Special Issue "Women in Sports and Exercise: From Health to Sports Performance"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Sport and Health".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 October 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Filipe Manuel Clemente
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Polytechnic Institute of Viana do Castelo, School of Sport and Leisure, 4960-320 Melgaço, Portugal
Interests: football; soccer; match analysis; performance analysis; network analysis
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The creation of a consolidated body of knowledge about women’s participation in sports and exercise should be prioritized, since the great majority of research in sports is still conducting in men. Despite a call for equity, consistent findings and research about women’s physiology, performance, and response to exercise are still needed to increase the capacity to understand the specific opportunities to adjust the training process to women. The understanding of biological mechanisms and interactions with training load, recovery, and performance is determinant for increasing consolidated evidence. Therefore, this Special Issue aims to open a window of opportunity to publish original research, systematic reviews, and meta-analyses about women in sports and exercise. Not limiting the topics of research, we welcome research focused on physical activity and exercise for health for different age-groups or populations of women, sports performance in youth and adults, and exercise for injury treatment or prevention.

Dr. Filipe Manuel Clemente
Dr. Ana Filipa Silva
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2300 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Female
  • Woman
  • Physical activity
  • Exercise
  • Clinical exercise
  • Sports training
  • Sports performance
  • Injury prevention

Published Papers (8 papers)

Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

Article
Associations between Physical Status and Training Load in Women Soccer Players
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(19), 10015; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph181910015 - 23 Sep 2021
Viewed by 413
Abstract
This study aimed to analyze the variations of fitness status, as well as test the relationships between accumulated training load and fitness changes in women soccer players. This study followed an observational analytic cohort design. Observations were conducted over 23 consecutive weeks (from [...] Read more.
This study aimed to analyze the variations of fitness status, as well as test the relationships between accumulated training load and fitness changes in women soccer players. This study followed an observational analytic cohort design. Observations were conducted over 23 consecutive weeks (from the preseason to the midseason). Twenty-two women soccer players from the same first Portuguese league team (22.7 ± 5.21 years old) took part in the study. The fitness assessment included anthropometry, hip adductor and abductor strength, vertical jump, change of direction, linear speed, repeated sprint ability, and the Yo-Yo intermittent recovery test. The training load was monitored daily using session rating of perceived exertion (s-RPE). A one-way repeated ANOVA revealed no significant differences for any of the variables analyzed across the three moments of fitness assessments (p > 0.05). The t-test also revealed no differences in the training load across the moments of the season (t = 1.216; p = 0.235). No significant correlations were found between fitness levels and accumulated training load (range: r = 0.023 to −0.447; p > 0.05). This study revealed no differences in the fitness status during the analyzed season, and the fitness status had no significant relationship with accumulated training load. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Women in Sports and Exercise: From Health to Sports Performance)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Quantifying Coordination between Agonist and Antagonist Elbow Muscles during Backhand Crosscourt Shots in Adult Female Squash Players
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(18), 9825; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18189825 - 17 Sep 2021
Viewed by 501
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to quantify the coordination between agonist and antagonist elbow muscles during squash backhand crosscourt shots in adult female players. Ten right-handed, international-level, female squash players participated in the study. The electrical muscle activity of two right elbow [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study was to quantify the coordination between agonist and antagonist elbow muscles during squash backhand crosscourt shots in adult female players. Ten right-handed, international-level, female squash players participated in the study. The electrical muscle activity of two right elbow agonist/antagonist muscles, the biceps brachii and triceps brachii, were recorded using a surface EMG system, and processed using the integrated EMG to calculate a co-activation index (CoI) for the preparation phase, the execution phase, and the follow-through phase. A significant effect of the phases on the CoI was observed. Co-activation was significantly different between the follow-through and the execution phase (45.93 ± 6.00% and 30.14 ± 4.11%, p < 0.001), and also between the preparation and the execution phase (44.74 ± 9.88% and 30.14 ± 4.11%, p < 0.01). No significant difference was found between the preparation and the follow-through phase (p = 0.953). In conclusion, the co-activation of the elbow muscles varies within the squash backhand crosscourt shots. The highest level of co-activation was observed in the preparation phase and the lowest level of co-activation was observed during the execution. The co-activation index could be a useful method for the interpretation of elbow muscle co-activity during a squash backhand crosscourt shot. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Women in Sports and Exercise: From Health to Sports Performance)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
The Impact of Physical Performance on Functional Movement Screen Scores and Asymmetries in Female University Physical Education Students
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(16), 8872; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18168872 - 23 Aug 2021
Viewed by 520
Abstract
Association between physical performance and movement quality remains ambiguous. However, both affect injury risk. Furthermore, existing research rarely regards women. Therefore, this study aimed to assess the impact of physical performance components on FMS scores and asymmetries among young women—University Physical Education Students. [...] Read more.
