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J. Funct. Morphol. Kinesiol., Volume 6, Issue 1 (March 2021) – 31 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): After an initial evaluation of active and passive ankle joint range of motion in 35 female post-pubertal volleyball players, the kinetic parameters of the squat jump with and without an arm swing were compared between 10 “flexible” and 8 “inflexible” players. A significant flexibility type and knee angle effect was revealed for ankle range of motion. Further, a significant group and arm swing effect on key squat jump parameters was observed. Players with increased ankle dorsi flexion had an improved squat jump performance. Thus, ankle flexibility training should be applied in volleyball players. View this paper
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Editorial
Exercise Evaluation and Prescription
J. Funct. Morphol. Kinesiol. 2021, 6(1), 31; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/jfmk6010031 - 23 Mar 2021
Viewed by 699
Abstract
Ever since the farm boy, Milo of Crotone, lifted a growing bullock every day, to become the strongest man in the world, and six-time champion of the ancient Olympic Games, we have known about the principle of progression of exercise training [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Exercise Evaluation and Prescription)
Case Report
Relationships between Workload, Heart Rate Variability, and Performance in a Recreational Endurance Runner
J. Funct. Morphol. Kinesiol. 2021, 6(1), 30; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/jfmk6010030 - 22 Mar 2021
Viewed by 1133
Abstract
Background: The association between heart rate variability (HRV), training load (TL), and performance is poorly understood. Methods: A middle-aged recreational female runner was monitored during a competitive 20-wk macrocycle divided into first (M1) and second mesocycle (M2) in which best performances over 10 [...] Read more.
Background: The association between heart rate variability (HRV), training load (TL), and performance is poorly understood. Methods: A middle-aged recreational female runner was monitored during a competitive 20-wk macrocycle divided into first (M1) and second mesocycle (M2) in which best performances over 10 km and 21 km were recorded. Volume (km), session rating of perceived exertion (sRPE), TL, and monotony (mean TL/SD TL) were the workload parameters recorded. The root mean square of the successive differences in R-R intervals (RMSSD), its coefficient of variation (RMSSDcv), and the RMSSD:RR ratio were the HRV parameters monitored. Results: During M2, RMSSD (p = 0.006) and RMSSD:RR (p = 0.002) were significantly increased, while RR was significantly reduced (p = 0.017). Significant correlations were identified between monotony and volume (r = 0.552; p = 0.012), RR (r = 0.447; p = 0.048), and RMSSD:RR (r = −0.458; p = 0.042). A sudden reduction in RMSSD (from 40.31 to 24.34 ms) was observed the day before the first symptoms of an influenza. Conclusions: The current results confirm the practicality of concurrent HRV and sRPE monitoring in recreational runners, with the RMSSD:RR ratio indicative of specific adaptations. Excessive training volume may be associated to both elevated monotony and reduced RMSSD:RR. Identification of mesocycle patterns is recommended for better individualization of the periodization used. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Exercise Evaluation and Prescription-2nd Edition)
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Review
A Comparison of the Effect of Strength Training on Cycling Performance between Men and Women
J. Funct. Morphol. Kinesiol. 2021, 6(1), 29; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/jfmk6010029 - 17 Mar 2021
Viewed by 1127
Abstract
During the last decade numerous review articles have been published on how concurrent strength and endurance training affect cycling performance. However, none of these have reviewed if there are any sex differences in the effects of concurrent training on cycling performance, and most [...] Read more.
During the last decade numerous review articles have been published on how concurrent strength and endurance training affect cycling performance. However, none of these have reviewed if there are any sex differences in the effects of concurrent training on cycling performance, and most research in this area has been performed with male cyclists. Thus, the aim of the current paper is to review the scientific literature on the effect of concurrent training on cycling performance in male and female cyclists with a special emphasis on potential sex differences. The results indicate that both male and female cyclists experience a similar beneficial effect from concurrent training on cycling performance and its physiological determinants compared to normal endurance training only. Some data indicate that women have a larger effect on cycling economy, but more studies are needed to explore this further. Furthermore, the adaptations to strength training thought to be responsible for the beneficial effects on cycling performance seem to be very similar between men and women. Interestingly, increased muscle cross-sectional area in the main locomotor muscles seems to be an important adaptation for improved performance, and, contrary to popular belief, cyclists should aim for increased muscle cross-sectional area when adding strength training to their normal training. We conclude that both male and female cyclists can improve their cycling performance by adding strength training to their normal training. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Resistance Training for Performance and Health 2020-2021)
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Review
The Osteocyte: From “Prisoner” to “Orchestrator”
J. Funct. Morphol. Kinesiol. 2021, 6(1), 28; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/jfmk6010028 - 17 Mar 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 621
Abstract
Osteocytes are the most abundant bone cells, entrapped inside the mineralized bone matrix. They derive from osteoblasts through a complex series of morpho-functional modifications; such modifications not only concern the cell shape (from prismatic to dendritic) and location (along the vascular bone surfaces [...] Read more.
