measures intended to contain a communicable disease resulted in an acceleration of the pre-existing pandemic of overweight and obesity. The adverse combination of increasing BMI and the loss of physical fitness is likely to result in long-term negative effects on the health status of growing and developing individuals. Health professionals should therefore not only support further longitudinal observations of this “non-communicable disease” but also support intervention programs to reverse this worrying side-effect of COVID-19-associated containment policies. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

29 pages, 715 KiB  
Review
Effects of Different Types of Exercise on Kidney Diseases
by Hamid Arazi, Majid Mohabbat, Payam Saidie, Akram Falahati and Katsuhiko Suzuki
Sports 2022, 10(3), 42; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports10030042 - 10 Mar 2022
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 11877
Abstract
The effects of exercise on kidney function have been studied for more than three decades. One of the most common health issues among patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a lack of physical activity, which leads to a low exercise capacity in [...] Read more.
The effects of exercise on kidney function have been studied for more than three decades. One of the most common health issues among patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a lack of physical activity, which leads to a low exercise capacity in these patients. The majority of maintenance hemodialysis (MHD) patients do not exercise at all. At each stage of dialysis, patients lose 10–12 g of their amino acids through blood sampling. Dialysis also leads to increased cortisol and circadian rhythm sleep disorders in hemodialysis (HD) patients. Studies have also reported higher C-reactive protein levels in HD patients, which causes arterial stiffness. Exercise has a variety of health benefits in these patients, including improved blood pressure control, better sleep, higher physical function, and reduced anxiety and depression. On the other hand, it should be noted that intense exercise has the potential to progress KD, especially when conducted in hot weather with dehydration. This review aimed to investigate the effects of different types of exercise on kidney disease and provide exercise guidelines. In conclusion, moderate-intensity and long-term exercise (for at least a 6-month period), with consideration of the principles of exercise (individualization, intensity, time, etc.), can be used as an adjunctive treatment strategy in patients undergoing dialysis or kidney transplantation. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

15 pages, 2029 KiB  
Review
Trends Assessing Neuromuscular Fatigue in Team Sports: A Narrative Review
by Claudia Alba-Jiménez, Daniel Moreno-Doutres and Javier Peña
Sports 2022, 10(3), 33; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports10030033 - 28 Feb 2022
Cited by 22 | Viewed by 11842
Abstract
Neuromuscular fatigue is defined as a reduction induced by exercise in the maximal voluntary force that a muscle or group of muscles can generate. An accumulation of work or an incomplete force restoration can significantly influence the neuromuscular performance in both the short [...] Read more.
Neuromuscular fatigue is defined as a reduction induced by exercise in the maximal voluntary force that a muscle or group of muscles can generate. An accumulation of work or an incomplete force restoration can significantly influence the neuromuscular performance in both the short and long terms. Thus, fatigue management is essential for controlling the training adaptations of athletes and reducing their susceptibility to injury and illness. The main individualized monitoring tools used to describe fatigue are questionnaires and subjective assessments of fatigue, biochemical markers, sprint tests, and vertical jump tests. Among the subjective measures, the rating of the perceived exertion has been widely used because of its simplicity and high validity. In terms of the objective measures, one of the more frequently employed tools by practitioners to assess neuromuscular fatigue is the countermovement jump. Because of its high validity and reliability, it is accepted as the reference standard test in sports, in general, and particularly in team sports. Our review aims to clarify how all these indicators, as well as several devices, can help coaches in different sports contexts to monitor neuromuscular fatigue, and how these procedures should be used to obtain data that can be used to make decisions in complex environments. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

10 pages, 405 KiB  
Article
The Effectiveness of Adapted Personalized Motor Activity (AMPA) to Improve Health in Individuals with Mental Disorders and Physical Comorbidities: A Randomized Controlled Trial
by Vito Lamberti, Stefano Palermi, Andrea Franceschin, Giovanni Scapol, Vincenzo Lamberti, Chiara Lamberti, Marco Vecchiato, Rocco Spera, Felice Sirico and Elisabetta Della Valle
Sports 2022, 10(3), 30; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports10030030 - 25 Feb 2022
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 4017
Abstract
Mental disorders are highly prevalent worldwide and have a high impact on daily functioning. Exercise therapy was found to improve health of individuals with physical and mental disorders. This study aims to investigate the effectiveness of an Adapted Personalized Motor Activity (AMPA) in [...] Read more.
Mental disorders are highly prevalent worldwide and have a high impact on daily functioning. Exercise therapy was found to improve health of individuals with physical and mental disorders. This study aims to investigate the effectiveness of an Adapted Personalized Motor Activity (AMPA) in improving health in individuals with physical and mental disorders. Forty-three patients affected by both mental and chronic nontransmissible conditions were randomly assigned to intervention group (AMPA intervention) and control group (no intervention). Perceived physical and mental health were assessed using the Short Form 12 (SF-12) questionaries. Moreover, subjects underwent an accurate medical screening process, complete clinical evaluation, body composition evaluation, and cardiopulmonary assessment. Repeated Measurement Analysis of the Variance (RM-ANOVA) was used to compare any changes in health and physiological parameters in-between groups. AMPA group showed a statistically significant improvement in both perceived mental and physical health. Moreover, Body Mass Index (BMI), glycolipid profile, aerobic functional capacity and cardiopulmonary parameters improved significantly among individuals from the intervention group compared with the individuals from the control group. AMPA may be considered a possible intervention to improve health in individuals suffering from multiple physical and mental disorders. Future studies should examine the effectiveness in larger and heterogeneous sample of chronically ill patients and the long-term effect of AMPA. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

