Editor's Choice Articles

Editor’s Choice articles are based on recommendations by the scientific editors of MDPI journals from around the world. Editors select a small number of articles recently published in the journal that they believe will be particularly interesting to authors, or important in this field. The aim is to provide a snapshot of some of the most exciting work published in the various research areas of the journal.

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Editorial

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Editorial
Strategies and Solutions for Team Sports Athletes in Isolation due to COVID-19
Sports 2020, 8(4), 56; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/sports8040056 - 24 Apr 2020
Cited by 66
Abstract
In December of 2019, there was an outbreak of a severe acute respiratory syndrome caused by the Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2 or COVID-19) in China. The virus rapidly spread into the whole World causing an unprecedented pandemic and forcing governments to impose a global [...] Read more.
In December of 2019, there was an outbreak of a severe acute respiratory syndrome caused by the Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2 or COVID-19) in China. The virus rapidly spread into the whole World causing an unprecedented pandemic and forcing governments to impose a global quarantine, entering an extreme unknown situation. The organizational consequences of quarantine/isolation are: absence of organized training and competition, lack of communication among athletes and coaches, inability to move freely, lack of adequate sunlight exposure, inappropriate training conditions. Based on the current scientific, we strongly recommend encouraging the athlete to reset their mindset to understand quarantine as an opportunity for development, organizing appropriate guidance, educating and encourage athletes to apply appropriate preventive behavior and hygiene measures to promote immunity and ensuring good living isolation conditions. The athlete’s living space should be equipped with cardio and resistance training equipment (portable bicycle or rowing ergometer). Some forms of body mass resistance circuit-based training could promote aerobic adaptation. Sports skills training should be organized based on the athlete’s needs. Personalized conditioning training should be carried out with emphasis on neuromuscular performance. Athletes should also be educated about nutrition (Vitamin D and proteins) and hydration. Strategies should be developed to control body composition. Mental fatigue should be anticipated and mental controlled. Adequate methods of recovery should be provided. Daily monitoring should be established. This is an ideal situation in which to rethink personal life, understanding the situation, that can be promoted in these difficult times that affect practically the whole world. Full article
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Research

Jump to: Editorial, Review, Other

Article
“Is It Overtraining or Just Work Ethic?”: Coaches’ Perceptions of Overtraining in High-Performance Strength Sports
Sports 2021, 9(6), 85; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/sports9060085 - 07 Jun 2021
Abstract
Optimal physical performance is achieved through the careful manipulation of training and recovery. Short-term increases in training demand can induce functional overreaching (FOR) that can lead to improved physical capabilities, whereas nonfunctional overreaching (NFOR) or the overtraining syndrome (OTS) occur when high training-demand [...] Read more.
Optimal physical performance is achieved through the careful manipulation of training and recovery. Short-term increases in training demand can induce functional overreaching (FOR) that can lead to improved physical capabilities, whereas nonfunctional overreaching (NFOR) or the overtraining syndrome (OTS) occur when high training-demand is applied for extensive periods with limited recovery. To date, little is known about the OTS in strength sports, particularly from the perspective of the strength sport coach. Fourteen high-performance strength sport coaches from a range of strength sports (weightlifting; n = 5, powerlifting; n = 4, sprinting; n = 2, throws; n = 2, jumps; n = 1) participated in semistructured interviews (mean duration 57; SD = 10 min) to discuss their experiences of the OTS. Reflexive thematic analysis resulted in the identification of four higher order themes: definitions, symptoms, recovery and experiences and observations. Additional subthemes were created to facilitate organisation and presentation of data, and to aid both cohesiveness of reporting and publicising of results. Participants provided varied and sometimes dichotomous perceptions of the OTS and proposed a multifactorial profile of diagnostic symptoms. Prevalence of OTS within strength sports was considered low, with the majority of participants not observing or experiencing long-term reductions in performance with their athletes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Perspectives in Resistance Training)
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Article
Maximum Strength Benchmarks for Difficult Static Elements on Rings in Male Elite Gymnastics
Sports 2021, 9(6), 78; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/sports9060078 - 28 May 2021
Abstract
On rings, in men’s artistic gymnastics, the general strength requirements for important static elements remain elusive. Therefore, the aim was to describe the relationship between a new conditioning strength test and a maximum strength test of static elements on rings in order to [...] Read more.
On rings, in men’s artistic gymnastics, the general strength requirements for important static elements remain elusive. Therefore, the aim was to describe the relationship between a new conditioning strength test and a maximum strength test of static elements on rings in order to determine the minimal strength level (benchmarks) required to maintain these elements with one’s own body weight. Nineteen elite gymnasts performed a concentric (1RM isoinertial) and eccentric (isokinetic: 0.1 m/s) conditioning strength test for swallow/support scale (supine position) and inverted cross (seated position) on a computer-controlled device and a maximum strength test maintaining these elements for 5 s on rings with counterweight or additional weight. High correlation coefficients were found between the conditioning maximum strength for swallow/support scale (r: 0.65 to 0.92; p < 0.05) and inverted cross (r: 0.62 to 0.69; p > 0.05) and the maximum strength of the elements on rings. Strength benchmarks varied between 56.66% (inverted cross concentric) and 94.10% (swallow eccentric) of body weight. Differences in biomechanical characteristics and technical requirements of strength elements on rings may (inter alia) explain the differences between correlations. Benchmarks of conditioning strength may help coaches and athletes systematize the training of strength elements on rings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Strength and Conditioning and Performance Monitoring in Sports)
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Article
Trait and Ability Emotional Intelligence and Its Impact on Sports Performance of Athletes
Sports 2021, 9(5), 60; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/sports9050060 - 10 May 2021
Abstract
Emotional intelligence (EI) is considered a determinant of sports performance. Two opposing perspectives have been discussed in the theoretical discourse on EI: EI as an ability versus EI as a trait, both widely differing in content and method of assessment. Previous applied sport [...] Read more.
Emotional intelligence (EI) is considered a determinant of sports performance. Two opposing perspectives have been discussed in the theoretical discourse on EI: EI as an ability versus EI as a trait, both widely differing in content and method of assessment. Previous applied sport psychology research is characterized by a heterogeneous use of different conceptualizations and measurements of EI. However, evidence for the superiority of an EI concept does not exist. This study directly compares the ability and trait EI concepts in the relationship with athletic performance. An online survey was conducted (response rate = 19%). Participants completed the Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test, the Trait Emotional Intelligence Questionnaire Short Form, a list of questions about biographical information as well as information related to sports performance and sport participation. We used regression analyses and controlled type of sports to investigate how sports performance is influenced by EI. Trait EI positively predicted self-assessment of athletes’ performance (B = 1.02; p < 0.01) whereby ability EI did not predict any outcome of sports performance. The effect of trait EI was independent of the ability EI. Overall, the result indicates some evidence for the superiority of the trait EI in applied sports psychology. Full article
Article
Differences in Kinetics during One- and Two-Leg Hang Power Clean
Sports 2021, 9(4), 45; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/sports9040045 - 27 Mar 2021
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to quantify the kinetics per leg during the one- and two-leg hang power clean using various loads. Nine male track and field athletes performed the one- and two-leg hang power clean on a force platform. The estimated [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study was to quantify the kinetics per leg during the one- and two-leg hang power clean using various loads. Nine male track and field athletes performed the one- and two-leg hang power clean on a force platform. The estimated one-repetition maximum was used for the one-leg hang power clean (OHPC), and the one-repetition maximum was used for the two-leg hang power clean (THPC). The loads used were 30%, 60%, and 90% during both trials. We calculated peak power, peak force, and peak rate of force development during the pull phase from the force-time data. The peak power and the peak force for all loads during the OHPC were statistically greater than during the THPC. The peak rates of force development at 60% and 90% during the OHPC were statistically greater than during the THPC. Additionally, the peak power at 90% was significantly less than at 60% during the THPC. These findings suggest that the OHPC at loads of 60% and 90% is a weightlifting exercise that exhibits greater explosive force and power development characteristics than the THPC. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Strength and Conditioning and Biomechanics for Sports)
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Article
Predictive Factors of Recovery after an Acute Lateral Ankle Sprain: A Longitudinal Study
Sports 2021, 9(3), 41; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/sports9030041 - 18 Mar 2021
Abstract
A prominent feature of ankle sprains is their variable clinical course. The difficulty of providing a reliable early prognosis may be responsible for the substantial rate of poor outcomes after an ankle sprain. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the [...] Read more.
A prominent feature of ankle sprains is their variable clinical course. The difficulty of providing a reliable early prognosis may be responsible for the substantial rate of poor outcomes after an ankle sprain. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the prognostic value of objective clinical measures, pain, and functional scores for ankle sprain recovery. Fifty-two participants suffering from lateral ankle sprain were included. Sprain status was assessed four weeks following injury and included evaluations of ankle range of motion, strength, function, and pain. Seven months following injury, a second assessment classified the patients into recovered and non-recovered groups using ankle ability measures. Following a predictor pre-selection procedure, logistic regressions evaluated the association between the four-week predictors and the seven-month recovery status. Twenty-seven participants (52%) fully recovered and 25 did not (48%). The results of the logistic regressions showed that walking pain was negatively associated with the probability of recovering at seven months (odds ratio: 0.71, 95% CI: 0.53–0.95). Pain four weeks after ankle sprain had relevant predictive value for long-term recovery. Special attention should be paid to patients reporting persistent pain while walking four weeks following sprain to reduce the risk of chronicity. Full article
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Article
The Intake of Kiwifruits Improve the Potential Antioxidant Capacity in Male Middle- and Long-Distance Runners Routinely Exposed to Oxidative Stress in Japan
Sports 2021, 9(3), 37; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/sports9030037 - 03 Mar 2021
Abstract
Oxidation damages cells and muscles, and thus, causes injuries and fatigue, which negatively affect the conditioning of athletes. Thus, in this study, we aimed to investigate the effects of high-antioxidant fruits (kiwifruit) intake on oxidative stress level (d-ROMs) and antioxidant activity (BAP) in [...] Read more.
Oxidation damages cells and muscles, and thus, causes injuries and fatigue, which negatively affect the conditioning of athletes. Thus, in this study, we aimed to investigate the effects of high-antioxidant fruits (kiwifruit) intake on oxidative stress level (d-ROMs) and antioxidant activity (BAP) in male middle- and long-distance runners routinely exposed to oxidative stress. This study was performed from May to July 2017 (Study 1) and October to December 2018 (Study 2). The subjects in Study 1 were 30 male runners, of which 15 consumed two yellow kiwifruits (Zespri® SunGold Kiwifruit) per day for one month of the survey period (Intake group). The subjects of Study 2 were 20 male runners who had high d-ROMs from preliminary testing. These runners consumed two yellow kiwifruits (Zespri® SunGold Kiwifruit) per day for two months. d-ROMs and BAP were measured using a free radical analyzer. In study 1, the d-ROMs decreased while the potential antioxidant capacity (BAP/d-ROMs ratio) increased in the Intake group. In study 2, BAP/d-ROMs ratio was higher after one and two months compared to that at pre-intervention. Study findings suggested that consumption of kiwifruits may reduce oxidative stress levels and increase antioxidant activity, resulting in improved potential antioxidant capacity. Full article
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Article
Recovery from Different High-Intensity Interval Training Protocols: Comparing Well-Trained Women and Men
Sports 2021, 9(3), 34; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/sports9030034 - 02 Mar 2021
Cited by 1
Abstract
Due to physiological and anatomical sex differences, there are variations in the training response, and the recovery periods following exercise may be different. High-intensity interval training (HIIT) protocols are well-suited to differentially investigate the course of recovery. This study was conducted to determine [...] Read more.
Due to physiological and anatomical sex differences, there are variations in the training response, and the recovery periods following exercise may be different. High-intensity interval training (HIIT) protocols are well-suited to differentially investigate the course of recovery. This study was conducted to determine sex-specific differences in the recovery following HIIT intervals interspersed with recovery phases of different lengths. Methods: Well-trained cyclists and triathletes (n = 11 females, n = 11 males) participated in this study. There were no significant sex differences in maximal heart rate (HR), relative peak power to body mass and fat-free mass, training volume, and VO2max-percentiles (females: 91.8 ± 5.5 %, males: 94.6 ± 5.4 %). A 30 s Wingate test was performed four times, separated by different active recovery periods (1, 3, or 10 min). Lactate, HR, oxygen uptake, and subjective rating of exertion and recovery were determined. Results: For the recovery time of three and ten minutes, men showed significantly higher lactate concentrations (p = 0.04, p = 0.004). Contrary, HR recovery and subjective recovery were significant slower in women than in men. Conclusion: During HIIT, women may be more resistant to fatigue and have a greater ability to recover metabolically, but have a slower HR and subjective recovery. Full article
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Article
Impact of Different Exercise Modalities on the Human Gut Microbiome
Sports 2021, 9(2), 14; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/sports9020014 - 21 Jan 2021
Cited by 5
Abstract
In this study we examined changes to the human gut microbiome resulting from an eight-week intervention of either cardiorespiratory exercise (CRE) or resistance training exercise (RTE). Twenty-eight subjects (21 F; aged 18–26) were recruited for our CRE study and 28 subjects (17 F; [...] Read more.
In this study we examined changes to the human gut microbiome resulting from an eight-week intervention of either cardiorespiratory exercise (CRE) or resistance training exercise (RTE). Twenty-eight subjects (21 F; aged 18–26) were recruited for our CRE study and 28 subjects (17 F; aged 18–33) were recruited for our RTE study. Fecal samples for gut microbiome profiling were collected twice weekly during the pre-intervention phase (three weeks), intervention phase (eight weeks), and post-intervention phase (three weeks). Pre/post VO2max, three repetition maximum (3RM), and body composition measurements were conducted. Heart rate ranges for CRE were determined by subjects’ initial VO2max test. RTE weight ranges were established by subjects’ initial 3RM testing for squat, bench press, and bent-over row. Gut microbiota were profiled using 16S rRNA gene sequencing. Microbiome sequence data were analyzed with QIIME 2. CRE resulted in initial changes to the gut microbiome which were not sustained through or after the intervention period, while RTE resulted in no detectable changes to the gut microbiota. For both CRE and RTE, we observe some evidence that the baseline microbiome composition may be predictive of exercise gains. This work suggests that the human gut microbiome can change in response to a new exercise program, but the type of exercise likely impacts whether a change occurs. The changes observed in our CRE intervention resemble a disturbance to the microbiome, where an initial shift is observed followed by a return to the baseline state. More work is needed to understand how sustained changes to the microbiome occur, resulting in differences that have been reported in cross sectional studies of athletes and non-athletes. Full article
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Article
Identifying Reliable and Relatable Force–Time Metrics in Athletes—Considerations for the Isometric Mid-Thigh Pull and Countermovement Jump
Sports 2021, 9(1), 4; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/sports9010004 - 31 Dec 2020
Cited by 2
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to evaluate intrasession reliability of countermovement jump (CMJ) and isometric mid-thigh pull (IMTP) force–time characteristics, as well as relationships between CMJ and IMTP metrics. Division I sport and club athletes (n = 112) completed two maximal [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study was to evaluate intrasession reliability of countermovement jump (CMJ) and isometric mid-thigh pull (IMTP) force–time characteristics, as well as relationships between CMJ and IMTP metrics. Division I sport and club athletes (n = 112) completed two maximal effort CMJ and IMTP trials, in that order, on force plates. Relative and absolute reliability were assessed using intraclass correlation coefficients (ICCs) > 0.80 and coefficients of variation (CVs) < 10%. Intrasession reliability was acceptable for the majority of the CMJ force–time metrics except for concentric rate of force development (RFD), eccentric impulse and RFD, and lower limb stiffness. The IMTP’s time to peak force, instantaneous force at 150 ms, instantaneous net force, and RFD measures were not reliable. Statistically significant weak to moderate relationships (r = 0.20–0.46) existed between allometrically scaled CMJ and IMTP metrics, with the exception of CMJ eccentric mean power not being related with IMTP performances. A majority of CMJ and IMTP metrics met acceptable reliability standards, except RFD measures which should be used with caution. Provided CMJs and IMTPs are indicative of distinct physical fitness capabilities, it is suggested to monitor athlete performance in both tests via changes in those variables that demonstrate the greatest degree of reliability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Performance of Collegiate or College-Aged Athletes)
Article
Use, Practices and Attitudes of Sports Nutrition and Strength and Conditioning Practitioners towards Tart Cherry Supplementation
Sports 2021, 9(1), 2; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/sports9010002 - 22 Dec 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
Tart cherry (TC) supplementation has been shown to accelerate post-exercise recovery, enhance endurance performance and improve sleep duration and quality. This study aimed to identify the use, practices and attitudes of sports nutrition and strength and conditioning practitioners towards tart cherry supplementation. Thirty-five [...] Read more.