Osteocytes are the most abundant bone cells, entrapped inside the mineralized bone matrix. They derive from osteoblasts through a complex series of morpho-functional modifications; such modifications not only concern the cell shape (from prismatic to dendritic) and location (along the vascular bone surfaces or enclosed inside the lacuno-canalicular cavities, respectively) but also their role in bone processes (secretion/mineralization of preosseous matrix and/or regulation of bone remodeling). Osteocytes are connected with each other by means of different types of junctions, among which the gap junctions enable osteocytes inside the matrix to act in a neuronal-like manner, as a functional syncytium together with the cells placed on the vascular bone surfaces (osteoblasts or bone lining cells), the stromal cells and the endothelial cells, i.e., the bone basic cellular system (BBCS). Within the BBCS, osteocytes can communicate in two ways: by means of volume transmission and wiring transmission, depending on the type of signals (metabolic or mechanical, respectively) received and/or to be forwarded. The capability of osteocytes in maintaining skeletal and mineral homeostasis is due to the fact that it acts as a mechano-sensor, able to transduce mechanical strains into biological signals and to trigger/modulate the bone remodeling, also because of the relevant role of sclerostin secreted by osteocytes, thus regulating different bone cell signaling pathways. The authors want to emphasize that the present review is centered on the morphological aspects of the osteocytes that clearly explain their functional implications and their role as bone orchestrators. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Functional Anatomy)
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Article
Kinematic Comparison between Medially Congruent and Posterior-Stabilized Third-Generation TKA Designs
J. Funct. Morphol. Kinesiol. 2021, 6(1), 27; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/jfmk6010027 - 15 Mar 2021
Viewed by 1009
Abstract
Background: This study compares knee kinematics in two groups of patients who have undergone primary total knee arthroplasty (TKA) using two different modern designs: medially congruent (MC) and posterior-stabilized (PS). The aim of the study is to demonstrate only minimal differences between [...] Read more.
Background: This study compares knee kinematics in two groups of patients who have undergone primary total knee arthroplasty (TKA) using two different modern designs: medially congruent (MC) and posterior-stabilized (PS). The aim of the study is to demonstrate only minimal differences between the groups. Methods: Ten TKA patients (4 PS, 6 MC) with successful clinical outcomes were evaluated through 3D knee kinematics analysis performed using a multicamera optoelectronic system and a force platform. Extracted kinematic data included knee flexion angle at heel-strike (KFH), peak midstance knee flexion angle (MSKFA), maximum and minimum knee adduction angle (KAA), and knee rotational angle at heel-strike. Data were compared with a group of healthy controls. Results: There were no differences in preferred walking speed between MC and PS groups, but we found consistent differences in knee function. At heel-strike, the knee tended to be more flexed in the PS group compared to the MC group; the MSKFA tended to be higher in the PS group compared to the MC group. There was a significant fluctuation in KAA during the swing phase in the PS group compared to the MC group, PS patients showed a higher peak knee flexion moment compared to MC patients, and the PS group had significantly less peak internal rotation moments than the MC group. Conclusions: Modern, third-generation TKA designs failed to reproduce normal knee kinematics. MC knees tended to reproduce a more natural kinematic pattern at heel-strike and during axial rotation, while PS knees showed better kinematics during mid-flexion. Full article
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Article
Muscle Length of the Hamstrings Using Ultrasonography Versus Musculoskeletal Modelling
J. Funct. Morphol. Kinesiol. 2021, 6(1), 26; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/jfmk6010026 - 12 Mar 2021
Viewed by 453
Abstract
Muscle morphology is an important contributor to hamstring muscle injury and malfunction. The aim of this study was to examine if hamstring muscle-tendon lengths differ between various measurement methods as well as if passive length changes differ between individual hamstrings. The lengths of [...] Read more.
Muscle morphology is an important contributor to hamstring muscle injury and malfunction. The aim of this study was to examine if hamstring muscle-tendon lengths differ between various measurement methods as well as if passive length changes differ between individual hamstrings. The lengths of biceps femoris long head (BFlh), semimembranosus (SM), and semitendinosus (ST) of 12 healthy males were determined using three methods: Firstly, by identifying the muscle attachments using ultrasound (US) and then measuring the distance on the skin using a flexible ultrasound tape (TAPE-US). Secondly, by scanning each muscle using extended-field-of view US (EFOV-US) and, thirdly, by estimating length using modelling equations (MODEL). Measurements were performed with the participant relaxed at six combinations of hip (0°, 90°) and knee (0°, 45°, and 90°) flexion angles. The MODEL method showed greater BFlh and SM lengths as well as changes in length than US methods. EFOV-US showed greater ST and SM lengths than TAPE-US (p < 0.05). SM length change across all joint positions was greater than BFlh and ST (p < 0.05). Hamstring length predicted using regression equations is greater compared with those measured using US-based methods. The EFOV-US method yielded greater ST and SM length than the TAPE-US method. SM showed the highest change in length at different hip and knee joint positions. Full article
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Article
Strength, Endocrine, and Body Composition Alterations across Four Blocks of Training in an Elite 400 m Sprinter
J. Funct. Morphol. Kinesiol. 2021, 6(1), 25; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/jfmk6010025 - 09 Mar 2021
Viewed by 1024
Abstract
The ability to produce force rapidly has the potential to directly influence sprinting performance through changes in stride length and stride frequency. This ability is commonly referred to as the rate of force development (RFD). For this reason, many elite sprinters follow a [...] Read more.