15 pages, 3438 KiB  
Systematic Review
The Efficacy of Upper-Extremity Elastic Resistance Training on Shoulder Strength and Performance: A Systematic Review
by Rachel C. Seguin, Alan C. Cudlip and Michael W. R. Holmes
Sports 2022, 10(2), 24; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports10020024 - 14 Feb 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 6497
Abstract
Elastic resistance exercise is a popular mode of strength training that has demonstrated positive effects on whole-body strength and performance. The purpose of this work was to identify the efficacy of elastic resistance training on improving upper limb strength and performance measures for [...] Read more.
Elastic resistance exercise is a popular mode of strength training that has demonstrated positive effects on whole-body strength and performance. The purpose of this work was to identify the efficacy of elastic resistance training on improving upper limb strength and performance measures for the shoulder. Seven online databases were searched with a focus on longitudinal studies assessing shoulder elastic training strength interventions. In total, 1367 studies were initially screened for relevancy; 24 full-text articles were included for review. Exercise interventions ranged from 4–12 weeks, assessing pre-/post-strength and performance measures inclusive of isometric and isokinetic strength, 1RM strength, force-velocity tests, and throwing-velocity tests. Significant increases in various isometric strength measures (IR:11–13%, ER:11–42%, FL: 14–36%, EXT: 4–17%, ABD: 8–16%), 1RM strength (~24% in bench press), force-velocities, throwing- and serve-velocities (12%) were all observed. Elastic resistance training elicited positive effects for both strength and performance parameters regardless of intervention duration. Similar significant increases were observed in isometric strength and 1RM strength across durations. Isokinetic strength increases were variable and dependent on the joint velocity conditions. Quantifying the dosage of appropriate exercise prescription for optimal strength and performance gains is inconclusive with this study due to the heterogeneity of the intervention protocols. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

9 pages, 956 KiB  
Article
Changes in Intra-to-Extra-Cellular Water Ratio and Bioelectrical Parameters from Day-Before to Day-Of Competition in Bodybuilders: A Pilot Study
by João Pedro Nunes, João P. M. Araújo, Alex S. Ribeiro, Francesco Campa, Brad J. Schoenfeld, Edilson S. Cyrino and Michele C. C. Trindade
Sports 2022, 10(2), 23; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports10020023 - 14 Feb 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 3943
Abstract
The present study analyzed the effects from day-before to day-of bodybuilding competition on intracellular water (ICW), extracellular water (ECW), total body water (TBW), and bioimpedance analysis (BIA) parameters (resistance, R; reactance, Xc; and derived scores) in bodybuilding athletes. We assessed anthropometry and BIA [...] Read more.
The present study analyzed the effects from day-before to day-of bodybuilding competition on intracellular water (ICW), extracellular water (ECW), total body water (TBW), and bioimpedance analysis (BIA) parameters (resistance, R; reactance, Xc; and derived scores) in bodybuilding athletes. We assessed anthropometry and BIA (foot-to-hand; tetrapolar; 50 kHz) in 11 male bodybuilders (29 ± 4 year-old; 81 ± 8 kg; 172 ± 7 cm; 27 ± 2 kg/m2) both on the pre-competition day and on the contest day. Results revealed significant increases in ICW (31.6 ± 2.9 to 33.1 ± 2.8 L), with concomitant decreases in ECW (19.8 ± 1.8 to 17.2 ± 1.4 L) and TBW (51.4 ± 4.6 to 50.3 ± 4.2 L) from the day-before competition to contest day, which resulted in relatively large increases in the ICW/ECW ratio (1.60 ± 0.03 to 1.92 ± 0.01 L). Moreover, significant increases in R (391 ± 34 to 413 ± 33 ohm), Xc (64 ± 7 to 70 ± 6 ohm), and phase angle (9.3 ± 0.6 to 9.6 ± 0.7 degree) were observed between time periods. The phase angle scores reported on show-day of 9.6 and 11.2 appear to be the highest group mean and individual values observed in the literature to date. In conclusion, the strategies carried out on the final day of peak-week bodybuilding preparation lead to changes in BIA parameters and body water, with fluids shifting from the extra- to the intracellular compartment. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

