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Journal Cover   Sports
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  This is an Open Access Journal Open Access journal
   ISSN (Online) 2075-4663
   Published by MDPI Homepage  [140 journals]
  • Sports, Vol. 3, Pages 136-144: The Effect of High Intensity Intermittent
           Exercise on Power Output for the Upper Body

    • Authors: Leonie Harvey, Matthew Bousson, Chris McLellan, Dale Lovell
      Pages: 136 - 144
      Abstract: The aim of the present study was to examine and measure high intensity, intermittent upper body performance, in addition to identifying areas of the body that affect the variance in total work done during the 5 × 6 s sprint test. Fifteen males completed an upper body 5 × 6 s sprint test on a modified electro-magnetically braked cycle ergometer, which consisted of five maximal effort sprints, each 6 s in duration, separated by 24 s of passive recovery. A fly wheel braking force corresponding to 5% of the participants’ body weight was used as the implemented resistance level. Body composition was measured using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA). Percent (%) decrement was calculated as 100 − (Total work/ideal work) × 100. Significant (P < 0.05) differences were found between sprints for both absolute and relative (W, W·kg−1, W·kg−1 Lean body mass (LBM) and W·kg−1 Upper body lean body mass (UBLBM)) peak (PP) and mean (MP) power. The % decrement in total work done over the five sprints was 11.4%. Stepwise multiple linear regression analysis revealed that UBLBM accounts for 87% of the variance in total work done during the upper body 5 × 6 s sprint test. These results provide a descriptive analysis of upper body, high intensity intermittent exercise, demonstrating that PP and MP output decreased significantly during the upper body 5 × 6 s sprint test.
      PubDate: 2015-06-30
      DOI: 10.3390/sports3030136
      Issue No: Vol. 3, No. 3 (2015)
  • Sports, Vol. 3, Pages 145-158: Physical Activity and Gastrointestinal
           Cancers: Primary and Tertiary Preventive Effects and Possible Biological

    • Authors: Karen Steindorf, Dorothea Clauss, Joachim Wiskemann, Martina Schmidt
      Pages: 145 - 158
      Abstract: Gastrointestinal cancers account for 37% of all cancer deaths worldwide, underlining the need to further investigate modifiable factors for gastrointestinal cancer risk and prognosis. This review summarizes the corresponding evidence for physical activity (PA), including, briefly, possible biological mechanisms. Despite high public health relevance, there is still a scarcity of studies, especially for tertiary prevention. Besides the convincing evidence of beneficial effects of PA on colon cancer risk, clear risk reduction for gastroesophageal cancer was identified, as well as weak indications for pancreatic cancer. Inverse associations were observed for liver cancer, yet based on few studies. Only for rectal cancer, PA appeared to be not associated with cancer risk. With regard to cancer-specific mortality of the general population, published data were rare but indicated suggestive evidence of protective effects for colon and liver cancer, and to a lesser extent for rectal and gastroesophageal cancer. Studies in cancer patients on cancer-specific and total mortality were published for colorectal cancer only, providing good evidence of inverse associations with post-diagnosis PA. Overall, evidence of associations of PA with gastrointestinal cancer risk and progression is promising but still limited. However, the already available knowledge further underlines the importance of PA to combat cancer.
      PubDate: 2015-07-21
      DOI: 10.3390/sports3030145
      Issue No: Vol. 3, No. 3 (2015)
  • Sports, Vol. 3, Pages 159-177: Narratives of Psychosocial Response to
           Microtrauma Injury among Long-Distance Runners

    • Authors: Hayley Russell, Diane Wiese-Bjornstal
      Pages: 159 - 177
      Abstract: Athletes with microtrauma or overuse injuries resulting from an accumulation of repeated small forces may differ from athletes with macrotrauma or acute injuries in their psychosocial responses because of the unique challenges presented by these insidious-onset and often chronic injuries. Our purpose was to use narrative inquiry to examine the psychosocial experiences and responses of 10 long-distance runners who had experienced microtrauma injuries. Qualitative data analysis of interview data led to a chronological timeline of the injury experience and an assessment of the meaning attributed to these injury experiences using a variation of Mishler’s core-narrative approach. Participants reported distinct thoughts, feelings, and behaviors during each phase of the injury—pre-injury, injury onset, and outcome. In the pre-injury period, participants indicated specific running-related goals and attributed their injuries to overtraining or a change in training. During the injury onset phase, participants consistently indicated two themes: self-diagnosis and treatment, and not taking time off. Within the outcome phase of injury, participants acknowledged changed training because of the injury, and lessons learned from their injury experiences. The narratives of microtrauma-injured runners revealed psychosocial distress and behavioral tendencies post-injury that have important implications for runners, coaches, and healthcare professionals.
      PubDate: 2015-07-30
      DOI: 10.3390/sports3030159
      Issue No: Vol. 3, No. 3 (2015)
  • Sports, Vol. 3, Pages 178-187: A Comparison of Upper Body Strength between
           Rock Climbing and Resistance Trained Men

    • Authors: Kristina Macias, Lee Brown, Jared Coburn, David Chen
      Pages: 178 - 187
      Abstract: Studies have shown that advanced rock climbers have greater upper body strength than that of novice climbers or non-climbers. The purpose of this study was to compare upper body strength between rock climbing and resistance trained men. Fifteen resistance trained men (age 25.28 ± 2.26 yrs; height 177.45 ± 4.08 cm; mass 85.17 ± 10.23 kg; body fat 10.13 ± 5.40%) and 15 rock climbing men (age 23.25 ± 2.23 yrs; height 175.57 ± 8.03 cm; mass 66.66 ± 9.40 kg; body fat 6.86 ± 3.82%) volunteered to participate. Rock climbing (RC) men had been climbing for at least two years, 2–3 times a week, able to climb at least a boulder rating of V4–5 and had no current injuries. Resistance trained (RT) men had been total body strength training for at least two years, 2–3 times a week with no current injuries. Each participant performed pull-ups to failure, grip strength, and pinch strength. RT were significantly older and heavier than RC. RC performed significantly more pull-ups (19.31 ± 4.31) than RT (15.64 ± 4.82). RC had greater relative pinch strength (R 0.27 ± 0.10 kg/kg; L 0.24 ± 0.07 kg/kg) than RT (R 0.19 ± 0.04 kg/kg; L 0.16 ± 0.05 kg/kg) and greater relative grip strength (R 0.70 ± 0.10 kg/kg; L 0.65 ± 0.12 kg/kg) than RT (R 0.57 ± 0.14 kg/kg; L 0.56 ± 0.15 kg/kg). Overall, RC men demonstrated greater performance in tests involving relative strength when compared to RT men. Rock climbing can promote increased upper body strength even in the absence of traditional resistance training.
      PubDate: 2015-07-30
      DOI: 10.3390/sports3030178
      Issue No: Vol. 3, No. 3 (2015)
  • Sports, Vol. 3, Pages 188-201: Upper Extremity Muscle Activation during
           Bodyblade Exercises Following Six Weeks of Intervention Focusing on the
           Lumbopelvic-Hip Complex