The ability to produce force rapidly has the potential to directly influence sprinting performance through changes in stride length and stride frequency. This ability is commonly referred to as the rate of force development (RFD). For this reason, many elite sprinters follow a combined program consisting of resistance training and sprint training. The purpose of this study was to investigate the strength, endocrine and body composition adaptations that occur during distinct phases of a block periodized training cycle in a 400 m Olympic level sprinter. The athlete is an elite level 400 m male sprinter (age 31 years, body mass: 74 kg, years of training: 15 and Personal Best (PB): 45.65 s). This athlete completed four distinct training phases of a block periodized training program (16 weeks) with five testing sessions consisting of testosterone:cortisol (T/C) profiles, body composition, vertical jump, and maximum strength testing. Large fluctuations in T/C were found following high volume training and the taper. Minor changes in body mass were observed with an abrupt decrease following the taper which coincided with a small increase in fat mass percentage. Jump height (5.7%), concentric impulse (9.4%), eccentric impulse (3.4%) and power ratio (18.7%) all increased substantially from T1 to T5. Relative strength increased 6.04% from T1 to T5. Lastly, our results demonstrate the effectiveness of a competitive taper in increasing physiological markers for performance as well as dynamic performance variables. Block periodization training was effective in raising the physical capabilities of an Olympic level 400 m runner which have been shown to directly transfer to sprinting performance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Applied Sport Physiology and Performance - 2nd Edition)
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Article
Effectiveness of Rehabilitative Intervention on Pain, Postural Balance, and Quality of Life in Women with Multiple Vertebral Fragility Fractures: A Prospective Cohort Study
J. Funct. Morphol. Kinesiol. 2021, 6(1), 24; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/jfmk6010024 - 03 Mar 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 610
Abstract
Patients with vertebral fragility fractures often experience chronic pain, postural and balance disorders, and poor quality of life (QoL). Although several studies have investigated the role of rehabilitation in severe osteoporosis, the effectiveness of this intervention in patients with multiple vertebral fractures is [...] Read more.
Patients with vertebral fragility fractures often experience chronic pain, postural and balance disorders, and poor quality of life (QoL). Although several studies have investigated the role of rehabilitation in severe osteoporosis, the effectiveness of this intervention in patients with multiple vertebral fractures is poorly known. The aim of our longitudinal cohort study is to evaluate the effectiveness of rehabilitation, including postural training, resistance exercises, and visual stabilization exercises, for a 7-week period, on the pain, postural balance, and QoL of subjects with at least two vertebral fragility fractures receiving denosumab and vitamin D. We investigated, before (T0) and after (T1, at 7 weeks) rehabilitation, the following outcome measures on 28 patients: pain (Numerical Rating Scale (NRS)), self-perceived QoL (36-Item Short Form Survey (SF-36) and Mini-Osteoporosis Quality of Life Questionnaire (Mini-OQOL)), dizziness (Dizziness Handicap Inventory (DHI-I)), mobility (Timed-Up and Go (TUG) test), and instrumental posturographic assessment (FreeMed posturography system). At the end of the treatment, improvements of pain and QoL were recorded. Pain relief was highly obtained in patients with more than two vertebral fractures. Moreover, a significant functional improvement (TUG test) was found in those with two vertebral fractures, without any statistically significant change reported for other outcomes. Our findings suggest that combined intervention, including anti-osteoporotic drugs and postural rehabilitation, should be proposed to osteoporotic patients with multiple vertebral fractures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Role of Exercises in Musculoskeletal Disorders—3th Edition)
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Editorial
Preface to “Health Promotion in Children and Adolescents through Sport and Physical Activities—2nd Edition”
J. Funct. Morphol. Kinesiol. 2021, 6(1), 23; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/jfmk6010023 - 01 Mar 2021
Viewed by 377
Abstract
The second edition of the Special Issue entitled “Health Promotion in Children and Adolescents through Sport and Physical Activities” has been successfully completed, as expected [...] Full article
Article
Articular Disc of a Human Temporomandibular Joint: Evaluation through Light Microscopy, Immunofluorescence and Scanning Electron Microscopy
J. Funct. Morphol. Kinesiol. 2021, 6(1), 22; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/jfmk6010022 - 25 Feb 2021
Viewed by 463
Abstract
The extracellular matrix of the articular disc in a temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is composed mainly of collagen I and elastin. The collagen is important for resisting tensile forces, while the elastin is responsible to maintain the shape after deformation. We studied the orientation [...] Read more.
The extracellular matrix of the articular disc in a temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is composed mainly of collagen I and elastin. The collagen is important for resisting tensile forces, while the elastin is responsible to maintain the shape after deformation. We studied the orientation of collagen and elastin in a normal human temporomandibular joint disc by light microscopy, immunofluorescence and scanning electron microscopy. Our results demonstrated that collagen and elastin run parallel to each other in the intermediate zone with an anteroposterior orientation. From here, the orientation of two fibers groups changes into a disordered arrangement in the transition zone. Numerous elastic fibers cross with the collagen fibers, defining an interwoven knitted arrangement. The evaluation of the disc–condyle relationship shows that the medial margin of the articular disc is inserted directly at the superficial layer of the mandibular condylar cartilage. Therefore, the tensile properties of the TMJ disc are expressed in the directions corresponding to the orientation of the collagen fibers, and the complex orientation of elastin with the collagen determines the maintaining of the shape after the stresses by the joint movements. Moreover, the direct anatomical relationship between the articular disc and the mandibular condyle makes a decisive contribution to the understanding of TMJ movements. Full article
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Article
Eccentric Resistance Training in Youth: A Survey of Perceptions and Current Practices by Strength and Conditioning Coaches
J. Funct. Morphol. Kinesiol. 2021, 6(1), 21; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/jfmk6010021 - 18 Feb 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 885
Abstract
Background: Eccentric resistance training (ERT) in youth is advocated for aiding performance and injury risk. However, research investigating the applied practices of ERT in youth is in its infancy. In this study, we surveyed the perceptions and practices of practitioners utilizing ERT in [...] Read more.