14 pages, 4518 KiB  
Article
Performance and Recovery of Well-Trained Younger and Older Athletes during Different HIIT Protocols
by Laura Hottenrott, Martin Möhle, Sarah Feichtinger, Sascha Ketelhut, Oliver Stoll and Kuno Hottenrott
Sports 2022, 10(1), 9; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports10010009 - 05 Jan 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 4389
Abstract
Due to physiological and morphological differences, younger and older athletes may recover differently from training loads. High-intensity interval training (HIIT) protocols are useful for studying the progression of recovery. It was the objective of this study to determine age differences in performance and [...] Read more.
Due to physiological and morphological differences, younger and older athletes may recover differently from training loads. High-intensity interval training (HIIT) protocols are useful for studying the progression of recovery. It was the objective of this study to determine age differences in performance and recovery following different HIIT protocols. Methods: 12 younger (24.5 ± 3.7 years) and 12 older (47.3 ± 8.6 years) well-trained cyclists and triathletes took part in this study. Between the age groups there were no significant differences in relative peak power to fat-free mass, maximal heart rate (HR), training volume, and VO2max-percentiles (%). Participants performed different HIIT protocols consisting of 4 × 30 s Wingate tests with different active rest intervals (1, 3, or 10 min). Peak and average power, lactate, HR, respiratory exchange ratio (RER), subjective rating of perceived exertion (RPE), and recovery (Total Quality Recovery scale, TQR) were assessed. Results: During the different HIIT protocols, metabolic, cardiovascular, and subjective recovery were similar between the two groups. No significant differences were found in average lactate concentration, peak and average power, fatigue (%), %HRmax, RER, RPE, and TQR values between the groups (p > 0.05). Conclusion: The findings of this study indicate that recovery following HIIT does not differ between the two age groups. Furthermore, older and younger participants displayed similar lactate kinetics after the intermittent exercise protocols. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

18 pages, 1546 KiB  
Review
Velocity-Based Resistance Training on 1-RM, Jump and Sprint Performance: A Systematic Review of Clinical Trials
by Mateo Baena-Marín, Andrés Rojas-Jaramillo, Jhonatan González-Santamaría, David Rodríguez-Rosell, Jorge L. Petro, Richard B. Kreider and Diego A. Bonilla
Sports 2022, 10(1), 8; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports10010008 - 04 Jan 2022
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 8827
Abstract
Weight resistance training (RT) has been shown to positively influence physical performance. Within the last two decades, a methodology based on monitoring RT through movement velocity (also called velocity-based resistance training, VBRT) has emerged. The aim of this PRISMA-based systematic review was to [...] Read more.
Weight resistance training (RT) has been shown to positively influence physical performance. Within the last two decades, a methodology based on monitoring RT through movement velocity (also called velocity-based resistance training, VBRT) has emerged. The aim of this PRISMA-based systematic review was to evaluate the effect of VBRT programs on variables related to muscle strength (one-repetition maximum, 1-RM), and high-speed actions (vertical jump, and sprint performance) in trained subjects. The search for published articles was performed in PubMed/MEDLINE, SPORT Discus/EBSCO, OVID, Web of Science, Scopus, and EMBASE databases using Boolean algorithms independently. A total of 22 studies met the inclusion criteria of this systematic review (a low-to-moderate overall risk of bias of the analyzed studies was detected). VBRT is an effective method to improve 1-RM, vertical jump and sprint. According to the results of the analyzed studies, it is not necessary to reach high muscle failure in order to achieve the best training results. These findings reinforce the fact that it is possible to optimize exercise adaptations with less fatigue. Future studies should corroborate these findings in female population. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Strength and Conditioning and Performance Monitoring in Sports)
Show Figures

Figure 1

12 pages, 1034 KiB  
Article
Changes in Body Composition and Strength after 12 Weeks of High-Intensity Functional Training with Two Different Loads in Physically Active Men and Women: A Randomized Controlled Study
by Daniel P. Kapsis, Athanasios Tsoukos, Maria P. Psarraki, Helen T. Douda, Ilias Smilios and Gregory C. Bogdanis
Sports 2022, 10(1), 7; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports10010007 - 04 Jan 2022
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 14154
Abstract
This study examined the effects of two different resistance loads during high-intensity Functional Training (HIFT) on body composition and maximal strength. Thirty-one healthy young individuals were randomly assigned into three groups: moderate load (ML: 70% 1-RM), low load-(LL: 30% 1-RM), and control (CON). [...] Read more.
This study examined the effects of two different resistance loads during high-intensity Functional Training (HIFT) on body composition and maximal strength. Thirty-one healthy young individuals were randomly assigned into three groups: moderate load (ML: 70% 1-RM), low load-(LL: 30% 1-RM), and control (CON). Each experimental group performed HIFT three times per week for 12 weeks with a similar total volume load. Body fat decreased equally in both experimental groups after 6 weeks of training (p < 0.001), but at the end of training it further decreased only in LL compared to ML (−3.19 ± 1.59 vs. −1.64 ± 1.44 kg, p < 0.001), with no change in CON (0.29 ± 1.08 kg, p = 0.998). Lean body mass (LBM) increased after 6 weeks of training (p = 0.019) in ML only, while after 12 weeks a similar increase was observed in LL and ML (1.11 ± 0.65 vs. ML: 1.25 ± 1.59 kg, p = 0.034 and 0.013, respectively), with no change in CON (0.34 ± 0.67 kg, p = 0.991). Maximal strength increased similarly in four out of five exercises for both experimental groups by between 9.5% and 16.9% (p < 0.01) at the end of training, with no change in CON (−0.6 to 4.9%, p > 0.465). In conclusion, twelve weeks of HIFT training with either low or moderate resistance and equal volume load resulted in an equal increase in LBM and maximal strength, but different fat loss. Full article
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