    • Authors: Gretchen Oliver, Audrey Stone, Wendi Weimar, Lawrence Lemak, Jessica Washington, Christopher Dougherty
      Pages: 188 - 201
      Abstract: The current study examined the effects of a six-week lumbopelvic-hip complex (LPHC) strengthening program on muscle activation when performing the shoulder dump exercise. The shoulder dump is a total body exercise that includes overhead arm movements. A pre-post test with a control group was implemented. Twenty-seven graduate students (23.5 ± 1.34 yr; 174.4 ± 11.0 cm; 76.6 ± 16.9 kg) participated. Participants were randomly assigned to a control or intervention group where the intervention group performed LPHC exercises. Two-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) revealed a significant increase in muscle activation of the serratus anterior from pre- and post-LPHC intervention, (t = 6.5, p < 0.001). As presented by these data, incorporation of LPHC exercises may assist in facilitating greater activation in some of the scapula-stabilizing musculature that has traditionally been rehabilitated in prone or side-lying positions. It is, therefore, suggested that LPHC exercises be incorporated in a regular shoulder rehabilitation program.
      PubDate: 2015-08-06
      DOI: 10.3390/sports3030188
      Issue No: Vol. 3, No. 3 (2015)
  • Sports, Vol. 3, Pages 202-208: The Effect of Kettlebell Swing Load and
           Cadence on Physiological, Perceptual and Mechanical Variables

    • Authors: Michael Duncan, Rosanna Gibbard, Leanne Raymond, Peter Mundy
      Pages: 202 - 208
      Abstract: This study compared the physiological, perceptual and mechanical responses to kettlebell swings at different loads and swing speeds. Following familiarization 16 strength trained participants (10 males, six females, mean age ± SD = 23 ± 2.9) performed four trials: 2 min kettlebell swings with an 8 kg kettlebell at a fast cadence; 2 min kettlebell swings with an 8 kg kettlebell at a slow cadence; 4 min kettlebell swings with a 4 kg kettlebell at a fast cadence; 4 min kettlebell swings with a 4 kg kettlebell at a slow cadence. Repeated measured analysis of variance indicated no significant differences in peak blood lactate or peak net vertical force across loads and cadences (P > 0.05). Significant main effect for time for heart rate indicated that heart rate was higher at the end of each bout than at mid-point (P = 0.001). A significant Load X cadence interaction for rating of perceived exertion (RPE) (P = 0.030) revealed that RPE values were significantly higher in the 8 kg slow cadence condition compared to the 4 kg slow (P = 0.002) and 4 kg fast (P = 0.016) conditions. In summary, this study indicates that the physiological and mechanical responses to kettlebell swings at 4 kg and 8 kg loads and at fast and slow cadence were similar, whereas the perceptual response is greater when swinging an 8 kg kettlebell at slow cadence.
      PubDate: 2015-08-07
      DOI: 10.3390/sports3030202
      Issue No: Vol. 3, No. 3 (2015)
  • Sports, Vol. 3, Pages 209-218: Less Is More: The Physiological Basis for
           Tapering in Endurance, Strength, and Power Athletes

    • Authors: Kevin Murach, James Bagley
      Pages: 209 - 218
      Abstract: Taper, or reduced-volume training, improves competition performance across a broad spectrum of exercise modes and populations. This article aims to highlight the physiological mechanisms, namely in skeletal muscle, by which taper improves performance and provide a practical literature-based rationale for implementing taper in varied athletic disciplines. Special attention will be paid to strength- and power-oriented athletes as taper is under-studied and often overlooked in these populations. Tapering can best be summarized by the adage “less is more” because maintained intensity and reduced volume prior to competition yields significant performance benefits.
      PubDate: 2015-08-21
      DOI: 10.3390/sports3030209
      Issue No: Vol. 3, No. 3 (2015)
  • Sports, Vol. 3, Pages 219-235: Recommendations for Recruiting and
           Retaining Adolescent Girls in Chronic Exercise (Training) Research Studies

    • Authors: Rachel Massie, Brett Smith, Keith Tolfrey
      Pages: 219 - 235
      Abstract: Extensive challenges are often encountered when recruiting participants to chronic exercise (training) studies. High participant burden during chronic exercise training programmes can result in low uptake to and/or poor compliance with the study. The aim of this qualitative study was to identify factors affecting adolescent girls’ recruitment and adherence to chronic exercise training research studies. Twenty-six adolescent girls (aged 12 to 15 years) participated in one of five focus groups discussing recruitment and retention to exercise physiology research involving a chronic exercise training programme. A thematic analysis was used to analyse the data and eight final themes were inductively identified. Seven evidence-based practical recommendations are suggested to improve the recruitment and retention of participants for prospective, chronic exercise training studies. Successful recruitment requires: (i) the defining of exercise-related terms; (ii) appropriate choice of recruitment material; and (iii) an understanding of participant motivations. Retention strategies include: (iv) regular monitoring of participant motives; and (v) small groups which foster peer and researcher support. Finally, (vi) friendship and ability groups were favoured in addition to (vii) a variety of activities to promote adherence to an exercise training programme.
      PubDate: 2015-08-26
      DOI: 10.3390/sports3030219
      Issue No: Vol. 3, No. 3 (2015)
  • Sports, Vol. 3, Pages 56-76: Neuromuscular Retraining in Female Adolescent
           Athletes: Effect on Athletic Performance Indices and Noncontact Anterior
           Cruciate Ligament Injury Rates