Background: Eccentric resistance training (ERT) in youth is advocated for aiding performance and injury risk. However, research investigating the applied practices of ERT in youth is in its infancy. In this study, we surveyed the perceptions and practices of practitioners utilizing ERT in youth to provide an understanding of its current application in practice. Methods: Sixty-four strength and conditioning coaches completed an online survey reporting their current use of ERT in youth using both open and closed questions. Results: Coaches deemed the inclusion of ERT important in youth with its inclusion based upon factors such as maturation status, training age and strength levels. Coaches also displayed an awareness of the physiological responses to eccentric exercise in youth compared to adults. ERT was primarily used for injury prevention, with the majority of coaches using body-weight and tempo exercises. Furthermore, utilizing eccentric hamstrings exercises was reported as highly important. The frequency of ERT tended to increase in older age groups and coaches mainly prescribed self-selected rest intervals. Finally, the need for further research into the training guidelines of ERT in youth was highlighted, in which coaches require more information on how maturation influences training adaptations and the fatigue–recovery responses. Conclusion: Coaches emphasized the importance of including ERT for both performance and injury prevention factors in youth although further research is required to generate practical guidelines for coaches in order to support its inclusion within practice. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Resistance Training for Performance and Health 2020-2021)
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Review
Effects of Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) on Physical Performance: Systematic Review and Bayesian Meta-Analysis
J. Funct. Morphol. Kinesiol. 2021, 6(1), 20; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/jfmk6010020 - 11 Feb 2021
Viewed by 2958
Abstract
Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) is considered a potent adaptogen and anti-stress agent that could have some potential to improve physical performance. This preferred reporting items for systematic reviews and meta-analyses (PRISMA)-based comprehensive systematic review and Bayesian meta-analysis aimed to evaluate clinical trials [...] Read more.
Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) is considered a potent adaptogen and anti-stress agent that could have some potential to improve physical performance. This preferred reporting items for systematic reviews and meta-analyses (PRISMA)-based comprehensive systematic review and Bayesian meta-analysis aimed to evaluate clinical trials up to 2020 from PubMed, ScienceDirect, and Google Scholar databases regarding the effect of Ashwagandha supplementation on physical performance in healthy individuals. Besides implementing estimation statistics analysis, we developed Bayesian hierarchical models for a pre-specified subgroup meta-analysis on strength/power, cardiorespiratory fitness and fatigue/recovery variables. A total of 13 studies met the requirements of this systematic review, although only 12 were included in the quantitative analysis. A low-to-moderate overall risk of bias of the trials included in this study was detected. All Bayesian hierarchical models converged to a target distribution (Ȓ = 1) for both meta-analytic effect size (μ) and between-study standard deviation (τ). The meta-analytic approaches of the included studies revealed that Ashwagandha supplementation was more efficacious than placebo for improving variables related to physical performance in healthy men and female. In fact, the Bayesian models showed that future interventions might be at least in some way beneficial on the analyzed outcomes considering the 95% credible intervals for the meta-analytic effect size. Several practical applications and future directions are discussed, although more comparable studies are needed in exercise training, and athletic populations are needed to derive a more stable estimate of the true underlying effect. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Research on Sports Nutrition: Body Composition and Performance 2.0)
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Communication
Moving Mindfully: The Role of Mindfulness Practice in Physical Activity and Health Behaviours
J. Funct. Morphol. Kinesiol. 2021, 6(1), 19; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/jfmk6010019 - 10 Feb 2021
Viewed by 949
Abstract
Participation in regular physical activity yields numerous psychological and physical health benefits. Despite this, a large proportion of the global population is increasingly becoming inactive and sedentary, which has been linked to various causes of morbidity and mortality. One practice that has been [...] Read more.
Participation in regular physical activity yields numerous psychological and physical health benefits. Despite this, a large proportion of the global population is increasingly becoming inactive and sedentary, which has been linked to various causes of morbidity and mortality. One practice that has been found to encourage healthy participation in physical activity and associated health behaviours is mindfulness. Mindfulness practices have been consistently linked to higher levels of physical activity participation. However, the relationship between mindfulness practices and physical activity remains ambiguous. This present paper comments on the role of mindfulness practice in physical activity and health behaviours. Implications for future research and practice have also been addressed. Full article
Article
Regional Differences in Biceps Femoris Long Head Stiffness during Isometric Knee Flexion
J. Funct. Morphol. Kinesiol. 2021, 6(1), 18; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/jfmk6010018 - 10 Feb 2021
Viewed by 725
Abstract
This study sought to investigate whether the stiffness of the biceps femoris long head differs between proximal and distal regions during isometric knee flexion at different contraction intensities and muscle lengths. Twelve healthy individuals performed knee flexion isometric contractions at 20% and 60% [...] Read more.
