Special Issue "Exercise and Performance Physiology"

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Fabrizio Perroni
E-Mail Website
Chief Guest Editor
Department of Biomolecular Sciences, Section on Exercise and Health Sciences, University of Urbino Carlo Bo, 61029 Urbino, Italy
Interests: exercise; functional evaluation; hormonal aspects; puberty; training; soccer
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Elena Cavarretta
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Medical-Surgical Sciences and Biotechnologies, Sapienza University of Rome, Latina 00187, Italy
Interests: sports cardiology; exercise; athlete's heart; echocardiography; oxidative stress
Dr. Erica Gobbi
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Biomolecular Sciences, Section of Exercise and Health Sciences, University of Urbino "Carlo Bo", Via dell'Annunziata 4, 61029 Urbino, Italy
Interests: childhood and adolescence; affective response to exercise; clinical population and disability; exercise equipment; user-centred approach

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Physical exercise and performance in sports are strongly linked to physiological variables, which are dependent on anatomical, functional, and biomechanical aspects and motor strategies. Understanding the effect of exercise and the acute and chronic dose–response patterns involves studying specific changes in muscular and cardiovascular systems that lead to changes in health and human performance (i.e., wellness and physical activity, the response to different sports, administration of exercise programs, warm-ups and cooldowns, recovery strategies), also due to the strength and conditioning training and athletes’ use of different sport equipment. Consequently, the knowledge provided by scientific studies on performance physiology can be useful to optimize coaching and training programs and aid adequate long-term development of athletes. In-depth understanding of the effects of training stimuli on specific adaptations will contribute to increase the scientific knowledge of how to achieve better athletic performance and reduce the risk of sport injuries. This Special Issue of the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health aims to create a multidisciplinary discussion on up-to-date scientific data in this area and, for these reasons, we invite all authors to submit original research and/or specific reviews that improve our understanding of “Exercise and Performance Physiology”.

Prof. Fabrizio Perroni
Dr. Erica Gobbi
Dr. Elena Cavarretta
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • physiological and psychological responses
  • exercise
  • strength and conditioning
  • biomechanics and bioenergetic of movement
  • functional evaluation
  • puberty and development
  • gender differences
  • nutrition
  • oxidative stress
  • athlete's heart
  • physiological remodeling induced by acute exercise and long-term training

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

Article
Sex Differences in the Oxygenation of the Left and Right Prefrontal Cortex during Moderate-Intensity Exercise
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(10), 5212; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18105212 - 14 May 2021
Viewed by 486
Abstract
Introduction: Differences in cognitive performance with exercise between men and women have previously been reported. In this study, we evaluated between-sex differences in oxygenation of the prefrontal cortex (PFC) with moderate-intensity aerobic exercise (AE), which could contribute to noted differences in cognitive function. [...] Read more.
Introduction: Differences in cognitive performance with exercise between men and women have previously been reported. In this study, we evaluated between-sex differences in oxygenation of the prefrontal cortex (PFC) with moderate-intensity aerobic exercise (AE), which could contribute to noted differences in cognitive function. Method: The subjects were ten men (age, 21.5 ± 0.5 years; height, 171.7 ± 4.8 cm; weight, 65.6 ± 5.6 kg) and ten women (age, 21.4 ± 0.5 years; height, 157.6 ± 4.9 cm; weight, 51.3 ± 6.5 kg). They completed our AE protocol, consisting of a 30-min leg-ergometer cycling at an intensity of 50% peak oxygen uptake, with an initial 4-min rest period for baseline measurement. Measures of the dynamics of cerebral oxygenation included: oxygenated hemoglobin (O2Hb) in the left and right PFC (LR-PFC) and deoxygenated hemoglobin (HHb). The 30-min exercise period was subdivided into six 5-min phases, with the average and peak values determined in each phase. Results: A significant interaction was found between LR-PFC HHb and sex (p < 0.001), with significantly higher values in men than in women in phases 3–6 (p < 0.05). Conclusion: We report a significant sex effect of HHb in the LR-PFC. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Exercise and Performance Physiology)
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Article
Acute Local Cooling to the Lower Body during Recovery Does Not Improve Repeated Vertical Jump Performance
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(9), 5026; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18095026 - 10 May 2021
Viewed by 515
Abstract
BACKGROUND: Local cooling, or cryotherapy, has received attention due to its effects on athlete recovery before or after strenuous exercise. This study seeks to verify the effectiveness of 3 min applications of acute local cooling to the lower extremities between sets of a [...] Read more.