    • Authors: Frank Noyes, Sue Barber-Westin
      Pages: 56 - 76
      Abstract: While many anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) prevention programs have been published, few have achieved significant reductions in injury rates and improvements in athletic performance indices; both of which may increase compliance and motivation of athletes to participate. A supervised neuromuscular retraining program (18 sessions) was developed, aimed at achieving both of these objectives. The changes in neuromuscular indices were measured after training in 1000 female athletes aged 13–18 years, and the noncontact ACL injury rate in 700 of these trained athletes was compared with that of 1120 control athletes. There were significant improvements in the drop-jump test, (p < 0.0001, effect size [ES] 0.97), the single-leg triple crossover hop (p < 0.0001, ES 0.47), the t-test (p < 0.0001, ES 0.64), the multi-stage fitness test (p < 0.0001, ES 0.57), hamstring strength (p < 0.0001), and quadriceps strength (p < 0.01). The trained athletes had a significant reduction in the noncontact ACL injury incidence rate compared with the controls (1 ACL injury in 36,724 athlete-exposures [0.03] and 13 ACL injuries in 61,244 exposures [0.21], respectively, p = 0.03). The neuromuscular retraining program was effective in reducing noncontact ACL injury rate and improving athletic performance indicators.
      PubDate: 2015-05-13
      DOI: 10.3390/sports3020056
      Issue No: Vol. 3, No. 2 (2015)
  • Sports, Vol. 3, Pages 77-86: A Retrospective Review from 2006 to 2011 of
           Lower Extremity Injuries in Badminton in New Zealand

    • Authors: Joanna Reeves, Patria Hume, Simon Gianotti, Barry Wilson, Erika Ikeda
      Pages: 77 - 86
      Abstract: Aim: To describe lower extremity injuries for badminton in New Zealand. Methods: Lower limb badminton injuries that resulted in claims accepted by the national insurance company Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) in New Zealand between 2006 and 2011 were reviewed. Results: The estimated national injury incidence for badminton injuries in New Zealand from 2006 to 2011 was 0.66%. There were 1909 lower limb badminton injury claims which cost NZ$2,014,337 (NZ$ value over 2006 to 2011). The age-bands frequently injured were 10–19 (22%), 40–49 (22%), 30–39 (14%) and 50–59 (13%) years. Sixty five percent of lower limb injuries were knee ligament sprains/tears. Males sustained more cruciate ligament sprains than females (75 vs. 39). Movements involving turning, changing direction, shifting weight, pivoting or twisting were responsible for 34% of lower extremity injuries. Conclusion: The knee was most frequently injured which could be due to multi-planar loading. Turning or cutting movements typically involve motion in the frontal and transverse planes that may place the knee at greater risk of injury than movement in the sagittal plane alone. Further research on badminton specific movements is warranted to better understand the mechanisms of lower extremity injuries in the sport. Sports medicine and support personnel should take into account the susceptibility of the knee to injury when designing training and injury prevention programmes given the large number of change of direction movements during badminton.
      PubDate: 2015-06-12
      DOI: 10.3390/sports3020077
      Issue No: Vol. 3, No. 2 (2015)
  • Sports, Vol. 3, Pages 87-102: Relationship between the Pedaling
           Biomechanics and Strain of Bicycle Frame during Submaximal Tests

    • Authors: Aneliya Manolova, Samuel Crequy, Philippe Lestriez, Pierre Debraux, William Bertucci
      Pages: 87 - 102
      Abstract: The aim of this study was to analyse the effect of forces applied to pedals and cranks on the strain imposed to an instrumented bicycle motocross (BMX) frame. Using results from a finite element analysis to determine the localisation of highest stress, eight strain gauges were located on the down tube, the seat tube and the right chain stay. Before the pedaling tests, static loads were applied to the frame during bench tests. Two pedaling conditions have been analysed. In the first, the rider was in static standing position on the pedals and applied maximal muscular isometric force to the right pedal. The second pedaling condition corresponds to three pedaling sprint tests at submaximal intensities at 150, 300 and 550 W on a cycle-trainer. The results showed that smaller strain was observed in the pedaling condition than in the rider static standing position condition. The highest strains were located in the seat tube and the right chain stay near the bottom bracket area. The maximum stress observed through all conditions was 41 MPa on the right chain stay. This stress was 11 times lower than the yield stress of the frame material (460 MPa). This protocol could help to adapt the frame design to the riders as a function of their force and mechanical power output. These results could also help design BMX frames for specific populations (females) and rider morphology.
      PubDate: 2015-06-16
      DOI: 10.3390/sports3020087
      Issue No: Vol. 3, No. 2 (2015)
  • Sports, Vol. 3, Pages 103-115: An Overview of the Running Performance of
           Athletes with Lower-Limb Amputation at the Paralympic Games

    • Authors: Hossein Hassani, Mansi Ghodsi, Mehran Shadi, Siamak Noroozi, Bryce Dyer
      Pages: 103 - 115
      Abstract: This paper analyses the performances of lower-limb amputees in the 100, 200 and 400 m running events from the 2004, 2008 and 2012 Paralympic Games. In this paper, four hypotheses are pursued. In the first, it investigates whether the running performance of lower-limb amputees over three consecutive Paralympic Games has changed. In the second, it asks whether a bi-lateral amputee has a competitive advantage over a uni-lateral amputee. In the third, the effect of blade classification has been considered and we attempt to see whether amputees in various classifications have different level of performance. Finally, it is considered whether the final round of competition obtains different levels of performance in comparison to the qualification heats. Based on the outcomes of these investigations, it is proposed that future amputee-based running events should be undertaken with separate and not combined events for the T42, T43 and T44 classifications at the Paralympic Games.
      PubDate: 2015-06-16
      DOI: 10.3390/sports3020103
      Issue No: Vol. 3, No. 2 (2015)
  • Sports, Vol. 3, Pages 116-135: The Somnolent Youth-Sleep and the Influence
           of Exercise: A Narrative Review