Tart cherry (TC) supplementation has been shown to accelerate post-exercise recovery, enhance endurance performance and improve sleep duration and quality. This study aimed to identify the use, practices and attitudes of sports nutrition and strength and conditioning practitioners towards tart cherry supplementation. Thirty-five practitioners anonymously completed an online survey investigating their use, practices and attitudes towards tart cherry supplements. Forty-six percent of the responders were currently recommending TC supplements, 11% had previously recommended TC supplements and 26% have not previously recommended TC supplements but were planning on doing so in the future. Of those recommending TC, 50% recommended or were planning on recommending TC supplements to enhance exercise recovery and 26% to improve sleep duration and quality. Acute supplementation and daily use during multi-day competition or demanding training blocks with a 2–3-day pre-load were the most reported supplementation recommendations (28% and 18%, respectively). Fifty-two percent of responders indicated uncertainty about the daily polyphenol dose to recommend as part of a TC supplementation protocol. Despite the high use and interest from sports nutrition and strength and conditioning practitioners in TC supplements, their practices did not align with the protocols found to be effective within the literature. Full article
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Article
Effect of Two Strength Training Models on Muscle Power and Strength in Elite Women’s Football Players
Sports 2020, 8(4), 42; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/sports8040042 - 30 Mar 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
This study evaluates changes in power and strength after implementing two different models of 9-week strength training in elite women’s football players. A group of 13 players (age 20.2 ± 3.3 years, body mass 57.2 ± 3.7 kg, height 163.6 ± 5.3 cm, [...] Read more.
This study evaluates changes in power and strength after implementing two different models of 9-week strength training in elite women’s football players. A group of 13 players (age 20.2 ± 3.3 years, body mass 57.2 ± 3.7 kg, height 163.6 ± 5.3 cm, VO2max 45.2 ± ml/min) underwent either a complex (the intermittent load type) or combined (the maximal strength and dynamic method) model of training. The training load was tailored to each athlete. Results showed that the complex model of training improved power (10 W/kg, p = 0.006) and height of vertical jump (5.3 cm, p = 0.001), weight of 1 Repeat Maximum (1RM) which was (5.8 kg, p = 0.015), power and speed in the acceleration phase of barbell half squats (BHS) at weights from 20 to 60 kg, and the number of repetitions in BHS (10.3%, p = 0.012). The combined model of training improved the time of shuttle run (0.44 s, p = 0.000), weight of 1RM in BHS (9.6kg, p = 0.000) and BP (4 kg, p = 0.000), power in the acceleration phase of BHS at weights from 50 to 60 kg, the number of repetitions in BP (14.3%, p = 0.000), BHS (9.4%, p = 0.002), barbell bench pulls (11.9%, p = 0.002) and sit-ups (7.7%, p = 0.001). These findings indicate that the complex model of training improves explosive abilities, whereas the combined model is effective for developing strength at weights close to players’ 1RM and for repeatedly overcoming resistance. Therefore, coaches should choose the training model based on the needs of individual players. Full article
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Article
Relationships between Change of Direction, Sprint, Jump, and Squat Power Performance
Sports 2020, 8(3), 38; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports8030038 - 19 Mar 2020
Cited by 12
Abstract
The aim of the study was to investigate the relationships between countermovement jump (CMJ) height and inertial power in squat and sprint variables with change of direction (COD) performance. Fifty young healthy active males participated in the study. To determine these relationships, we [...] Read more.
The aim of the study was to investigate the relationships between countermovement jump (CMJ) height and inertial power in squat and sprint variables with change of direction (COD) performance. Fifty young healthy active males participated in the study. To determine these relationships, we carried out a 10-m linear sprint test (T 10 m), vertical jump tests (CMJ and CMJ Abalakov), an assessment of power relative to bodyweight in a flywheel squat (Pbw), and 10-m COD sprints with two different turn types (COD-90° and COD-180°). T10 m showed statistically large and moderate correlations with T10 m COD-180° (r = 0.55) and T10-m COD-90° (r = 0.41), respectively. Moderate to large correlations between jumping height, linear sprinting, and sprints with COD were found (r = −0.43 to r = −0.59), and there were unclear correlations between jumping height and the loss of speed caused by executing COD (DEC-COD). Pbw showed a large correlation with CMJ Abalakov and CMJ jump height (r = 0.65 and r = 0.57, respectively), and a moderate and large correlation with T 10 m, T 10 m COD-180°, and T10 m COD-90° (r = −0.33, r = −0.38, and r = −0.54, respectively). Despite the existence of substantial correlations between variables, straight linear sprinting, jumping performance, CODs and squat power were, for the most part, separate motor qualities (R2 from 14% to 34%), suggesting that all of them should be specifically assessed and trained. Full article
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Article
Injuries in Novice Participants during an Eight-Week Start up CrossFit Program—A Prospective Cohort Study
Sports 2020, 8(2), 21; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/sports8020021 - 13 Feb 2020
Cited by 9
Abstract
Background: Previously published studies have reported injury rates ranging from 0.74 to 3.3 per 1000 h of exposure in CrossFit participants. However, the existing body of evidence is mainly based on experienced participants; therefore, the injury incidence and injury rate within novice CrossFit [...] Read more.
Background: Previously published studies have reported injury rates ranging from 0.74 to 3.3 per 1000 h of exposure in CrossFit participants. However, the existing body of evidence is mainly based on experienced participants; therefore, the injury incidence and injury rate within novice CrossFit participants remains relatively unknown. The aim of this study wasto investigate the injury incidence and injury rate among novice participants in an eight-week CrossFit program. Methods: This survey-based prospective cohort study included CrossFit Copenhagen’s novice members who began an eight-week, free-of-charge membership period. A questionnaire was distributed at baseline and at eight-week follow-up. Information about exposure was retrieved through the online booking system. Injury incidence, defined as proportion of participants who sustained an injury, and injury rates per 1000 h of exposure were calculated. Results: Among the 168 included participants, a total of 28 injuries (14.9%) were reported. The number of injured participants and total exposure time resulted in an injury rate per 1000 h of exposure of 9.5. Conclusions: Compared to the existing body of evidence, the findings in this study indicate that the risk of injuries is higher among novice participants than among experienced CrossFit participants. Full article
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Article
Effects of Creatine Supplementation on Lower-Limb Muscle Endurance Following an Acute Bout of Aerobic Exercise in Young Men
Sports 2020, 8(2), 12; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/sports8020012 - 21 Jan 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
We aimed to determine whether creatine supplementation influences lower-limb muscle endurance following an acute bout of aerobic exercise (AE) in young healthy men. Using a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover design, 11 men (26.5 ± 6.2 years, body mass index 26.6 ± 2.1 kg/m [...] Read more.
We aimed to determine whether creatine supplementation influences lower-limb muscle endurance following an acute bout of aerobic exercise (AE) in young healthy men. Using a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover design, 11 men (26.5 ± 6.2 years, body mass index 26.6 ± 2.1 kg/m2),with 12 months of experience in strength training (three times/week) and AE (two times/week) were randomized to receive creatine (20 g/day plus 20 g/day maltodextrin) and placebo (40 g/day maltodextrin) for 7 days, separated by a washout period of 14 days, before performing an acute bout of AE (30 min on treadmill at 80% baseline maximum velocity) which was followed by four sets of bilateral leg extension endurance exercise using a 10-repetition maximum protocol (10 RM)). There was a significant decrease in the number of repetitions performed in the third (Placebo: −20% vs. Creatine: −22%) and fourth set (Placebo: −22% vs. Creatine: −28%) compared with the first set (p < 0.05), with no differences between creatine and placebo. Additionally, no differences were observed between creatine and placebo for the total number of repetitions performed across all four sets (Placebo: 33.9 ± 7.0 vs. Creatine: 34.0 ± 6.9 repetitions, p = 0.97), nor for total work volume (Placebo: 3030.5 ± 1068.2 vs. Creatine: 3039.8 ± 1087.7 kg, p = 0.98). Short-term creatine supplementation has no effect on lower-limb muscle endurance following an acute bout of aerobic exercise in trained young men. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition Intervention in Exercise)
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Article
Maximal Heart Rate for Swimmers
Sports 2019, 7(11), 235; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/sports7110235 - 12 Nov 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
The main purpose of this study was to identify whether a different protocol to achieve maximal heart rate should be used in sprinters when compared to middle-distance swimmers. As incorporating running training into swim training is gaining increased popularity, a secondary aim was [...] Read more.
The main purpose of this study was to identify whether a different protocol to achieve maximal heart rate should be used in sprinters when compared to middle-distance swimmers. As incorporating running training into swim training is gaining increased popularity, a secondary aim was to determine the difference in maximal heart rate between front crawl swimming and running among elite swimmers. Twelve elite swimmers (4 female and 8 male, 7 sprinters and 5 middle-distance, age 18.8 years and body mass index 22.9 kg/m2) swam three different maximal heart rate protocols using a 50 m, 100 m and 200 m step-test protocol followed by a maximal heart rate test in running. There were no differences in maximal heart rate between sprinters and middle-distance swimmers in each of the swimming protocols or between land and water (all p ≥ 0.05). There were no significant differences in maximal heart rate beats-per-minute (bpm) between the 200 m (mean ± SD; 192.0 ± 6.9 bpm), 100 m (190.8 ± 8.3 bpm) or 50 m protocol (191.9 ± 8.4 bpm). Maximal heart rate was 6.7 ± 5.3 bpm lower for swimming compared to running (199.9 ± 8.9 bpm for running; p = 0.015). We conclude that all reported step-test protocols were suitable for achieving maximal heart rate during front crawl swimming and suggest that no separate protocol is needed for swimmers specialized on sprint or middle-distance. Further, we suggest conducting sport-specific maximal heart rate tests for different sports that are targeted to improve the aerobic capacity among the elite swimmers of today. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Monitoring Physiological Adaptation to Physical Training)
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Article
A Comparison of Machine versus Free-Weight Squats for the Enhancement of Lower-Body Power, Speed, and Change-of-Direction Ability during an Initial Training Phase of Recreationally-Active Women
Sports 2019, 7(10), 215; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/sports7100215 - 30 Sep 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to examine differences between a free-weight squat (FWS) and machine squat (MS) during an initial resistance training phase for augmentation of performance tests in recreationally active women. Twenty-seven women (22.7 ± 3.5 years) were block-randomized to three [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study was to examine differences between a free-weight squat (FWS) and machine squat (MS) during an initial resistance training phase for augmentation of performance tests in recreationally active women. Twenty-seven women (22.7 ± 3.5 years) were block-randomized to three groups: FWS, MS, or control (CON) and completed pre- and post-testing sessions consisting of the squat one-repetition maximum (1-RM), vertical jump, pro-agility test, zig-zag change-of-direction (COD) test, and 30-meter sprint. Participants trained two sessions per week for six weeks by performing jumping, sprinting, and COD drills followed by FWS, MS, or no squats (CON). Peak jump power increased for CON (p = 0.03) and MS (p < 0.01) groups. Change in peak jump power was greater for the MS group compared with the FWS group (p = 0.05). Average jump power increased for the MS group (p < 0.01). Change in average jump power was greater for the MS group compared with the CON group (p = 0.04). Vertical jump height, pro-agility, 30-meter sprint, and zig-zag COD tests improved over time (p < 0.01), with no difference between groups (p > 0.05). Machine squat training maximized jumping power compared with FWS training and CON. Both resistance training groups and the CON group improved equally in the pro-agility, 30-meter sprint, and zig-zag COD tests. Machine squat training may provide performance-enhancing benefits of equal or superior value to those obtained with free-weight squat training in recreationally active women during an initial training mesocycle. These findings also stress the importance of task-specific training in this population of untrained women, as the control group improved in terms of performance to the same degree as both resistance training groups. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physiological Responses and Adaptations in Resistance Exercise)
Article
Effects of Bio-Banding upon Physical and Technical Performance during Soccer Competition: A Preliminary Analysis
Sports 2019, 7(8), 193; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/sports7080193 - 14 Aug 2019
Cited by 17
Abstract
Bio-banded competition has been introduced to address the variation in physical maturity within soccer. To date, no research has investigated the effect of bio-banded competition relative to chronological competition. The current study investigated the effect of bio-banding upon physical and technical performance in [...] Read more.
Bio-banded competition has been introduced to address the variation in physical maturity within soccer. To date, no research has investigated the effect of bio-banded competition relative to chronological competition. The current study investigated the effect of bio-banding upon physical and technical performance in elite youth soccer athletes. Twenty-five male soccer athletes (11–15 years) from an English Premier League soccer academy participated in bio-banded and chronological competition, with physical and technical performance data collected for each athlete. Athletes were between 85–90% of predicted adult stature, and sub-divided into early, on-time and late developers. For early developers, significantly more short passes, significantly less dribbles and a higher rating of perceived exertion (RPE) were evident during bio-banded competition compared to chronological competition (p < 0.05). Significantly more short passes and dribbles, and significantly fewer long passes were seen for on-time developers during bio-banded competition (p < 0.05). For late developers, significantly more tackles, and significantly fewer long passes were evident during bio-banded competition (p < 0.05). No significant differences in physical performance were identified between competition formats. Results demonstrated that bio-banded competition changed the technical demand placed upon athletes compared to chronological competition, without reducing the physical demands. Bio-banded competition can be prescribed to athletes of differing maturation groups dependent upon their specific developmental needs. Full article
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Article
The Importance of Fundamental Motor Skills in Identifying Differences in Performance Levels of U10 Soccer Players
Sports 2019, 7(7), 178; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/sports7070178 - 22 Jul 2019
Cited by 8
Abstract
This study examined the differences in fundamental motor skills (FMSs) and specific conditioning capacities (SCCs) between a coach’s classification of first team (FT) and second team (ST) U10 soccer players and examined the most important qualities based on how the coach differentiates them. [...] Read more.
This study examined the differences in fundamental motor skills (FMSs) and specific conditioning capacities (SCCs) between a coach’s classification of first team (FT) and second team (ST) U10 soccer players and examined the most important qualities based on how the coach differentiates them. The FT (n = 12; Mage = 9.72 ± 0.41) and ST (n = 11; Mage = 9.57 ± 0.41) soccer players were assessed using the Test of Gross Motor Development-2, standing long jump, sit and reach, diverse sprints, and the 20 m multistage fitness test (MSFT). The coach’s subjective evaluation of players was obtained using a questionnaire. No significant differences existed between the FT and ST in any variables (p > 0.05). However, large and moderate effect sizes were present in favour of the FT group in locomotor skills (d = 0.82 (0.08, 1.51)), gross motor quotient (d = 0.73 (0.00, 1.41)), height (d = 0.61 (−0.12, 1.29)), MSFT (d = 0.58 (−0.14, 1.25)), and maximum oxygen uptake (VO2max) (d = 0.55 (−0.17, 1.22)). Furthermore, the coach perceived the FT group as having greater technical and tactical qualities relative to ST players. This suggests that it might be more relevant for players of this age to develop good FMS connected to technical skills, before focusing on SCC. Therefore, it might be beneficial for soccer coaches to emphasize the development of FMSs due to their potential to identify talented young soccer players and because they underpin the technical soccer skills that are required for future soccer success. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Training Process in Soccer Players)
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Article
Skeletal Muscle Fiber Adaptations Following Resistance Training Using Repetition Maximums or Relative Intensity
Sports 2019, 7(7), 169; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/sports7070169 - 11 Jul 2019
Cited by 12
Abstract
The purpose of the study was to compare the physiological responses of skeletal muscle to a resistance training (RT) program using repetition maximum (RM) or relative intensity (RISR). Fifteen well-trained males underwent RT 3 d·wk−1 for 10 weeks in either [...] Read more.
