Next Issue
Volume 9, October
Previous Issue
Volume 9, August

Sports, Volume 9, Issue 9 (September 2021) – 16 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): The endothelial vasodilatory function is NO-dependent and has been found to be reduced in athletes finishing the Norseman Extreme Triathlon. To elucidate the NO metabolism after such strenuous exercise, we measured circulatory L-arginine, the L-arginine/ADMA ratio, and SDMA before and after the Norseman Xtreme Triathlon in forty subjects. We found significant changes in the athletes’ blood samples that indicate a state of reduced NO production capacity after the race that could explain reduced endothelial vasodilatory function after such a race. Reduced NO production capacity could be part of the mechanisms that cause exhaustion after prolonged exercise. View this paper
  • Issues are regarded as officially published after their release is announced to the table of contents alert mailing list.
  • You may sign up for e-mail alerts to receive table of contents of newly released issues.
  • PDF is the official format for papers published in both, html and pdf forms. To view the papers in pdf format, click on the "PDF Full-text" link, and use the free Adobe Readerexternal link to open them.
Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:
Article
Intra-Rater and Inter-Rater Reliability of Pressure Pain Algometry of the Sural and Tibial Nerves in Asymptomatic Elite Youth Footballers
Sports 2021, 9(9), 132; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/sports9090132 - 18 Sep 2021
Viewed by 533
Abstract
Ankle injuries are highly prevalent in elite youth footballers and increase the mechanosensitivity of the local neural tissue, which may predispose athletes to re-injury and prolong rehabilitation periods. Increased neural mechanosensitivity presents clinically as altered pain pressure thresholds (PPTs) which are measured with [...] Read more.
Ankle injuries are highly prevalent in elite youth footballers and increase the mechanosensitivity of the local neural tissue, which may predispose athletes to re-injury and prolong rehabilitation periods. Increased neural mechanosensitivity presents clinically as altered pain pressure thresholds (PPTs) which are measured with pressure algometry. The purpose of this study was to determine the intra-rater and inter-rater reliability of PPTs of the ankle neural tissue in asymptomatic elite youth football players. Three raters utilised a digital algometer to evaluate the PPTs of the Sural and Tibial nervous tissue at the ankle of elite youth male footballers. Intraclass correlation coefficients (ICCs) with 95% confidence intervals (CI) were calculated to assess intra-rater and inter-rater reliability and Bland–Altman figures were plotted to enable visual evaluation of measurement error with a significance level of p < 0.05. Thirty-four players (16–18 years old) were assessed. Excellent intra-rater (Tibial ICC 0.88 (0.76–0.94); Sural ICC 0.89 (0.79–0.95)) and good inter-rater reliability (Tibial ICC 0.66 (0.40–0.82); Sural 0.71 (0.50–0.85)) was demonstrated. Bland–Altman plots demonstrated low levels of measurement error. Pressure algometry can be utilised clinically to accurately evaluate the PPTs of the Tibial and Sural nervous tissue at the ankle in asymptomatic elite male youth footballers. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Relationship between Step Characteristics and Race Performance during 5000-m Race
Sports 2021, 9(9), 131; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/sports9090131 - 17 Sep 2021
Viewed by 501
Abstract
This study examined the relationship between step characteristics and race time in a 5000-m race. Twenty-one male Japanese endurance runners performed a 5000-m race. Step length, step frequency, contact time, and flight time of two gait cycles (i.e., four consecutive ground contacts) were [...] Read more.
This study examined the relationship between step characteristics and race time in a 5000-m race. Twenty-one male Japanese endurance runners performed a 5000-m race. Step length, step frequency, contact time, and flight time of two gait cycles (i.e., four consecutive ground contacts) were measured every 400-m by using high-speed video image. Moreover, step length was normalized to body height to minimize the effect of body size. In addition to step characteristics on each lap, the averages of all laps and the per cent change from the first half to the second half were calculated. The average step frequency and step length normalized to body height correlated significantly with the 5000-m race time (r = −0.611, r = −0.575, respectively, p < 0.05 for both). Per cent changes in contact time and step length correlated significantly with the 5000-m race time (r = 0.514, r = −0.486, respectively, p < 0.05 for both). These findings suggest that, in addition to higher step frequency and step length normalized to body height, smaller changes in step length during a given race may be an important step characteristic to achieving superior race performance in endurance runners. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Bayesian Estimation of the Variation in Strength and Aerobic Physical Performances in Young Eumenorrheic Female College Students during a Menstrual Cycle
Sports 2021, 9(9), 130; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/sports9090130 - 17 Sep 2021
Viewed by 714
Abstract
Background: The purpose of the present investigation was to examine changes in strength and aerobic physical performances in young eumenorrheic female college students during the menstruation phase and different testing occasions within a menstrual cycle. Methods: A repeated measure experimental design used to [...] Read more.