Association between physical performance and movement quality remains ambiguous. However, both affect injury risk. Furthermore, existing research rarely regards women. Therefore, this study aimed to assess the impact of physical performance components on FMS scores and asymmetries among young women—University Physical Education Students. The study sample was 101 women, 21.72 ± 1.57 years, body mass index 21.52 ± 2.49 [kg/m2]. The FMS test was conducted to assess the movement patterns quality. Physical performance tests were done to evaluate strength, power, flexibility. Flexibility has the strongest correlation with FMS overall (r = 0.25, p = 0.0130) and single tasks scores. A higher level of flexibility and strength of abdominal muscles are associated with fewer asymmetries (r = −0.31, p = 0.0018; r = −0.27, p = 0.0057, respectively). However, the main findings determine that flexibility has the strongest and statistically significant impact on FMS overall (ß = 0.25, p = 0.0106) and asymmetries (ß = −0.30, p = 0.0014). Additionally, a significant effect of abdominal muscles strength on FMS asymmetries were observed (ß = −0.29, p = 0.0027). Flexibility and abdominal muscles strength have the most decisive impact on movement patterns quality. These results suggest possibilities for shaping FMS scores in young women. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Women in Sports and Exercise: From Health to Sports Performance)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Impact of Rowing Training on Quality of Life and Physical Activity Levels in Female Breast Cancer Survivors
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(13), 7188; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18137188 - 05 Jul 2021
Viewed by 683
Abstract
The aim of this longitudinal study was to determine whether a rowing training program improved the quality of life and the physical activity levels in female breast cancer survivors (n = 28) (stage 1–4.54%; stage 2–36.36%; stage 3–54.54%; and stage 4–4.54%), diagnosed [...] Read more.
The aim of this longitudinal study was to determine whether a rowing training program improved the quality of life and the physical activity levels in female breast cancer survivors (n = 28) (stage 1–4.54%; stage 2–36.36%; stage 3–54.54%; and stage 4–4.54%), diagnosed 4.68 ± 3.00 years previously, who had undergone a subsequent intervention (preservation 56.53% and total mastectomy 43.47%) and had a current mean age of 52.30 ± 3.78 years. The participants (n = 28) engaged in a 12-week training program, each week comprising three sessions and each session lasting 60–90 min. The short form of the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ-SF) and the Short Form 36 Health Survey (SF-36) were also administered. The results showed statistically significant improvements in levels of physical activity and in the dimensions of quality of life. We can conclude that a 12-week rowing training program tailored to women who have had breast cancer increases physical activity levels, leading to improved health status and quality of life. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Women in Sports and Exercise: From Health to Sports Performance)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Contribution of Solid Food to Achieve Individual Nutritional Requirement during a Continuous 438 km Mountain Ultramarathon in Female Athlete
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(10), 5153; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18105153 - 13 May 2021
Viewed by 814
Abstract
Background: Races and competitions over 100 miles have recently increased. Limited information exists about the effect of multiday continuous endurance exercise on blood glucose control and appropriate intake of food and drink in a female athlete. The present study aimed to examine the [...] Read more.
Background: Races and competitions over 100 miles have recently increased. Limited information exists about the effect of multiday continuous endurance exercise on blood glucose control and appropriate intake of food and drink in a female athlete. The present study aimed to examine the variation of blood glucose control and its relationship with nutritional intake and running performance in a professional female athlete during a 155.7 h ultramarathon race with little sleep. Methods: We divided the mountain course of 438 km into 33 segments by timing gates and continuously monitored the participant’s glucose profile throughout the ultramarathon. The running speed in each segment was standardized to the scheduled required time-based on three trial runs. Concurrently, the accompanying runners recorded the participant’s food and drink intake. Nutrient, energy, and water intake were then calculated. Results: Throughout the ultramarathon of 155.7 h, including 16.0 h of rest and sleep, diurnal variation had almost disappeared with the overall increase in blood glucose levels (25–30 mg/dL) compared with that during resting (p < 0.0001). Plasma total protein and triglyceride levels were decreased after the ultramarathon. The intake of protein and fat directly or indirectly contributed to maintaining blood glucose levels and running speed as substrates for gluconeogenesis or as alternative sources of energy when the carbohydrate intake was at a lower recommended limit. The higher amounts of nutrient intakes from solid foods correlated with a higher running pace compared with those from liquids and gels to supply carbohydrates, protein, and fat. Conclusion: Carbohydrate, protein, and fat intake from solid foods contributed to maintaining a fast pace with a steady, mild rise in blood glucose levels compared with liquids and gels when female runner completed a multiday continuous ultramarathon with little sleep. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Women in Sports and Exercise: From Health to Sports Performance)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Effects of the Menstrual Cycle on Jumping, Sprinting and Force-Velocity Profiling in Resistance-Trained Women: A Preliminary Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(9), 4830; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18094830 - 30 Apr 2021
