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   ISSN (Online) 2075-4663
   Published by MDPI Homepage  [140 journals]
  • 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 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

    • Authors: Jean-François Kaux, Marc Julia, François Delvaux, Jean-Louis Croisier, Bénédicte Forthomme, Damien Monnot, Marie Chupin, Jean-Michel Crielaard, Caroline Goff, Patrick Durez, Philippe Ernst, Sébastien Guns, Arnaud Laly
      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

    • Authors: Sascha Härtel, Claire Kutzner, Eva Westphal, Matthias Limberger, Martin Burkart, Ulrich Ebner-Priemer, Matthias Kohl-Bareis, Klaus Bös
      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

    • Authors: Filipe Clemente, Rúben Rocha, Fernando Martins, Rui Mendes
      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

    • Authors: Kim Labonté, Charles Couillard, Annie Motard-Bélanger, Marie-Eve Paradis, Patrick Couture, Benoît Lamarche
      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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