This study sought to investigate whether the stiffness of the biceps femoris long head differs between proximal and distal regions during isometric knee flexion at different contraction intensities and muscle lengths. Twelve healthy individuals performed knee flexion isometric contractions at 20% and 60% of maximum voluntary isometric contraction, with the knee flexed at 15 and 45 degrees. Muscle stiffness assessment was performed using ultrasound-based shear wave elastography. Proximal and distal regions of the biceps femoris long head were assessed. Biceps femoris long head muscle showed a greater stiffness (i) in the distal region, (ii) at higher contraction intensity, and (iii) at longer muscle length. The proximal-to-distal stiffness ratio was significantly lower than 1 (i.e., heterogenous) at lower contraction intensity regardless of the muscle length. However, this was not observed at higher contraction intensity. This study is the first to show heterogeneity in the active stiffness of the biceps femoris long head. Given the greater incidence of injury at the proximal region of biceps femoris long head, this study opens new directions for future research. Additionally, the present study results indicate that studies assessing muscle stiffness at one single muscle region should be interpreted with caution. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Role of Exercises in Musculoskeletal Disorders—3th Edition)
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Article
A Comparison between Male and Female Athletes in Relative Strength and Power Performances
J. Funct. Morphol. Kinesiol. 2021, 6(1), 17; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/jfmk6010017 - 09 Feb 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1146
Abstract
The aim of this study was to compare male vs. female athletes in strength and power performance relative to body mass (BM) and lean body mass (LBM) and to investigate the relationships between muscle architecture and strength in both genders. Sixteen men (age [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to compare male vs. female athletes in strength and power performance relative to body mass (BM) and lean body mass (LBM) and to investigate the relationships between muscle architecture and strength in both genders. Sixteen men (age = 26.4 ± 5.0 years; body mass = 88.9 ± 16.6 kg; height = 177.6 ± 9.3 cm) and fourteen women (age = 25.1 ± 3.2 years; body mass = 58.1 ± 9.1 kg; height = 161.7 ± 4.8 cm) were tested for body composition and muscle thickness (MT) of vastus lateralis muscle (VT), pectoralis major (PEC), and trapezius (TRAP). In addition, participants were tested for lower body power at countermovement jump (CMJP) and upper-body power at bench press throw (BPT). Participants were also assessed for one repetition maximum (1RM) at bench press (1RMBP), deadlift (1RMDE), and squat (1RMSQ). Significantly greater (p < 0.01) MT of the VL, PEC and TRAP muscles and LBM were detected in men compared to women. Significantly greater (p < 0.05) 1RMBP and BPT adjusted for LBM were detected in men than in women. No significant gender differences after adjusting for LBM were detected for 1RMSQ (p = 0.945); 1RMDE (p = 0.472) and CMJP (p = 0.656). Significantly greater (p < 0.05) results in all performance assessments adjusted for MT of the specific muscles, were detected in males compared to females. Superior performances adjusted for MT and LBM in men compared to women, may be related to gender differences in muscle morphology and LBM distribution, respectively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health and Performance through Sports at All Ages)
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Article
Effects of Dominant and Nondominant Limb Immobilization on Muscle Activation and Physical Demand during Ambulation with Axillary Crutches
J. Funct. Morphol. Kinesiol. 2021, 6(1), 16; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/jfmk6010016 - 09 Feb 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 527
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of how limb dominance and joint immobilization alter markers of physical demand and muscle activation during ambulation with axillary crutches. In a crossover, counterbalanced study design, physically active females completed ambulation trials with [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of how limb dominance and joint immobilization alter markers of physical demand and muscle activation during ambulation with axillary crutches. In a crossover, counterbalanced study design, physically active females completed ambulation trials with three conditions: (1) bipedal walking (BW), (2) axillary crutch ambulation with their dominant limb (DOM), and (3) axillary crutch ambulation with their nondominant limb (NDOM). During the axillary crutch ambulation conditions, the non-weight-bearing knee joint was immobilized at a 30-degree flexion angle with a postoperative knee stabilizer. For each trial/condition, participants ambulated at 0.6, 0.8, and 1.0 mph for five minutes at each speed. Heart rate (HR) and rate of perceived exertion (RPE) were monitored throughout. Surface electromyography (sEMG) was used to record muscle activation of the medial gastrocnemius (MG), soleus (SOL), and tibialis anterior (TA) unilaterally on the weight-bearing limb. Biceps brachii (BB) and triceps brachii (TB) sEMG were measured bilaterally. sEMG signals for each immobilization condition were normalized to corresponding values for BW.HR (p < 0.001) and RPE (p < 0.001) were significantly higher for both the DOM and NDOM conditions compared to BW but no differences existed between the DOM and NDOM conditions (p > 0.05). No differences in lower limb muscle activation were noted for any muscles between the DOM and NDOM conditions (p > 0.05). Regardless of condition, BB activation ipsilateral to the ambulating limb was significantly lower during 0.6 mph (p = 0.005) and 0.8 mph (p = 0.016) compared to the same speeds for BB on the contralateral side. Contralateral TB activation was significantly higher during 0.6 mph compared to 0.8 mph (p = 0.009) and 1.0 mph (p = 0.029) irrespective of condition. In conclusion, limb dominance appears to not alter lower limb muscle activation and walking intensity while using axillary crutches. However, upper limb muscle activation was asymmetrical during axillary crutch use and largely dependent on speed. These results suggest that functional asymmetry may exist in upper limbs but not lower limbs during assistive device supported ambulation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Role of Exercises in Musculoskeletal Disorders—3th Edition)
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Review
Intra-Articular Injections in Knee Osteoarthritis: A Review of Literature
J. Funct. Morphol. Kinesiol. 2021, 6(1), 15; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/jfmk6010015 - 03 Feb 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1333
Abstract
Knee osteoarthritis (OA) is a chronic, degenerative, and progressive disease of articular cartilage, producing discomfort and physical disability in older adults. Thirteen percent of elderly people complain of knee OA. Management options for knee OA could be divided into the following categories: conservative, [...] Read more.
Knee osteoarthritis (OA) is a chronic, degenerative, and progressive disease of articular cartilage, producing discomfort and physical disability in older adults. Thirteen percent of elderly people complain of knee OA. Management options for knee OA could be divided into the following categories: conservative, pharmacological, procedural, and surgical. Joint replacement is the gold standard, reserved for severe grades of knee OA, due to its complications rate and increased risk of joint revision. A nonsurgical approach is the first choice in the adult population with cartilage damage and knee OA. Yearly, more than 10% of knee OA-affected patients undergo intra-articular injections of different drugs, especially within three months after OA diagnosis. Several molecules, such as corticosteroids injection, hyaluronic acid (HA), and platelet-rich plasma (PRP), are managed to reduce the symptoms of patients with knee OA. The aim of this review was to offer an overview of intra-articular injections used for the treatment of OA and report the conventional pharmacological products used. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Role of Exercises in Musculoskeletal Disorders—3th Edition)
Article
The Ankle Joint Range of Motion and Its Effect on Squat Jump Performance with and without Arm Swing in Adolescent Female Volleyball Players
J. Funct. Morphol. Kinesiol. 2021, 6(1), 14; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/jfmk6010014 - 03 Feb 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 781
Abstract
A flexible ankle joint is suggested to be a contributing factor for vertical squat jump (SQJ) performance. The purpose of the study was to investigate the effect of the active (ACT) and passive (PAS) ankle joint range of motion (ROM) on SQJ performed [...] Read more.
