Subjects -> HEALTH AND SAFETY (Total: 1464 journals)
    - CIVIL DEFENSE (22 journals)
    - DRUG ABUSE AND ALCOHOLISM (87 journals)
    - HEALTH AND SAFETY (686 journals)
    - WOMEN'S HEALTH (82 journals)

PHYSICAL FITNESS AND HYGIENE (117 journals)                     

Showing 1 - 118 of 118 Journals sorted alphabetically
ACSMs Health & Fitness Journal     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 14)
Acta Facultatis Educationis Physicae Universitatis Comenianae     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
Acta Kinesiologiae Universitatis Tartuensis     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
ACTIVE : Journal of Physical Education, Sport, Health and Recreation     Open Access   (Followers: 32)
Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 5)
Ágora para la Educación Física y el Deporte     Open Access  
Al.Qadisiya journal for the Sciences of Physical Education     Open Access  
American Journal of Sexuality Education     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 4)
Annals of Applied Sport Science     Open Access   (Followers: 11)
Annals of Work Exposures and Health     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 10)
Applied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 37)
Arab Journal of Nutrition and Exercise     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Arquivos em Movimento     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Arrancada     Open Access  
Asian Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology     Open Access   (Followers: 9)
Baltic Journal of Sport and Health Sciences     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
BMC Obesity     Open Access   (Followers: 6)
BMC Sports Science, Medicine and Rehabilitation     Open Access   (Followers: 42)
Child and Adolescent Obesity     Open Access   (Followers: 12)
Childhood Obesity     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 24)
Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 39)
Comparative Exercise Physiology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 23)
Cultura, Ciencia y Deporte     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Eating and Weight Disorders - Studies on Anorexia, Bulimia and Obesity     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 23)
eJRIEPS : Ejournal de la recherche sur l'intervention en éducation physique et sport     Open Access  
Environmental Health and Preventive Medicine     Open Access   (Followers: 4)
Éthique & Santé     Full-text available via subscription  
Fat Studies : An Interdisciplinary Journal of Body Weight and Society     Partially Free   (Followers: 3)
Food Science and Human Wellness     Open Access   (Followers: 4)
Frontiers in Sports and Active Living     Open Access   (Followers: 4)
Gelanggang Pendidikan Jasmani Indonesia     Open Access  
German Journal of Exercise and Sport Research : Sportwissenschaft     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 2)
Geron     Full-text available via subscription  
Health and Quality of Life Outcomes     Open Access   (Followers: 14)
Health Education     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 1)
Health Education Journal     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 16)
Health Marketing Quarterly     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 2)
Health Physics     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 6)
Health Promotion & Physical Activity     Open Access   (Followers: 7)
Home Healthcare Now     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 4)
Human Movement Science     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 15)
Hygiene     Open Access   (Followers: 13)
IISE Transactions on Occupational Ergonomics and Human Factors     Hybrid Journal  
Indonesia Performance Journal     Open Access  
International Journal for Vitamin and Nutrition Research     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 10)
International Journal of Applied Exercise Physiology     Open Access   (Followers: 54)
International Journal of Athletic Therapy & Training     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 15)
International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity     Open Access   (Followers: 33)
International Journal of Obesity     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 57)
International Journal of Obesity Supplements     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 5)
International Journal of Qualitative Studies on Health and Well-Being     Open Access   (Followers: 21)
International Journal of Spa and Wellness     Hybrid Journal  
International Journal of Sport, Exercise & Training Sciences     Open Access   (Followers: 4)
International Journal of Yoga     Open Access   (Followers: 17)
Isokinetics and Exercise Science     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 10)
Journal of Advanced Nutrition and Human Metabolism     Open Access   (Followers: 16)
Journal of American College Health     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 3)
Journal of Athlete Development and Experience     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
Journal of Bioenergetics and Biomembranes     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 1)
Journal of Exercise & Organ Cross Talk     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Journal of Human Performance in Extreme Environments     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Journal of Human Sport and Exercise     Open Access   (Followers: 17)
Journal of Motor Learning and Development     Hybrid Journal  
Journal of Physical Activity and Health     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 13)
Journal of Physical Activity and Hormones     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
Journal of Physical Activity Research     Open Access   (Followers: 4)
Journal of Physical Education and Human Movement     Open Access  
Journal of Physical Education and Sport Sciences     Open Access   (Followers: 5)
Journal of Physical Education Health and Sport     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Journal of Physical Education, Recreation & Dance     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 13)
Journal of Science in Sport and Exercise     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 6)
Journal of Sport and Health Science     Open Access   (Followers: 22)
Journal of Sport Sciences and Fitness     Open Access   (Followers: 13)
Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 76)
Kinesiology : International Journal of Fundamental and Applied Kinesiology     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Kinesiology Review     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 4)
Malaysian Journal of Movement, Health & Exercise     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Measurement in Physical Education and Exercise Science     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 7)
Médecine & Nutrition     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1)
Mental Health and Physical Activity     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 17)
MHSalud : Movimiento Humano y Salud     Open Access  
Obesity     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 40)
Obesity Research & Clinical Practice     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 10)
Obesity Reviews     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 17)
Obesity Science & Practice     Open Access  
Open Obesity Journal     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Pain Management in General Practice     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 12)
PALAESTRA : Adapted Sport, Physical Education, and Recreational Therapy     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3)
Physical Activity and Health     Open Access   (Followers: 4)
Physical Education & Sport Pedagogy     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 14)
Preventing Chronic Disease     Free   (Followers: 3)
Psychology of Sport and Exercise     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 19)
Quality in Sport     Open Access  
Race and Yoga     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
RBNE - Revista Brasileira de Nutrição Esportiva     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
RBONE - Revista Brasileira de Obesidade, Nutrição e Emagrecimento     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
RBPFEX - Revista Brasileira de Prescrição e Fisiologia do Exercício     Open Access  
Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 2)
Retos : Nuevas Tendencias en Educación Física, Deportes y Recreación     Open Access  
Revista Andaluza de Medicina del Deporte     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Revista Brasileira de Atividade Física & Saúde     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Revista Brasileira de Cineantropometria & Desempenho Humano     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Revista Internacional de Medicina y Ciencias de la Actividad Física y del Deporte : International Journal of Medicine and Science of Physical Activity and Sport     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Revue phénEPS / PHEnex Journal     Open Access  
Scandinavian Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology     Open Access   (Followers: 10)
SIPATAHOENAN : South-East Asian Journal for Youth, Sports & Health Education     Open Access  
Spor Bilimleri Dergisi / Hacettepe Journal of Sport Sciences     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Sport and Fitness Journal     Open Access   (Followers: 7)
Sport Science and Health     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
Sport Sciences for Health     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 5)
SPORTIVE : Journal Of Physical Education, Sport and Recreation     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Sports     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
Sports Biomechanics     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 29)
Sports Health: A Multidisciplinary Approach     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 5)
Strength & Conditioning Journal     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 58)
Timisoara Physical Education and Rehabilitation Journal     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Turkish Journal of Sport and Exercise     Open Access  
Yoga Mimamsa     Open Access   (Followers: 3)