BACKGROUND: Local cooling, or cryotherapy, has received attention due to its effects on athlete recovery before or after strenuous exercise. This study seeks to verify the effectiveness of 3 min applications of acute local cooling to the lower extremities between sets of a repeated vertical jump exercise. METHODS: Using a randomized crossover design, twelve subjects performed a total of 3 sets of 30 consecutive maximal vertical jumps and were allowed a recovery period of 5 min after each set. In the recovery period, subjects rested with or without a cooling suit worn on their lower legs. Changes in heart rate, blood lactate, and rate of perceived exertion were assessed. RESULTS: Vertical jump performance steadily decreased during 30 consecutive vertical jumps in all 3 sets; however, no differences in jump performance were observed among the groups. Heart rate, blood lactate, and rate of perceived exertion tended to be lower in the cooling recovery group relative to the control group. CONCLUSION: The current study provides evidence that acute local cooling recovery after a vertical jump exercise may not add any performance benefits but may provide a psychological benefit. The effectiveness of acute local cooling in other functional performances should be addressed in further research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Exercise and Performance Physiology)
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Article
Contribution of Plantar Fascia and Intrinsic Foot Muscles in a Single-Leg Drop Landing and Repetitive Rebound Jumps: An Ultrasound-Based Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(9), 4511; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18094511 - 23 Apr 2021
Viewed by 851
Abstract
The plantar fascia and intrinsic foot muscles (IFM) modulate foot stiffness. However, it is unclear whether the corresponding ultrasonography findings reflect it. This study aimed to examine the effect of the plantar fascia and IFM morphologies on force attenuation during landing and reactivity [...] Read more.
The plantar fascia and intrinsic foot muscles (IFM) modulate foot stiffness. However, it is unclear whether the corresponding ultrasonography findings reflect it. This study aimed to examine the effect of the plantar fascia and IFM morphologies on force attenuation during landing and reactivity when jumping in healthy adults (n = 21; age, 21–27 years). Thickness, cross-sectional area (CSA), and hardness of the plantar fascia, abductor hallucis (AbH), and flexor hallucis brevis (FHB) muscles were measured using ultrasonography. Single-leg drop landing and repetitive rebound jumping tests assessed the ground reaction force (GRF) and reactive jump index (RJI), respectively. The CSA of FHB was negatively correlated with maximum vertical GRF (r = −0.472, p = 0.031) in the single-leg drop landing test. The CSA of AbH was negatively correlated with contact time (r = −0.478, p = 0.028), and the plantar fascia thickness was positively correlated with jump height (r = 0.615, p = 0.003) and RJI (r = 0.645, p = 0.002) in the repetitive bound jump test. In multivariate regression analysis, only the plantar fascia thickness was associated with RJI (β = 0.152, 95% confidence interval: 7.219–38.743, p = 0.007). The CSA of FHB may contribute to force attenuation during landing. The thickness of the plantar fascia and CSA of AbH may facilitate jumping high with minimal contact time. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Exercise and Performance Physiology)
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Article
Biomechanical Characteristics between Bionic Shoes and Normal Shoes during the Drop-Landing Phase: A Pilot Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(6), 3223; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18063223 - 20 Mar 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 677
Abstract
With the development of unstable footwear, more research has focused on the advantages of this type of shoe. This type of shoe could improve the muscle function of the lower limb and prevent injury risks in dynamic situations. Therefore, the purpose of this [...] Read more.
With the development of unstable footwear, more research has focused on the advantages of this type of shoe. This type of shoe could improve the muscle function of the lower limb and prevent injury risks in dynamic situations. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to investigate differences in lower-limb kinetics and kinematics based on single-leg landing (SLL) using normal shoes (NS) and bionic shoes (BS). The study used 15 male subject volunteers (age 23.4 ± 1.14 years, height 177.6 ± 4.83cm, body weight (BW) 73.6 ± 7.02 kg). To ensure the subject standardization of the participants, there were several inclusion criteria used for selection. There were two kinds of experimental shoes used in the landing experiment to detect the change of lower limbs when a landing task was performed. Kinetics and kinematic data were collected during an SLL task, and statistical parametric mapping (SPM) analysis was used to evaluate the differences between NS and BS. We found that the flexion and extension angles of the knee (p = 0.004) and hip (p = 0.046, p = 0.018) joints, and the dorsiflexion and plantarflexion of ankle (p = 0.031) moment were significantly different in the sagittal planes. In the frontal plane, the eversion and inversion of the ankle (p = 0.016), and the abduction and adduction of knee (p = 0.017, p = 0.007) angle were found significant differences. In the horizontal plane, the external and internal rotation of hip (p = 0.036) and knee (p < 0.001, p = 0.029) moment were found significant differences, and knee angle (p = 0.043) also. According to our results, we conclude that using BS can cause bigger knee and hip flexion than NS. Also, this finding indicates that BS might be considered to reduce lower-limb injury risk during the SLL phase. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Exercise and Performance Physiology)
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Article
Muscle Activation Sequence in Flywheel Squats
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(6), 3168; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18063168 - 19 Mar 2021
Viewed by 628
Abstract
Background: Muscle coordination is important for rational and effective planning of therapeutic and exercise interventions using equipment that mimics functional movements. Our study was the first to assess muscle coordination during flywheel (FW) squats. Methods: Time-of-peak electromyographic activation order was assessed separately for [...] Read more.
