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Sports, Volume 9, Issue 1 (January 2021) – 12 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): The purpose of this investigation was to describe the effects of an 8-week concurrent training protocol followed by 4 weeks of explosive strength training cessation. Eight runners completed this study, and results suggest that the energy cost of running improvements observed after the intervention were maintained once explosive strength training was interrupted. Furthermore, a 3000 m time trial revealed a tendency for improved running performance after concurrent training cessation. The novelty aspect of this case report is that explosive strength training cessation might be implemented as a taper strategy with endurance runners. View this paper
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Open AccessReview
Effects of Physical Training on Physical and Psychological Parameters in Individuals with Patella Tendon Myopathy: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
Sports 2021, 9(1), 12; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/sports9010012 - 19 Jan 2021
Viewed by 351
Abstract
The effectiveness of physical training on physical and psychological parameters in individuals with patella tendon myopathy has not been investigated in a systematic review and meta-analysis. The aim of the present study was to determine the effects of physical exercise interventions for measures [...] Read more.
The effectiveness of physical training on physical and psychological parameters in individuals with patella tendon myopathy has not been investigated in a systematic review and meta-analysis. The aim of the present study was to determine the effects of physical exercise interventions for measures of physical and psychological performance in subjects with patella tendon myopathy. A computerised systematic literature search was conducted in the electronic databases PubMed, Medline, and Web of Science from January 1960 to July 2020. Initially, 506 articles were identified for review of which eleven articles met the inclusion criteria. Our results revealed a small effect (weighted mean standardized mean difference (SMD) = 0.12; nine studies) of physical training on the psychological measure Victorian Institute of Sport Assessment–Patellar tendon scale and a medium effect (weighted mean SMD = 0.61; five studies) on the psychological measure visual analogue scale—both in favour of the intervention group. In contrast, a small effect (weighted mean SMD = −0.05; two studies) in favour of the control group was detected for the physical measure muscle power. Compared to the control condition, physical training seems to be an effective means to improve psychological but not physical parameters in individuals with patella tendon myopathy; although conclusions on the latter could have been biased by the small amount of eligible studies (n = 2). In addition, the predetermined cut-off value of ≥6 for the Physiotherapy Evidence Database scale score (i.e., assessment of methodological quality) was only achieved by six out of eleven studies. Thus, further research of high methodological quality is needed to verify whether there is or is not an effect of physical training on physical parameters in persons with patella tendon myopathy. Full article
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Open AccessCommunication
Plasma Eicosapentaenoic Acid Is Associated with Muscle Strength and Muscle Damage after Strenuous Exercise
Sports 2021, 9(1), 11; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/sports9010011 - 14 Jan 2021
Viewed by 514
Abstract
Background: Although the ingestion of total omega–3 fatty acids (omega–3) is positively related with muscular strength in older persons, little is known about the effect of omega–3 plasma levels on muscular function before and after exercise in young men. Moreover, omega–3 supplementation has [...] Read more.
Background: Although the ingestion of total omega–3 fatty acids (omega–3) is positively related with muscular strength in older persons, little is known about the effect of omega–3 plasma levels on muscular function before and after exercise in young men. Moreover, omega–3 supplementation has a positive role in exercise-induced acute muscle damage. This study investigated the relationship between plasma omega–3 in the blood and promotion and preservation of muscle strength after eccentric contractions (ECCs) in young men. Methods: Thirty-two healthy young men participated in this study. We assessed plasma omega–3 level and the maximal voluntary contraction (MVC). Twenty-six out of them exercised 60 ECCs at 100% MVC. We measured the MVC torque, flexibility before and immediately after exercise, 1–5 days post exercise. Results: The levels of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and EPA/arachidonic acid were positively associated with muscle strength (p < 0.05). Higher levels of omega–3 EPA and docosahexaenoic acid prevented the reduction in the MVC and limited joint flexibility after ECCs. Conclusions: The present study reveals that higher levels of EPA are important to promote muscle strength and preserve the strength loss after exercise. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Acceleration, Deceleration and Dynamic Stress Load in Elite Hurling: A Between-Quarter and Between-Position Comparison
Sports 2021, 9(1), 10; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/sports9010010 - 12 Jan 2021
Viewed by 355
Abstract
This study described the decrement in accelerations, decelerations and dynamic stress load (DSL) between quarters in elite hurling. GPS (10-Hz) were used to record data from 42 players over 22 games (2018–2020 season). The number of accelerations and decelerations and DSL between quarters [...] Read more.