A flexible ankle joint is suggested to be a contributing factor for vertical squat jump (SQJ) performance. The purpose of the study was to investigate the effect of the active (ACT) and passive (PAS) ankle joint range of motion (ROM) on SQJ performed by adolescent female volleyball players. ACT and PAS ankle ROM at knee extension angles of 90, 140, and 180 degrees (180 degrees: full extension) were measured with a video analysis method for 35 female post-pubertal volleyball players (16.3 ± 1.1 yrs, 1.80 ± 0.04 m, 68.8 ± 6.8 kg). Additionally, the players fulfilling previously recommended criteria were assigned to the flexible (n = 10) and inflexible (n = 8) groups and executed SQJ with and without an arm swing on a force-plate. Results of the 2 × 2 × 3 MANOVA revealed a significant (p < 0.05) flexibility type and knee angle effect, as ankle ROM was larger in PAS compared to ACT and as the knee joint progressed from 90 to 180 degrees extension. The 2 × 2 ANOVA revealed a significant (p < 0.05) group effect, as flexible players jumped higher in the arm swing SQJ, along with a significant arm swing effect on key SQJ kinetic parameters. In conclusion, a more flexible ankle joint result in improved SQJ performance. Therefore, ankle flexibility training should be implemented in youth volleyball players. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health and Performance through Sports at All Ages)
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Review
Adapted Physical Activity to Ensure the Physical and Psychological Well-Being of COVID-19 Patients
J. Funct. Morphol. Kinesiol. 2021, 6(1), 13; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/jfmk6010013 - 29 Jan 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1955
Abstract
The novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has been responsible for a global pandemic involving massive increases in the daily numbers of cases and deaths. Due to the emergency caused by the pandemic, huge efforts have been made to develop COVID-19 vaccines, the first [...] Read more.
The novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has been responsible for a global pandemic involving massive increases in the daily numbers of cases and deaths. Due to the emergency caused by the pandemic, huge efforts have been made to develop COVID-19 vaccines, the first of which were released in December 2020. Effective vaccines for COVID-19 are needed to protect the population, especially healthcare professionals and fragile individuals, such as older people or chronic-disease-affected patients. Physical exercise training generally has health benefits and assists in the prevention of several chronic diseases. Moreover, physical activity improves mental health by reducing anxiety, depression, and negative mood and improving self-esteem. Therefore, the present review aims to provide a detailed view of the literature, presenting updated evidence on the beneficial effects of adapted physical activity, based on personalized and tailor-made exercise, in preventing, treating, and counteracting the consequences of COVID-19. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Exercise Evaluation and Prescription)
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Article
The Prevalence of Urinary Incontinence among Adolescent Female Athletes: A Systematic Review
J. Funct. Morphol. Kinesiol. 2021, 6(1), 12; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/jfmk6010012 - 28 Jan 2021
Viewed by 930
Abstract
This review aimed to synthesize the most up-to-date evidence regarding the prevalence of urinary incontinence (UI) among adolescent female athletes. We conducted a systematic review of studies regarding UI in female athletes less than 19 years of age. This review was conducted in [...] Read more.
This review aimed to synthesize the most up-to-date evidence regarding the prevalence of urinary incontinence (UI) among adolescent female athletes. We conducted a systematic review of studies regarding UI in female athletes less than 19 years of age. This review was conducted in accordance with the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-analyses (PRIMSA). The electronic databases of PubMed, Embase, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), Scopus, and Web of Science (WOS) were searched between October and November 2020. After blinded peer evaluation, a total of 215 studies were identified and nine were included. Risk of bias was assessed using the Strengthening the Reporting of Observational Studies in Epidemiology (STROBE) checklist. This review identified a prevalence of UI in adolescent female athletes between 18% to 80% with an average of 48.58%. The most prevalent sports were trampolining followed by rope skipping. The prevalence of UI among adolescent female athletes practicing impact sports was significantly prevalent. There is a need for further research, education, and targeted interventions for adolescent female athletes with UI. Full article
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Editorial
Progress for Journal of Functional Morphology and Kinesiology in 2020
J. Funct. Morphol. Kinesiol. 2021, 6(1), 11; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/jfmk6010011 - 22 Jan 2021
Viewed by 356
Abstract
The Journal of Functional Morphology and Kinesiology (JFMK, ISSN: 2411-5142), which was first released in March 2016, developed greatly in 2020 [...] Full article
Editorial
Acknowledgment to Reviewers of Journal of Functional Morphology and Kinesiology in 2020
J. Funct. Morphol. Kinesiol. 2021, 6(1), 10; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/jfmk6010010 - 22 Jan 2021
Viewed by 447
Abstract
Peer review is the driving force of journal development, and reviewers are gatekeepers who ensure that JFMK maintains its standards for the high quality of its published papers [...] Full article
Article
Cognitive and Physical Activity-Related Aspects of Children Associated to the Performance of the Crunning Movement
J. Funct. Morphol. Kinesiol. 2021, 6(1), 9; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/jfmk6010009 - 17 Jan 2021
Viewed by 696
Abstract
The aim of this investigation was to identify possible related factors associated to the performance of the crunning test in European children and adolescents. A total number of 559 children and adolescents (age range 6–14 years) of which 308 boys (55.1%) and 251 [...] Read more.