The purpose of the study was to compare the physiological responses of skeletal muscle to a resistance training (RT) program using repetition maximum (RM) or relative intensity (RISR). Fifteen well-trained males underwent RT 3 d·wk−1 for 10 weeks in either an RM group (n = 8) or RISR group (n = 7). The RM group achieved a relative maximum each day, while the RISR group trained based on percentages. The RM group exercised until muscular failure on each exercise, while the RISR group did not reach muscular failure throughout the intervention. Percutaneous needle biopsies of the vastus lateralis were obtained pre-post the training intervention, along with ultrasonography measures. Dependent variables were: Fiber type-specific cross-sectional area (CSA); anatomical CSA (ACSA); muscle thickness (MT); mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR); adenosine monophosphate protein kinase (AMPK); and myosin heavy chains (MHC) specific for type I (MHC1), type IIA (MHC2A), and type IIX (MHC2X). Mixed-design analysis of variance and effect size using Hedge’s g were used to assess within- and between-group alterations. RISR statistically increased type I CSA (p = 0.018, g = 0.56), type II CSA (p = 0.012, g = 0.81), ACSA (p = 0.002, g = 0.53), and MT (p < 0.001, g = 1.47). RISR also yielded a significant mTOR reduction (p = 0.031, g = −1.40). Conversely, RM statistically increased only MT (p = 0.003, g = 0.80). Between-group effect sizes supported RISR for type I CSA (g = 0.48), type II CSA (g = 0.50), ACSA (g = 1.03), MT (g = 0.72), MHC2X (g = 0.31), MHC2A (g = 0.87), and MHC1 (g = 0.59); with all other effects being of trivial magnitude (g < 0.20). Our results demonstrated greater adaptations in fiber size, whole-muscle size, and several key contractile proteins when using RISR compared to RM loading paradigms. Full article
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Article
Is Perceived Exertion a Useful Indicator of the Metabolic and Cardiovascular Responses to a Metabolic Conditioning Session of Functional Fitness?
Sports 2019, 7(7), 161; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/sports7070161 - 04 Jul 2019
Cited by 13
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to assess whether the self-regulation of training intensity based on rating of perceived exertion (RPE) is a reliable method to control the intensity during metabolic conditioning sessions of functional fitness. In addition, the relationship between RPE and [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study was to assess whether the self-regulation of training intensity based on rating of perceived exertion (RPE) is a reliable method to control the intensity during metabolic conditioning sessions of functional fitness. In addition, the relationship between RPE and the changes in heart rate, number of repetitions, and lactate responses was also analyzed. Eight male participants (age 28.1 ± 5.4 years; body mass 77.2 ± 4.4 kg; VO2 max: 52.6 ± 4.6 mL·(kg·min)−1 completed two sessions (five to seven days apart), in a randomized order, under different conditions, as follows: (1) all-out (ALL), or (2) self-regulation of intensity based on an RPE of six (hard) on the Borg CR-10 scale (RPE6). The rating of perceived exertion, lactate (LAC), and heart rate (HR) response were measured before, during, and immediately after the sessions. The RPE and LAC during the all-out sessions were higher (p < 0.0005) than the RPE6 session for all of the analyzed time points during the session. There was no difference in the HR area under the curve for the all-out and RPE6 sessions. The average number of repetitions performed was lower (p ≤ 0.009) for the RPE6 session (190.5 ± 12.5 repetitions) when compared to the all-out session (214.4 ± 18.6 repetitions). There was a significant correlation between the RPE and LAC (p = 0.005; r = 0.66; large) and number of repetitions during the session (p = 0.026; r = 0.55; large). No correlation was observed between the RPE and HR (p = 0.147; r = 0.380). These results indicate that the self-regulation of intensity of effort based on the RPE may be a useful tool to control the exercise intensity during a metabolic conditioning session of functional fitness. Full article
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Article
Effects of Self-Talk Training on Competitive Anxiety, Self-Efficacy, Volitional Skills, and Performance: An Intervention Study with Junior Sub-Elite Athletes
Sports 2019, 7(6), 148; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/sports7060148 - 19 Jun 2019
Cited by 14
Abstract
(1) Background: Self-talk (ST) is used to influence athletes’ thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Samples of squad and competitive athletes are underrepresented, although research has proven the positive effects of ST in the context of sports. Thus, the present study focused on the impact [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Self-talk (ST) is used to influence athletes’ thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Samples of squad and competitive athletes are underrepresented, although research has proven the positive effects of ST in the context of sports. Thus, the present study focused on the impact of ST on psychological and performance outcomes of junior sub-elite athletes. (2) Methods: N = 117 athletes (55 females, 62 males; M = 16.0 years) were randomly assigned to either one of two experimental groups or to a control group (n = 30). The experimental groups received an ST intervention for either one week (n = 36) or eight weeks (n = 38), and the control group received no ST training. The dependent variables (competitive anxiety, volitional skills, self-efficacy, and coaches’ performance ratings) were assessed three times before and after the intervention. It was expected that (a) an ST intervention would reduce the competitive anxiety and increase volitional skills, self-efficacy, and performance; and, (b) long-term training would lead to higher effects than short-term training. (3) Results: As expected, ST training led to (less) somatic state anxiety and (higher) state self-confidence, self-optimization, self-efficacy, and performance. Additionally, long-term training was more effective than short-term training. (4) Conclusions: Targeted ST interventions may help to improve junior athletes’ psychological states and performance. Full article
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Article
Nature–Based Interventions for Improving Health and Wellbeing: The Purpose, the People and the Outcomes
Sports 2019, 7(6), 141; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/sports7060141 - 10 Jun 2019
Cited by 34
Abstract
Engagement with nature is an important part of many people’s lives, and the health and wellbeing benefits of nature–based activities are becoming increasingly recognised across disciplines from city planning to medicine. Despite this, urbanisation, challenges of modern life and environmental degradation are leading [...] Read more.
Engagement with nature is an important part of many people’s lives, and the health and wellbeing benefits of nature–based activities are becoming increasingly recognised across disciplines from city planning to medicine. Despite this, urbanisation, challenges of modern life and environmental degradation are leading to a reduction in both the quantity and the quality of nature experiences. Nature–based health interventions (NBIs) can facilitate behavioural change through a somewhat structured promotion of nature–based experiences and, in doing so, promote improved physical, mental and social health and wellbeing. We conducted a Delphi expert elicitation process with 19 experts from seven countries (all named authors on this paper) to identify the different forms that such interventions take, the potential health outcomes and the target beneficiaries. In total, 27 NBIs were identified, aiming to prevent illness, promote wellbeing and treat specific physical, mental or social health and wellbeing conditions. These interventions were broadly categorized into those that change the environment in which people live, work, learn, recreate or heal (for example, the provision of gardens in hospitals or parks in cities) and those that change behaviour (for example, engaging people through organized programmes or other activities). We also noted the range of factors (such as socioeconomic variation) that will inevitably influence the extent to which these interventions succeed. We conclude with a call for research to identify the drivers influencing the effectiveness of NBIs in enhancing health and wellbeing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health and Wellbeing in an Outdoor and Adventure Sports Context)
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Article
Exercise-Induced Muscle Damage and Recovery in Young and Middle-Aged Males with Different Resistance Training Experience
Sports 2019, 7(6), 132; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/sports7060132 - 29 May 2019
Cited by 8
Abstract
This study compared the time course of recovery after a squatting exercise in trained young (YG; n = 9; age 22.3 ± 1.7 years) and trained (MT; n = 9; 39.9 ± 6.2 years) and untrained (MU; n = 9; age 44.4 ± [...] Read more.
This study compared the time course of recovery after a squatting exercise in trained young (YG; n = 9; age 22.3 ± 1.7 years) and trained (MT; n = 9; 39.9 ± 6.2 years) and untrained (MU; n = 9; age 44.4 ± 6.3 years) middle-aged males. Before and at 24 and 72 h after 10 × 10 squats at 60% one-repetition maximum (1RM), participants provided measurements of perceived muscle soreness (VAS), creatine kinase (CK), maximal voluntary contraction (MVC), voluntary activation (VA), and resting doublet force of the knee extensors and squatting peak power at 20% and 80% 1RM. When compared to the YG males, the MT experienced likely and very likely moderate decrements in MVC, resting doublet force, and peak power at 20% and 80% 1RM accompanied by unclear differences in VAS, CK, and VA after the squatting exercise. MU males, compared to MT, experienced greater alterations in peak power at 20% and 80% 1RM and VAS. Alterations in CK, MVC, VA, and resting doublet force were unclear at all time-points between the middle-aged groups. Middle-aged males experienced greater symptoms of muscle damage and an impaired recovery profile than young resistance trained males. Moreover, regardless of resistance training experience, middle-aged males are subject to similar symptoms after muscle-damaging lower-body exercise. Full article
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Article
Blood-Flow Restricted Warm-Up Alters Muscle Hemodynamics and Oxygenation during Repeated Sprints in American Football Players
Sports 2019, 7(5), 121; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/sports7050121 - 21 May 2019
Cited by 5
Abstract
Team-sport athletes and coaches use varied strategies to enhance repeated-sprint ability (RSA). Aside from physical training, a well-conducted warm-up enhances RSA via increased oxidative metabolism. Strategies that impede blood flow could potentiate the effects of a warm-up due to their effects on the [...] Read more.
Team-sport athletes and coaches use varied strategies to enhance repeated-sprint ability (RSA). Aside from physical training, a well-conducted warm-up enhances RSA via increased oxidative metabolism. Strategies that impede blood flow could potentiate the effects of a warm-up due to their effects on the endothelial and metabolic functions. This study investigated whether performing a warm-up combined with blood-flow restriction (WFR) induces ergogenic changes in blood volume, muscle oxygenation, and RSA. In a pair-matched, single-blind, pre-post parallel group design, 15 American football players completed an RSA test (12 × 20 m, 20 s rest), preceded by WFR or a regular warm-up (SHAM). Pressure was applied on the athletes’ upper thighs for ≈15 min using elastic bands. Both legs were wrapped at a perceived pressure of 7 and 3 out of 10 in WFR and SHAM, respectively. Changes in gastrocnemius muscle oxygen saturation (SmO2) and total hemoglobin concentration ([THb]) were monitored with near-infrared spectroscopy. Cohen’s effect sizes (ES) were used to estimate the impact of WFR. WFR did not clearly alter best sprint time (ES −0.25), average speed (ES 0.25), total time (ES −0.12), and percent decrement score (ES 0.39). While WFR did not meaningfully alter average SmO2 and [THb], the intervention clearly increased the maximum [THb] and the minimum and maximum SmO2 during some of the 12 sprint/recovery periods (ES 0.34–1.43). Results indicate that WFR positively alters skeletal muscle hemodynamics during an RSA test. These physiological changes did not improve short-term RSA, but could be beneficial to players during longer activities such as games. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Optimising Interval Training Prescription)
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Article
Effect of Plyometric Training on Jumping, Sprinting and Change of Direction Speed in Child Female Athletes
Sports 2019, 7(5), 116; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/sports7050116 - 17 May 2019
Cited by 10
Abstract
Background: This study examined the effects of 8 weeks of plyometric training on jumping, sprinting, and change of direction (COD) performance. Methods: Fifty female 7–9-year-old gymnasts were randomly assigned to a plyometric training group (PG; n = 33), that performed supplementary plyometric training [...] Read more.
Background: This study examined the effects of 8 weeks of plyometric training on jumping, sprinting, and change of direction (COD) performance. Methods: Fifty female 7–9-year-old gymnasts were randomly assigned to a plyometric training group (PG; n = 33), that performed supplementary plyometric training twice per week, and a control group (CG; n = 17) that continued regular training. The following tests were performed before and after the intervention: 10 and 20 m sprints, 5 + 5 m and 10 + 10 m COD tests, one-leg and two-leg countermovement jump (CMJ), drop jump (DJ), squat jump (SJ), and standing long jump (SLJ). Results: Only a main effect for time was found for all jumping performance parameters (p = 0.001). However, the improvement of one- and two-leg CMJ in PG had a greater effect size than CG (0.72 and 0.67 vs. 0.34 and 0.18, respectively). Group × time interactions were found for 10 and 20 m sprint tests (p = 0.018 and p = 0.011, respectively) and for 10 + 10 m COD (p = 0.008) with the post hoc test showing improvement only for the PG (p = 0.001, 0.001, and 0.003 and d = 1.1, 1.14, and 0.6, respectively). Conclusions: Supplementary plyometric training increased sprint and COD performance more than regular gymnastics training, while jumping performance was equally improved in both groups. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physiological Responses and Adaptations in Resistance Exercise)
Article
Effects of 7-Week Hip Thrust Versus Back Squat Resistance Training on Performance in Adolescent Female Soccer Players
Sports 2019, 7(4), 80; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/sports7040080 - 03 Apr 2019
Cited by 8
Abstract
Hip thrust (HT) is a loaded bridging exercise that requires more hip extension than a back squat (SQ) does, while in a back squat, triple flex extension occurs. Due to the specificity of each exercise, it is claimed that HT gains can be [...] Read more.
Hip thrust (HT) is a loaded bridging exercise that requires more hip extension than a back squat (SQ) does, while in a back squat, triple flex extension occurs. Due to the specificity of each exercise, it is claimed that HT gains can be better transferred to actions where hip extension occurs. In addition, strength improvements during squatting can be transferred in a greater way to vertical plane movement, such as vertical jumping. However, its effects on the performance of female soccer players are unclear. For this reason, the purpose of this study was to analyze a 7-week training program on performance variables using either HT or SQ exercises in female adolescent soccer players without lifting experience (N = 24, age = 16.82 ± 1.56 years, height = 1.64 ± 0.55 cm, body mass = 58.35 ± 6.28 kg). Players were randomized into three groups: A back squat group (SQG; N = 8), hip thrust group (HTG; N = 8), and control group (CG; N = 8). Participants in the HTG and SQG joined a progressive resistance training program twice per week for 7 weeks with either HT or SQ exercises. A countermovement jump, 10–20 m sprint, T-test, and barbell velocity during HTs and SQs (with the load that represents ~60 and ~80% RM) were measured before and after the intervention. The HTG showed greater improvements in the 10-m sprint (d = 0.7), 20-m sprint (d = 0.46), T-test (d = 0.36), and barbell velocity at 80% repetition maximal (RM) (d = 0.53) and 60% RM (d = 1.02) during hip thrusts, while the SQG showed higher barbell velocity at 80% RM (d = −0.7) during back squats. These results may be useful for strength and conditioning coaches working with adolescent female soccer athletes, since both strengthening exercises improved performance in different ways due to the nature of the exercise. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Training Process in Soccer Players)
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Article
Relationship between External Load and Perceptual Responses to Training in Professional Football: Effects of Quantification Method
Sports 2019, 7(3), 68; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/sports7030068 - 17 Mar 2019
Cited by 12
Abstract
We examined the within-player correlation between external training load (ETL) and perceptual responses to training in a professional male football team (n = 13 outfield players) over an eight-week competitive period. ETL was collected using 10-Hz GPS, whereas perceptual responses were accessed [...] Read more.