This study described the decrement in accelerations, decelerations and dynamic stress load (DSL) between quarters in elite hurling. GPS (10-Hz) were used to record data from 42 players over 22 games (2018–2020 season). The number of accelerations and decelerations and DSL between quarters were assessed. Accelerations and decelerations were greater in Q1 than Q2 (ES = 0.28 and ES = 0.44, respectively), and Q4 (ES = 0.57 and ES = 0.60, respectively), and in Q3 compared to Q4 (ES = 0.50 and ES = 0.44, respectively). The DSL was 56 ± 21 AU in Q1, 56 ± 20 AU in Q2, 52 ± 20 AU in Q3 and 56 ± 24 AU in Q4. There was a decrease in DSL in Q3 compared to Q1 (ES = −0.20) and Q2 (ES = −0.20). Each position experienced a temporal decrease in at least one quarter (ES = 0.43–1.46) in all metrics except full-backs’, half-backs’ and full forwards’ accelerations, midfielders’ decelerations and midfielders’ and half forwards’ DSL. Current data show temporal decrements in running performance in Q2 and Q4 and DSL in Q3. Players should be conditioned to minimize the drop-off in running performances following the third quarter. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Quantification and Verification of Cardiorespiratory Fitness in Adults with Prehypertension
Sports 2021, 9(1), 9; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/sports9010009 - 11 Jan 2021
Viewed by 358
Abstract
Background: Low cardiorespiratory fitness is associated with increased risk of hypertension and atherosclerosis in adults with prehypertension. The purpose of this study was to quantify cardiorespiratory fitness and to examine the utility of supramaximal constant-load verification testing for validating maximal oxygen uptake (VO [...] Read more.
Background: Low cardiorespiratory fitness is associated with increased risk of hypertension and atherosclerosis in adults with prehypertension. The purpose of this study was to quantify cardiorespiratory fitness and to examine the utility of supramaximal constant-load verification testing for validating maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max) attainment in adults with prehypertension. Methods: Eleven adults (four women) with prehypertension (22.5 ± 2.9 y; body mass index (BMI): 24.6 ± 3.2 kg·m2) underwent an incremental exercise test followed 15 min later by a verification test at 105% of maximal work rate on a cycle ergometer. Results: There was no statistical difference in VO2 between the incremental (2.23 ± 0.54 L·min−1) and verification tests (2.28 ± 0.54 L·min−1; p = 0.180). Only three out of eleven participants had a higher VO2 during the verification when compared with the incremental test. If the verification test had not been conducted, one participant would have been incorrectly classified as having low cardiorespiratory fitness based on incremental test results alone. Conclusions: Verification testing validates the attainment of VO2max and can potentially reduce the over-diagnosis of functional impairment (i.e., deconditioning) in adults with prehypertension. Full article
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Open AccessPerspective
Effect of Exercise Intensity on Cell-Mediated Immunity
Sports 2021, 9(1), 8; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/sports9010008 - 11 Jan 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1124
Abstract
Moderate-intensity exercise is considered to enhance immune function and to be useful for preventing acute upper respiratory infections and similar conditions. Many people practice low-intensity short-duration exercise with the expectation of a beneficial effect on immunocompetency. However, it is difficult to affirm the [...] Read more.
Moderate-intensity exercise is considered to enhance immune function and to be useful for preventing acute upper respiratory infections and similar conditions. Many people practice low-intensity short-duration exercise with the expectation of a beneficial effect on immunocompetency. However, it is difficult to affirm the existence of definite evidence of such a benefit. In this article, we discuss the effects of low-intensity short-duration exercise on cell-mediated immunity, and contrast them to the effects of high-intensity and long-duration exercise. Whereas high-intensity exercise induces inflammation and reduces cell-mediated immune system function, low-intensity exercise does not appear to have a large effect on either inflammation or cell-mediated immune function. Low-intensity exercises such as walking and yoga, which are helpful to relieve stress, cannot be considered as harmful to the immune system. Although yoga was shown to impose fewer restrictions on breathing and physical strain, the evidence that yoga enhances cell-mediated immunity remains insufficient. Therefore, further studies are needed to examine the exercise mode that may be most effective for improvement of immune functions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effects of Exercise on the Immune System)
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Open AccessArticle
Does Cold-Water Endurance Swimming Affect Pulmonary Function in Healthy Adults?