The aim of this investigation was to identify possible related factors associated to the performance of the crunning test in European children and adolescents. A total number of 559 children and adolescents (age range 6–14 years) of which 308 boys (55.1%) and 251 girls (44.9%), from seven European countries, were screened. A questionnaire concerning demographic and personal life-related factors and a cognitive assessment were performed. A regression analysis was conducted with the performance measures of the crunning movement. T-tests and ANCOVA were used to analyze sub-group differences. Boys have greater crunning performance values compared to girls (5.55 s vs. 7.06 s, p < 0.001) and older children perform better than younger ones (R2 −0.23; p < 0.001). Children with healthy and active habits (exercising or spending time with family members vs. reading or surfing the internet) performed better in the test. Children engaged in team sports had better crunning performances compared to those engaged in individual sports (6.01 s vs. 6.66 s, p = 0.0166). No significant association was found regarding cognitive-related aspects in either children engaged in team or individual sports and the crunning performance. Older and male children performed better in the crunning test than younger and female children. Physical activity-related aspects of children’s life are associated with crunning movement performance. No association was found between higher cognitive performance and the crunning test results. Full article
Review
A Systematic Review of Strength and Conditioning Protocols for Improving Neck Strength and Reducing Concussion Incidence and Impact Injury Risk in Collision Sports; Is There Evidence?
J. Funct. Morphol. Kinesiol. 2021, 6(1), 8; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/jfmk6010008 - 12 Jan 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1695
Abstract
The objective of this systematic literature review was to evaluate the evidence regarding the development of neck strength in reducing concussion and cervical spine injuries in adult amateur and professional sport populations. PubMed, CINAHL, Science Direct, and Web of Science databases were searched [...] Read more.
The objective of this systematic literature review was to evaluate the evidence regarding the development of neck strength in reducing concussion and cervical spine injuries in adult amateur and professional sport populations. PubMed, CINAHL, Science Direct, and Web of Science databases were searched systematically. The criteria for inclusion in the review were as follows: (1) a human adult (≥18 or above); (2) involved in amateur, semi-professional, or professional sports; (3) sports included involved collisions with other humans, apparatus or the environment; (4) interventions included pre- and post-neck muscle strength measures or neck stability measures; (5) outcomes included effects on increasing neck strength in participants and/or injury incidence. Database searches identified 2462 articles. Following title, abstract, and full paper screening, three papers were eligible for inclusion. All of the papers reported information from male participants, two were focused on rugby union, and one on American football. Two of the included studies found a significant improvement in isometric neck strength following intervention. None of the studies reported any impact of neck strengthening exercises on cervical spine injuries. This review has shown that there is currently a lack of evidence to support the use of neck strengthening interventions in reducing impact injury risk in adult populations who participate in sport. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Concussion, Exercise Rehabilitation, and Strength Training)
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Article
Associations of Body Composition, Maximum Strength, Power Characteristics with Sprinting, Jumping, and Intermittent Endurance Performance in Male Intercollegiate Soccer Players
J. Funct. Morphol. Kinesiol. 2021, 6(1), 7; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/jfmk6010007 - 07 Jan 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 825
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to determine the relationships between body composition, strength, power characteristics, sprinting, jumping, and intermittent endurance performance in collegiate male players. Twenty-three players participated (19.7 ± 1.6 yrs; 71.8 ± 7.1 kg; 176.5 ± 5.1 cm). Measurements of [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study was to determine the relationships between body composition, strength, power characteristics, sprinting, jumping, and intermittent endurance performance in collegiate male players. Twenty-three players participated (19.7 ± 1.6 yrs; 71.8 ± 7.1 kg; 176.5 ± 5.1 cm). Measurements of interest in body composition included body fat percentage (BF%), lean body mass (LBM), and body mass (BM). Power characteristics were measured with an unloaded squat jump (SJ0) and loaded SJ at 20 kg (SJ20) and 40 kg (SJ40), and unloaded countermovement jump (CMJ0). Power assessments included peak power (PP) and PP allometrically scaled (PPa). Strength characteristics were assessed using isometric mid-thigh pull. Strength assessment included isometric peak force (IPF) and IPF allometrically scaled (IPFa). Performance measures included 10m and 20 m sprint time, CMJ0 jump-height, and Yo-Yo intermittent endurance test level 1 distance. Significant correlations ranging from moderate to very large were found for LBM and CMJ jump height (CM0 JH) (p = 0.01, r = 0.50); BF% and sprint times at 10 m (p = 0.03, r = 0.44) and 20 m (p = 0.02, r = 0.50). PP and PPa from SJ0 and CMJ0 were significantly correlated to 10m sprint time (p < 0.05, r = −0.45 to −0.53) and 20 m sprint time (p < 0.05, r = −0.40 to −0.49). Our findings agree with previous literature in that body composition and power characteristics are directly related to soccer-related performance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Strength and Conditioning)
Review
Ex Vivo Systems to Study Chondrogenic Differentiation and Cartilage Integration
J. Funct. Morphol. Kinesiol. 2021, 6(1), 6; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/jfmk6010006 - 05 Jan 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 770
Abstract
Articular cartilage injury and repair is an issue of growing importance. Although common, defects of articular cartilage present a unique clinical challenge due to its poor self-healing capacity, which is largely due to its avascular nature. There is a critical need to better [...] Read more.