    • Authors: Haresh Suppiah, Michael Chia
      Pages: 116 - 135
      Abstract: Sleep is crucial to the physiological and psychological development of youth. The implications of insufficient sleep on learning and school performance are well documented. However, adequate sleep often goes unmet due to a combination of biological, societal, and environmental factors, especially during adolescence. In the present review, the changes to adolescent sleep patterns, and its consequences on cognition and learning are briefly explored. We then review the empirical literature of the role of exercise in regulating adolescent sleep patterns, and its potential mechanisms.
      PubDate: 2015-06-23
      DOI: 10.3390/sports3020116
      Issue No: Vol. 3, No. 2 (2015)
  • Sports, Vol. 3, Pages 1-11: The Association between Anthropometric
           Variables, Functional Movement Screen Scores and 100 m Freestyle Swimming
           Performance in Youth Swimmers

    • Authors: Daisy Bond, Laura Goodson, Samuel Oxford, Alan Nevill, Michael Duncan
      Pages: 1 - 11
      Abstract: This study examined the association between anthropometric variables, Functional Movement Screen (FMS) scores and 100 m freestyle swimming performance in early adolescent swimmers. Fifty competitive, national level, youth swimmers (21 males, 29 females, mean age ± SD = 13.5 ± 1.5 years, age range 11–16 years) performed an “all-out” 100 m freestyle (front crawl) swim as fast as they could in a 50 m pool. A median divide for 100 m timed swim was also used to divide the sample into faster or slower groups. Height, body mass, skinfolds and limb lengths were also assessed. Maturation was calculated by proxy using anthropometric measures and participants also undertook the FMS as a measure of functional performance. Backwards linear regression indicated a significant model (p = 0.0001, Adjusted R2 = 0.638) explaining 63.8% of the variance in swim performance with total sum of skinfolds, upper leg length, lower leg length, hand length and total height significantly contributing to the model. Swimmers who were classed as fast had lower total sum of skinfolds (p = 0.005) and higher total FMS score (p = 0.005) compared to their slower peers. In summary, this study indicates that anthropometric variables significantly explained the variance in 100 m freestyle swimming performance in youth swimmers.
      PubDate: 2015-01-08
      DOI: 10.3390/sports3010001
      Issue No: Vol. 3, No. 1 (2015)
  • Sports, Vol. 3, Pages 12-20: Effect of Level and Downhill Running on
           Breathing Efficiency

    • Authors: Matthew Cook, Stephen Myers, John Kelly, Mark Willems
      Pages: 12 - 20
      Abstract: Ventilatory equivalents for oxygen and carbon dioxide are physiological measures of breathing efficiency, and are known to be affected by the intensity and mode of exercise. We examined the effect of level running (gradient 0%) and muscle-damaging downhill running (−12%), matched for oxygen uptake, on the ventilatory equivalents for oxygen () and carbon dioxide (). Nine men (27 ± 9 years, 179 ± 7 cm, 75 ± 12 kg, : 52.0 ± 7.7 mL·kg−1·min−1) completed two 40-min running bouts (5 × 8-min with 2-min inter-bout rest), one level and one downhill. Running intensity was matched at 60% of maximal metabolic equivalent. Maximal isometric force of m.quadriceps femoris was measured before and after the running bouts. Data was analyzed with 2-way ANOVA or paired samples t-tests. Running speed (downhill: 13.5 ± 3.2, level: 9.6 ± 2.2 km·h−1) and isometric force deficits (downhill: 17.2 ± 7.6%, level: 2.0 ± 6.9%) were higher for downhill running. Running bouts for level and downhill gradients had , heart rates and respiratory exchange ratio values that were not different indicating matched intensity and metabolic demands. During downhill running, the , (downhill: 29.7 ± 3.3, level: 27.2 ± 1.6) and  (downhill: 33.3 ± 2.7, level: 30.4 ± 1.9) were 7.1% and 8.3% higher (p < 0.05) than level running. In conclusion, breathing efficiency appears lower during downhill running (i.e., muscle-damaging exercise) compared to level running at a similar moderate intensity.
      PubDate: 2015-01-23
      DOI: 10.3390/sports3010012
      Issue No: Vol. 3, No. 1 (2015)
  • Sports, Vol. 3, Pages 21-29: Epidemiological Review of Injuries in Rugby

    • Pages: 21 - 29
      Abstract: Rugby is a sport that is growing in popularity. A contact sport par excellence, it causes a significant number of injuries. In Rugby Union, there are 30 to 91 injuries per 1000 match hours. This epidemiological review of injuries incurred by rugby players mentions the position and type of injuries, the causes, time during the match and season in which they occur and the players’ positions as well as the length of players’ absences following the injury.
      PubDate: 2015-01-23
      DOI: 10.3390/sports3010021
      Issue No: Vol. 3, No. 1 (2015)
  • Sports, Vol. 3, Pages 30-39: The Progression of Male 100 m Sprinting with
           a Lower-Limb Amputation 1976–2012

    • Authors: Bryce Dyer
      Pages: 30 - 39
      Abstract: Sprinting with a lower-limb amputation over 100 m has taken place in the Paralympic Games for over three decades. The aim of this paper is to statistically evaluate the performances and participation levels of such athletes during this period. The level of performance improvement over a 36-year period was proposed to be significantly greater than the able-bodied equivalent. Coupled with this, a major spike in amputee running performance improvement was shown to occur from 1984–1988. This supports previously recorded accounts of a major technological change being made at this time. Finally, whilst the average performance of the medallists has increased consistently over the 36-year history, the overall participation in the event fell significantly after 1988 and did not recover until 2012.
      PubDate: 2015-02-16
      DOI: 10.3390/sports3010030
      Issue No: Vol. 3, No. 1 (2015)
  • Sports, Vol. 3, Pages 40-55: Pitch Sequence Complexity and Long-Term
           Pitcher Performance