Viewed by 1154
Abstract
The aim of this study was to examine the effects of the menstrual cycle on vertical jumping, sprint performance and force-velocity profiling in resistance-trained women. A group of resistance-trained eumenorrheic women (n = 9) were tested in three phases over the menstrual [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to examine the effects of the menstrual cycle on vertical jumping, sprint performance and force-velocity profiling in resistance-trained women. A group of resistance-trained eumenorrheic women (n = 9) were tested in three phases over the menstrual cycle: bleeding phase, follicular phase, and luteal phase (i.e., days 1–3, 7–10, and 19–21 of the cycle, respectively). Each testing phase consisted of a battery of jumping tests (i.e., squat jump [SJ], countermovement jump [CMJ], drop jump from a 30 cm box [DJ30], and the reactive strength index) and 30 m sprint running test. Two different applications for smartphone (My Jump 2 and My Sprint) were used to record the jumping and sprinting trials, respectively, at high speed (240 fps). The repeated measures ANOVA reported no significant differences (p ≥ 0.05, ES < 0.25) in CMJ, DJ30, reactive strength index and sprint times between the different phases of the menstrual cycle. A greater SJ height performance was observed during the follicular phase compared to the bleeding phase (p = 0.033, ES = −0.22). No differences (p ≥ 0.05, ES < 0.45) were found in the CMJ and sprint force-velocity profile over the different phases of the menstrual cycle. Vertical jump, sprint performance and the force-velocity profiling remain constant in trained women, regardless of the phase of the menstrual cycle. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Women in Sports and Exercise: From Health to Sports Performance)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Exploring the Determinants of Repeated-Sprint Ability in Adult Women Soccer Players
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(9), 4595; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18094595 - 26 Apr 2021
Viewed by 934
Abstract
This study aimed to explore the main determinants of repeated-sprint ability (RSA) in women soccer players considering aerobic capacity, sprinting performance, change-of-direction, vertical height jump, and hip adductor/abductor isometric strength. Twenty-two women soccer players from the same team participating in the first Portuguese [...] Read more.
This study aimed to explore the main determinants of repeated-sprint ability (RSA) in women soccer players considering aerobic capacity, sprinting performance, change-of-direction, vertical height jump, and hip adductor/abductor isometric strength. Twenty-two women soccer players from the same team participating in the first Portuguese league were observed. Fitness assessments were performed three times during a 22-week cohort period. The following assessments were made: (i) hip abductor and adductor strength, (ii) squat and countermovement jump (height), (iii) change-of-direction test, (iv) linear sprinting at 10- and 30-m, (v) RSA test, and (vi) Yo-Yo intermittent recovery test level 1. Positive moderate correlations were found between peak minimum RSA and adductor and abductor strength (r = 0.51, p < 0.02 and r = 0.54, p < 0.01, respectively). Positive moderate correlations were also found between peak maximum RSA and adductor and abductor strength (r = 0.55, p < 0.02 and r = 0.46, p < 0.01, respectively). Lastly, a moderate negative correlation was found between fatigue index in RSA and YYIR1 test performance (r = −0.62, p < 0.004). In conclusion, abductor and adductor isometric strength-based coadjutant training programs, together with a high degree of aerobic endurance, may be suitable for inducing RSA in female soccer players. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Women in Sports and Exercise: From Health to Sports Performance)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Training Habits of Eumenorrheic Active Women during the Different Phases of Their Menstrual Cycle: A Descriptive Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(7), 3662; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18073662 - 01 Apr 2021
Viewed by 1003
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to examine the training habits of eumenorrheic active women during their menstrual cycle (MC), and its perceived influence on physical performance regarding their athletic level. A group of 1250 sportswomen filled in a questionnaire referring to demographic [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study was to examine the training habits of eumenorrheic active women during their menstrual cycle (MC), and its perceived influence on physical performance regarding their athletic level. A group of 1250 sportswomen filled in a questionnaire referring to demographic information, athletic performance and MC-related training habits. Of the participants, 81% reported having a stable duration of MC, with most of them (57%) lasting 26–30 days. Concerning MC-related training habits, 79% indicated that their MC affects athletic performance, although 71% did not consider their MC in their training program, with no differences or modifications in training volume or in training intensity for low-level athletes (LLA) and high-level athletes (HLA) with hormonal contraceptive (HC) use. However, LLA with a normal MC adapted their training habits more, compared with HLA, also stopping their training (47.1% vs. 16.1%, respectively). Thus, different training strategies should be designed for HLA and LLA with a normal MC, but this is not so necessary for HLA and LLA who use HC. To sum up, training adaptations should be individually designed according to the training level and use or non-use of HC, always taking into account the pain suffered during the menstrual phase in most of the athletes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Women in Sports and Exercise: From Health to Sports Performance)
Back to TopTop