10 pages, 1154 KiB  
Opinion
The Recovery Umbrella in the World of Elite Sport: Do Not Forget the Coaching and Performance Staff
by Julio Calleja-González, Stephen P. Bird, Thomas Huyghe, Igor Jukic, Francesco Cuzzolin, Francesc Cos, Diego Marqués-Jiménez, Luka Milanovic, Jaime Sampaio, Isaac López-Laval, Sergej M. Ostojic, Margaret T. Jones, Pedro E. Alcaraz, Xavi Schelling, Anne Delextrat, Meeta Singh, Jonathan Charest, Tomás T. Freitas, Lorena Torres Ronda, Adam Petway, Daniel Medina, Antonio Tramullas, Juan Mielgo-Ayuso, Nicolas Terrados and Chris McLellanadd Show full author list remove Hide full author list
Sports 2021, 9(12), 169; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports9120169 - 17 Dec 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 11114
Abstract
In the field of sports science, the recovery umbrella is a trending topic, and even more so in the world of elite sports. This is evidenced by the significant increase in scientific publications during the last 10 years as teams look to find [...] Read more.
In the field of sports science, the recovery umbrella is a trending topic, and even more so in the world of elite sports. This is evidenced by the significant increase in scientific publications during the last 10 years as teams look to find a competitive edge. Recovery is recognized to be an integral component to assist athlete preparation in the restoration of physical and psychological function, and subsequently, performance in elite team sports athletes. However, the importance of recovery in team staff members (sports coaches and performance staff) in elite sports appears to be a forgotten element. Given the unrelenting intense nature of daily tasks and responsibilities of team staff members, the elite sports environment can predispose coaches to increased susceptibility to psycho-socio physiological fatigue burden, and negatively affect health, wellbeing, and performance. Therefore, the aim of this opinion was to (1) develop an educational recovery resource for team staff members, (2) identify organizational task-specific fatigue indicators and barriers to recovery and self-care in team staff members, and (3) present recovery implementation strategies to assist team staff members in meeting their organizational functions. It is essential that we do not forget the coaching and performance staff in the recovery process. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

12 pages, 3184 KiB  
Article
Is the Integration of Additional Eccentric, Balance and Core Muscles Exercises into a Typical Soccer Program Effective in Improving Strength and Postural Stability?
by Konstantinos Dafkou, Chrysostomos Sahinis, Athanasios Ellinoudis and Eleftherios Kellis
Sports 2021, 9(11), 147; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports9110147 - 25 Oct 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 3944
Abstract
Soccer teams integrate specific exercises into their typical workout programs for injury prevention. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether the incorporation of a brief and supplementary training program that involves eccentric, balance, and core exercises into the weekly soccer schedule [...] Read more.
Soccer teams integrate specific exercises into their typical workout programs for injury prevention. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether the incorporation of a brief and supplementary training program that involves eccentric, balance, and core exercises into the weekly soccer schedule can cause positive neuromuscular adaptations. Twenty-one soccer players were randomly allocated to either a training (n = 11) or a control group (n = 10). All players followed their teams’ typical program, consisting of 4–5 soccer-specific sessions plus 1 match, weekly. Training group players additionally performed biweekly, hamstring eccentric, balance, and core stability exercises for 8 weeks. Isokinetic concentric and eccentric peak torque (PT) of the hamstrings and quadriceps, changes in the center of pressure (COP) during a 30 s single-leg stance, and a supine bridge (trunk stability) test were assessed before and after the intervention. After the intervention, a 27% increase in hamstring concentric PT and a 33% reduction in COP sway in the stance test, were observed for the training group only (p < 0.05). These improvements were significant only for the non-dominant leg. Furthermore, the control group displayed an increase in COP sway during the bridge test compared to baseline values (p < 0.05), which reflects a deterioration in postural balance over time. Consequently, incorporating small doses of hamstring eccentric, proprioception, and core stability exercises into a typical training program of youth soccer players improves strength and postural balance in the non-dominant leg, as well as core muscle performance. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

13 pages, 1324 KiB  
Article
Relative Training Load and Match Outcome: Are Professional Soccer Players Actually Undertrained during the In-Season?
by Toni Modric, Mario Jelicic and Damir Sekulic
Sports 2021, 9(10), 139; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports9100139 - 08 Oct 2021
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 4494
Abstract
Previous studies examined training/match ratios (TMr) to determine the training load relative to the match load, but the influence of the relative training load (RTL) on success in soccer is still unknown. Therefore, this study aimed to investigate the possible influence of RTL [...] Read more.
Previous studies examined training/match ratios (TMr) to determine the training load relative to the match load, but the influence of the relative training load (RTL) on success in soccer is still unknown. Therefore, this study aimed to investigate the possible influence of RTL on final match outcome in soccer (win, draw, and loss). Running performances (RP) of soccer players (n = 21) in the Croatian highest national soccer competition were analyzed during the season 2020–2021. Data were measured by the global positioning system in 14 official matches and 67 training sessions. RTL was assessed by TMr, which were calculated as the ratio of RP during training and match in the same week, evaluating the following measures: TDr (total distance ratio), LIDr (low-intensity distance ratio), RDr (running distance ratio), HIDr (high-intensity distance ratio), ACCr (total accelerations ratio), DECr (total decelerations ratio), HI-ACCr (high-intensity accelerations ratio), HI-DECr (high-intensity decelerations ratio). All TMr were examined separately for each training session within in-season microcycles (categorized as days before the match day, i.e., MD minus). Spearman correlations were used to identify association between match outcome and TMr. The results indicated negative associations between match outcome and TDr, LIDr, ACCr and DECr on MD-1 and MD-2). In contrast, positive associations were evidenced between match outcome, and HIDr on MD-3 and TDr, LIDr, ACCr and DECr on MD-5 (p < 0.05; all moderate correlations). These findings demonstrate that final match outcome in soccer was associated with greater RTL of (i) high-intensity running three days before the match, (ii) total and low-intensity running, accelerations and decelerations five days before the match, and (iii) lower RTL of total and low-intensity running, accelerations and decelerations one and two days before the match. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Strength and Conditioning and Performance Monitoring in Sports)
Show Figures