    • Authors: Joel Bock
      Pages: 40 - 55
      Abstract: Winning one or two games during a Major League Baseball (MLB) season is often the difference between a team advancing to post-season play, or “waiting until next year”. Technology advances have made it feasible to augment historical data with in-game contextual data to provide managers immediate insights regarding an opponent’s next move, thereby providing a competitive edge. We developed statistical models of pitcher behavior using pitch sequences thrown during three recent MLB seasons (2011–2013). The purpose of these models was to predict the next pitch type, for each pitcher, based on data available at the immediate moment, in each at-bat. Independent models were developed for each player’s most frequent four pitches. The overall predictability of next pitch type is 74:5%. Additional analyses on pitcher predictability within specific game situations are discussed. Finally, using linear regression analysis, we show that an index of pitch sequence predictability may be used to project player performance in terms of Earned Run Average (ERA) and Fielding Independent Pitching (FIP) over a longer term. On a restricted range of the independent variable, reducing complexity in selection of pitches is correlated with higher values of both FIP and ERA for the players represented in the sample. Both models were significant at the α = 0.05 level (ERA: p = 0.022; FIP: p = 0.0114). With further development, such models may reduce risk faced by management in evaluation of potential trades, or to scouts assessing unproven emerging talent. Pitchers themselves might benefit from awareness of their individual statistical tendencies, and adapt their behavior on the mound accordingly. To our knowledge, the predictive model relating pitch-wise complexity and long-term performance appears to be novel.
      PubDate: 2015-03-02
      DOI: 10.3390/sports3010040
      Issue No: Vol. 3, No. 1 (2015)
  • Sports, Vol. 2, Pages 76-84: A Statistical Perspective on Running with
           Prosthetic Lower-Limbs: An Advantage or Disadvantage?

    • Authors: Hossein Hassani, Mansi Ghodsi, Mehran Shadi, Siamak Noroozi, Bryce Dyer
      Pages: 76 - 84
      Abstract: Technological developments have led to the increased use of carbon fiber and prosthetic lower-limbs in running events at the Paralympic Games. This study aims to exploit a series of statistical techniques in order to prepare a response to the vital question of whether utilizing prosthetic feet can affect an athletes ability when running competitively at the Paralympics Games by comparing both within and between different classifications. The study also considers the differences between running on biological limbs and prosthetic lower-limbs from a mechanical point of view. The results from the male 100 m, 200 m and 400 m at the 2012 London Paralympic Games have been the source of this investigation. The investigation provides statistical evidence to propose that the number of prosthetic limbs used and the structure of such limbs have a significant impact on the outcome of track events at the Paralympic Games.
      PubDate: 2014-11-06
      DOI: 10.3390/sports2040076
      Issue No: Vol. 2, No. 4 (2014)
  • Sports, Vol. 2, Pages 85-98: A Field Study of Low-Top vs. Mid-Top vs.
           High-Top American Football Cleats

    • Authors: Calvin Daack, David Senchina
      Pages: 85 - 98
      Abstract: Few studies have examined the role of shoe height in the context of American football cleats. Eighteen adult males (28.4 ± 1.9 years, 182.3 ± 0.6 cm, 75.7 ± 1.6 kg) performed four football drills (60-yd dash, 54-yd cutting drill, 5-10-5 drill [pro agility drill], and ladder jumping drill) in low-top, mid-top, and high-top American football cleats. Drill-specific performance outcomes were measured after each drill, and the subjects’ ankle range-of-motion (dorsiflexion, plantarflexion, eversion, inversion) and perception of the footwear (comfort, heaviness, stability) were assessed before and after each drill sequence. Performance outcomes were not influenced by shoe height. The high-top cleat limited dorsiflexion and inversion, but not plantarflexion or eversion, compared to low-top and mid-top cleats. Athletes rated the high-top cleats as less comfortable and heavier than either the low-top or mid-top cleats, but perceived the mid-top and high-top cleats to be equally stable to each other, and both more stable than the low-top cleats. Range-of-motion and performance scores did not change as a result of acute exercise. These findings suggest that high-top cleats may limit ankle motions associated with injury without deleteriously influencing performance, though athletes may not perceive the high-top cleats as favorably as low- or mid-top cleats.
      PubDate: 2014-11-26
      DOI: 10.3390/sports2040085
      Issue No: Vol. 2, No. 4 (2014)
  • Sports, Vol. 2, Pages 99-130: Analysis of Wind Data for Sports Performance
           Design: A Case Study for Sailing Sports

    • Authors: Alessandro Pezzoli, Roberto Bellasio
      Pages: 99 - 130
      Abstract: Environmental conditions affect outdoor sports performance. This is particularly true in some sports, especially in the sport of sailing, where environmental parameters are extremely influential as they interact directly with strategic analysis of the race area and then with strategic analysis of the performance itself. For these reasons, this research presents an innovative methodology for the strategic analysis of the race course that is based on the integrated assessment of meteorological data measured on the ground, meteorological data measured at sea during the training activities and the results of the CALMET model in hindcasting over a limited scale. The results obtained by the above analysis are then integrated into a graphical representation that provides to coaches and athletes the main strategic directions of the race course in a simple and easy-to-use way. The authors believe that the innovative methodology that has been adopted in the present research may represent a new approach to the integrated analysis of meteorological data on coastal environments. On the other hand, the results of this analysis, if presented with an appropriate technique of meta‑communication adapted to the sport sectors, can be used effectively for the improvement of athletes’ performances.
      PubDate: 2014-11-27
      DOI: 10.3390/sports2040099
      Issue No: Vol. 2, No. 4 (2014)
  • Sports, Vol. 2, Pages 131-139: Get Wheelin' in Westlawn: Mounting a
           Bicycling Program in a Low-Income Minority Urban Community

    • Authors: Anne Dressel, Michael Steinborn, Keith Holt
      Pages: 131 - 139
      Abstract: Located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA, the Westlawn neighborhood is home to the State of Wisconsin’s largest public housing development. Westlawn is a low-income, African-American urban community that suffers from a wide range of health and environmental disparities. A community-based participatory action (CBPA) team was formed to address environmental health issues in Westlawn, and found asthma rates there are among the highest in the State. Decreasing air pollution, and corresponding asthma triggers, became a priority for the community. The CBPA team developed a bicycling program to reduce trips made by car and improve air quality in the Westlawn neighborhood. Input from focus group meetings shaped the development, implementation and expansion of the bicycling program. While the program was originally conceived to address environmental health issues, it provided key findings about how to encourage bicycling in low-income minority urban communities.
      PubDate: 2014-12-05
      DOI: 10.3390/sports2040131
      Issue No: Vol. 2, No. 4 (2014)
  • Sports, Vol. 2, Pages 140-151: Motor Skill Improvement in Preschoolers:
           How Effective Are Activity Cards?