Background: The purpose of the present investigation was to examine changes in strength and aerobic physical performances in young eumenorrheic female college students during the menstruation phase and different testing occasions within a menstrual cycle. Methods: A repeated measure experimental design used to investigate the variation in physical performance from different testing occasions compared to the menstruation phase. Twelve eumenorrhea female college students volunteered to participate in this study. The participants were 19.8 ± 0.8 (±SD) years old, with the body mass of 61.4 ± 11.6 kg, the height of 162.6 ± 5.1 cm, and BMI of 23.2 ± 3.8. All participants reported regular monthly menstrual cycles of 26–33 days, none of whom reported taking oral contraceptives in their entire life. None of the participants was an athlete, and their level of activity was limited to physical education classes and recreational activities. The menstrual cycles during the two cycles before testing had to be between 26 and 35 days to participate in this study. Second, there had to be no current or ongoing neuromuscular diseases or musculoskeletal injuries. Third, no one should be taking any dietary or performance-enhancing supplements that could have affected testing results during this study. The participants tested on one-repetition maximum (1RM) bench press, 1RM leg press, push-up to failure, leg press with 60% of 1RM to failure, and running 1600 m time trial. The participants were tested on four occasions based on the classical model of the menstrual cycle (i.e., 28 days; early follicular phase (menstruation phase) on day 2 (T1), late follicular phase on day 8 (T2), ovulation phase on day 14 (T3), and mid-luteal phase on day 21 (T4)). Data were analyzed using the Bayesian hierarchical model (Bayesian Estimation) with Markov Chain Monte Carlo simulation using the decision-theoretic properties of the high-density interval (HDI) + ROPE decision rule. Results: The Bayesian estimated difference from the four testing occasions neither showed that the most credible parameter values (95% HDI) were sufficiently away from the null value nor showed that the most credible parameter values are close to the null value (Rope odds ratio among all tests were spread in 12.7% < 0 < 87.3% with an effect size ranging between d = −0.01 and 0.44). Hence, no decision can be made as to whether strength and aerobic physical performances change during the menstruation phase compared to the other testing occasions within a menstrual cycle. Conclusions: It was noticed that different studies concluded different results, which make the research in menstrual cycle difficult. However, the results from this study and published studies suggest that future research should investigate and profile motivation and autonomic nervous system activity during the menstruation phase and examine the interaction effect of the three on performance compared to other testing occasions within a menstrual cycle. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Intra- and Inter-Limb Strength Asymmetry in Soccer: A Comparison of Professional and Under-18 Players
Sports 2021, 9(9), 129; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/sports9090129 - 13 Sep 2021
Viewed by 598
Abstract
(1) Background: the present study examined the isokinetic peak torque exerted by both knee extensors and flexors, anterior–posterior imbalance and the magnitude and direction of inter-limb asymmetry in professional and academy soccer players. (2) Methods: one hundred soccer players (professional = 50, elite [...] Read more.