Sports 2021, 9(1), 7; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/sports9010007 - 10 Jan 2021
Viewed by 647
Abstract
The acute effects of cold-water endurance swimming on the respiratory system have received little attention. We investigated pulmonary responses to cold-water endurance swimming in healthy recreational triathletes. Pulmonary function, alveolar diffusing capacity (DLCO), fractional exhaled nitric oxide (FENO [...] Read more.
The acute effects of cold-water endurance swimming on the respiratory system have received little attention. We investigated pulmonary responses to cold-water endurance swimming in healthy recreational triathletes. Pulmonary function, alveolar diffusing capacity (DLCO), fractional exhaled nitric oxide (FENO) and arterial oxygen saturation by pulse oximetry (SpO2) were assessed in 19 healthy adults one hour before and 2.5 h after a cold-water (mean ± SD, 10 ± 0.9 °C) swim trial (62 ± 27 min). In addition, 12 out of the 19 participants measured pulmonary function, forced vital capacity (FVC) and forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) 3, 10, 20 and 45 min post-swim by maximal expiratory flow volume loops and DLCO by the single breath technique. FVC and FEV1 were significantly reduced 3 min post-swim (p = 0.02) (p = 0.04), respectively, and five of 12 participants (42%) experienced exercise-induced bronchoconstriction (EIB), defined as a ≥ 10% drop in FEV1. No significant changes were observed in pulmonary function 2.5 h post-swim. However, mean FENO and DLCO were significantly reduced by 7.1% and 8.1% (p = 0.01) and (p < 0.001), respectively, 2.5 h post-swim, accompanied by a 2.5% drop (p < 0.001) in SpO2. The absolute change in DLCO correlated significantly with the absolute decline in core temperature (r = 0.52; p = 0.02). Conclusion: Cold-water endurance swimming may affect the lungs in healthy recreational triathletes lasting up to 2.5 h post-swim. Some individuals appear to be more susceptible to pulmonary impairments than others, although these mechanisms need to be studied further. Full article
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Open AccessCase Report
Case Study: Transition to a Vegan Diet in an Elite Male Gaelic Football Player
Sports 2021, 9(1), 6; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/sports9010006 - 05 Jan 2021
Viewed by 2212
Abstract
Vegan diets are increasingly of interest to athletes, but require a well-planned approach in order to mitigate the risk of potential adverse effects on nutrient intakes, and consequently performance. This case study reports the process of an elite male Gaelic football player (age [...] Read more.
Vegan diets are increasingly of interest to athletes, but require a well-planned approach in order to mitigate the risk of potential adverse effects on nutrient intakes, and consequently performance. This case study reports the process of an elite male Gaelic football player (age 25 years; height, 1.88 m; body mass, 87.8 kg; lean body mass, 73.26 kg; body fat, 11.3%) transitioning from an omnivorous diet to a vegan diet at the beginning of a competitive season. The report encompasses key considerations in the planning and provision of nutrition support in this context, in addition to iterations needed based on challenges presented by the athlete. Analysis of nutrient intake (Nutritics Dietary Analysis Software), body composition (dual X-ray absorptiometry; Lunar iDXA, GE Healthcare), and running performance during match-play (global positioning system-based tracking; STATSports Apex) each indicated that with adequate knowledge and education, and appropriate planning, commitment and iterative feedback, the athlete was able to meet nutrition targets on a vegan diet without compromising key performance indicators compared to the omnivorous diet of the previous season. We anticipate that this case study will assist practitioners to recognize the key considerations to address when working with athletes transitioning to a vegan diet. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Optimization of Human Performance and Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Post Flywheel Squat Potentiation of Vertical and Horizontal Ground Reaction Force Parameters during Jumps and Changes of Direction
Sports 2021, 9(1), 5; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/sports9010005 - 05 Jan 2021
Viewed by 380
Abstract
(1) Background: The aim of the study was to determine the post-activation performance enhancement (PAPE) of vertical and horizontal ground reaction force parameters during jumps and change of direction following flywheel squat exercise using two different flywheel inertias. (2) Methods: Eleven male athletes [...] Read more.