    • Authors: Lars Donath, Katharina Imhof, Ralf Roth, Lukas Zahner
      Pages: 140 - 151
      Abstract: Strategies to early develop and implement motor skill promotion in preschoolers are lacking. Thus, we examined the effects of a card-based exercise promotion program in a kindergarten setting. 214 preschool children (5.5 ± 0.6 y, range 4.2–6.7 y) were examined in the present intervention study. Body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference were measured. Children were randomly assigned to the KIDZ-Box® physical activity intervention program (INT: n = 107) or the control group (CON: n = 107). Children were trained daily for 15 min over 7 month at the preschool for agility, balance, endurance and jump performance, employing the card-based KIDZ-Box® media package. At pre- and post-testing, dynamic balance, jump and agility performance were tested. Cross-sectionally, agility testing differed between sexes (p = 0.01) and BMI (p = 0.02). Trends towards a significant association were found between BMI and side-to-side jumping (p = 0.1) and beam balancing (p = 0.05). Relevant interventional effects favoring the intervention group were slightly found for agility (p = 0.04, ηp2 = 0.02) and moderately for side-to-side jumping (p < 0.001, ηp2 = 0.08). Balance performance did not relevantly improve. As jumping cards have been used frequently by the teachers, jumping improvements are plausible. The activity cards are feasibly applicable but should be employed with more structure during longer training sessions.
      PubDate: 2014-12-05
      DOI: 10.3390/sports2040140
      Issue No: Vol. 2, No. 4 (2014)
  • Sports, Vol. 2, Pages 59-75: Effects of Endurance Exercise Training and
           Crataegus Extract WS® 1442 in Patients with Heart Failure with
           Preserved Ejection Fraction – A Randomized Controlled Trial

    • Pages: 59 - 75
      Abstract: Impaired exercise capacity is the core symptom of heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF). We assessed effects of exercise training and Crataegus extract WS 1442 in HFpEF and aimed to identify mechanisms of action in an exploratory trial (German Clinical Trials Register DRKS00000259). 140 sedentary HFpEF NYHA II patients on standard treatment received eight weeks of aerobic endurance training and half were randomized to WS 1442 900 mg/day. Symptoms, 2 km walking time (T2km), parameters of exercise tolerance, cardiac and vascular function, muscular efficiency and skeletal muscular haemoglobin oxygen saturation (SO2) measured during a treadmill protocol were captured at baseline and after eight weeks. Adverse events were recorded during the trial. Mechanisms of action were explored by correlation and path analyses of changes. Symptoms and exercise capacity improved with training, but correlations between improvements were low and path models were rejected. SO2 increased, decreased or undulated with increasing exercise intensity in individual patients and was not altered by training. WS 1442 improved T2km (-12.7% vs. -8.4%, p = 0.019), tended to improve symptoms and to pronounce SO2-decrease with increasing exercise, an indicator of oxygen utilisation. Endurance training and WS 1442 were safe and well tolerated in combination with standard drug treatment.
      PubDate: 2014-09-24
      DOI: 10.3390/sports2030059
      Issue No: Vol. 2, No. 3 (2014)
  • Sports, Vol. 2, Pages 34-50: Physical Inactivity from the Viewpoint of
           Evolutionary Medicine

    • Authors: Sylvia Kirchengast
      Pages: 34 - 50
      Abstract: Activity patterns of recent Homo sapiens are characterized by a sedentary life style and consequently by exercise deficiency. This lack of physical activity increases the risk of various chronic non-communicable diseases and reduces health related quality of life. From the perspective of evolutionary medicine, the high rates of non-communicable disease among contemporary industrialized populations may be interpreted as the result of a mismatch between high rates of physical activity in the adaptively relevant (ARE) and sedentary recent life circumstances. Public transport, cars, elevators, supermarkets and internet shopping diminished daily physical activities dramatically, therefore recent Homo sapiens suffer from the consequences of a convenient life style, which is completely new in our evolution and history. The only possibility to increase physical activity and enhance health and well-being is through sporting activities during leisure time.
      PubDate: 2014-06-02
      DOI: 10.3390/sports2020034
      Issue No: Vol. 2, No. 2 (2014)
  • Sports, Vol. 2, Pages 51-58: Acute Effects of Different Formats of
           Small-Sided and Conditioned Handball Games on Heart Rate Responses in
           Female Students During PE Classes

    • Pages: 51 - 58
      Abstract: The aim of this study was to analyze the impact of different formats (2-a-side, 3-a-side and 4-a-side) on heart rate responses of female students during small-sided and conditioned handball games. The heart rate responses were measured using heart rate monitors during physical education classes. Eight female students participated in the study (15 ± 0.0 years). The one-way ANOVA showed statistical differences with moderate effect between the three different formats (F(2, 1674) = 86.538; p-value ˂ 0.001;  = 0.094; Power = 1.0). The results showed that smaller formats (2-a-side and 3-a-side) increased the heart rate responses of female students during small-sided and conditioned handball games during physical education (PE) classes. The results also suggested that 2-a-side games can be used for anaerobic workouts and the 3-a-side and 4-a-side games can be better used to reach lactate-threshold and for aerobic workouts of high intensity.
      PubDate: 2014-06-18
      DOI: 10.3390/sports2020051
      Issue No: Vol. 2, No. 2 (2014)
  • Sports, Vol. 2, Pages 1-13: Overuse Injuries Associated with Mountain
           Biking: Is Single-Speed Riding a Predisposing Factor?

    • Authors: Michael Lebec, Kortny Cook, Drew Baumgartel
      Pages: 1 - 13
      Abstract: Though mountain bikers are at significant risk for overuse injury, there is minimal quality research describing this relationship. Single-speed mountain biking, in which participants pedal a bike with only a single gear, may place riders at even greater risk for overuse problems due to the disproportionate physical effort associated with this type of riding. The focus of this study was to provide additional perspective on overuse injuries sustained by mountain bikers and to determine if single-speed mountain biking places participants at greater risk for overuse conditions. Four hundred and four (404) mountain bikers were surveyed concerning overuse injuries sustained during the previous year. Findings indicate that 63% of respondents reported an overuse injury affecting at least one area with the most commonly reported areas being the lumbar spine, knees, hand/wrist, and cervical spine. Individuals riding single-speed mountain bikes did not have a higher incidence of overuse injuries than riders of multiple-geared bikes. However, respondents who split time between riding single-speed and multiple-geared bikes were significantly more likely to report an overuse syndrome than those only riding single-speed or multiple-geared bikes (p = 0.0104). This group of riders may be at greater risk for overuse injury due to excessive fatigue and poor biomechanics.
      PubDate: 2014-01-02
      DOI: 10.3390/sports2010001
      Issue No: Vol. 2, No. 1 (2014)
  • Sports, Vol. 2, Pages 14-23: Music in CrossFit®—Influence on
           Performance, Physiological, and Psychological Parameters