Figure 1

13 pages, 249 KiB  
Article
Comparison of High and Low Responders to a Cross-Country Skiing Talent Transfer Program: A Coach’s Perspective
by Stig Arve Sæther, Mats Iversen, Rune Kjøsen Talsnes and Øyvind Sandbakk
Sports 2021, 9(10), 138; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports9100138 - 02 Oct 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 3195
Abstract
Purpose: To examine how coaches differentiate athletes with successful and non-successful development during a cross-country (XC) skiing talent transfer (TT) program. Methods: We conducted qualitative, semi-structured interviews with seven Norwegian coaches working with a group of 23 Chinese summer endurance athletes transferring from [...] Read more.
Purpose: To examine how coaches differentiate athletes with successful and non-successful development during a cross-country (XC) skiing talent transfer (TT) program. Methods: We conducted qualitative, semi-structured interviews with seven Norwegian coaches working with a group of 23 Chinese summer endurance athletes transferring from running, rowing, and kayaking to the winter endurance sport XC skiing over a six-month training period. The athletes were grouped as either high (n = 9), moderate (n = 3), or low responders (n = 11) based on objective performance development, quantified using laboratory testing. The interview guide contained six sections: physiological development, technical development, psychological characteristics, training and recovery routines, athlete background, and considerations about the effectiveness of TT initiatives in general. Results: The assessments of the coaches revealed that greater development of both physiological and technical capacities among the high-responding TT athletes were associated with higher motivation, as well as superior ability to deal with adversity in the development process. Conclusion: The coaches considered the TT program to be effective; however, successful transfer of athletes to a world class level in a complex sport such as XC skiing requires a multidisciplinary selection process and a longer time frame than the six-month period used in the current project. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Talent Identification and Development in Youth Sports)
16 pages, 717 KiB  
Article
Resisted Sled Sprint Kinematics: The Acute Effect of Load and Sporting Population
by Katja M. Osterwald, David T. Kelly, Thomas M. Comyns and Ciarán Ó Catháin
Sports 2021, 9(10), 137; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports9100137 - 30 Sep 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 3868
Abstract
In this study, we assessed the acute kinematic effects of different sled load conditions (unloaded and at 10%, 20%, 30% decrement from maximum velocity (Vdec)) in different sporting populations. It is well-known that an athlete’s kinematics change with increasing sled load. However, to [...] Read more.
In this study, we assessed the acute kinematic effects of different sled load conditions (unloaded and at 10%, 20%, 30% decrement from maximum velocity (Vdec)) in different sporting populations. It is well-known that an athlete’s kinematics change with increasing sled load. However, to our knowledge, the relationship between the different loads in resisted sled sprinting (RSS) and kinematic characteristics is unknown. Thirty-three athletes (sprinters n = 10; team sport athletes n = 23) performed a familiarization session (day 1), and 12 sprints at different loads (day 2) over a distance of 40 m. Sprint time and average velocity were measured. Sagittal-plane high-speed video data was recorded for early acceleration and maximum velocity phase and joint angles computed. Loading introduced significant changes to hip, knee, ankle, and trunk angle for touch-down and toe-off for the acceleration and maximum velocity phase (p < 0.05). Knee, hip, and ankle angles became more flexed with increasing load for all groups and trunk lean increased linearly with increasing loading conditions. The results of this study provide coaches with important information that may influence how RSS is employed as a training tool to improve sprint performance for acceleration and maximal velocity running and that prescription may not change based on sporting population, as there were only minimal differences observed between groups. The trunk lean increase was related to the heavy loads and appeared to prevent athletes to reach mechanics that were truly reflective of maximum velocity sprinting. Lighter loads seem to be more adequate to not provoke changes in maxV kinematics. However, heavy loading extended the distance over which it is possible to train acceleration. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