We examined the within-player correlation between external training load (ETL) and perceptual responses to training in a professional male football team (n = 13 outfield players) over an eight-week competitive period. ETL was collected using 10-Hz GPS, whereas perceptual responses were accessed through rating of perceived exertion (RPE) questionnaires. Moderate-speed running (MSR), high-speed running (HSR) and sprinting were defined using arbitrary (fixed) and individualised speed zones (based on maximal aerobic speed and maximal sprinting speed). When ETL was expressed as actual distance covered within the training session, perceptual responses were moderately correlated to MSR and HSR quantified using the arbitrary method (p < 0.05; r = 0.53 to 0.59). However, the magnitude of correlations tended to increase when the individualised method was used (p < 0.05; r = 0.58 to 0.67). Distance covered by sprinting was moderately correlated to perceptual responses only when the individualised method was used (p < 0.05; 0.55 [0.05; 0.83] and 0.53 [0.02; 0.82]). Perceptual responses were largely correlated to the sum of distance covered within all three speed running zones, irrespective of the quantification method (p < 0.05; r = 0.58 to 0.68). When ETL was expressed as percentage of total distance covered within the training session, no significant correlations were observed (p > 0.05). Perceptual responses to training load seem to be better associated with ETL, when the latter is adjusted to individual fitness capacities. Moreover, reporting ETL as actual values of distance covered within the training session instead of percentual values inform better about players’ perceptual responses to training load. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Training Process in Soccer Players)
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Article
Time Course of Recovery Following Resistance Exercise with Different Loading Magnitudes and Velocity Loss in the Set
Sports 2019, 7(3), 59; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/sports7030059 - 04 Mar 2019
Cited by 9
Abstract
The aim of this study was to compare the time course of recovery following four different resistance exercise protocols in terms of loading magnitude (60% vs. 80% 1RM—one-repetition maximum) and velocity loss in the set (20% vs. 40%). Seventeen males performed four different [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to compare the time course of recovery following four different resistance exercise protocols in terms of loading magnitude (60% vs. 80% 1RM—one-repetition maximum) and velocity loss in the set (20% vs. 40%). Seventeen males performed four different protocols in full squat exercise, which were as follows: (1) 60% 1RM with a velocity loss of 20% (60-20), (2) 60% 1RM with a velocity loss of 40% (60-40), (3) 80% 1RM with a velocity loss of 20% (80-20), and (4) 80% 1RM with a velocity loss of 40% (80-40). Movement velocity against the load that elicited a 1 m·s−1 velocity at baseline measurements (V1-load), countermovement jump (CMJ) height, and sprint time at 20 m (T20) were assessed at Pre, Post, 6 h-Post, 24 h-Post, and 48 h-Post. Impairments in V1-load were significantly higher for 60-40 than other protocols at Post (p < 0.05). The 60-20 and 80-40 protocols exhibited significant performance impairments for V1-load at 6 h-Post and 24 h-Post, respectively (p < 0.05). CMJ height remained decreased for 60-20 and 60-40 until 24 h-Post (p < 0.001–0.05). Regarding T20, the 80-40 protocol resulted in higher performance than 60-40 at 24 h-Post and the 80-20 protocol induced a greater performance than 60-40 protocol at 48 h-Post (p < 0.05). A higher velocity loss during the set (40%) and a lower relative load (60% 1RM) resulted in greater fatigue and slower rate of recovery than lower velocity loss (20%) and higher relative load (80% 1RM). Full article
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Article
Using Unilateral Strength, Power and Reactive Strength Tests to Detect the Magnitude and Direction of Asymmetry: A Test-Retest Design
Sports 2019, 7(3), 58; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/sports7030058 - 04 Mar 2019
Cited by 25
Abstract
The aims of the present study were to determine test-retest reliability for unilateral strength and power tests used to quantify asymmetry and determine the consistency of both the magnitude and direction of asymmetry between test sessions. Twenty-eight recreational trained sport athletes performed unilateral [...] Read more.
The aims of the present study were to determine test-retest reliability for unilateral strength and power tests used to quantify asymmetry and determine the consistency of both the magnitude and direction of asymmetry between test sessions. Twenty-eight recreational trained sport athletes performed unilateral isometric squat, countermovement jump (CMJ) and drop jump (DJ) tests over two test sessions. Inter-limb asymmetry was calculated from both the best trial and as an average of three trials for each test. Test reliability was computed using the intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC), coefficient of variation (CV) and standard error of measurement (SEM). In addition, paired samples t-tests were used to determine systematic bias between test sessions and Kappa coefficients to report how consistently asymmetry favoured the same side. Within and between-session reliability ranged from moderate to excellent (ICC range = 0.70–0.96) and CV values ranged from 3.7–13.7% across tests. Significant differences in asymmetry between test sessions were seen for impulse during the isometric squat (p = 0.04; effect size = –0.60) but only when calculating from the best trial. When computing the direction of asymmetry across test sessions, levels of agreement were fair to substantial for the isometric squat (Kappa = 0.29–0.64), substantial for the CMJ (Kappa = 0.64–0.66) and fair to moderate for the DJ (Kappa = 0.36–0.56). These results show that when asymmetry is computed between test sessions, the group mean is generally devoid of systematic bias; however, the direction of asymmetry shows greater variability and is often inter-changeable. Thus, practitioners should consider both the direction and magnitude of asymmetry when monitoring inter-limb differences in healthy athlete populations. Full article
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Article
Physical Fitness Characteristics of High-level Youth Football Players: Influence of Playing Position
Sports 2019, 7(2), 46; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/sports7020046 - 16 Feb 2019
Cited by 10
Abstract
The aim of this study was to determine whether the speed, agility, aerobic and anaerobic capacities of football players varied by playing positions. Elite youth football players (n = 123, age = 15.7 ± 0.5 years) who played in six different positions, [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to determine whether the speed, agility, aerobic and anaerobic capacities of football players varied by playing positions. Elite youth football players (n = 123, age = 15.7 ± 0.5 years) who played in six different positions, as goalkeepers (GK), full backs (FB), central defenders (CD), wide midfielders (WM), central midfielders (CM), and attackers (AT), were assessed. Multivariate analysis of variances was used to compare the following variables: Linear running sprint for 5 m (S5) and 10 m (S10), flying sprint for 20 m (F20), agility 505 test with turn on the dominant (A505D) and non-dominant leg (A505N), agility K-test, Yo-Yo intermittent recovery (YYIR1) test and repeat sprint ability (RSA) test. The results showed significant influence of playing positions on linear-running sprint performance (F1,123 = 6.19, p < 0.01, ηp2 = 0.23). Midfielders reached significantly higher performance levels (CM = 2.44 ± 0.08 s, WM = 2.47 ± 0.13 s) in the A505N test compared to GK (2.61 ± 0.23 s). Outfield players had significantly higher performance in both YYIR1 and RSA tests compared to GK (p < 0.01). The results of this study may provide insightful strategies for coaches and clinical practitioners for developing position-specific conditioning programs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Training Process in Soccer Players)
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Article
Rate of Force Development and Muscle Architecture after Fast and Slow Velocity Eccentric Training
Sports 2019, 7(2), 41; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/sports7020041 - 14 Feb 2019
Cited by 23
Abstract
The aim of the study was to investigate the rate of force development (RFD) and muscle architecture early adaptations in response to training with fast- or slow-velocity eccentric squats. Eighteen young novice participants followed six weeks (two sessions/week) of either fast-velocity (Fast) or [...] Read more.
The aim of the study was to investigate the rate of force development (RFD) and muscle architecture early adaptations in response to training with fast- or slow-velocity eccentric squats. Eighteen young novice participants followed six weeks (two sessions/week) of either fast-velocity (Fast) or slow-velocity (Slow) squat eccentric-only training. Fast eccentric training consisted of nine sets of nine eccentric-only repetitions at 70% of 1-RM with <1 s duration for each repetition. Slow eccentric training consisted of five sets of six eccentric-only repetitions at 90% of 1-RM with ~4 sec duration for each repetition. Before and after training, squat 1-RM, countermovement jump (CMJ), isometric leg press RFD, and vastus lateralis muscle architecture were evaluated. Squat 1-RM increased by 14.5 ± 7.0% (Fast, p < 0.01) and by 5.4 ± 5.1% (Slow, p < 0.05). RFD and fascicle length increased significantly in the Fast group by 10–19% and 10.0 ± 6.2%, p < 0.01, respectively. Muscle thickness increased only in the Slow group (6.0 ± 6.8%, p < 0.05). Significant correlations were found between the training induced changes in fascicle length and RFD. These results suggest that fast eccentric resistance training may be more appropriate for increases in rapid force production compared to slow eccentric resistance training, and this may be partly due to increases in muscle fascicle length induced by fast eccentric training. Full article
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Article
The Influence of Countermovement Jump Protocol on Reactive Strength Index Modified and Flight Time: Contraction Time in Collegiate Basketball Players
Sports 2019, 7(2), 37; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/sports7020037 - 12 Feb 2019
Cited by 7
Abstract
The purpose of the present investigation was to evaluate differences in Reactive Strength Index Modified (RSIMod) and Flight Time to Contraction Time Ratio (FT:CT) during the countermovement jump (CMJ) performed without the arm swing (CMJNAS) compared to the CMJ with the [...] Read more.
The purpose of the present investigation was to evaluate differences in Reactive Strength Index Modified (RSIMod) and Flight Time to Contraction Time Ratio (FT:CT) during the countermovement jump (CMJ) performed without the arm swing (CMJNAS) compared to the CMJ with the arm swing (CMJAS), while exploring the relationship within each variable between jump protocols. A secondary purpose sought to explore the relationship between RSIMod and FT:CT during both jump protocols. Twenty-two collegiate basketball players performed both three CMJNAS and three CMJAS on a force plate, during two separate testing sessions. RSIMod was calculated by the flight-time (RSIModFT) and impulse-momentum methods (RSIModIMP). CMJ variables were significantly greater during the CMJAS compared to CMJNAS (p < 0.001). There were large to very large correlations within each variable between the CMJAS and CMJNAS. There were significant positive correlations among RSIModFT, RSIModIMP, and FT:CT during both the CMJAS (r ≥ 0.864, p < 0.001) and CMJNAS (r ≥ 0.960, p < 0.001). These findings identify an increase in RSIMod or FT:CT during the CMJAS, that may provide independent information from the CMJNAS. In addition, either RSIMod or FT:CT may be utilized to monitor changes in performance, but simultaneous inclusion may be unnecessary. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Performance in Team Sports)
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Article
The Magical Horizontal Force Muscle? A Preliminary Study Examining the “Force-Vector” Theory
Sports 2019, 7(2), 30; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/sports7020030 - 22 Jan 2019
Cited by 10
Abstract
The force-vector theory contends that horizontal exercises are more specific to horizontal sports skills. In this context, the focus is on horizontal force production relative to the global coordinate frame. However, according to the principle of dynamic correspondence, the direction of force relative [...] Read more.
The force-vector theory contends that horizontal exercises are more specific to horizontal sports skills. In this context, the focus is on horizontal force production relative to the global coordinate frame. However, according to the principle of dynamic correspondence, the direction of force relative to the athlete is more important, and thus the basis for the force-vector theory is flawed. The purpose of this study was therefore to test the force-vector theory. According to the force-vector theory, hip thrust is a horizontally loaded exercise, and so hip thrust training would be expected to create greater improvements in horizontal jump performance than vertical jump performance. Eleven collegiate female athletes aged 18–24 years completed a 14-week hip thrust training programme. Pre and post testing was used to measure the following: vertical squat jump, vertical countermovement jump, horizontal squat jump, horizontal countermovement jump and hip thrust 3 repetition maximum (3RM). Subjects improved their 3 repetition maximum hip thrust performance by 33.0% (d = 1.399, p < 0.001, η2 = 0.784) and their vertical and horizontal jump performance (improvements ranged from 5.4–7.7%; d = 0.371–0.477, p = 0.004, η2 = 0.585). However, there were no differences in the magnitude of the improvement between horizontal and vertical jumping (p = 0.561, η2 = 0.035). The results of this study are contrary to the predictions of the force-vector theory. Furthermore, this paper concludes with an analysis of the force-vector theory, presenting the mechanical inconsistencies in the theory. Coaches should use the well established principle of dynamic correspondence in order to assess the mechanical similarity of exercises to sports skills. Full article
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Article
Students’ Emotional Experience in Physical Education—A Qualitative Study for New Theoretical Insights
Sports 2019, 7(1), 10; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/sports7010010 - 03 Jan 2019
Cited by 15
Abstract
Physical education (PE) can be the starting point for many students to be physically active throughout their lives. Positive emotional experiences in PE are discussed as beneficial for long-term physical activity, however, triggers of students’ emotions are still unclear. The purpose of this [...] Read more.
Physical education (PE) can be the starting point for many students to be physically active throughout their lives. Positive emotional experiences in PE are discussed as beneficial for long-term physical activity, however, triggers of students’ emotions are still unclear. The purpose of this study is to explore, from a student’s perspective, emotions and their triggers, which occur in PE classes. N = 12 students (male: six, female: six, ø-age: 15.6 ± 1.2 years) have been interviewed using a focused semi-structured interview to identify their emotions in PE and to explore the situations in which they occurred. An inductive approach with elements of the Grounded Theory Method was implemented to analyze the data. Students reported a wide range of positive and negative emotions. Furthermore, four crucial triggers were identified: (I) Attractiveness of the task, (II) social belonging, (III) competence and (IV) autonomy. Parallels to existing theories, especially the Self-Determination Theory (SDT), will be discussed. These results can be used to improve teachers’ knowledge about students’ emotions in PE in order to build a basis for lifelong physical activity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emotions in Sports and Exercise)
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Article
Sleep Data, Physical Performance, and Injuries in Preparation for Professional Mixed Martial Arts
Sports 2019, 7(1), 1; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/sports7010001 - 20 Dec 2018
Cited by 4
Abstract
The purpose of this investigation is to present observational data regarding sleep variables in professional Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) athletes. These sleep performance measures were related to physical performance and injury in MMA athletes. Eight professional athletes were placed into a quasi-controlled, multivariable [...] Read more.
The purpose of this investigation is to present observational data regarding sleep variables in professional Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) athletes. These sleep performance measures were related to physical performance and injury in MMA athletes. Eight professional athletes were placed into a quasi-controlled, multivariable fight-camp environment for a six-week period in preparation for fight competition. Throughout a six-week fight camp environment, athletes were continuously monitored for sleep performance measures (sleep latency, sleep efficiency, onset, and wake variances) via validated wearable sleep monitoring technology. Athletes were tested seven days prior to competition on measures of physical performance (vertical jump, VO2max, heart rate recovery, prowler sled push, and pull-ups). Multiple correlational analyses were utilized to assess relationships between all sleep and physical performance measures. There were significant (P < 0.05) correlations between sleep latency and VO2max, heart rate recovery, prowler sled push, vertical jump, and missed practice sessions. There were also significant (P < 0.05) correlations between average fall asleep time and heart rate recovery. Lastly, there were significant (P < 0.05) correlations between sleep efficiency, heart rate recovery, and missed practice sessions. MMA athletes who exhibited consistency in sleep demonstrated stronger relationships with performance testing during the fight-camp period. Full article
Article
Comparative Analysis of Load Profile between Small-Sided Games and Official Matches in Youth Soccer Players
Sports 2018, 6(4), 173; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/sports6040173 - 12 Dec 2018
Cited by 34
Abstract
The purposes of the present study are: (a) to characterize the external (eTL) and internal load (iTL) of official matches and small-sided games (SSGs) in relation to their objective, (b) to compare demands between SSG, and (c) to analyze the SSG requirements in [...] Read more.