(1) Background: The aim of the study was to determine the post-activation performance enhancement (PAPE) of vertical and horizontal ground reaction force parameters during jumps and change of direction following flywheel squat exercise using two different flywheel inertias. (2) Methods: Eleven male athletes performed a countermovement jump (CMJ), standing broad jump (SBJ), and “modified 505” change of direction (COD) in a control condition and 6 minutes following three sets of six repetitions of flywheel half squats at one of two inertias (0.029 kg·m2 and 0.061 kg·m2). Peak directional ground reaction force, power, and rate of force development were calculated for each test. (3) Results: Higher inertia flywheel squats were able to acutely enhance CMJ peak vertical force (Bayes Factor (BF10) = 33.5, very strong; δ = 1.66; CI: 0.67, 2.70), whereas lower inertia flywheel squats were able to acutely enhance CMJ peak vertical power (BF10 = 3.65, moderate; δ = 0.93; CI: 0.11, 1.88). The vertical squat exercise induced no PAPE effect on resultant SBJ or horizontal COD ground reaction force parameters, nor were any differences observed between the inertias. (4) Conclusions: Researchers and practitioners should consider the kinetic and kinematic correspondence of a pre-load stimulus to the subsequent sport-specific activity (i.e., flywheel squat to CMJ). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Strength and Conditioning and Biomechanics for Sports)
Open AccessArticle
Identifying Reliable and Relatable Force–Time Metrics in Athletes—Considerations for the Isometric Mid-Thigh Pull and Countermovement Jump
Sports 2021, 9(1), 4; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/sports9010004 - 31 Dec 2020
Viewed by 547
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to evaluate intrasession reliability of countermovement jump (CMJ) and isometric mid-thigh pull (IMTP) force–time characteristics, as well as relationships between CMJ and IMTP metrics. Division I sport and club athletes (n = 112) completed two maximal [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study was to evaluate intrasession reliability of countermovement jump (CMJ) and isometric mid-thigh pull (IMTP) force–time characteristics, as well as relationships between CMJ and IMTP metrics. Division I sport and club athletes (n = 112) completed two maximal effort CMJ and IMTP trials, in that order, on force plates. Relative and absolute reliability were assessed using intraclass correlation coefficients (ICCs) > 0.80 and coefficients of variation (CVs) < 10%. Intrasession reliability was acceptable for the majority of the CMJ force–time metrics except for concentric rate of force development (RFD), eccentric impulse and RFD, and lower limb stiffness. The IMTP’s time to peak force, instantaneous force at 150 ms, instantaneous net force, and RFD measures were not reliable. Statistically significant weak to moderate relationships (r = 0.20–0.46) existed between allometrically scaled CMJ and IMTP metrics, with the exception of CMJ eccentric mean power not being related with IMTP performances. A majority of CMJ and IMTP metrics met acceptable reliability standards, except RFD measures which should be used with caution. Provided CMJs and IMTPs are indicative of distinct physical fitness capabilities, it is suggested to monitor athlete performance in both tests via changes in those variables that demonstrate the greatest degree of reliability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Performance of Collegiate or College-Aged Athletes)
Open AccessArticle
Investigating Possible Effects from a One-Year Coach-Education Program
Sports 2021, 9(1), 3; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/sports9010003 - 26 Dec 2020
Viewed by 472
Abstract
The main purpose of the current study was to examine possible effects from a coach education program over one year, in which each coach was supervised by a mentor who facilitated their learning based on coach-centered values. The current study was designed as [...] Read more.