13 pages, 636 KiB  
Article
Enjoyment of Physical Activity—Not MVPA during Physical Education—Predicts Future MVPA Participation and Sport Self-Concept
by Jared D. Ramer, Natalie E. Houser, Robert J. Duncan and Eduardo E. Bustamante
Sports 2021, 9(9), 128; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports9090128 - 10 Sep 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 4755
Abstract
There exists a general understanding that physical education (PE) is a means to create a physically healthy population. However, disagreements arise over primary practices within PE to achieve this end. The primary divergence is whether PE facilitators should primarily ensure participants exert a [...] Read more.
There exists a general understanding that physical education (PE) is a means to create a physically healthy population. However, disagreements arise over primary practices within PE to achieve this end. The primary divergence is whether PE facilitators should primarily ensure participants exert a specific level of energy during class or develop their confidence, competence, knowledge, and motivation for meaningful physical activity (PA) participation outside of the PE classroom (referred to as physical literacy (PL)). This study uses structural equation modeling to examine associations between enjoyment of PA and minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) in PE class in grade 5 (mean age = 10) and participation in PA and feelings about PA 1 year later, in grade 6 (mean age = 11), in the NICHD Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development (SECCYD, N = 1364). Enjoyment of PA in grade 5 predicted sport self-concept (β = 0.347, p ≤ 0.001), MVPA (β = 0.12, p ≤ 0.001), and enjoyment of PA (β = 0.538, p ≤ 0.001) in grade 6. These associations remained when including weekday MVPA performed in grade 5 as an indirect effect (β = 0.058, p ≤ 0.001). MVPA performed during PE in grade 5 was not associated with any PA outcomes in grade 6. Findings suggest PE instructors should prioritize PL development over maintenance of high energy expenditure during PE class for long-term MVPA. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

12 pages, 1073 KiB  
Article
Turn Fast and Win: The Importance of Acyclic Phases in Top-Elite Female Swimmers
by Dennis-Peter Born, Joris Kuger, Marek Polach and Michael Romann
Sports 2021, 9(9), 122; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports9090122 - 31 Aug 2021
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 3098
Abstract
The aim of the study was to investigate the effect of start and turn performances on race times in top-elite female swimmers and provide benchmarks for all performance levels, all swimming strokes, and all race distances of the European Short-Course Championships (EC). The [...] Read more.
The aim of the study was to investigate the effect of start and turn performances on race times in top-elite female swimmers and provide benchmarks for all performance levels, all swimming strokes, and all race distances of the European Short-Course Championships (EC). The individual races (n = 798) of all female competitors (age: 20.6 ± 3.9 years, FINA points: 792 ± 78) were video-monitored for subsequent analysis of start and turn performances. Benchmarks were established across all competitors of each event based on the 10th, 25th, 50th, 75th, and 90th percentiles. Start and turn performances contributed up to 27.43% and 56.37% to total race time, respectively. Mechanistic analysis revealed that the fastest swimmers had the lowest contribution of the acyclic phases to race time. Therefore, relative to their faster race times, these swimmers were even faster during starts and turns. Multiple linear regression analysis showed large effects of turn performance on 50, 100, 200, 400, and 800 m race times (β = 0.616, 0.813, 0.988, 1.004, and 1.011, respectively), while the effect of start performance continuously decreased the longer the race distance. As turn performance may be the distinguishing factor in modern short-course races, benchmarks should be used to set goals and establish training guidelines depending on the targeted race time. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Strength and Conditioning and Performance Monitoring in Sports)
Show Figures

Figure 1

11 pages, 1058 KiB  
Article
Validation of a Smartwatch-Based Workout Analysis Application in Exercise Recognition, Repetition Count and Prediction of 1RM in the Strength Training-Specific Setting
by Katja Oberhofer, Raphael Erni, Mark Sayers, Dominik Huber, Fabian Lüthy and Silvio Lorenzetti
Sports 2021, 9(9), 118; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports9090118 - 27 Aug 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 4573
Abstract
The goal of this study was to assess the validity, reliability and accuracy of a smartwatch-based workout analysis application in exercise recognition, repetition count and One Repetition Maximum (1RM) prediction in the strength training-specific setting. Thirty recreationally trained athletes performed four consecutive sets [...] Read more.
The goal of this study was to assess the validity, reliability and accuracy of a smartwatch-based workout analysis application in exercise recognition, repetition count and One Repetition Maximum (1RM) prediction in the strength training-specific setting. Thirty recreationally trained athletes performed four consecutive sets of barbell deadlift, barbell bench press and barbell back squat exercises with increasing loads from 60% to 80% of their estimated 1RM with maximum lift velocity. Data was measured using an Apple Watch Sport and instantaneously analyzed using an iOS workout analysis application called StrengthControl. The accuracies in exercise recognition and repetition count, as well as the reliability in predicting 1RM, were statistically analyzed and compared. The correct strength exercise was recognised in 88.4% of all the performed sets (N = 363) with accurate repetition count for the barbell back squat (p = 0.68) and the barbell deadlift (p = 0.09); however, repetition count for the barbell bench press was poor (p = 0.01). Only 8.9% of attempts to predict 1RM using the StrengthControl app were successful, with failed attempts being due to technical difficulties and time lag in data transfer. Using data from a linear position transducer instead, significantly different 1RM estimates were obtained when analysing repetition to failure versus load-velocity relationships. The present results provide new perspectives on the applicability of smartwatch-based strength training monitoring to improve athlete performance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Perspectives in Resistance Training)
Show Figures