(1) Background: the present study examined the isokinetic peak torque exerted by both knee extensors and flexors, anterior–posterior imbalance and the magnitude and direction of inter-limb asymmetry in professional and academy soccer players. (2) Methods: one hundred soccer players (professional = 50, elite academy = 50) volunteered to take part in this investigation. An isokinetic dynamometer was used to measure the knee extensor (quadriceps) and flexors muscle (hamstrings) torques of the limbs as well as inter-limb asymmetries—using a standard percentage difference equation. (3) Results: professional players exhibited significantly greater (effect size [ES] = large) strength levels in the quadriceps and hamstrings under both testing conditions, significantly higher (small to moderate) intra-limb ratio values for 60°·s−1 but not for the 300°·s−1 test condition, significantly (small to moderate) lower inter-limb asymmetry values for all test conditions, with the exception of the hamstrings at 60°·s−1 and the direction of asymmetry was poor to slight, indicating that limb dominance was rarely the same between groups. (4) Conclusions: this study shows that isokinetic assessments, i.e., peak torque exerted by both knee extensors and flexors and intra-limb ratio, and the subsequent inter-limb asymmetry, i.e., magnitude and direction, can differentiate between professional and academy soccer players. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Strength and Conditioning and Biomechanics for Sports)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Enjoyment of Physical Activity—Not MVPA during Physical Education—Predicts Future MVPA Participation and Sport Self-Concept
Sports 2021, 9(9), 128; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/sports9090128 - 10 Sep 2021
Viewed by 670
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

Review
Muscle Fiber Type Transitions with Exercise Training: Shifting Perspectives
Sports 2021, 9(9), 127; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/sports9090127 - 10 Sep 2021
Viewed by 3023
Abstract
Human muscle fibers are generally classified by myosin heavy chain (MHC) isoforms characterized by slow to fast contractile speeds. Type I, or slow-twitch fibers, are seen in high abundance in elite endurance athletes, such as long-distance runners and cyclists. Alternatively, fast-twitch IIa and [...] Read more.
Human muscle fibers are generally classified by myosin heavy chain (MHC) isoforms characterized by slow to fast contractile speeds. Type I, or slow-twitch fibers, are seen in high abundance in elite endurance athletes, such as long-distance runners and cyclists. Alternatively, fast-twitch IIa and IIx fibers are abundant in elite power athletes, such as weightlifters and sprinters. While cross-sectional comparisons have shown marked differences between athletes, longitudinal data have not clearly converged on patterns in fiber type shifts over time, particularly between slow and fast fibers. However, not all fiber type identification techniques are created equal and, thus, may limit interpretation. Hybrid fibers, which express more than one MHC type (I/IIa, IIa/IIx, I/IIa/IIx), may make up a significant proportion of fibers. The measurement of the distribution of fibers would necessitate the ability to identify hybrid fibers, which is best done through single fiber analysis. Current evidence using the most appropriate techniques suggests a clear ability of fibers to shift between hybrid and pure fibers as well as between slow and fast fiber types. The context and extent to which this occurs, along with the limitations of current evidence, are discussed herein. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Review
Effects of Paracetamol (Acetaminophen) Ingestion on Endurance Performance: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
Sports 2021, 9(9), 126; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/sports9090126 - 06 Sep 2021
Viewed by 1699
Abstract
Several studies explored the effects of paracetamol (acetaminophen) ingestion on endurance performance, but their findings are conflicting. Therefore, this review aimed to conduct a meta-analysis examining the effects of paracetamol ingestion on endurance performance. Five databases were searched to find relevant studies. The [...] Read more.
Several studies explored the effects of paracetamol (acetaminophen) ingestion on endurance performance, but their findings are conflicting. Therefore, this review aimed to conduct a meta-analysis examining the effects of paracetamol ingestion on endurance performance. Five databases were searched to find relevant studies. The PEDro checklist was used to assess the methodological quality of the included studies. Data reported in the included studies were pooled in a random-effects meta-analysis. A total of ten studies with good or excellent methodological quality were included in the meta-analysis (pooled n = 141). All included studies had a randomized, double-blind, crossover design. In the main meta-analysis, there was no significant difference between the effects of placebo and paracetamol on endurance performance (Cohen’s d = 0.09; 95% confidence interval (CI): −0.04, 0.22; p = 0.172). However, an ergogenic effect was found when we considered only the studies that provided paracetamol 45 to 60 min before exercise (Cohen’s d = 0.14; 95% CI: 0.07, 0.21; p < 0.001). In a subgroup analysis that focused on time-to-exhaustion tests, there was a significant ergogenic effect of paracetamol ingestion (Cohen’s d = 0.19; 95% CI: 0.06, 0.33; p = 0.006). There was no significant difference between placebo and paracetamol in a subgroup analysis that focused on time trial tests (Cohen’s d = 0.05; 95% CI: −0.12, 0.21; p = 0.561). In conclusion, paracetamol ingestion appears to enhance performance (a) in time-to-exhaustion endurance tests and (b) when consumed 45 to 60 min before exercise. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Effects of Pre-Workout Supplementation on Exercise Performance)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Review
Prescription and Effects of Strength Training in Individuals with Intellectual Disability—A Systematic Review
Sports 2021, 9(9), 125; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/sports9090125 - 04 Sep 2021
Viewed by 708
Abstract
The practice of physical exercise (PE), especially strength training (ST), has health benefits in the healthy population; however, the literature is scarce in the recommendations related to the population with intellectual disability (ID). This study represents the first analysis on the topic and [...] Read more.