    • Authors: Gavin Brupbacher, Jona Harder, Oliver Faude, Lukas Zahner, Lars Donath
      Pages: 14 - 23
      Abstract: Gaining increasing popularity within the fitness sector, CrossFit® serves as an appealing and efficient high intensity training approach to develop strength and endurance on a functional level; and music is often utilized to produce ergogenic effects. The present randomized, controlled, crossover study aimed at investigating the effects of music vs. non-music on performance, physiological and psychological outcomes. Thirteen (age: 27.5, standard deviation (SD) 6.2 years), healthy, moderately trained subjects performed four identical workouts over two weeks. The order of the four workouts (two with, and two without music, 20 min each) was randomly assigned for each individual. Acute responses in work output, heart rate, blood lactate, rate of perceived exertion, perceived pain, and affective reaction were measured at the 5th, 10th, 15th, and 20th min during the training sessions. Training with music resulted in a significantly lower work output (460.3 repetitions, SD 98.1 vs. 497.8 repetitions, SD 103.7; p = 0.03). All other parameters did not differ between both music conditions. This is partly in line with previous findings that instead of providing ergogenic effects, applying music during CrossFit® may serve as a more distractive stimulus. Future studies should separate the influence of music on a more individual basis with larger sample sizes.
      PubDate: 2014-01-07
      DOI: 10.3390/sports2010014
      Issue No: Vol. 2, No. 1 (2014)
  • Sports, Vol. 2, Pages 24-33: A Preliminary Kinematic Gait Analysis of a
           Strongman Event: The Farmers Walk

    • Authors: Justin Keogh, Anthony Kattan, Scott Logan, James Bensley, Che Muller, Linda Powell
      Pages: 24 - 33
      Abstract: This study sought to obtain some preliminary sagittal plane kinematic data on a common strongman event (and conditioning exercise) ‘the farmers walk’ and gain some insight into its kinematic determinants. Five experienced resistance trained males performed three, 20 m farmers walks at maximal speed while carrying 90.5 kg in each hand. Farmers walk average velocity was significantly greater in the middle (8.5–11.5 m) and latter (17–20 m) than initial stage (0–3 m), with this also associated with significant increases in stride length and stride rate and reductions in ground contact time. Comparisons between each subject’s fastest and slowest trials revealed virtually no significant differences. In contrast, the fastest three trials (irrespective of subject) had significantly greater stride length, stride rate and reduced ground contact time than the slowest three trials. Based on the impulse-momentum relationship, the production of high anterior-posterior and vertical impulses over short ground contact times may be crucial for farmers walk performance. Future studies should utilise larger samples and investigate the ground reaction and joint kinetics of the farmers walk and compare these values to other forms of bipedal gait and resistance training exercises to get a more complete understanding of the biomechanics of this exercise.
      PubDate: 2014-01-14
      DOI: 10.3390/sports2010024
      Issue No: Vol. 2, No. 1 (2014)
  • Sports, Vol. 1, Pages 78-113: Materials, Designs and Standards Used in
           Ski-Boots for Alpine Skiing

    • Authors: Martino Colonna, Marco Nicotra, Matteo Moncalero
      Pages: 78 - 113
      Abstract: This review article reports the recent advances in the study, design and production of ski-boots for alpine skiing. An overview of the different designs and the materials used in ski-boot construction is provided giving particular emphasis to the effect of these parameters on the final performances and on the prevention of injuries. The use of specific materials for ski-boots dedicated to different disciplines (race skiing, mogul skiing, ski-mountaineering etc.) has been correlated with the chemical and physical properties of the polymeric materials employed. A review of the scientific literature and the most interesting patents is also presented, correlating the results reported with the performances and industrial production of ski-boots. Suggestions for new studies and the use of advanced materials are also provided. A final section dedicated to the standards involved in ski-boot design completes this review article.
      PubDate: 2013-10-21
      DOI: 10.3390/sports1040078
      Issue No: Vol. 1, No. 4 (2013)
  • Sports, Vol. 1, Pages 55-68: Acute Effects of Polyphenols from Cranberries

    • Pages: 55 - 68
      Abstract: We examined how intake of polyphenols modifies brachial artery flow-mediated dilation (FMD) at rest, and cycling anaerobic performance, in elite athletes. In the first randomized cross-over study, FMD was measured over a three-hour period on two occasions in eight elite male and female athletes after acute consumption of either polyphenols from cranberries and grape seeds (600 mg) or a polyphenol-free placebo drink. Consumption of the polyphenol-rich drink led to a significant increase in FMD compared to placebo (p = 0.02), with a peak at 60 min. In a second study, 12 elite male and female athletes completed a three-kilometer time trial (TT) on an ergocycle on two occasions in random order, either after consumption of 800 mg of polyphenols or a placebo. Acute intake of the polyphenol extract had no impact on the three-kilometer time trial completion. However, plasma lactate levels were significantly lower before and after the TT when subjects consumed the polyphenols vs. placebo (p < 0.05). Results suggest that polyphenols from cranberries and grape seeds acutely modifies FMD at rest in elite athletes but this does not translate into enhanced cycling anaerobic performance.
      PubDate: 2013-07-12
      DOI: 10.3390/sports1030055
      Issue No: Vol. 1, No. 3 (2013)
  • Sports, Vol. 1, Pages 69-77: A Comparison between Australian Football
           League (AFL) Injuries in Australian Indigenous versus Non-indigenous