Similar Journals
Journal Cover
Number of Followers: 3  

  This is an Open Access Journal Open Access journal
ISSN (Online) 2075-4663
Published by MDPI Homepage  [258 journals]
  • Sports, Vol. 11, Pages 161: Soccer and Disability, Is It Possible'
           Analysis of the Learning and Coaching Context in Spain

    • Authors: Antonio Burgos-García
      First page: 161
      Abstract: Coaching a youth soccer player is important, and the coach’s role is key. Actually, there is no profile or coaching program for grassroots-soccer coaches that favor the practice of soccer and disability, according to different research and experts. The main purpose of this study is to identify and analyze the professional profile of the grassroots-soccer coach who has soccer players with disabilities (learning and coaching context). This research applies a quantitative method, specifically, non-experimental, cross-sectional, descriptive, and inferential methodology. The sample of analysis is the staff members of the professional soccer clubs of LaLigaSantander Genuine (Spain). An important result is that half of the grassroots-soccer coaches have not received specific education to coach youth soccer players with disabilities. Finally, one important conclusion of this research is that by generating a climate of trust and empathy, grassroots-soccer coaches improve the performance of their soccer players with disabilities by recognizing and understanding their emotional states.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2023-08-28
      DOI: 10.3390/sports11090161
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 9 (2023)
  • Sports, Vol. 11, Pages 162: The Impact of a Psychological Skills Training
           and Mindfulness-Based Intervention on the Mental Toughness, Competitive
           Anxiety, and Coping Skills of Futsal Players—A Longitudinal
           Convergent Mixed-Methods Design