The practice of physical exercise (PE), especially strength training (ST), has health benefits in the healthy population; however, the literature is scarce in the recommendations related to the population with intellectual disability (ID). This study represents the first analysis on the topic and aims to examine the structure and efficacy of ST experimental intervention programs in individuals with ID. This systematic review was carried out between January and April 2021, using the PubMed, Web of Science, Scopus, and SPORTDiscus databases, according to the PRISMA guidelines. From a total of 166 studies, eight were included in the present systematic review. The studies included a total of 280 individuals (18.23 ± 2.86 years old). The main features of the exercise programs are: 12 weeks average duration, three weekly sessions of 45–60 min, six to seven exercises targeting the main muscle groups, two to three sets, 6–12 repetitions, and avoiding free weights for safety reasons. The main results showed increments in strength, balance and fat-free mass and decrements in fat mass and waist circumference. It is a useful guideline for PE technicians to prescribe and adjust correctly in order to not only promote physical fitness, but improve the quality of life of individuals with ID. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Researching Sports Biomechanics for Disabled People)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Neuromuscular Adjustments Following Sprint Training with Ischemic Preconditioning in Endurance Athletes: Preliminary Data
Sports 2021, 9(9), 124; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/sports9090124 - 02 Sep 2021
Viewed by 641
Abstract
This preliminary study examined the effect of chronic ischemic preconditioning (IPC) on neuromuscular responses to high-intensity exercise. In a parallel-group design, twelve endurance-trained males (VO2max 60.0 ± 9.1 mL·kg−1·min−1) performed a 30-s Wingate test before, during, and [...] Read more.
This preliminary study examined the effect of chronic ischemic preconditioning (IPC) on neuromuscular responses to high-intensity exercise. In a parallel-group design, twelve endurance-trained males (VO2max 60.0 ± 9.1 mL·kg−1·min−1) performed a 30-s Wingate test before, during, and after 4 weeks of sprint-interval training. Training consisted of bi-weekly sessions of 4 to 7 supra-maximal all-out 30-s cycling bouts with 4.5 min of recovery, preceded by either IPC (3 × 5-min of compression at 220 mmHg/5-min reperfusion, IPC, n = 6) or placebo compressions (20 mmHg, PLA, n = 6). Mechanical indices and the root mean square and mean power frequency of the electromyographic signal from three lower-limb muscles were continuously measured during the Wingate tests. Data were averaged over six 5-s intervals and analyzed with Cohen’s effect sizes. Changes in peak power output were not different between groups. However, from mid- to post-training, IPC improved power output more than PLA in the 20 to 25-s interval (7.6 ± 10.0%, ES 0.51) and the 25 to 30-s interval (8.8 ± 11.2%, ES 0.58), as well as the fatigue index (10.0 ± 2.3%, ES 0.46). Concomitantly to this performance difference, IPC attenuated the decline in frequency spectrum throughout the Wingate (mean difference: 14.8%, ES range: 0.88–1.80). There was no difference in root mean square amplitude between groups. These preliminary results suggest that using IPC before sprint training may enhance performance during a 30-s Wingate test, and such gains occurred in the last 2 weeks of the intervention. This improvement may be due, in part, to neuromuscular adjustments induced by the chronic use of IPC. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Optimising Interval Training Prescription)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Validity and Effects of Placement of Velocity-Based Training Devices
Sports 2021, 9(9), 123; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/sports9090123 - 31 Aug 2021
Viewed by 766
Abstract
Velocity-based training (VBT) is a resistance training method by which training variables are manipulated based on kinematic outcomes, e.g., barbell velocity. The better precision for monitoring and manipulating training variables ascribed to VBT assumes that velocity is measured and communicated correctly. This study [...] Read more.