    • Authors: Jessica Orchard, John Orchard, Hugh Seward
      Pages: 69 - 77
      Abstract: It has previously been shown that being of aboriginal descent is a risk factor for hamstring injuries in Australian football. The aim of this study was to review the Australian Football League (AFL) injury database to determine whether there were any injuries where indigenous players had different relative risks to non-indigenous players. Analysis was conducted using data from the AFL injury database, which included data from 4,492 players over 21 years (1992–2012), covering 162,683 player-matches at AFL level, 91,098 matches at lower levels and 328,181 weeks (possible matches) of exposure. Compared to non-indigenous players, indigenous players had a significantly higher risk of hamstring injuries (RR 1.52, 95% CI 1.32–1.73) and calf strains (RR 1.30, 95% CI 1.00–1.69). Conversely, indigenous players had a significantly lower risk of lumbar/thoracic spine injuries (RR 0.61, 95% CI 0.41–0.91), groin strains/osteitis pubis (RR 0.75, 95% CI 0.58–0.96) and Achilles tendon injuries (RR 0.32, 95% CI 0.12–0.86). The results for the above injuries were also significant in terms of games missed. There was no difference between overall risk of injury (RR 1.03, 95% CI 0.96–1.10) or missed games (RR 1.00, 95% CI 0.97–1.04). This suggests that indigenous AFL players have the same overall number of injuries and missed games, but a slightly different injury profile.
      PubDate: 2013-09-16
      DOI: 10.3390/sports1030069
      Issue No: Vol. 1, No. 3 (2013)
  • Sports, Vol. 1, Pages 37-54: Should Rehabilitation Specialists Use
           External Focus Instructions When Motor Learning Is Fostered? A
           Systematic Review

    • Authors: Tanja Kakebeeke, Ruud Knols, Eling de Bruin
      Pages: 37 - 54
      Abstract: According to the Constrained Action Hypothesis, motor learning is believed to be more efficient when an external focus (EF) of motor control is given to the performer instead of an internal focus (IF) of motor control. This systematic review investigated whether findings of studies focusing on the Constrained Action Hypothesis may be transferred to rehabilitation settings by assessing the methodological quality and risk of bias (ROB) of available randomized controlled trials (RCTs). Of the 18 selected reports representing 20 RCTs, the methodological quality was rather low, and the majority of the reports appeared to have a high ROB. The 18 reports included 68 patients tested in a rehabilitation setting and 725 healthy participants. The time scale of the motor learning processes presented in the selected articles was heterogenic. The results of this systematic review indicate that the assumption that an external focus of control is to be preferred during motor learning processes is not sufficiently substantiated. The level of available evidence is not large enough to warrant transfer to patient populations (including children and the elderly) and raises doubts about research with healthy individuals. This implies that based on the methodology used so far, there seems to be insufficient evidence for the superiority of an external focus of control, neither in healthy individuals nor in clinical populations. The relationship between EF instructions and motor learning research and its effect in both patient rehabilitation settings and healthy populations requires further exploration. Future adequately powered studies with low ROB and with rehabilitation populations that are followed over extended time periods should, therefore, be performed to substantiate or refute the assumption of the superiority of an EF in motor learning.
      PubDate: 2013-06-05
      DOI: 10.3390/sports1020037
      Issue No: Vol. 1, No. 2 (2013)
  • Sports, Vol. 1, Pages 1-9: Assessing Cycling Participation in Australia

    • Authors: Chris Rissel, Cameron Munro, Adrian Bauman
      Pages: 1 - 9
      Abstract: Planning and evaluating cycling programs at a national or state level requires accurate measures of cycling participation. However, recent reports of cycling participation have produced very different estimates. This paper examines the reported rates of cycling in five recent population surveys of cycling. Three surveys (one national and two from Sydney) asking respondents when they last rode a bicycle generated cycling participation (cycled in the past year) estimates of 29.7%, 34.1% and 28.9%. Two other national surveys which asked participants to recall (unprompted) any physical activity done for exercise, recreation or sport in the previous 12 months, estimated cycling in the past year as 11.1% and 6.5%. While unprompted recall of cycling as a type of physical activity generates lower estimates of cycling participation than specific recall questions, both assessment approaches produced similar patterns of cycling by age and sex with both approaches indicating fewer women and older adults cycling. The different question styles most likely explain the substantial discrepancies between the estimates of cycling participation. Some differences are to be expected due to sampling variability, question differences, and regional variation in cycling.
      PubDate: 2013-01-02
      DOI: 10.3390/sports1010001
      Issue No: Vol. 1, No. 1 (2013)
  • Sports, Vol. 1, Pages 10-12: Exercise — Exploring Mutuality and
           Discordance(s) Between Sport and Public Health

    • Authors: Eling de Bruin
      Pages: 10 - 12
      Abstract: Sports is a peer-reviewed scientific journal that revolves around the interdisciplinary area of exercise sciences applied in sport and public health. The intention of Sports is to link several scientific disciplines in an integrated fashion in order to address critical issues related to exercise science, sports and public health. As the first Editor-in-Chief of Sports, I would like to share a few comments about this interdisciplinary field of research by discussing the mutuality and discordances between exercise as it is applied in sports and public health.
      PubDate: 2013-01-16
      DOI: 10.3390/sports1010010
      Issue No: Vol. 1, No. 1 (2013)
  • Sports, Vol. 1, Pages 13-36: Paralympics and Its Athletes Through the Lens
           of the New York Times

    • Authors: Jeremy Tynedal, Gregor Wolbring
      Pages: 13 - 36
      Abstract: The purpose of this article is to analyze the coverage of the Paralympics in the New York Times (NYT) from the first appearance of the term Paralympics in 1955 up to 2012. We analyzed a) the textual imagery (not imagery intrinsic to pictures) of the Paralympics and its athletes, b) the representation of views and hopes of Paralympians and c) the visibility of the Paralympics and Paralympians within the NYT. We found that NYT coverage of the Paralympics and Paralympians is minimal and often portrays Paralympic athletes in stereotypical ways, such as being supercrips or suffering entities. In regards to the portrayal of therapeutic assistive devices of Paralympic athletes in the NYT, four themes are evident: a) the advancement of technology, b) the hierarchy between different therapeutic assistive devices, c) the relationship between the device and the athlete and d) the affordability of the device. We submit that the portrayal of the Paralympics, as evident in the NYT, for the most part does not help to further the discussion around a) the future of the Paralympics and its role within society, b) the relationship between the Paralympics and the Olympics and c) barriers of sport participation faced by athletes with disabilities on all levels, from recreational to competitive sport.
      PubDate: 2013-01-24
      DOI: 10.3390/sports1010013
      Issue No: Vol. 1, No. 1 (2013)
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