    • Authors: Daniel Vella-Fondacaro, Stephanie Romano-Smith
      First page: 162
      Abstract: Despite the sport’s popularity, there is a paucity in futsal psychological interventional research. This study analysed the impact of a ten-session psychological skills training and mindfulness-based intervention (PSTMI) on the mental toughness, competitive anxiety, and athletic coping skills of national league futsal players (n = 13). It also analysed whether these variables were predicted by playing experience. Pre-/post-intervention questionnaires were filled in and analysed (Competitive State Anxiety Inventory-2, Sport Mental Toughness Questionnaire, and Athletic Coping Skills Inventory-28). Semi-structured interviews were also conducted with seven athletes; quantitative and qualitative data were integrated in a convergent parallel mixed-methods design. Results revealed significant medium-to-large improvements in mental toughness, cognitive anxiety, and coping skills following the PSTMI. Years of playing experience positively and significantly predicted better self-confidence and coping skills. Thematic analysis generated five themes: (1) post-intervention enhancement in athletic performance and well-being; (2) the non-athletic commitments of futsal players; (3) diverse views on how to improve the intervention; (4) instilling social identity through sport psychology sessions; and (5) the impact of years of experience on skill learning. Results mirrored those from other sporting disciplines. The PSTMI was well-received and equipped athletes with beneficial psychological skills, stressing the need for more sport psychology resources in futsal.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2023-08-29
      DOI: 10.3390/sports11090162
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 9 (2023)
  • Sports, Vol. 11, Pages 163: Influence of Practice Periodization and Sleep
           Duration on Oxidative Stress in High School Judo Athletes

    • Authors: Ena Yoshida, Harumi Hayashida
      First page: 163
      Abstract: Numerous research studies have investigated the relationship between exercise, oxidative stress level, and condition in athletes who engage in intense training on a daily basis. However, it is known that oxidative stress is affected by exercise, sleep, and the psychological state, but there are only a few studies that have comprehensively examined oxidative stress based on the actual practice periods and living conditions of athletes. Therefore, our study aimed to explore the influence of three distinct training periods (short training period, intensive training period, and pre-competition periods) as well as life situations (sleep and number of steps) on oxidative stress levels (diacron reactive oxygen metabolites: d-ROMs) in high school judo athletes. The results showed that, among the three periods, the level of oxidative stress increased the most during the pre-competition period, and the value was higher than during the training period, when the intensity of training was highest. The levels of the d-ROMs values during the pre-competition period were negatively correlated with the amount of sleep on the previous day. The findings suggest that, besides the exercise intensity, factors such as sleep duration and other life situations should be regarded as critical considerations for high school judo athletes.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2023-08-30
      DOI: 10.3390/sports11090163
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 9 (2023)
  • Sports, Vol. 11, Pages 164: Gender-Specific Patterns of Muscle Imbalance
           in Elite Badminton Players: A Comprehensive Exploration