Velocity-based training (VBT) is a resistance training method by which training variables are manipulated based on kinematic outcomes, e.g., barbell velocity. The better precision for monitoring and manipulating training variables ascribed to VBT assumes that velocity is measured and communicated correctly. This study assessed the validity of several mobile and one stationary VBT device for measuring mean and peak concentric barbell velocity over a range of velocities and exercises, including low- and high-velocity, ballistic and non-ballistic, and plyometric and non-plyometric movements, and to quantify the isolated effect of device attachment point on measurement validity. GymAware (r = 0.90–1, standard error of the estimate, SEE = 0.01–0.08 m/s) and Quantum (r = 0.88–1, SEE = 0.01–0.18 m/s) were most valid for mean and peak velocity, with Vmaxpro (r = 0.92–0.99, SEE = 0.02–0.13 m/s) close behind. Push (r = 0.69–0.96, SEE = 0.03–0.17 m/s) and Flex (r = 0.60–0.94, SEE = 0.02–0.19 m/s) showed poorer validity (especially for higher-velocity exercises), although typical errors for mean velocity in exercises other than hang power snatch were acceptable. Effects of device placement were detectable, yet likely small enough (SEE < 0.1 m/s) to be negligible in training settings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Strength and Conditioning and Performance Monitoring in Sports)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Turn Fast and Win: The Importance of Acyclic Phases in Top-Elite Female Swimmers
Sports 2021, 9(9), 122; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/sports9090122 - 31 Aug 2021
Viewed by 629
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

Review
Potential Physiological and Cellular Mechanisms of Exercise That Decrease the Risk of Severe Complications and Mortality Following SARS-CoV-2 Infection
Sports 2021, 9(9), 121; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/sports9090121 - 31 Aug 2021
Viewed by 1209
Abstract
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has unmasked mankind’s vulnerability to biological threats. Although higher age is a major risk factor for disease severity in COVID-19, several predisposing risk factors for mortality are related [...] Read more.
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has unmasked mankind’s vulnerability to biological threats. Although higher age is a major risk factor for disease severity in COVID-19, several predisposing risk factors for mortality are related to low cardiorespiratory and metabolic fitness, including obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and hypertension. Reaching physical activity (PA) guideline goals contribute to protect against numerous immune and inflammatory disorders, in addition to multi-morbidities and mortality. Elevated levels of cardiorespiratory fitness, being non-obese, and regular PA improves immunological function, mitigating sustained low-grade systemic inflammation and age-related deterioration of the immune system, or immunosenescence. Regular PA and being non-obese also improve the antibody response to vaccination. In this review, we highlight potential physiological, cellular, and molecular mechanisms that are affected by regular PA, increase the host antiviral defense, and may determine the course and outcome of COVID-19. Not only are the immune system and regular PA in relation to COVID-19 discussed, but also the cardiovascular, respiratory, renal, and hormonal systems, as well as skeletal muscle, epigenetics, and mitochondrial function. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Reduced L-Arginine and L-Arginine-ADMA-Ratio, and Increased SDMA after Norseman Xtreme Triathlon
Sports 2021, 9(9), 120; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/sports9090120 - 31 Aug 2021
Viewed by 661
Abstract
Endothelial vasodilatory function is dependent on the NO synthesis from L-arginine by endothelial NO-synthetase (eNOS). eNOS can be inhibited by asymmetric dimethylarginine (ADMA) by competitive inhibition on the binding site, and symmetric dimethylarginine (SDMA) can reduce the L-arginine availability intracellularly through competing for [...] Read more.