The purposes of the present study are: (a) to characterize the external (eTL) and internal load (iTL) of official matches and small-sided games (SSGs) in relation to their objective, (b) to compare demands between SSG, and (c) to analyze the SSG requirements in relation to official matches during a one-month competition period. Twenty under-18 national-level soccer players were recorded using WIMUTM inertial devices (RealTrack Systems, Almeria, Spain) during four official matches and 12 training sessions where four SSGs with different objectives were performed: (SSG1) keeping the ball; (SSG2) keeping the ball and progressing; (SSG3) keeping the ball, progressing and ending in mini-goals; and (SSG4) keeping the ball, progressing and ending in an official goal with a goalkeeper. Statistical analysis included Kruskall-Wallis’ H and Mann-Whitney’s U with Cohen’s d effect size. The SSGs presented walking and jogging intensity movements (0.7–7 to 7–14 km/h), with a 5-to-8 %HIA (high intensity activity, >16 km/h), where low intensity accelerations, decelerations and impacts were predominant (1–2.5 m/s2; 5–7 G), and %HRMAX (maximum heart rate percentage) was between 70–90%. Only SSG4 presented similar demands to competition, finding differences between SSGs (p < 0.05; d = 1.40 − 0.36). In conclusion, the objective of the SSGs directly influenced the demands on the players in training sessions. For this reason, it is important to monitor demands for designing specific training sessions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Training Process in Soccer Players)
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Article
Effects of Adding Single Joint Exercises to a Resistance Training Programme in Trained Women
Sports 2018, 6(4), 160; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/sports6040160 - 28 Nov 2018
Cited by 6
Abstract
Background: The present study’s aim was to compare the changes in muscle performance and anthropometric measures in trained women performing RT programs composed only of MJ exercises or programmes that involve the addition of SJ exercises. Methods: Seventeen trained women were randomised to [...] Read more.
Background: The present study’s aim was to compare the changes in muscle performance and anthropometric measures in trained women performing RT programs composed only of MJ exercises or programmes that involve the addition of SJ exercises. Methods: Seventeen trained women were randomised to MJ or MJ+SJ. Both groups performed the same MJ exercises following a nonlinear periodisation model for 8 weeks. The only difference was that the MJ+SJ group also performed SJ exercises. The participants were tested for 10 repetition maximum (10 RM), flexed arm circumference, and both biceps and triceps skinfold. Results: Both groups significantly increased 10 RM load for the bench press (12.6% MJ and 9.2% MJ+SJ), triceps (15.6% MJ and 17.9% MJ+SJ), pull down (9.8% MJ and 8.3% MJ+SJ), biceps (14.0% MJ and 13.0% MJ+SJ), leg press (15.2% MJ and 12.8% MJ+SJ) and knee extension (10.2% MJ and 9.1% MJ+SJ). The decreases in triceps (−5.1% MJ and −5.3% MJ+SJ) and biceps (−6.5% MJ and −5.7% MJ+SJ) skinfolds were also significant as were the increases in arm circumference (1.47% MJ and 1.58% MJ+SJ). In all tests there was nothing significantly different between groups. Conclusions: The use of SJ exercises as a complement to a RT programme containing MJ exercises brings no additional benefit to trained women. Full article
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Article
The Relationship between Running Power and Running Economy in Well-Trained Distance Runners
Sports 2018, 6(4), 142; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/sports6040142 - 06 Nov 2018
Cited by 11
Abstract
A novel running wearable called the Stryd Summit footpod fastens to a runner’s shoe and estimates running power. The footpod separates power output into two components, Stryd power and form power. The purpose of this study was to measure the correlations between running [...] Read more.
A novel running wearable called the Stryd Summit footpod fastens to a runner’s shoe and estimates running power. The footpod separates power output into two components, Stryd power and form power. The purpose of this study was to measure the correlations between running economy and power and form power at lactate threshold pace. Seventeen well-trained distance runners, 9 male and 8 female, completed a running protocol. Participants ran two four-minute trials: one with a self-selected cadence, and one with a target cadence lowered by 10%. The mean running economy expressed in terms of oxygen cost at self-selected cadence was 201.6 ± 12.8 mL·kg−1·km−1, and at lowered cadence was 204.5 ± 11.5 mL·kg−1·km−1. Ventilation rate and rating of perceived exertion (RPE) were not significantly different between cadence conditions with one-tailed paired t-test analysis (ventilation, p = 0.77, RPE, p = 0.07). Respiratory exchange ratio and caloric unit cost were significantly greater with lower cadence condition (respiratory exchange ratio, p = 0.03, caloric unit cost, p = 0.03). Mean power at self-selected cadence was 4.4 ± 0.5 W·kg−1, and at lowered cadence was 4.4 ± 0.5 W·kg−1. Mean form power at self-selected cadence was 1.1 ± 0.1 W·kg−1, and at lowered cadence was 1.1 ± 0.1 W·kg−1. There were positive, linear correlations between running economy and power (self-selected cadence and lower cadence, r = 0.6; the 90% confidence interval was 0.2 to 0.8); running economy and form power (self-selected cadence and lower cadence r = 0.5; the 90% confidence interval was 0.1 to 0.8). The findings suggest running economy is positively correlated with Stryd’s power and form power measures yet the footpod may not be sufficiently accurate to estimate differences in the running economy of competitive runners. Full article
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Article
Larger Countermovement Increases the Jump Height of Countermovement Jump
Sports 2018, 6(4), 131; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/sports6040131 - 26 Oct 2018
Cited by 14
Abstract
Simulation studies show that jump performance can be improved by increasing the depth of countermovement. The purpose of this study was to determine how modifications to the depth of countermovement lead to changes in jump height and the biomechanical parameters related to center [...] Read more.
Simulation studies show that jump performance can be improved by increasing the depth of countermovement. The purpose of this study was to determine how modifications to the depth of countermovement lead to changes in jump height and the biomechanical parameters related to center of mass displacement and force application. Twenty-nine competitive males participated in this investigation, performing nine countermovement jumps using a self-selected, a deep, and a shallow crouch position. Jump height and relative net vertical impulse were greater when using a deeper crouch position, compared to the self-selected position. Force application variables did not report differences, when the deeper countermovement was compared to the self-selected countermovement; although, the shallower countermovement showed higher values in force application parameters. The deeper countermovement jumps achieved higher velocities of the center of mass than the self-selected jumps, while shallower jumps produced lower velocities than the self-selected jumps. The results of this investigation were consistent with simulation studies, showing that deep countermovements increase net vertical impulse, leading to a higher jump height. In addition, the maximum downward velocity was higher, when the crouch position was deeper. Conversely, force-applied variables did not change when jump performance was increased. Full article
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Article
Relationship of Absolute and Relative Lower-Body Strength to Predictors of Athletic Performance in Collegiate Women Soccer Players
Sports 2018, 6(4), 106; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/sports6040106 - 29 Sep 2018
Cited by 11
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationships between absolute and relative lower-body strength on predictors of athletic performance among Division II collegiate women’s soccer players. Archived pre-season testing data for seventeen (n = 17) female National Collegiate Athletics Association [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationships between absolute and relative lower-body strength on predictors of athletic performance among Division II collegiate women’s soccer players. Archived pre-season testing data for seventeen (n = 17) female National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) Division II soccer players were analyzed, including: vertical jump, 3RM back squat, 505-agility, modified T-test, 10 m and 30 m sprint, and 20 m multistage fitness test (20 m MSFT). Relative strength was calculated based on the estimated 1RM back squat divided by the athlete’s body mass. Significant correlations were discovered between absolute lower-body strength and 505-agility (Right: r = −0.51, p < 0.05; Left: r = −0.59, p < 0.05), modified T-test (r = −0.55, p < 0.05), 10 m and 30 m (r = −0.59, p < 0.05; r = −0.54, p < 0.05), and sprint performance. Relative lower-body strength showed significant correlations with vertical jump (r = 0.54, p < 0.05), 505-agility (Right: r = −0.58, p < 0.05; Left: r = −0.67, p < 0.01), modified T-test (r = −0.75, p < 0.01), 10 m and 30 m (r = −0.59 p < 0.05; r = −0.67, p < 0.01), and the 20 m MSFT (r = 0.58, p < 0.05). These results indicate that strength and conditioning coaches should emphasize the development of absolute and relative lower-body strength with their players to improve power, agility, and speed performance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Strength Training in Sprint Sports)
Article
Validity, Reliability, and Application of the Session-RPE Method for Quantifying Training Loads during High Intensity Functional Training
Sports 2018, 6(3), 84; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/sports6030084 - 21 Aug 2018
Cited by 13
Abstract
The session rate of perceived exertion method (sRPE) has often been utilized in sports activities in which quantification of external training loads is challenging. The multi-modal, constantly varied nature of high intensity functional training (HIFT) represents a significant hurdle to calculate external work [...] Read more.
The session rate of perceived exertion method (sRPE) has often been utilized in sports activities in which quantification of external training loads is challenging. The multi-modal, constantly varied nature of high intensity functional training (HIFT) represents a significant hurdle to calculate external work and the sRPE method may provide an elegant solution to this problem. However, no studies have investigated the psychometric properties of sRPE within HIFT interventions. Twenty-five healthy men and women participated in six weeks of HIFT. Rate of perceived exertion and heart rate were assessed within every training session throughout the duration of the intervention. Compared to criterion heart rate-based measures, we observed sRPE method is a valid tool across individual, group, and sex levels. However, poor reliability in participants’ abilities to correctly match rate of perceived exertion with the relative level of physiologic effort (i.e., percentile of maximum heart rate) currently limits the utility of this strategy within HIFT. When applied, the validity and reliability of the sRPE seem to improve over time, and future research should continue to explore the potential of this monitoring strategy within HIFT interventions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Research on High Intensity Functional Training)
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Article
Affective and Attentional States When Running in a Virtual Reality Environment
Sports 2018, 6(3), 71; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/sports6030071 - 27 Jul 2018
Cited by 9
Abstract
Engaging in physical exercise in a virtual reality (VR) environment has been reported to improve physical effort and affective states. However, these conclusions might be influenced by experimental design factors, such as comparing VR environments against a non-VR environment without actively controlling for [...] Read more.
Engaging in physical exercise in a virtual reality (VR) environment has been reported to improve physical effort and affective states. However, these conclusions might be influenced by experimental design factors, such as comparing VR environments against a non-VR environment without actively controlling for the presence of visual input in non-VR conditions. The present study addressed this issue to examine affective and attentional states in a virtual running task. Participants (n = 40), completed a 21 min run on a treadmill at 70% of Vmax. One group of participants ran in a computer-generated VR environment that included other virtual runners while another group ran while viewing neutral images. Participants in both conditions showed a pattern of reduced positive affect and increased tension during the run with a return to high positive affect after the run. In the VR condition, higher levels of immersive tendencies and attention/absorption in the virtual environment were associated with more positive affect after the run. In addition, participants in the VR condition focused attention more on external task-relevant stimuli and less to internal states than participants in the neutral images condition. However, the neutral images condition produced less negative affect and more enjoyment after the run than the VR condition. The finding suggest that the effects of exercising in a VR environment will depend on individual difference factors (e.g., attention/absorption in the virtual world) but it may not always be better than distracting attention away from exercise-related cues. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Activity in Virtual Reality 2018)
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Article
Validity of Session Rating Perceived Exertion Method for Quantifying Internal Training Load during High-Intensity Functional Training
Sports 2018, 6(3), 68; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/sports6030068 - 23 Jul 2018
Cited by 22
Abstract
The aim of this study was to validate the quantification of internal training load (session rating perceived exertion, sRPE) and the effect of recall timing of sRPE during high-intensity functional training (HIFT) sessions. Thirteen male HIFT practitioners (age 27.2 ± 33 years, height [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to validate the quantification of internal training load (session rating perceived exertion, sRPE) and the effect of recall timing of sRPE during high-intensity functional training (HIFT) sessions. Thirteen male HIFT practitioners (age 27.2 ± 33 years, height 177.1 ± 4.0 cm, body mass 81.1 ± 9.0 kg) were monitored during two common HIFT training sessions: Fight Gone Bad (FGB) and Fran. The Edwards summated heart-rate-zone method was used as a reference measure of internal training load. The session-RPE rating was obtained using the CR-10 scale modified by Foster. The training load calculated by the Edwards-TRIMP index was significantly higher (p < 0.05) during the FGB (77.7 ± 4.9) than the Fran (19.8 ± 8.4) workout. There was a strong correlation (p < 0.05) between the Edwards-TRIMP index and the training load calculated by the sRPE in all time frames (0, 10, 20, and 30 min post-exercise). The RPE and sRPE measured at 30 min post-exercise time frame was significant lower than 0, 10, and 20 min post-exercise for both workouts. The session-RPE method is an easy and valid tool to evaluate internal training load for high intensity functional training practitioners. Full article
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Article
Repetition-to-Repetition Differences Using Cluster and Accentuated Eccentric Loading in the Back Squat
Sports 2018, 6(3), 59; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/sports6030059 - 08 Jul 2018
Cited by 8
Abstract
The current investigation was an examination of the repetition-to-repetition magnitudes and changes in kinetic and kinematic characteristics of the back squat using accentuated eccentric loading (AEL) and cluster sets. Trained male subjects (age = 26.1 ± 4.1 years, height = 183.5 ± 4.3 [...] Read more.
The current investigation was an examination of the repetition-to-repetition magnitudes and changes in kinetic and kinematic characteristics of the back squat using accentuated eccentric loading (AEL) and cluster sets. Trained male subjects (age = 26.1 ± 4.1 years, height = 183.5 ± 4.3 cm, body mass = 92.5 ± 10.5 kg, back squat to body mass ratio = 1.8 ± 0.3) completed four load condition sessions, each consisting of three sets of five repetitions of either traditionally loaded straight sets (TL), traditionally loaded cluster sets (TLC), AEL cluster sets (AEC), and AEL straight sets where only the initial repetition had eccentric overload (AEL1). Eccentric overload was applied using weight releasers, creating a total eccentric load equivalent to 105% of concentric one repetition maximum (1RM). Concentric load was 80% 1RM for all load conditions. Using straight sets (TL and AEL1) tended to decrease peak power (PP) (d = −1.90 to −0.76), concentric rate of force development (RFDCON) (d = −1.59 to −0.27), and average velocity (MV) (d = −3.91 to −1.29), with moderate decreases in MV using cluster sets (d = −0.81 to −0.62). Greater magnitude eccentric rate of force development (RFDECC) was observed using AEC at repetition three (R3) and five (R5) compared to all load conditions (d = 0.21–0.65). Large within-condition changes in RFDECC from repetition one to repetition three (∆REP1–3) were present using AEL1 (d = 1.51), demonstrating that RFDECC remained elevated for at least three repetitions despite overload only present on the initial repetition. Overall, cluster sets appear to permit higher magnitude and improved maintenance of concentric outputs throughout a set. Eccentric overload with the loading protocol used in the current study does not appear to potentiate concentric output regardless of set configuration but may cause greater RFDECC compared to traditional loading. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Neuromuscular Research)
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Article
The Effects of Sleep Extension on Sleep, Performance, Immunity and Physical Stress in Rugby Players
Sports 2018, 6(2), 42; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/sports6020042 - 10 May 2018
Cited by 20
Abstract
(1) Background: The purpose of the present study was to examine the efficacy of sleep extension in professional rugby players. The aims were to: (i) characterise sleep quantity in elite rugby players and determine changes in immune function and stress hormone secretion during [...] Read more.