Background: Muscle coordination is important for rational and effective planning of therapeutic and exercise interventions using equipment that mimics functional movements. Our study was the first to assess muscle coordination during flywheel (FW) squats. Methods: Time-of-peak electromyographic activation order was assessed separately for 8, 4, and 3 leg muscles under four FW loads. A sequential rank agreement permutations tests (SRA) were conducted to assess activation order and Kendall’s tau was used to assess the concordance of activation order across subjects, loads and expected order of activation. Results: SRA revealed a latent muscle activation order at loads 0.05, 0.075, and 0.1, but not at 0.025 kg·m2. Kendall’s tau showed moderate-to-strong concordance between the expected (proximal-to-distal) and the observed muscle activation order only at a load 0.025 kg·m2, regardless of the number of muscles analyzed. Muscle activation order was highly concordant between loads 0.05, 0.075, and 0.1 kg·m2. Conclusions: The results show a specific role of each muscle during the FW squat that is load-dependent. While the lowest load follows the proximal-to-distal principle of muscle activation, higher loads lead to a reorganization of the underlying muscle coordination mechanisms. They require a specific and stable muscle coordination pattern that is not proximal-to-distal. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Exercise and Performance Physiology)
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Article
Can Haematological and Hormonal Biomarkers Predict Fitness Parameters in Youth Soccer Players? A Pilot Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(17), 6294; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17176294 - 29 Aug 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 823
Abstract
The study aimed to investigate the correlations among immune, haematological, endocrinological markers and fitness parameters, and assess if the physiological parameters could be a predictor of fitness values. Anthropometric, physical evaluations (countermovement jump—CMJ, 10 m sprint, VO2max, repeated sprint ability—RSA total [...] Read more.
The study aimed to investigate the correlations among immune, haematological, endocrinological markers and fitness parameters, and assess if the physiological parameters could be a predictor of fitness values. Anthropometric, physical evaluations (countermovement jump—CMJ, 10 m sprint, VO2max, repeated sprint ability—RSA total time and index) and determination of blood (IL-6, IL-10, IL-17A and tumour necrosis factor) and salivary (testosterone and cortisol) samples parameters in 28 young male soccer players (age: 13.0 ± 0.2 years, body mass index (BMI): 19.5 ± 2.2 kg/m2) were analysed. To evaluate the dependence of the variables related to athletic performance, multiple linear regression with backward stepwise elimination was considered. A significant regression equation was found in CMJ (F(5,16) = 9.86, p < 0.001, R2 adjusted = 0.679) and in the RSA index (F(5,16) = 15.39, p < 0.001, R2 adjusted = 0.774) considering only five variables, in a 10 m sprint (F(4,17) = 20.25, p < 0.001, R2 adjusted = 0.786) and in the RSA total time (F(4,17) = 15.31, p < 0.001, R2 adjusted = 0.732) considering only four variables and in VO2max (F(9,12) = 32.09, p < 0.001, R2 adjusted = 0.930) considering nine variables. Our study suggests the use of regression equations to predict the fitness values of youth soccer players by blood and saliva samples, during different phases of the season, short periods of match congestion or recovery from an injury. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Exercise and Performance Physiology)
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Article
The Effect of Different Cadence on Paddling Gross Efficiency and Economy in Stand-Up Paddle Boarding
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(13), 4893; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17134893 - 07 Jul 2020
Viewed by 1048
Abstract
Background: Due to the importance of energy efficiency and economy in endurance performance, it is important to know the influence of different paddling cadences on these variables in the stand-up paddleboarding (SUP). The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of [...] Read more.