The main purpose of the current study was to examine possible effects from a coach education program over one year, in which each coach was supervised by a mentor who facilitated their learning based on coach-centered values. The current study was designed as an experiment with a control group, where the coaches in the experiment group received mentoring by a mentor over one year, whereas the coaches in the control group did not. Ninety-four coaches completed the study over one year from a variety of sports (n > 30), where cross-country skiing, soccer, biathlon, handball and swimming were the most represented sports. Among the coaches in the sample, 87% were coaches for athletes who competed or had ambitions to compete at an international level. The results from self-reported questionnaires at the pre-test and post-test show that the coach education program had a significant effect on the bond dimension in the coach–athlete working alliances and the coaches’ perceived coach performances. The analysis did not find any effects from the coach education program on the goal and task dimension in the coach–athlete working alliances. The findings are discussed in terms of applied implications and possible future research. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Use, Practices and Attitudes of Sports Nutrition and Strength and Conditioning Practitioners towards Tart Cherry Supplementation
Sports 2021, 9(1), 2; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/sports9010002 - 22 Dec 2020
Viewed by 756
Abstract
Tart cherry (TC) supplementation has been shown to accelerate post-exercise recovery, enhance endurance performance and improve sleep duration and quality. This study aimed to identify the use, practices and attitudes of sports nutrition and strength and conditioning practitioners towards tart cherry supplementation. Thirty-five [...] Read more.
Tart cherry (TC) supplementation has been shown to accelerate post-exercise recovery, enhance endurance performance and improve sleep duration and quality. This study aimed to identify the use, practices and attitudes of sports nutrition and strength and conditioning practitioners towards tart cherry supplementation. Thirty-five practitioners anonymously completed an online survey investigating their use, practices and attitudes towards tart cherry supplements. Forty-six percent of the responders were currently recommending TC supplements, 11% had previously recommended TC supplements and 26% have not previously recommended TC supplements but were planning on doing so in the future. Of those recommending TC, 50% recommended or were planning on recommending TC supplements to enhance exercise recovery and 26% to improve sleep duration and quality. Acute supplementation and daily use during multi-day competition or demanding training blocks with a 2–3-day pre-load were the most reported supplementation recommendations (28% and 18%, respectively). Fifty-two percent of responders indicated uncertainty about the daily polyphenol dose to recommend as part of a TC supplementation protocol. Despite the high use and interest from sports nutrition and strength and conditioning practitioners in TC supplements, their practices did not align with the protocols found to be effective within the literature. Full article
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Open AccessCase Report
Effects of Short-Term Concurrent Training Cessation on the Energy Cost of Running and Neuromuscular Performances in Middle-Distance Runners
Sports 2021, 9(1), 1; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/sports9010001 - 22 Dec 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1384
Abstract
Evidence supports the implementation of concurrent strength and running training, within the same mesocycle, to improve performances in middle- and long-distance events. However, very little is known about the effects of concurrent training cessation. The purpose of this investigation was to describe the [...] Read more.
Evidence supports the implementation of concurrent strength and running training, within the same mesocycle, to improve performances in middle- and long-distance events. However, very little is known about the effects of concurrent training cessation. The purpose of this investigation was to describe the effects of 4 weeks of explosive strength training cessation after an 8-week concurrent training protocol. Eight runners completed this study, which first included either plyometric (n = 4) or dynamic weight training (n = 4) in addition to the usual running regimen. Explosive strength training was thereafter interrupted for 4 weeks, during which running sessions were maintained. Participants were tested at baseline, after concurrent training and after concurrent training cessation. The results suggest that the energy cost of running improvements observed after the intervention (−5.75%; 95% CI = −8.47 to −3.03) were maintained once explosive strength training was interrupted (−6.31%; 95% CI = −10.30 to −2.32). The results also suggest that neuromuscular performances were maintained after 4 weeks of concurrent training cessation, especially when tests were specific to the training intervention. Furthermore, a 3000m time trial revealed a similar pattern, with improvements after the concurrent mesocycle (−2.40%; 95% CI = −4.65 to −0.16) and after concurrent training cessation (−4.43%; 95% CI = −6.83 to −2.03). Overall, only trivial changes were observed for aerobic endurance and V˙O2peak. Together, these results suggest that short-term explosive strength training cessation might be beneficial and could be considered as a taper strategy for middle-distance runners. However, coaches and athletes must interpret these results cautiously considering the study’s low sample size and the very limited available literature in this domain. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Periodization and Programming in Sports)
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