(1) Background: The purpose of the present study was to examine the efficacy of sleep extension in professional rugby players. The aims were to: (i) characterise sleep quantity in elite rugby players and determine changes in immune function and stress hormone secretion during a pre-season training programme; (ii) evaluate the efficacy of a sleep extension intervention in improving sleep, markers of physical stress, immune function and performance. (2) Methods: Twenty five highly trained athletes from a professional rugby team (age (mean ± SD) 25 ± 2.7 years; height 1.87 ± 0.07 m; weight 105 ± 12.1 kg) participated in a six week pre-post control-trial intervention study. Variables of sleep, immune function, sympathetic nervous activity, physiological stress and reaction times were measured. (3) Results: Sleep extension resulted in a moderate improvement in sleep quality scores ([mean; ± 90% confidence limits] −24.8%; ± 54.1%) and small to moderate increases in total sleep time (6.3%; ± 6.3%) and time in bed (7.3%; ± 3.6%). In addition, a small decrease in cortisol (−18.7%; ± 26.4%) and mean reaction times (−4.3%; ± 3.1%) was observed following the intervention, compared to the control. (4) Conclusions: Professional rugby players are at risk of poor sleep during pre-season training, with concomitant rises in physical stress. Implementing a sleep extension programme among professional athletes is recommended to improve sleep, with beneficial changes in stress hormone expression and reaction time performance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fatigue and Recovery in Football)
Article
The Role of Visual Feedback on Power Output During Intermittent Wingate Testing in Ice Hockey Players
Sports 2018, 6(2), 32; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/sports6020032 - 09 Apr 2018
Cited by 6
Abstract
Background: Visual feedback may help elicit peak performance during different types of strength and power testing, but its effect during the anaerobic Wingate test is unexplored. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to determine the effect of visual feedback on power output [...] Read more.
Background: Visual feedback may help elicit peak performance during different types of strength and power testing, but its effect during the anaerobic Wingate test is unexplored. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to determine the effect of visual feedback on power output during a hockey-specific intermittent Wingate test (AnWT6x6) consisting of 6 stages of 6 s intervals with a 1:1 work-to-rest ratio. Methods: Thirty elite college-aged hockey players performed the AnWT6x6 with either constant (n = 15) visual feedback during all 6 stages (CVF) or restricted (n = 15) visual feedback (RVF) where feedback was shown only during the 2nd through 5th stages. Results: In the first stage, there were moderate-to-large effect sizes for absolute peak power (PP) output and PP relative to body mass and PP relative to fat-free mass. However, the remaining stages (2–6) displayed small or negligible effects. Conclusions: These data indicate that visual feedback may play a role in optimizing power output in a non-fatigued state (1st stage), but likely does not play a role in the presence of extreme neuromuscular fatigue (6th stage) during Wingate testing. To achieve the highest peak power, coaches and researchers could provide visual feedback during Wingate testing, as it may positively influence performance in the early stages of testing, but does not result in residual fatigue or negatively affect performance during subsequent stages. Full article
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Article
The Demands of a Women’s College Soccer Season
Sports 2018, 6(1), 16; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/sports6010016 - 23 Feb 2018
Cited by 9
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to use GPS, accelerometers, and session rating of perceived exertion (sRPE) to examine the demands of a Division II women’s soccer team. Data was collected on 25 collegiate Division II women’s soccer players over an entire regular [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study was to use GPS, accelerometers, and session rating of perceived exertion (sRPE) to examine the demands of a Division II women’s soccer team. Data was collected on 25 collegiate Division II women’s soccer players over an entire regular season (17 matches and 24 practices). ZephyrTM BioHarnesses (BHs) were used to collect tri-axial acceleration information and GPS derived variables for all matches and practices. Acceleration data was used to calculate Impulse Load, a measure of mechanical load that includes only locomotor related accelerations. GPS was used to quantify total distance and distance in six speed zones. Internal Training Loads were assessed via sRPE. Mean Impulse Load, total distance, and sRPE during match play was 20,120 ± 8609 N·s, 5.48 ± 2.35 km, and 892.50 ± 358.50, respectively. Mean Impulse Load, total distance, and sRPE during practice was 12,410 ± 4067 N·s, 2.95 ± 0.95 km, and 143.30 ± 123.50, respectively. Several very large to nearly perfect correlations were found between Impulse Load and total distance (r = 0.95; p < 0.001), Impulse Load and sRPE (r = 0.84; p < 0.001), and total distance and sRPE (r = 0.82; p < 0.001). This study details the mechanical demands of Division II women’s soccer match play. This study also demonstrates that Impulse Load is a good indicator of total distance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Micro and Nano Technologies for Sport)
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Article
Effects of a 12-Week Modified German Volume Training Program on Muscle Strength and Hypertrophy—A Pilot Study
Sports 2018, 6(1), 7; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/sports6010007 - 29 Jan 2018
Cited by 8
Abstract
This study investigated the effect of a 12-week modified German Volume Training intervention, or the 10 sets method, on muscle strength and hypertrophy. Twelve healthy males were randomly assigned to either a 5-SET or 10-SET group and performed 5 or 10 sets, respectively, [...] Read more.
This study investigated the effect of a 12-week modified German Volume Training intervention, or the 10 sets method, on muscle strength and hypertrophy. Twelve healthy males were randomly assigned to either a 5-SET or 10-SET group and performed 5 or 10 sets, respectively, of 10 repetitions at 60–80% one-repetition maximum (1RM). Muscle strength and body composition measures were taken at baseline, six weeks, and after 12 weeks of training. No significant changes in total, trunk, and arm lean mass were found within and between groups at any time point. There was no significant difference between groups for lean leg mass. However, a decrease in lean leg mass was observed within the 10-SET group between six and 12 weeks (p = 0.02). An increase in 1RM bench press was found within the 5-SET group at week 6 (p = 0.001) and 12 (p = 0.001) when compared to baseline, while no increases in 1RM leg press were observed at any time point within any group. No significant differences were found for 1RM bench press and leg press between groups. For 1RM bench press moderate effect sizes (ES) favored 5-SET and for 1RM leg press small ESs favored 10-SET. Findings suggest performing >5 sets per exercise does not promote greater gains in muscle strength and hypertrophy. Future research should aim to substantiate these preliminary findings in a larger cohort. Full article
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Article
The Three-Month Effects of a Ketogenic Diet on Body Composition, Blood Parameters, and Performance Metrics in CrossFit Trainees: A Pilot Study
Sports 2018, 6(1), 1; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/sports6010001 - 09 Jan 2018
Cited by 47
Abstract
Adopting low carbohydrate, ketogenic diets remains a controversial issue for individuals who resistance train given that this form of dieting has been speculated to reduce skeletal muscle glycogen levels and stifle muscle anabolism. We sought to characterize the effects of a 12-week ketogenic [...] Read more.
Adopting low carbohydrate, ketogenic diets remains a controversial issue for individuals who resistance train given that this form of dieting has been speculated to reduce skeletal muscle glycogen levels and stifle muscle anabolism. We sought to characterize the effects of a 12-week ketogenic diet (KD) on body composition, metabolic, and performance parameters in participants who trained recreationally at a local CrossFit facility. Twelve participants (nine males and three females, 31 ± 2 years of age, 80.3 ± 5.1 kg body mass, 22.9 ± 2.3% body fat, 1.37 back squat: body mass ratio) were divided into a control group (CTL; n = 5) and a KD group (n = 7). KD participants were given dietary guidelines to follow over 12 weeks while CTL participants were instructed to continue their normal diet throughout the study, and all participants continued their CrossFit training routine for 12 weeks. Pre, 2.5-week, and 12-week anaerobic performance tests were conducted, and pre- and 12-week tests were performed for body composition using dual X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) and ultrasound, resting energy expenditure (REE), blood-serum health markers, and aerobic capacity. Additionally, blood beta hydroxybutyrate (BHB) levels were measured weekly. Blood BHB levels were 2.8- to 9.5-fold higher in KD versus CTL throughout confirming a state of nutritional ketosis. DXA fat mass decreased by 12.4% in KD (p = 0.053). DXA total lean body mass changes were not different between groups, although DXA dual-leg lean mass decreased in the KD group by 1.4% (p = 0.068), and vastus lateralis thickness values decreased in the KD group by ~8% (p = 0.065). Changes in fasting glucose, HDL cholesterol, and triglycerides were similar between groups, although LDL cholesterol increased ~35% in KD (p = 0.048). Between-group changes in REE, one-repetition maximum (1-RM) back squat, 400 m run times, and VO2peak were similar between groups. While our n-sizes were limited, these preliminary data suggest that adopting a ketogenic diet causes marked reductions in whole-body adiposity while not impacting performance measures in recreationally-trained CrossFit trainees. Whether decrements in dual-leg muscle mass and vastus lateralis thickness in KD participants were due to fluid shifts remain unresolved, and increased LDL-C in these individuals warrants further investigation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Clinical and Sports Nutrition)
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Review

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Review
Training Load Monitoring Considerations for Female Gaelic Team Sports: From Theory to Practice
Sports 2021, 9(6), 84; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/sports9060084 - 05 Jun 2021
Abstract
Athlete monitoring enables sports science practitioners to collect information to determine how athletes respond to training loads (TL) and the demands of competition. To date, recommendations for females are often adapted from their male counterparts. There is currently limited information available on TL [...] Read more.
Athlete monitoring enables sports science practitioners to collect information to determine how athletes respond to training loads (TL) and the demands of competition. To date, recommendations for females are often adapted from their male counterparts. There is currently limited information available on TL monitoring in female Gaelic team sports in Ireland. The collection and analysis of female athlete monitoring data can provide valuable information to support the development of female team sports. Athletic monitoring can also support practitioners to help minimize risk of excessive TL and optimize potential athletic performance. The aims of this narrative review are to provide: (i) an overview of TL athlete monitoring in female team sports, (ii) a discussion of the potential metrics and tools used to monitor external TL and internal TL, (iii) the advantages and disadvantages of TL modalities for use in Gaelic team sports, and (iv) practical considerations on how to monitor TL to aid in the determination of meaningful change with female Gaelic team sports athletes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Strength and Conditioning and Performance Monitoring in Sports)
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Review
Understanding a Player’s Decision-Making Process in Team Sports: A Systematic Review of Empirical Evidence
Sports 2021, 9(5), 65; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/sports9050065 - 17 May 2021
Abstract
Three perspectives were taken to explain decision-making within team sports (information processing, recognition primed decision-making, and ecological dynamics perspectives), resulting in conceptual tension and practical confusion. The aim of this paper was to interrogate empirical evidence to (1) understand the process of decision-making [...] Read more.
Three perspectives were taken to explain decision-making within team sports (information processing, recognition primed decision-making, and ecological dynamics perspectives), resulting in conceptual tension and practical confusion. The aim of this paper was to interrogate empirical evidence to (1) understand the process of decision-making within team sports and (2) capture the characteristics of decision-making expertise in a team sport context. Nine electronic databases (SPORTDiscus, PsycINFO, PsycArticles, PsycTests, PubMed, SAGE journals online, Web of Knowledge, Academic Search Complete, and Web of Science) were searched until the final return in March 2021. Fifty-three articles satisfied the inclusion criteria, were analysed thematically, and synthesised using a narrative approach. Findings indicate that the relative absence or presence of mental representation within the decision-making process depends on factors, including complexity, typicality, time available, and contextual priors available in the game situation. We recommend that future research integrate concepts and methodologies prevalent within each perspective to better understand decision-making within team sports before providing implications for practitioners. Full article
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Review
The Influence of Growth, Maturation and Resistance Training on Muscle-Tendon and Neuromuscular Adaptations: A Narrative Review
Sports 2021, 9(5), 59; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/sports9050059 - 08 May 2021
Abstract
The purpose of this article is to provide an overview of the growth, maturation and resistance training-related changes in muscle-tendon and neuromuscular mechanisms in youth, and the subsequent effect on performance. Sprinting, jumping, kicking, and throwing are common movements in sport that have [...] Read more.
The purpose of this article is to provide an overview of the growth, maturation and resistance training-related changes in muscle-tendon and neuromuscular mechanisms in youth, and the subsequent effect on performance. Sprinting, jumping, kicking, and throwing are common movements in sport that have been shown to develop naturally with age, with improvements in performance being attributed to growth and maturity-related changes in neuromuscular mechanisms. These changes include moderate to very large increases in muscle physiological cross-sectional area (CSA), muscle volume and thickness, tendon CSA and stiffness, fascicle length, muscle activation, pre-activation, stretch reflex control accompanied by large reductions in electro-mechanical delay and co-contraction. Furthermore, a limited number of training studies examining neuromuscular changes following four to 20 weeks of resistance training have reported trivial to moderate differences in tendon stiffness, muscle CSA, muscle thickness, and motor unit activation accompanied by reductions in electromechanical delay (EMD) in pre-pubertal children. However, the interaction of maturity- and training-related neuromuscular adaptions remains unclear. An understanding of how different neuromuscular mechanisms adapt in response to growth, maturation and training is important in order to optimise training responsiveness in youth populations. Additionally, the impact that these muscle-tendon and neuromuscular changes have on force producing capabilities underpinning performance is unclear. Full article
Review
Risk Factors, Diagnosis and Management of Bone Stress Injuries in Adolescent Athletes: A Narrative Review
Sports 2021, 9(4), 52; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/sports9040052 - 16 Apr 2021
Cited by 1
Abstract
Physical activity is known to be beneficial for bone; however, some athletes who train intensely are at risk of bone stress injury (BSI). Incidence in adolescent athlete populations is between 3.9 and 19% with recurrence rates as high as 21%. Participation in physical [...] Read more.
Physical activity is known to be beneficial for bone; however, some athletes who train intensely are at risk of bone stress injury (BSI). Incidence in adolescent athlete populations is between 3.9 and 19% with recurrence rates as high as 21%. Participation in physical training can be highly skeletally demanding, particularly during periods of rapid growth in adolescence, and when competition and training demands are heaviest. Sports involving running and jumping are associated with a higher incidence of BSI and some athletes appear to be more susceptible than others. Maintaining a very lean physique in aesthetic sports (gymnastics, figure skating and ballet) or a prolonged negative energy balance in extreme endurance events (long distance running and triathlon) may compound the risk of BSI with repetitive mechanical loading of bone, due to the additional negative effects of hormonal disturbances. The following review presents a summary of the epidemiology of BSI in the adolescent athlete, risk factors for BSI (physical and behavioural characteristics, energy balance and hormone disruption, growth velocity, sport-specific risk, training load, etc.), prevention and management strategies. Full article
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Review
The Implementation of Velocity-Based Training Paradigm for Team Sports: Framework, Technologies, Practical Recommendations and Challenges
Sports 2021, 9(4), 47; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/sports9040047 - 30 Mar 2021
Cited by 1
Abstract
While velocity-based training is currently a very popular paradigm to designing and monitoring resistance training programs, its implementation remains a challenge in team sports, where there are still some confusion and misinterpretations of its applications. In addition, in contexts with large squads, it [...] Read more.
While velocity-based training is currently a very popular paradigm to designing and monitoring resistance training programs, its implementation remains a challenge in team sports, where there are still some confusion and misinterpretations of its applications. In addition, in contexts with large squads, it is paramount to understand how to best use movement velocity in different exercises in a useful and time-efficient way. This manuscript aims to provide clarifications on the velocity-based training paradigm, movement velocity tracking technologies, assessment procedures and practical recommendations for its application during resistance training sessions, with the purpose of increasing performance, managing fatigue and preventing injuries. Guidelines to combine velocity metrics with subjective scales to prescribe training loads are presented, as well as methods to estimate 1-Repetition Maximum (1RM) on a daily basis using individual load–velocity profiles. Additionally, monitoring strategies to detect and evaluate changes in performance over time are discussed. Finally, limitations regarding the use of velocity of execution tracking devices and metrics such as “muscle power” are commented upon. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Perspectives in Resistance Training)
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Review
Loading Recommendations for Muscle Strength, Hypertrophy, and Local Endurance: A Re-Examination of the Repetition Continuum
Sports 2021, 9(2), 32; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/sports9020032 - 22 Feb 2021
Cited by 9
Abstract
Loading recommendations for resistance training are typically prescribed along what has come to be known as the “repetition continuum”, which proposes that the number of repetitions performed at a given magnitude of load will result in specific adaptations. Specifically, the theory postulates that [...] Read more.