Background: Due to the importance of energy efficiency and economy in endurance performance, it is important to know the influence of different paddling cadences on these variables in the stand-up paddleboarding (SUP). The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of paddling at different cadences on the energy efficiency, economy, and physiological variables of international SUP race competitors. Methods: Ten male paddlers (age 28.8 ± 11.0 years; height 175.4 ± 5.1 m; body mass 74.2 ± 9.4 kg) participating in international tests carried out two test sessions. In the first one, an incremental exercise test was conducted to assess maximal oxygen uptake and peak power output (PPO). On the second day, they underwent 3 trials of 8 min each at 75% of PPO reached in the first test session. Three cadences were carried out in different trials randomly assigned between 45–55 and 65 strokes-min−1 (spm). Heart rate (HR), blood lactate, perceived sense of exertion (RPE), gross efficiency, economy, and oxygen uptake (VO2) were measured in the middle (4-min) and the end (8-min) of each trial. Results: Economy (45.3 ± 5.7 KJ·l−1 at 45 spm vs. 38.1 ± 5.3 KJ·l−1 at 65 spm; p = 0.010) and gross efficiency (13.4 ± 2.3% at 45 spm vs. 11.0 ± 1.6% at 65 spm; p = 0.012) was higher during de 45 spm condition than 65 spm in the 8-min. Respiratory exchange ratio (RER) presented a lower value at 4-min than at 8-min in 55 spm (4-min, 0.950 ± 0.065 vs. 8-min, 0.964 ± 0.053) and 65 spm cadences (4-min, 0.951 ± 0.030 vs. 8-min, 0.992 ± 0.047; p < 0.05). VO2, HR, lactate, and RPE were lower (p < 0.05) at 45 spm (VO2, 34.4 ± 6.0 mL·kg−1·min−1; HR, 161.2 ± 16.4 beats·min−1; lactate, 3.5 ± 1.0 mmol·l−1; RPE, 6.0 ± 2.1) than at 55 spm (VO2, 38.6 ± 5.2 mL·kg−1·min−1; HR, 168.1 ± 15.1 beats·min−1; lactate, 4.2 ± 1.2 mmol·l−1; RPE, 6.9 ± 1.4) and 65 spm (VO2, 38.7 ± 5.9 mL·kg−1·min−1; HR, 170.7 ± 13.0 beats·min−1; 5.3 ± 1.8 mmol·l−1; RPE, 7.6 ± 1.4) at 8-min. Moreover, lactate and RPE at 65 spm was greater than 55 spm (p < 0.05) at 8-min. Conclusion: International male SUP paddlers were most efficient and economical when paddling at 45 spm vs. 55 or 65 spm, confirmed by lower RPE values, which may likely translate to faster paddling speed and greater endurance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Exercise and Performance Physiology)
Article
Energetic Profile in Forehand Loop Drive Practice with Well-Trained, Young Table Tennis Players
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(10), 3681; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17103681 - 23 May 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1197
Abstract
The forehand loop drive is one of the primary attacking techniques in table tennis and is practiced at a large volume during training. The aim of this study was to investigate the energetic profile of the high-repetition forehand loop drive practice in table [...] Read more.
The forehand loop drive is one of the primary attacking techniques in table tennis and is practiced at a large volume during training. The aim of this study was to investigate the energetic profile of the high-repetition forehand loop drive practice in table tennis. Twenty-six well-trained, young table tennis players performed a treadmill graded exercise test to determine their peak oxygen uptake as a measure of overall cardiorespiratory fitness and an incremental table tennis stroke test with 3-min intervals during the forehand loop drive with a ball-throwing robot at a frequency of 35 to 85 strokes∙min−1. Pulmonary and blood parameters were measured and analyzed with a portable spirometry system and a blood lactate analyzer. Energy contributions were calculated from aerobic, anaerobic lactic, and anaerobic alactic pathways for each stroke frequency. Energy cost was defined as the amount of energy expended above resting levels for one stroke. Repeated-measures analyses of variance (ANOVA) with the stroke frequency (35,45,55,65,75, or 85 strokes/min−1) as a within-subject factor were performed for the dependent variables. A Power regression was performed for the energy cost as a function of the stroke frequency. Findings demonstrated a function of Y = 91.566·x−0.601 where Y is the energy cost and x is the stroke frequency, R2 = 0.9538. The energy cost decreased at higher stroke frequencies. The energy contributions from aerobic, anaerobic lactic, and anaerobic alactic pathways at each stroke frequency ranged from 79.4%–85.2%, 0.6%–2.1%, and 12.9%–20.0%, respectively. In conclusion, the energy cost of the forehand loop drive decreased at higher stroke frequencies. The high-repetition forehand loop drive practice was aerobic dominant and the anaerobic alactic system played a vital role. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Exercise and Performance Physiology)
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