Figure 1

10 pages, 605 KiB  
Article
A Comparison of Motives by Gender and Age Categories for Training at Norwegian Fitness Centres
by Stian Larsen, Tarron Mozdoorzoy, Eirik Kristiansen, Hallvard Nygaard Falch, Tore Kristian Aune and Roland van den Tillaar
Sports 2021, 9(8), 113; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports9080113 - 21 Aug 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 4402
Abstract
Examining participatory motives clarifies what engages and keeps individuals participating in exercise. The popularity of training at fitness centres has greatly increased over the last two decades, but individual determinants for motivation remain uncertain. This study compared motives between gender and age categories [...] Read more.
Examining participatory motives clarifies what engages and keeps individuals participating in exercise. The popularity of training at fitness centres has greatly increased over the last two decades, but individual determinants for motivation remain uncertain. This study compared motives between gender and age categories in training and performing physical activity at Norwegian fitness centres. To compare motives, a survey utilising a standardised questionnaire (MPAM-R) was conducted at six different Norwegian fitness centres. It was hypothesised that the intrinsic motive socialisation and extrinsic motive fitness would be more important among the older age categories for both genders, while the extrinsic motive appearance and intrinsic motive enjoyment would be more important among younger age groups. A total response of 183 men and 150 women, aged 14–80 years, was divided into seven categories based on their age and included in the statistical analysis. The main findings after conducting a two-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) with repeated measures, were that the most important motive for training at fitness centres was increasing fitness, followed by enjoyment, competence, vitality and appearance. The social motive was rated the lowest. Women rated fitness and enjoyment higher compared to men, and men rated the motive for appearance higher than women, but this decreased with age in both genders. With increasing age, the importance of enjoyment and competence decreased in men, while women seemed to place increased importance on vitality with age. The importance of the social motive decreased first as age increased, but then increased again in the age group 41–50 years and older. It was concluded that the motives for participating in exercise at fitness centres was dependent on individual characteristics and that motives about training at fitness centres differed by gender and changed with age. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

9 pages, 570 KiB  
Article
Changes in Physical Activity during the COVID-19 Pandemic—An Analysis of Differences Based on Mitigation Policies and Incidence Values in the Federal States of Germany
by Franziska Beck, Michael Mutz, Eliane Stephanie Engels and Anne Kerstin Reimers
Sports 2021, 9(7), 102; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports9070102 - 15 Jul 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 4030
Abstract
Measures to slow down the spread of coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 have had an impact on the daily life and physical activity (PA) of many people. Nevertheless, in Germany, mitigation policies and incidence values vary widely across the federal states (Länder). Thus, the aim of [...] Read more.
Measures to slow down the spread of coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 have had an impact on the daily life and physical activity (PA) of many people. Nevertheless, in Germany, mitigation policies and incidence values vary widely across the federal states (Länder). Thus, the aim of the present study was to investigate regional differences in PA during the coronavirus pandemic. This study is based on the SPOVID project (Examining physical activity and sports behavior in the face of COVID-19 pandemic: a social inequality perspective) that incorporates a large-scale, representative cross-sectional survey representing the German population (≥14 years). Based on the survey that took place in October 2020 (N = 1477), we investigated the relationships between the COVID-19 incidence values as well as the mitigation policies across the federal states in Germany and changes in PA. Pearson correlations indicated a strong negative relationship between PA change and 7-day incidence values (r = −0.688 **, p = 0.009) and a moderate negative relationship between PA changes and an index of mitigation policies (r = −0.444, p = 0.112). Higher 7-day incidence values and stricter mitigation policies were associated with a stronger decline in PA levels. Therefore, it is important to support people to stay active even if there are restrictions. In particular, in federal states and regions with high incidences and stricter mitigation policies, measures to promote health-enhancing PA are necessary. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