Loading recommendations for resistance training are typically prescribed along what has come to be known as the “repetition continuum”, which proposes that the number of repetitions performed at a given magnitude of load will result in specific adaptations. Specifically, the theory postulates that heavy load training optimizes increases maximal strength, moderate load training optimizes increases muscle hypertrophy, and low-load training optimizes increases local muscular endurance. However, despite the widespread acceptance of this theory, current research fails to support some of its underlying presumptions. Based on the emerging evidence, we propose a new paradigm whereby muscular adaptations can be obtained, and in some cases optimized, across a wide spectrum of loading zones. The nuances and implications of this paradigm are discussed herein. Full article
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Review
Genetic Factors That Could Affect Concussion Risk in Elite Rugby
Sports 2021, 9(2), 19; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/sports9020019 - 22 Jan 2021
Abstract
Elite rugby league and union have some of the highest reported rates of concussion (mild traumatic brain injury) in professional sport due in part to their full-contact high-velocity collision-based nature. Currently, concussions are the most commonly reported match injury during the tackle for [...] Read more.
Elite rugby league and union have some of the highest reported rates of concussion (mild traumatic brain injury) in professional sport due in part to their full-contact high-velocity collision-based nature. Currently, concussions are the most commonly reported match injury during the tackle for both the ball carrier and the tackler (8–28 concussions per 1000 player match hours) and reports exist of reduced cognitive function and long-term health consequences that can end a playing career and produce continued ill health. Concussion is a complex phenotype, influenced by environmental factors and an individual’s genetic predisposition. This article reviews concussion incidence within elite rugby and addresses the biomechanics and pathophysiology of concussion and how genetic predisposition may influence incidence, severity and outcome. Associations have been reported between a variety of genetic variants and traumatic brain injury. However, little effort has been devoted to the study of genetic associations with concussion within elite rugby players. Due to a growing understanding of the molecular characteristics underpinning the pathophysiology of concussion, investigating genetic variation within elite rugby is a viable and worthy proposition. Therefore, we propose from this review that several genetic variants within or near candidate genes of interest, namely APOE, MAPT, IL6R, COMT, SLC6A4, 5-HTTLPR, DRD2, DRD4, ANKK1, BDNF and GRIN2A, warrant further study within elite rugby and other sports involving high-velocity collisions. Full article
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Review
Training Programs Designed for Muscle Hypertrophy in Bodybuilders: A Narrative Review
Sports 2020, 8(11), 149; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/sports8110149 - 18 Nov 2020
Cited by 4
Abstract
Bodybuilding is a sport that requires adequate training strategies in order to maximize skeletal muscle hypertrophy. The purpose of the present review was to perform a narrative assessment of the training routines designed for muscle hypertrophy used by bodybuilders. A search was carried [...] Read more.
Bodybuilding is a sport that requires adequate training strategies in order to maximize skeletal muscle hypertrophy. The purpose of the present review was to perform a narrative assessment of the training routines designed for muscle hypertrophy used by bodybuilders. A search was carried out in the databases Pubmed/MEDLINE, Scielo, EBSCO, LILACS, SportDiscus, Web of Science, and CINAHL with the words “Resistance training” and “hypertrophy” in bodybuilders and their variations that involve the respective outcomes. Fourteen studies were identified that investigated the long-term training routines of bodybuilders. These studies demonstrate a pattern in the training organization, whereby there is a separation of training into four distinct periods: off-season, pre-contest, peak week, and post-contest. Each period has a specific spectrum of intensity load, total training volume, and exercise type (multi- or single-joint). We conclude that bodybuilding competitors employed a higher intensity load, lower number of repetitions, and longer rest intervals in the off-season than pre-contest. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Periodization and Programming in Sports)
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Review
Tapering and Peaking Maximal Strength for Powerlifting Performance: A Review
Sports 2020, 8(9), 125; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/sports8090125 - 09 Sep 2020
Cited by 5
Abstract
Prior to major competitions, athletes often use a peaking protocol such as tapering or training cessation to improve performance. The majority of the current literature has focused on endurance-based sports such as swimming, cycling, and running to better understand how and when to [...] Read more.
Prior to major competitions, athletes often use a peaking protocol such as tapering or training cessation to improve performance. The majority of the current literature has focused on endurance-based sports such as swimming, cycling, and running to better understand how and when to taper or use training cessation to achieve the desired performance outcome. However, evidence regarding peaking protocols for strength and power athletes is lacking. Current limitations for peaking maximal strength is that many studies do not provide sufficient details for practitioners to use. Thus, when working with athletes such as powerlifters, weightlifters, throwers, and strongman competitors, practitioners must use trial and error to determine the best means for peaking rather than using an evidence-based protocol. More specifically, determining how to peak maximal strength using data derived from strength and power athletes has not been established. While powerlifting training (i.e., back squat, bench press, deadlift) is used by strength and power athletes up until the final days prior to a competition, understanding how to peak maximal strength relative to powerlifting performance is still unclear. Thus, the purpose of this study was to review the literature on tapering and training cessation practices relative to peaking powerlifting performance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Periodization and Programming in Sports)
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Review
Mechanisms of Hamstring Strain Injury: Interactions between Fatigue, Muscle Activation and Function
Sports 2020, 8(5), 65; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/sports8050065 - 18 May 2020
Cited by 11
Abstract
Isolated injury to the long head of biceps femoris is the most common type of acute hamstring strain injury (HSI). However, the precise hamstring injury mechanism (i.e., sprint-type) is still not well understood, and research is inconclusive as to which phase in the [...] Read more.
Isolated injury to the long head of biceps femoris is the most common type of acute hamstring strain injury (HSI). However, the precise hamstring injury mechanism (i.e., sprint-type) is still not well understood, and research is inconclusive as to which phase in the running cycle HSI risk is the greatest. Since detailed information relating to hamstring muscle function during sprint running cannot be obtained in vivo in humans, the findings of studies investigating HSI mechanisms are based on modeling that requires assumptions to be made based on extrapolations from anatomical and biomechanical investigations. As it is extremely difficult to account for all aspects of muscle-tendon tissues that influence function during high-intensity running actions, much of this complexity is not included in these models. Furthermore, the majority of analyses do not consider the influence of prior activity or muscular fatigue on kinematics, kinetics and muscle activation during sprinting. Yet, it has been shown that fatigue can lead to alterations in neuromuscular coordination patterns that could potentially increase injury risk. The present critical review will evaluate the current evidence on hamstring injury mechanism(s) during high-intensity running and discuss the interactions between fatigue and hamstring muscle activation and function. Full article
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Review
Factors Affecting Training and Physical Performance in Recreational Endurance Runners
Sports 2020, 8(3), 35; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/sports8030035 - 15 Mar 2020
Cited by 20
Abstract
Endurance running has become an immensely popular sporting activity, with millions of recreational runners around the world. Despite the great popularity of endurance running as a recreational activity during leisure time, there is no consensus on the best practice for recreational runners to [...] Read more.
Endurance running has become an immensely popular sporting activity, with millions of recreational runners around the world. Despite the great popularity of endurance running as a recreational activity during leisure time, there is no consensus on the best practice for recreational runners to effectively train to reach their individual objectives and improve physical performance in a healthy manner. Moreover, there are lots of anecdotal data without scientific support, while most scientific evidence on endurance running was developed from studies observing both recreational and professional athletes of different levels. Further, the transference of all this information to only recreational runners is difficult due to differences in the genetic predisposition for endurance running, the time available for training, and physical, psychological, and physiological characteristics. Therefore, the aim of this review is to present a selection of scientific evidence regarding endurance running to provide training guidelines to be used by recreational runners and their coaches. The review will focus on some key aspects of the training process, such as periodization, training methods and monitoring, performance prediction, running technique, and prevention and management of injuries associated with endurance running. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Athlete Performance Enhancement through Endurance Running Training)
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Review
Epidemiology of Acute Injuries in Surfing: Type, Location, Mechanism, Severity, and Incidence: A Systematic Review
Sports 2020, 8(2), 25; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/sports8020025 - 20 Feb 2020
Cited by 12
Abstract
Prospective and retrospective studies have examined traumatic injuries within competitive and recreational surfers worldwide using online surveys and health care facility (HCF; e.g., hospital, emergency department, medical record) data. However, few studies have provided a synthesis of all available literature. The purpose of [...] Read more.
Prospective and retrospective studies have examined traumatic injuries within competitive and recreational surfers worldwide using online surveys and health care facility (HCF; e.g., hospital, emergency department, medical record) data. However, few studies have provided a synthesis of all available literature. The purpose of this study was to obtain, critique and synthesise all literature specific to acute surfing injuries, and evaluate differences in injury type, mechanism and location between HCF and survey data. A systematic literature review design was used to identify relevant articles from three major databases. Peer-reviewed epidemiological studies of musculoskeletal surfing injuries were included. A modified AXIS tool was used for critical appraisal, and objective data was extracted and synthesized by lead researchers. Overall frequencies for injury location, type and mechanism were calculated from raw injury data. A total of 19 cross-sectional articles of fair to good quality (Modified AXIS 54.2–83.3%) were included in this study; 17 were National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) level III-2 (retrospective) and two were level II (prospective). Articles examined competitive, recreational and combined populations. Injury data from Australia, Brazil, UK, USA, Portugal, Japan, Norway, and worldwide were represented. Skin (46.0%; HCF 50.1%, survey 43.8%) and being struck by own surfboard (38.6%; HCF 73.4%, survey 36.7%) were the most common injury type and mechanism. Head, face and neck injuries were most common in HCF (43.1%) versus lower limb injuries (36.4%) in survey data. Incidence proportion was highest in aerialists (0.48). Incidence rate (number of injuries per 1000 h) ranged from 0.74 in Australian surfers (Melbourne) to 6.6 in international contest surfers from medical record data. This review highlights the prevalence of skin, board-related, head, face and neck, and lower limb surfing injuries across available literature. Proposed use of protective equipment and foam-based surfboards in dangerous or crowded surf locations may reduce injury risk. Full article
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Review
Exercise-Induced Mitohormesis for the Maintenance of Skeletal Muscle and Healthspan Extension
Sports 2019, 7(7), 170; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/sports7070170 - 11 Jul 2019
Cited by 18
Abstract
Oxidative damage is one mechanism linking aging with chronic diseases including the progressive loss of skeletal muscle mass and function called sarcopenia. Thus, mitigating oxidative damage is a potential avenue to prevent or delay the onset of chronic disease and/or extend healthspan. Mitochondrial [...] Read more.
Oxidative damage is one mechanism linking aging with chronic diseases including the progressive loss of skeletal muscle mass and function called sarcopenia. Thus, mitigating oxidative damage is a potential avenue to prevent or delay the onset of chronic disease and/or extend healthspan. Mitochondrial hormesis (mitohormesis) occurs when acute exposure to stress stimulates adaptive mitochondrial responses that improve mitochondrial function and resistance to stress. For example, an acute oxidative stress via mitochondrial superoxide production stimulates the activation of endogenous antioxidant gene transcription regulated by the redox sensitive transcription factor Nrf2, resulting in an adaptive hormetic response. In addition, acute stresses such as aerobic exercise stimulate the expansion of skeletal muscle mitochondria (i.e., mitochondrial biogenesis), constituting a mitohormetic response that protects from sarcopenia through a variety of mechanisms. This review summarized the effects of age-related declines in mitochondrial and redox homeostasis on skeletal muscle protein homeostasis and highlights the mitohormetic mechanisms by which aerobic exercise mitigates these age-related declines and maintains function. We discussed the potential efficacy of targeting the Nrf2 signaling pathway, which partially mediates adaptation to aerobic exercise, to restore mitochondrial and skeletal muscle function. Finally, we highlight knowledge gaps related to improving redox signaling and make recommendations for future research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biological Relationship Between Skeletal Muscle and Whole-Body Health)
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Review
Nutrition Recommendations for Bodybuilders in the Off-Season: A Narrative Review
Sports 2019, 7(7), 154; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/sports7070154 - 26 Jun 2019
Cited by 14
Abstract
Many nutrition practices often used by bodybuilders lack scientific support and can be detrimental to health. Recommendations during the dieting phase are provided in the scientific literature, but little attention has been devoted to bodybuilders during the off-season phase. During the off-season phase, [...] Read more.
Many nutrition practices often used by bodybuilders lack scientific support and can be detrimental to health. Recommendations during the dieting phase are provided in the scientific literature, but little attention has been devoted to bodybuilders during the off-season phase. During the off-season phase, the goal is to increase muscle mass without adding unnecessary body fat. This review evaluated the scientific literature and provides nutrition and dietary supplement recommendations for natural bodybuilders during the off-season phase. A hyper-energetic diet (~10–20%) should be consumed with a target weight gain of ~0.25–0.5% of bodyweight/week for novice/intermediate bodybuilders. Advanced bodybuilders should be more conservative with the caloric surplus and weekly weight gain. Sufficient protein (1.6–2.2 g/kg/day) should be consumed with optimal amounts 0.40–0.55 g/kg per meal and distributed evenly throughout the day (3–6 meals) including within 1–2 hours pre- and post-training. Fat should be consumed in moderate amounts (0.5–1.5 g/kg/day). Remaining calories should come from carbohydrates with focus on consuming sufficient amounts (≥3–5 g/kg/day) to support energy demands from resistance exercise. Creatine monohydrate (3–5 g/day), caffeine (5–6 mg/kg), beta-alanine (3–5 g/day) and citrulline malate (8 g/day) might yield ergogenic effects that can be beneficial for bodybuilders. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Skeletal Muscle Metabolism in Exercise)
Review
Physical Activity and Sports—Real Health Benefits: A Review with Insight into the Public Health of Sweden
Sports 2019, 7(5), 127; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/sports7050127 - 23 May 2019
Cited by 38
Abstract
Positive effects from sports are achieved primarily through physical activity, but secondary effects bring health benefits such as psychosocial and personal development and less alcohol consumption. Negative effects, such as the risk of failure, injuries, eating disorders, and burnout, are also apparent. Because [...] Read more.
Positive effects from sports are achieved primarily through physical activity, but secondary effects bring health benefits such as psychosocial and personal development and less alcohol consumption. Negative effects, such as the risk of failure, injuries, eating disorders, and burnout, are also apparent. Because physical activity is increasingly conducted in an organized manner, sport’s role in society has become increasingly important over the years, not only for the individual but also for public health. In this paper, we intend to describe sport’s physiological and psychosocial health benefits, stemming both from physical activity and from sport participation per se. This narrative review summarizes research and presents health-related data from Swedish authorities. It is discussed that our daily lives are becoming less physically active, while organized exercise and training increases. Average energy intake is increasing, creating an energy surplus, and thus, we are seeing an increasing number of people who are overweight, which is a strong contributor to health problems. Physical activity and exercise have significant positive effects in preventing or alleviating mental illness, including depressive symptoms and anxiety- or stress-related disease. In conclusion, sports can be evolving, if personal capacities, social situation, and biological and psychological maturation are taken into account. Evidence suggests a dose–response relationship such that being active, even to a modest level, is superior to being inactive or sedentary. Recommendations for healthy sports are summarized. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Intersection of Sport, Physical Activity and Human Health)
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Review
Training and Competition Readiness in Triathlon
Sports 2019, 7(5), 101; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/sports7050101 - 29 Apr 2019
Cited by 8
Abstract
Triathlon is characterized by the multidisciplinary nature of the sport where swimming, cycling, and running are completed sequentially in different events, such as the sprint, Olympic, long-distance, and Ironman formats. The large number of training sessions and overall volume undertaken by triathletes to [...] Read more.