    • Authors: Qais Gasibat, Borhannudin Abdullah, Shamsulariffin Samsudin, Dan Iulian Alexe, Cristina Ioana Alexe, Dragoș Ioan Tohănean
      First page: 164
      Abstract: The high-intensity demands of overhead sports exert significant stress on the bilateral shoulder complex, triggering adaptive kinematics and a distinct strength imbalance between internal and external rotators. The imbalance being referred to in the given statement poses a potential risk for humeral head displacement and puts nearby tendons under tension, heightening the vulnerability to injury. This study aims to assess muscle imbalances in badminton athletes. The first hypothesis (H1) suggests that there are differences in internal and external shoulder rotation movements between dominant and non-dominant segments in badminton players. The second hypothesis (H2) proposes that there are variations in muscle imbalances based on gender among elite badminton players. The objectives are to analyze these differences and explore potential gender-related variations in muscle imbalances. The study seeks to contribute to the understanding of muscle imbalances in badminton athletes and potentially guide training and injury prevention strategies in the sport. Using a cutting-edge Hand-Held Dynamometer (HHD), a cohort of 30 elite badminton players underwent an assessment to uncover any bilateral shoulder rotation strength imbalances during a challenging five second isometric maximum contraction. The participants boasted an average age of 17.4 years and a mean playing experience of 7.23 years. The study revealed a notable difference in the ratio of external and internal strength between the dominant and non-dominant shoulders (p = 0.000). This discrepancy amounted to a striking 27.93% muscle imbalance in external rotation/internal rotation strength ratios, favoring the dominant shoulder. Moreover, gender-specific differences were detected, with male players exhibiting a 24.54% muscle imbalance in favor of the dominant shoulder, while female players showcased a more substantial 31.33% imbalance (p = 0.000). In light of these findings, it became evident that elite badminton players possess considerably stronger dominant shoulders compared with their non-dominant counterparts. Furthermore, the study revealed that male players experience less muscular imbalance than their female counterparts.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2023-08-30
      DOI: 10.3390/sports11090164
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 9 (2023)
  • Sports, Vol. 11, Pages 165: Acute Effect of Four Stretching Protocols on
           Change of Direction in U-17 Male Soccer Players

    • Authors: Mohamed Amine Ltifi, Mohamed Chedly Jlid, Jérémy Coquart, Nicola Maffulli, Roland van den Tillaar, Ridha Aouadi
      First page: 165
      Abstract: Background: The ability to rapidly change direction while sprinting is a desirable athletic skill in soccer. Enhancing change of direction (COD) performance depends almost exclusively on specific training, with stretching traditionally considered one such intervention. However, the comparative impact of diverse stretching methods on COD in soccer players remains an area of interest. Therefore, this study aimed to compare the effects of different stretching methods on COD ability in soccer players. Methods: Twelve male soccer players playing in the national championship football division II (age: 16.3 ± 0.3 years, height: 1.81 ± 0.10 m, body mass: 67.7 ± 7.2 kg) were tested for COD performance (i.e., Illinois agility test) after (1) control condition (20 min general warm-up without stretching), (2) static stretching, (3) dynamic stretching, (4) combined static-dynamic stretching, and (5) combined dynamic-static stretching. The duration of stretching intervention was approximately 6 min for static and dynamic stretching and 12 min for both the combined stretching conditions. The experimental sessions were separated by 72 h. Results: COD improved after dynamic stretching when compared to any other condition (p: 0.03–0.002; ηp2: 0.56–0.73), except for the control condition (p = 0.146; ηp2 = 0.18). In contrast, static stretching induced a detrimental effect on COD when compared only to the dynamic stretching condition (p < 0.01; ES = 1.35). Conclusion: Dynamic stretching exercises used by male soccer players in the warm-up improved COD. Other forms of stretching exercises, particularly static stretching, negatively impacted the COD performance. Therefore, coaches can consider integrating dynamic stretching protocols tailored to the athletes’ specific needs. Moreover, extending the investigation to encompass a wider range of athletes, including different age groups and genders, would enhance the applicability and generalization of the findings.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2023-09-01
      DOI: 10.3390/sports11090165
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 9 (2023)
  • Sports, Vol. 11, Pages 166: Frequency of Knee Pain and Risk Factors and
           Its Impact on Functional Impairment: A Cross-Sectional Study from Saudi