Endothelial vasodilatory function is dependent on the NO synthesis from L-arginine by endothelial NO-synthetase (eNOS). eNOS can be inhibited by asymmetric dimethylarginine (ADMA) by competitive inhibition on the binding site, and symmetric dimethylarginine (SDMA) can reduce the L-arginine availability intracellularly through competing for transport over the cellular membrane. To study the NO synthesis after prolonged exercise, we assessed circulatory L-arginine, the L-arginine/ADMA ratio, and SDMA before, after, and on the day after the Norseman Xtreme triathlon, an Ironman distance triathlon. We found significantly reduced levels of L-arginine and the L-arginine/ADMA ratio and increased levels of SDMA after the race (all p < 0.05). L-arginine rose toward baseline levels the day after the race, but ADMA increased beyond baseline levels, and SDMA remained above baseline the day after the race. The reduced levels of L-arginine and the L-arginine/ADMA ratio, and increased SDMA, after the race indicate a state of reduced capability of NO production. Increased levels of ADMA and SDMA, and reduced L-arginine/ADMA ratio, as seen the day after the race, are known risk markers of atherosclerosis and warrant further studies. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Drop-Set Training Elicits Differential Increases in Non-Uniform Hypertrophy of the Quadriceps in Leg Extension Exercise
Sports 2021, 9(9), 119; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/sports9090119 - 29 Aug 2021
Viewed by 1343
Abstract
The study aimed to compare the effects of drop set resistance training (RT) versus traditional RT on markers of maximal muscle strength and regional hypertrophy of the quadriceps femoris. Sixteen recreationally active young men had one leg randomly assigned to the drop-set method [...] Read more.
The study aimed to compare the effects of drop set resistance training (RT) versus traditional RT on markers of maximal muscle strength and regional hypertrophy of the quadriceps femoris. Sixteen recreationally active young men had one leg randomly assigned to the drop-set method (DS) and the other to training in a traditional manner (TRAD). Participants performed unilateral seated leg extensions using a periodized approach for eight weeks. Rectus femoris (RF) and vastus lateralis (VL) muscle thickness (MT), estimated one repetition maximum (RM) in the unilateral knee extension, and peak and average isokinetic knee extension torque at 60°/s angular velocity were measured pre- and post-study. Both conditions increased muscle thickness of the RF and VL from pre- to post-intervention. DS showed statistically greater increases in the RF at 30% and 50% of muscle length, whereas no MT differences were detected at 70% muscle length nor at any aspect of the VL. Both DS and TRAD increased estimated one RM from pre- to post-study (+34.6% versus +32.0%, respectively) with no between-condition differences noted. Both conditions showed similar increases in peak torque (DS: +21.7%; TRAD: +22.5%) and average torque (DS: +23.6%; TRAD: +22.5%) from pre- to post-study. Our findings indicate a potential benefit of the drop-set method for inducing non-uniform hypertrophic gains in the RF muscle pursuant to leg extension training. The strategy did not promote an advantage in improving hypertrophy of the VL, nor in strength-related measures, compared to traditional training. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Validation of a Smartwatch-Based Workout Analysis Application in Exercise Recognition, Repetition Count and Prediction of 1RM in the Strength Training-Specific Setting
Sports 2021, 9(9), 118; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/sports9090118 - 27 Aug 2021
Viewed by 1041
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

Review
Associations between Testing and Game Performance in Ice Hockey: A Scoping Review
Sports 2021, 9(9), 117; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/sports9090117 - 26 Aug 2021
Viewed by 1086
Abstract
Background: Despite the exhaustive body of literature on the demands of ice hockey, less is known about the relationships between functional performance testing protocols (on ice and off ice) and performance in a game situation. The objective of this review is to provide [...] Read more.
Background: Despite the exhaustive body of literature on the demands of ice hockey, less is known about the relationships between functional performance testing protocols (on ice and off ice) and performance in a game situation. The objective of this review is to provide an overview of these associations. Methods: This review aims to identify on- and off-ice testing currently used in the scientific literature and their possible transfer to game performance as well as identifying research gaps in this field. Results: The 17 selected studies showed that off-ice and on-ice fitness test results can be modestly transferred to the player’s selection as well as global and advanced performance indicators. Conclusion: This review of the literature reinforces the importance of strength and conditioning coaches administering previously validated fitness tests. Regarding the academic research, it is also proposed to use performance markers that are directly related to the players’ on-ice performance to represent more accurately the relationship between the players’ fitness level and their work output. Three research gaps were also identified in relation to targeted populations, choice of performance markers and data measurement methods. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Previous Issue
Next Issue
Back to TopTop