Triathlon is characterized by the multidisciplinary nature of the sport where swimming, cycling, and running are completed sequentially in different events, such as the sprint, Olympic, long-distance, and Ironman formats. The large number of training sessions and overall volume undertaken by triathletes to improve fitness and performance can also increase the risk of injury, illness, or excessive fatigue. Short- and medium-term individualized training plans, periodization strategies, and work/rest balance are necessary to minimize interruptions to training due to injury, illness, or maladaptation. Even in the absence of health and wellbeing concerns, it is unclear whether cellular signals triggered by multiple training stimuli that drive training adaptations each day interfere with each other. Distribution of training intensity within and between different sessions is an important aspect of training. Both internal (perceived stress) and external loads (objective metrics) should be considered when monitoring training load. Incorporating strength training to complement the large body of endurance work in triathlon can help avoid overuse injuries. We explore emerging trends and strategies from the latest literature and evidence-based knowledge for improving training readiness and performance during competition in triathlon. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Maximising Triathlon Health and Performance: the State of the Art)
Review
Keto-Adaptation and Endurance Exercise Capacity, Fatigue Recovery, and Exercise-Induced Muscle and Organ Damage Prevention: A Narrative Review
Sports 2019, 7(2), 40; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/sports7020040 - 13 Feb 2019
Cited by 19
Abstract
A ketogenic diet (KD) could induce nutritional ketosis. Over time, the body will acclimate to use ketone bodies as a primary fuel to achieve keto-adaptation. Keto-adaptation may provide a consistent and fast energy supply, thus improving exercise performance and capacity. With its anti-inflammatory [...] Read more.
A ketogenic diet (KD) could induce nutritional ketosis. Over time, the body will acclimate to use ketone bodies as a primary fuel to achieve keto-adaptation. Keto-adaptation may provide a consistent and fast energy supply, thus improving exercise performance and capacity. With its anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative properties, a KD may contribute to muscle health, thus preventing exercise-induced fatigue and damage. Given the solid basis of its potential to improve exercise capacity, numerous investigations into KD and exercise have been carried out in recent years. This narrative review aims to summarize recent research about the potential of a KD as a nutritional approach during endurance exercise, focusing on endurance capacity, recovery from fatigue, and the prevention of exhaustive exercise-induced muscle and organ damage. Full article
Review
The Multimodal Nature of High-Intensity Functional Training: Potential Applications to Improve Sport Performance
Sports 2019, 7(2), 33; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/sports7020033 - 29 Jan 2019
Cited by 10
Abstract
Training for sports performance requires the development of multiple fitness components within the same program. In this context, training strategies that have the potential to concomitantly enhance metabolic and musculoskeletal fitness are of great value for athletes and coaches. The purpose of this [...] Read more.
Training for sports performance requires the development of multiple fitness components within the same program. In this context, training strategies that have the potential to concomitantly enhance metabolic and musculoskeletal fitness are of great value for athletes and coaches. The purpose of this manuscript is to review the current studies on high-intensity functional training (HIFT) and to assess how HIFT could be utilized in order to improve sport-specific performance. Studies on untrained and recreationally-active participants have led to positive results on aerobic power and anaerobic capacity, and muscular endurance, while results on muscular strength and power are less clear. Still, HIFT sessions can elicit high levels of metabolic stress and resistance training exercises are prescribed with parameters that can lead to improvements in muscular endurance, hypertrophy, strength, and power. As similar training interventions have been shown to be effective in the athletic population, it is possible that HIFT could be a time-efficient training intervention that can positively impact athletes’ performances. While the potential for improvements in fitness and performance with HIFT is promising, there is a clear need for controlled studies that employ this training strategy in athletes in order to assess its effectiveness in this population. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Research on High Intensity Functional Training)
Review
Intermittent Dieting: Theoretical Considerations for the Athlete
Sports 2019, 7(1), 22; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/sports7010022 - 16 Jan 2019
Cited by 11
Abstract
Athletes utilise numerous strategies to reduce body weight or body fat prior to competition. The traditional approach requires continuous energy restriction (CER) for the entire weight loss phase (typically days to weeks). However, there is some suggestion that intermittent energy restriction (IER), which [...] Read more.
Athletes utilise numerous strategies to reduce body weight or body fat prior to competition. The traditional approach requires continuous energy restriction (CER) for the entire weight loss phase (typically days to weeks). However, there is some suggestion that intermittent energy restriction (IER), which involves alternating periods of energy restriction with periods of greater energy intake (referred to as ‘refeeds’ or ‘diet breaks’) may result in superior weight loss outcomes than CER. This may be due to refeed periods causing transitory restoration of energy balance. Some studies indicate that intermittent periods of energy balance during energy restriction attenuate some of the adaptive responses that resist the continuation of weight and fat loss. While IER—like CER—is known to effectively reduce body fat in non-athletes, evidence for effectiveness of IER in athletic populations is lacking. This review provides theoretical considerations for successful body composition adjustment using IER, with discussion of how the limited existing evidence can be cautiously applied in athlete practice. Full article
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Review
Monitoring Exercise-Induced Muscle Fatigue and Adaptations: Making Sense of Popular or Emerging Indices and Biomarkers
Sports 2018, 6(4), 153; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/sports6040153 - 26 Nov 2018
Cited by 15
Abstract
Regular exercise with the appropriate intensity and duration may improve an athlete’s physical capacities by targeting different performance determinants across the endurance–strength spectrum aiming to delay fatigue. The mechanisms of muscle fatigue depend on exercise intensity and duration and may range from substrate [...] Read more.
Regular exercise with the appropriate intensity and duration may improve an athlete’s physical capacities by targeting different performance determinants across the endurance–strength spectrum aiming to delay fatigue. The mechanisms of muscle fatigue depend on exercise intensity and duration and may range from substrate depletion to acidosis and product inhibition of adenosinetriphosphatase (ATPase) and glycolysis. Fatigue mechanisms have been studied in isolated muscles; single muscle fibers (intact or skinned) or at the level of filamentous or isolated motor proteins; with each approach contributing to our understanding of the fatigue phenomenon. In vivo methods for monitoring fatigue include the assessment of various functional indices supported by the use of biochemical markers including blood lactate levels and more recently redox markers. Blood lactate measurements; as an accompaniment of functional assessment; are extensively used for estimating the contribution of the anaerobic metabolism to energy expenditure and to help interpret an athlete’s resistance to fatigue during high intensity exercise. Monitoring of redox indices is gaining popularity in the applied sports performance setting; as oxidative stress is not only a fatigue agent which may play a role in the pathophysiology of overtraining syndrome; but also constitutes an important signaling pathway for training adaptations; thus reflecting training status. Careful planning of sampling and interpretation of blood biomarkers should be applied; especially given that their levels can fluctuate according to an athlete’s lifestyle and training histories. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physiological Responses During Exercise)
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Review
A Brief Review on Concurrent Training: From Laboratory to the Field
Sports 2018, 6(4), 127; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/sports6040127 - 24 Oct 2018
Cited by 20
Abstract
The majority of sports rely on concurrent training (CT; e.g., the simultaneous training of strength and endurance). However, a phenomenon called “Concurrent training effect” (CTE), which is a compromise in adaptation resulting from concurrent training, appears to be mostly affected by the interference [...] Read more.
The majority of sports rely on concurrent training (CT; e.g., the simultaneous training of strength and endurance). However, a phenomenon called “Concurrent training effect” (CTE), which is a compromise in adaptation resulting from concurrent training, appears to be mostly affected by the interference of the molecular pathways of the underlying adaptations from each type of training segments. Until now, it seems that the volume, intensity, type, frequency of endurance training, as well as the training history and background strongly affect the CTE. High volume, moderate, continuous and frequent endurance training, are thought to negatively affect the resistance training-induced adaptations, probably by inhibition of the Protein kinase B—mammalian target of rapamycin pathway activation, of the adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK). In contrast, it seems that short bouts of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) or sprint interval training (SIT) minimize the negative effects of concurrent training. This is particularly the case when HIIT and SIT incorporated in cycling have even lower or even no negative effects, while they provide at least the same metabolic adaptations, probably through the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ coactivator (PGC-1a) pathway. However, significant questions about the molecular events underlying the CTE remain unanswered. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physiological Responses During Exercise)
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Review
A Brief Review of Personality in Marathon Runners: The Role of Sex, Age and Performance Level
Sports 2018, 6(3), 99; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/sports6030099 - 18 Sep 2018
Cited by 12
Abstract
The participation of recreational runners in sport events ranging from 5 km to ultra-endurance races have increased dramatically during the last decades and this phenomenon has attracted scientific interest. Most research has focused on the physiological characteristics of these runners and less in [...] Read more.
The participation of recreational runners in sport events ranging from 5 km to ultra-endurance races have increased dramatically during the last decades and this phenomenon has attracted scientific interest. Most research has focused on the physiological characteristics of these runners and less in their psychological characteristics. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to review the existing knowledge with regards to the personality of recreational endurance runners and the role of sex, age and performance. It was concluded that limited information was available with regards to the personality of recreational marathon runners. So far, our knowledge on the personality of marathon runners relied on studies conducted a few decades ago, mostly on competitive marathon runners, highlighting the need for original research on recreational runners. Full article
Review
The Potential Role of Genetic Markers in Talent Identification and Athlete Assessment in Elite Sport
Sports 2018, 6(3), 88; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/sports6030088 - 30 Aug 2018
Cited by 11
Abstract
In elite sporting codes, the identification and promotion of future athletes into specialised talent pathways is heavily reliant upon objective physical, technical, and tactical characteristics, in addition to subjective coach assessments. Despite the availability of a plethora of assessments, the dependence on subjective [...] Read more.
In elite sporting codes, the identification and promotion of future athletes into specialised talent pathways is heavily reliant upon objective physical, technical, and tactical characteristics, in addition to subjective coach assessments. Despite the availability of a plethora of assessments, the dependence on subjective forms of identification remain commonplace in most sporting codes. More recently, genetic markers, including several single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), have been correlated with enhanced aerobic capacity, strength, and an overall increase in athletic ability. In this review, we discuss the effects of a number of candidate genes on athletic performance, across single-skilled and multifaceted sporting codes, and propose additional markers for the identification of motor skill acquisition and learning. While displaying some inconsistencies, both the ACE and ACTN3 polymorphisms appear to be more prevalent in strength and endurance sporting teams, and have been found to correlate to physical assessments. More recently, a number of polymorphisms reportedly correlating to athlete performance have gained attention, however inconsistent research design and varying sports make it difficult to ascertain the relevance to the wider sporting population. In elucidating the role of genetic markers in athleticism, existing talent identification protocols may significantly improve—and ultimately enable—targeted resourcing in junior talent pathways. Full article
Review
High-Intensity Functional Training (HIFT): Definition and Research Implications for Improved Fitness
Sports 2018, 6(3), 76; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/sports6030076 - 07 Aug 2018
Cited by 70
Abstract
High-intensity functional training (HIFT) is an exercise modality that emphasizes functional, multi-joint movements that can be modified to any fitness level and elicit greater muscle recruitment than more traditional exercise. As a relatively new training modality, HIFT is often compared to high-intensity interval [...] Read more.
High-intensity functional training (HIFT) is an exercise modality that emphasizes functional, multi-joint movements that can be modified to any fitness level and elicit greater muscle recruitment than more traditional exercise. As a relatively new training modality, HIFT is often compared to high-intensity interval training (HIIT), yet the two are distinct. HIIT exercise is characterized by relatively short bursts of repeated vigorous activity, interspersed by periods of rest or low-intensity exercise for recovery, while HIFT utilizes constantly varied functional exercises and various activity durations that may or may not incorporate rest. Over the last decade, studies evaluating the effectiveness of HIIT programs have documented improvements in metabolic and cardiorespiratory adaptations; however, less is known about the effects of HIFT. The purpose of this manuscript is to provide a working definition of HIFT and review the available literature regarding its use to improve metabolic and cardiorespiratory adaptations in strength and conditioning programs among various populations. Additionally, we aim to create a definition that is used in future publications to evaluate more effectively the future impact of this type of training on health and fitness outcomes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Research on High Intensity Functional Training)

Other

Perspective
Effect of Exercise Intensity on Cell-Mediated Immunity
Sports 2021, 9(1), 8; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/sports9010008 - 11 Jan 2021
Cited by 10
Abstract
Moderate-intensity exercise is considered to enhance immune function and to be useful for preventing acute upper respiratory infections and similar conditions. Many people practice low-intensity short-duration exercise with the expectation of a beneficial effect on immunocompetency. However, it is difficult to affirm the [...] Read more.
Moderate-intensity exercise is considered to enhance immune function and to be useful for preventing acute upper respiratory infections and similar conditions. Many people practice low-intensity short-duration exercise with the expectation of a beneficial effect on immunocompetency. However, it is difficult to affirm the existence of definite evidence of such a benefit. In this article, we discuss the effects of low-intensity short-duration exercise on cell-mediated immunity, and contrast them to the effects of high-intensity and long-duration exercise. Whereas high-intensity exercise induces inflammation and reduces cell-mediated immune system function, low-intensity exercise does not appear to have a large effect on either inflammation or cell-mediated immune function. Low-intensity exercises such as walking and yoga, which are helpful to relieve stress, cannot be considered as harmful to the immune system. Although yoga was shown to impose fewer restrictions on breathing and physical strain, the evidence that yoga enhances cell-mediated immunity remains insufficient. Therefore, further studies are needed to examine the exercise mode that may be most effective for improvement of immune functions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effects of Exercise on the Immune System)
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Perspective
Calculating Set-Volume for the Limb Muscles with the Performance of Multi-Joint Exercises: Implications for Resistance Training Prescription
Sports 2019, 7(7), 177; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/sports7070177 - 22 Jul 2019
Cited by 6
Abstract
Resistance training volume, determined by the number of sets performed (set-volume) is considered one of the key variables in promoting muscle hypertrophy. To better guide resistance exercise prescription for weekly per-muscle training volume, the purpose of this paper is to provide evidence-based considerations [...] Read more.
Resistance training volume, determined by the number of sets performed (set-volume) is considered one of the key variables in promoting muscle hypertrophy. To better guide resistance exercise prescription for weekly per-muscle training volume, the purpose of this paper is to provide evidence-based considerations for set-volume ratios between multi-joint (MJ) and single-joint (SJ) exercises so that practitioners can better manage prescription of training volume in program design. We analyzed this topic from three primary areas of focus: (1) biomechanical and physiological factors; (2) acute research; and (3) longitudinal research. From a biomechanical and physiological standpoint, when considering force production of different muscle groups, the moment arm of a given muscle, “motor abundance”, the link between biomechanics and exercise-induced fatigue, as well as the amount of time in voluntary muscle activation, a logical rationale can be made for SJ exercises producing greater hypertrophy of the limb muscles than MJ exercises (at least from specific exercises and under certain conditions). This would mean that sets for a MJ exercise should be counted fractionally for select muscles compared to an SJ exercise (i.e., less than a 1:1 ratio) when prescribing set-volumes for given muscles. When considering results from acute studies that measured muscle activation during the performance of SJ and MJ exercises, it seems that MJ exercises are not sufficient to maximize muscle activation of specific muscles. For example, during performance of the leg press and squat, muscle activation of the hamstrings is markedly lower than that of the quadriceps. These results suggest that a 1:1 ratio cannot be assumed. Current longitudinal research comparing the effects of training with MJ vs. SJ or MJ + SJ exercises is limited to the elbow flexors and the evidence is somewhat conflicting. Until more research is conducted to derive stronger conclusions on the topic, we propose the best advice would be to view set-volume prescription on a 1:1 basis, and then use logical rationale and personal expertise to make determinations on program design. Future research should focus on investigating longitudinal hypertrophic changes between MJ and SJ in a variety of populations, particularly resistance-trained individuals, while using site-specific measures of muscle growth to more systematically and precisely compute effective individualized set-volumes. Full article
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