    • Authors: Ali H. Alyami, Hussam Darraj, Khalid M. Hakami, Faisal Hakami, Mohammed Awaf, Nawaf Bakri, Sulaiman Hamdi, Abdulaziz Saber, Almuhanad Alyami, Mohammed Khashab, Abdulaziz H. Alhazmi
      First page: 166
      Abstract: Background: Adolescents frequently self-report pain, according to epidemiological research. The knee is one of the sites wherein pain is most commonly reported. Musculoskeletal disorders play a significant role in the prolonged disability experienced by individuals, leading to substantial global personal, societal, and economic burdens. Patellofemoral pain (PFP) is a clinical knee pain commonly affecting adolescents. This study aimed to estimate the frequency of knee pain in Saudi adolescents. Methods: This cross-sectional survey was conducted from June to November 2022 and included 676 adolescents aged 10 to 18 years. The participants were questioned regarding their demographics, school habits, and the impact of these factors on back pain, musculoskeletal pain in the past 12 months, as well as quality-of-life scale and knee pain symptoms. The data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, with frequencies and percentages presented for categorical variables. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) was performed to compare means between groups, while the chi-squared test was used to compare categorical variables. Statistical significance was set at p < 0.05. Results: A total of 676 adolescents participated in the study, with 57.5% females and 42.5% males. Among the participants, 68.8% were aged between 15 and 18 years. The prevalence of knee pain was notably higher among females (26%) compared to males (19.2%). Age and BMI were identified as significant predictors of knee pain. A significant association was also found between BMI classification and knee stiffness (p-value = 0.008). Furthermore, a significant difference was observed between adolescents who engaged in physical activities during leisure time and those who experienced difficulty bending (p-value = 0.03). Conclusions: Our study highlights a high prevalence of knee pain among Saudi adolescents, emphasizing the need for increased awareness about its risk factors. Preventive measures, including conservative approaches and lifestyle/activity modifications, can effectively mitigate adolescent knee pain.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2023-09-01
      DOI: 10.3390/sports11090166
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 9 (2023)
  • Sports, Vol. 11, Pages 167: Effect of Hip Muscle Strengthening Exercises
           on Pain and Disability in Patients with Non-Specific Low Back Pain—A
           Systematic Review

    • Authors: Gema Santamaría, Irene Rodríguez, Vicente Rodríguez-Pérez, Raúl Cobreros-Mielgo, Eva Lantarón-Caeiro, Marina Seco-Casares, Diego Fernández-Lázaro
      First page: 167
      Abstract: Low back pain (LBP) is a health problem that affects 70–80% of the population in Western countries. Because of the biomechanical relationship between the lumbar region and the hip, it is thought that strengthening the muscles of this joint could improve the symptoms of people with LBP. The objective of this study is to evaluate the current evidence on the efficacy of hip strengthening exercises to reduce pain and disability in people with LBP. Clinical trials were collected from the PubMed, PEDro, and Scopus databases published up to September 2022. Based on the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis (PRISMA) guidelines and using CASP and PEDro tools for methodological quality assessment, we selected studies that included hip strengthening exercises as part of LBP treatment and measured pain and/or disability parameters. Among the 966 records identified in the search, a total of 7 studies met the established selection criteria. Overall, participants who performed hip strengthening exercises had significantly improved in pain and disability. The methodological quality of the included studies was assessed as “good”. In conclusion, the addition of hip muscle strengthening exercises iterating interacted with LBP, effectively improving pain and disability.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2023-09-01
      DOI: 10.3390/sports11090167
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 9 (2023)
  • Sports, Vol. 11, Pages 168: The Percentage of Total and Regional Fat Is
           Negatively Correlated with Performance in Judo

    • Authors: Izabela Aparecida dos Santos, Gabriel Felipe Arantes Bertochi, Wonder Passoni Higino, Marcelo Papoti, Enrico Fuini Puggina
      First page: 168
      Abstract: This study investigated the associations between total and regional body composition with performance in the special judo fitness test (SJFT), as well as strength and power tests (countermovement vertical jump—CMJ, squat jump—SJ, plyometric push-up—PPU, and force push-up—FPU). Twenty-three high-level judo athletes participated in this study. Initially, they underwent dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry, after which they performed the CMJ, SJ, PPU, and FPU tests. On another day, the SJFT was carried out. Correlations were tested using Pearson’s test. The performance in the SJFT was correlated with the total and arm %fat mass (r = −0.759), torso fat mass (r = −0.802), torso %fat mass (r = −0.822) and in the lower limb regions with the leg fat mass (r = −0.803) and leg %fat (r = −0.745). In the strength and power tests, there were also negative correlations observed between regional fat and performance. There was a negative correlation between the percentage of total fat and performance in the SJFT (r = −0.824), SJ (r = −0.750), CMJ (r = −0.742), PPU (r = −0.609), and FPU (r = −0.736). Fat, both total fat and regional fat in the arms, torso, and legs, is strongly correlated with a poor performance in the SJFT and poor strength and power.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2023-09-04
      DOI: 10.3390/sports11090168
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 9 (2023)
  • Sports, Vol. 11, Pages 169: The Effects of Different Re-Warm-Up Strategies
           on Power, Changing of Direction and Ball Shooting Velocity in Well-Trained
           Soccer Players