8 pages, 238 KiB  
Article
How Relative Age Effects Associate with Football Players’ Market Values: Indicators of Losing Talent and Wasting Money
by Michael Romann, Marie Javet, Stephen Cobley and Dennis-Peter Born
Sports 2021, 9(7), 99; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports9070099 - 09 Jul 2021
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 5226
Abstract
Background: In football, annual age-group categorization leads to relative age effects (RAEs) in talent development. Given such trends, relative age may also associate with market values. This study analyzed the relationship between RAEs and market values of youth players. Methods: Age category, birthdate, [...] Read more.
Background: In football, annual age-group categorization leads to relative age effects (RAEs) in talent development. Given such trends, relative age may also associate with market values. This study analyzed the relationship between RAEs and market values of youth players. Methods: Age category, birthdate, and market values of 11,738 youth male football players were obtained from the “transfermarkt.de” database, which delivers a good proxy for real market values. RAEs were calculated using odds ratios (OR) with 95% confidence intervals (95%CI). Results: Significant RAEs were found across all age-groups (p < 0.05). The largest RAEs occurred in U18 players (Q1 [relatively older] v Q4 [relatively younger] OR = 3.1) ORs decreased with age category, i.e., U19 (2.7), U20 (2.6), U21 (2.4), U22 (2.2), and U23 (1.8). At U19s, Q1 players were associated with significantly higher market values than Q4 players. However, by U21, U22, and U23 RAEs were inversed, with correspondingly higher market values for Q4 players apparent. While large typical RAEs for all playing positions was observed in younger age categories (U18–U20), inversed RAEs were only evident for defenders (small-medium) and for strikers (medium-large) in U21–U23 (not goalkeepers and midfielders). Conclusions: Assuming an equal distribution of football talent exists across annual cohorts, results indicate the selection and market value of young professional players is dynamic. Findings suggest a potential biased selection, and undervaluing of Q4 players in younger age groups, as their representation and market value increased over time. By contrast, the changing representations and market values of Q1 players suggest initial overvaluing in performance and monetary terms. Therefore, this inefficient talent selection and the accompanying waste of money should be improved. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Talent Identification and Development in Youth Sports)
16 pages, 950 KiB  
Article
“Is It Overtraining or Just Work Ethic?”: Coaches’ Perceptions of Overtraining in High-Performance Strength Sports
by Lee Bell, Alan Ruddock, Tom Maden-Wilkinson, Dave Hembrough and David Rogerson
Sports 2021, 9(6), 85; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports9060085 - 07 Jun 2021
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 9383
Abstract
Optimal physical performance is achieved through the careful manipulation of training and recovery. Short-term increases in training demand can induce functional overreaching (FOR) that can lead to improved physical capabilities, whereas nonfunctional overreaching (NFOR) or the overtraining syndrome (OTS) occur when high training-demand [...] Read more.
Optimal physical performance is achieved through the careful manipulation of training and recovery. Short-term increases in training demand can induce functional overreaching (FOR) that can lead to improved physical capabilities, whereas nonfunctional overreaching (NFOR) or the overtraining syndrome (OTS) occur when high training-demand is applied for extensive periods with limited recovery. To date, little is known about the OTS in strength sports, particularly from the perspective of the strength sport coach. Fourteen high-performance strength sport coaches from a range of strength sports (weightlifting; n = 5, powerlifting; n = 4, sprinting; n = 2, throws; n = 2, jumps; n = 1) participated in semistructured interviews (mean duration 57; SD = 10 min) to discuss their experiences of the OTS. Reflexive thematic analysis resulted in the identification of four higher order themes: definitions, symptoms, recovery and experiences and observations. Additional subthemes were created to facilitate organisation and presentation of data, and to aid both cohesiveness of reporting and publicising of results. Participants provided varied and sometimes dichotomous perceptions of the OTS and proposed a multifactorial profile of diagnostic symptoms. Prevalence of OTS within strength sports was considered low, with the majority of participants not observing or experiencing long-term reductions in performance with their athletes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Perspectives in Resistance Training)
Show Figures

Figure 1

21 pages, 732 KiB  
Review
Training Load Monitoring Considerations for Female Gaelic Team Sports: From Theory to Practice
by John D. Duggan, Jeremy A. Moody, Paul J. Byrne, Stephen-Mark Cooper and Lisa Ryan
Sports 2021, 9(6), 84; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports9060084 - 05 Jun 2021
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 7664
Abstract
Athlete monitoring enables sports science practitioners to collect information to determine how athletes respond to training loads (TL) and the demands of competition. To date, recommendations for females are often adapted from their male counterparts. There is currently limited information available on TL [...] Read more.
Athlete monitoring enables sports science practitioners to collect information to determine how athletes respond to training loads (TL) and the demands of competition. To date, recommendations for females are often adapted from their male counterparts. There is currently limited information available on TL monitoring in female Gaelic team sports in Ireland. The collection and analysis of female athlete monitoring data can provide valuable information to support the development of female team sports. Athletic monitoring can also support practitioners to help minimize risk of excessive TL and optimize potential athletic performance. The aims of this narrative review are to provide: (i) an overview of TL athlete monitoring in female team sports, (ii) a discussion of the potential metrics and tools used to monitor external TL and internal TL, (iii) the advantages and disadvantages of TL modalities for use in Gaelic team sports, and (iv) practical considerations on how to monitor TL to aid in the determination of meaningful change with female Gaelic team sports athletes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Strength and Conditioning and Performance Monitoring in Sports)
Show Figures

Figure 1

12 pages, 1289 KiB  
Perspective
Return to Basketball Play Following COVID-19 Lockdown
by Dimitrios I. Bourdas, Emmanouil D. Zacharakis, Antonios K. Travlos and Athanasios Souglis
Sports 2021, 9(6), 81; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports9060081 - 03 Jun 2021
Cited by 18 | Viewed by 8362
Abstract
Due to concerns regarding the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), major sporting events and activities have been temporarily suspended or postponed, and a new radical sports protocol has emerged. For most sports there are few recommendations based on scientific evidence for returning to team-game [...] Read more.
Due to concerns regarding the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), major sporting events and activities have been temporarily suspended or postponed, and a new radical sports protocol has emerged. For most sports there are few recommendations based on scientific evidence for returning to team-game activities following the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions, the extended duration of lockdown, and self-training or detraining in the COVID-19 environment, and this is especially true for basketball. A post-lockdown return to the basketball court ultimately depends on the teams—coaches, trainers, players, and medical staff. Nevertheless, our current scientific knowledge is evidently insufficient as far as safety and return-to-play timing are concerned. This situation presents a major challenge to basketball competition in terms of organization, prioritization, maintaining physical fitness, and decision-making. While preparing an adequate basketball return program, the players’ health is the major priority. In this article we briefly discuss the topic and propose multiple strategies. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Back to TopTop