Articular cartilage injury and repair is an issue of growing importance. Although common, defects of articular cartilage present a unique clinical challenge due to its poor self-healing capacity, which is largely due to its avascular nature. There is a critical need to better study and understand cellular healing mechanisms to achieve more effective therapies for cartilage regeneration. This article aims to describe the key features of cartilage which is being modelled using tissue engineered cartilage constructs and ex vivo systems. These models have been used to investigate chondrogenic differentiation and to study the mechanisms of cartilage integration into the surrounding tissue. The review highlights the key regeneration principles of articular cartilage repair in healthy and diseased joints. Using co-culture models and novel bioreactor designs, the basis of regeneration is aligned with recent efforts for optimal therapeutic interventions. Full article
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Article
The Stress of Competing: Cortisol and Amylase Response to Training and Competition
J. Funct. Morphol. Kinesiol. 2021, 6(1), 5; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/jfmk6010005 - 04 Jan 2021
Viewed by 763
Abstract
TeamGym is a popular form of gymnastics, including tumbling (Tu), trampette (Tr) and floor exercises (F) characterized by intensive practice placing high levels of stress on athletes. The aim of the study was to investigate athletes’ stress-related changes during TeamGym training and competition, [...] Read more.
TeamGym is a popular form of gymnastics, including tumbling (Tu), trampette (Tr) and floor exercises (F) characterized by intensive practice placing high levels of stress on athletes. The aim of the study was to investigate athletes’ stress-related changes during TeamGym training and competition, considering hormonal and enzymatic responses (i.e., salivary cortisol and alpha-amylase). Ten (5 males and 5 females) TeamGym athletes (age: 22–28 y) were tested twice at the same time before training and competition; furthermore, for excluding circadian effect on hormonal and enzymatic responses, they were tested at the same time during a rest day. Alpha-amylase and cortisol were measured 15 min before the beginning of exercise, after each gymnastic equipment performance, and after thirty minutes from the end of the performance. Factorial ANOVA with repeated measures was used to verify differences between training and competition (p < 0.05). Competition elicited higher values of alpha-amylase than training (p ranging from 0.001 to 0.019) and rest (p ranging from 0.001 to 0.019). Cortisol showed no exercise induced increase, and its concentrations were higher prior to training compared to competition. TeamGym responses confirm other sports findings in stating that competition elicits higher stress response than training and suggest that salivary alpha-amylase is a more sensitive marker than cortisol to psychophysiological stress also in gymnastics intermittent performance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Overtraining Prevention)
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Brief Report
Changes in Maximal Strength and Home Run Performance in NCAA Division I Baseball Players Across 3 Competitive Seasons: A Descriptive Study
J. Funct. Morphol. Kinesiol. 2021, 6(1), 4; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/jfmk6010004 - 02 Jan 2021
Viewed by 796
Abstract
The purpose of this longitudinal, descriptive study was to observe changes in maximal strength measured via isometric clean grip mid-thigh pull and home runs (total and home runs per game) across three years of training and three competitive seasons for four National Collegiate [...] Read more.
The purpose of this longitudinal, descriptive study was to observe changes in maximal strength measured via isometric clean grip mid-thigh pull and home runs (total and home runs per game) across three years of training and three competitive seasons for four National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division 1 baseball players. A one-way repeated measures analysis of variance (ANOVA) was performed, revealing significant univariate effects of time for peak force (PF) (p = 0.003) and peak force allometrically scaled (PFa) (p = 0.002). Increases in PF were noted from season 1 to season 2 (p = 0.031) and season 3 (p = 0.004), but season 2 was not significantly different than season 3 (p = 0.232). Additionally, increases in PFa were noted from season 1 to season 2 (p = 0.010) and season 3 (p < 0.001), but season 2 was not significantly different than season 3 (p = 0.052). Home runs per game rose from the 2009 (0.32) to 2010 season (1.35) and dropped during the 2011 season (1.07). A unique aspect of the study involves 2010 being the season in which ball-bat coefficient of restitution (BBCOR) bats were introduced to the NCAA competition. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Muscular Strength and Its Influence on Performance Outcomes)
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Article
Effects of Preferred and Non-Preferred Warm-Up Music on Resistance Exercise Performance
J. Funct. Morphol. Kinesiol. 2021, 6(1), 3; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/jfmk6010003 - 31 Dec 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1437
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of listening to preferred and non-preferred warm-up music on upper-body resistance exercise performance. Resistance-trained males (ages 18–24) participated in two separate bench press trials each with a different warm-up music condition: preferred warm-up [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of listening to preferred and non-preferred warm-up music on upper-body resistance exercise performance. Resistance-trained males (ages 18–24) participated in two separate bench press trials each with a different warm-up music condition: preferred warm-up music (PREF) or non-preferred warm-up music (NON-PREF). In each trial, participants listened to PREF or NON-PREF music during a standardized bench press warm-up. Following the warm-up, motivation to exercise was measured using a visual analog scale followed by two sets × repetitions to failure (RTF) at 75% of 1-RM separated by 1 min of rest. A linear position transducer was used to measure mean barbell velocity. Rate of perceived exertion (RPE) was obtained after each set. RTF, velocity, RPE, and motivation were analyzed. RTF were significantly higher during the PREF versus NON-PREF trail (p = 0.001) while mean barbell velocity remained unchanged (p = 0.777). RPE was not significantly different between PREF and NON-PREF trials (p = 0.735). Motivation to exercise was significantly higher during the PREF versus NON-PREF trial (p < 0.001). Findings show that listening to PREF music during a warm-up improves subsequent RTF performance during bench press exercise. However, barbell velocity was largely unaffected. While perceived exertion was similar between trials, motivation to exercise was markedly increased during the PREF warm-up music trial. These findings suggest that competitors listening to warm-up music before giving maximal effort during resistance exercise could optimize performance by ensuring self-selection of their own preferred music. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Resistance Training for Performance and Health 2020-2021)
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Editorial
The Utility of Anti-Covid-19 Desks in Italy, Doubts and Criticism
J. Funct. Morphol. Kinesiol. 2021, 6(1), 2; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/jfmk6010002 - 30 Dec 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 551
Abstract
As of the 14th of September, Italy has been considered one of the more susceptible nations in terms of risk of increase for Sars-Cov-2 contagion [...] Full article
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