    • Authors: Demetris Matsentides, Marios Christou, Nikolaos Zaras
      First page: 169
      Abstract: The purpose of the study was to investigate whether a re-warm-up training session either with tuck jumps and linear sprints or with changing of directions may enhance power, agility or ball shooting velocity in well-trained soccer players. Ten soccer players (age: 18.2 ± 1.7 years; body mass: 64.4 ± 8.0 kg; body height: 1.71 ± 0.04 m) participated in the study. Players performed three different re-warm-up interventions including no re-warm-up (C), change of direction (COD) and jump-sprint condition (JS). Before each re-warm-up intervention, players performed the same warm-up condition followed by 8 min of passive rest. Following the re-warm-up interventions, countermovement jump (CMJ), T-Test agility time-trial and ball shooting velocity were measured. Performance in CMJ height, power and power per body mass remained unchanged following all three conditions (p > 0.05). However, the agility time-trial was significantly reduced following COD re-warm-up compared to C (−1.7 ± 1.6%, p = 0.03). Ball shooting velocity was increased following COD compared to C (4.7 ± 3.8%, p = 0.014), while a statistical trend was found between JS and C interventions (4.8 ± 5.4%, p = 0.060). These results suggest that a re-warm-up intervention including changing of directions may significantly enhance T-Test agility time-trial and ball shooting velocity in well-trained soccer players.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2023-09-05
      DOI: 10.3390/sports11090169
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 9 (2023)
  • Sports, Vol. 11, Pages 170: A Muscle Load Feedback Application for
           Strength Training: A Proof-of-Concept Study

    • Authors: Lisa Noteboom, Anouk Nijs, Peter J. Beek, Frans C. T. van der Helm, Marco J. M. Hoozemans
      First page: 170
      Abstract: Muscle overload injuries in strength training might be prevented by providing personalized feedback about muscle load during a workout. In the present study, a new muscle load feedback application, which monitors and visualizes the loading of specific muscle groups, was developed in collaboration with the fitness company Gymstory. The aim of the present study was to examine the effectiveness of this feedback application in managing muscle load balance, muscle load level, and muscle soreness, and to evaluate how its actual use was experienced. Thirty participants were randomly distributed into ‘control’, ‘partial feedback’, and ‘complete feedback’ groups and monitored for eight workouts using the automatic exercise tracking system of Gymstory. The control group received no feedback, while the partial feedback group received a visualization of their estimated cumulative muscle load after each exercise, and the participants in the complete feedback group received this visualization together with suggestions for the next exercise to target muscle groups that had not been loaded yet. Generalized estimation equations (GEEs) were used to compare muscle load balance and soreness, and a one-way ANOVA was used to compare user experience scores between groups. The complete feedback group showed a significantly better muscle load balance (β = −18.9; 95% CI [−29.3, −8.6]), adhered better to the load suggestion provided by the application (significant interactions), and had higher user experience scores for Attractiveness (p = 0.036), Stimulation (p = 0.031), and Novelty (p = 0.019) than the control group. No significant group differences were found for muscle soreness. Based on these results, it was concluded that personal feedback about muscle load in the form of a muscle body map in combination with exercise suggestions can effectively guide strength training practitioners towards certain load levels and more balanced cumulative muscle loads. This application has potential to be applied in strength training practice as a training tool and may help in preventing muscle overload.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2023-09-05
      DOI: 10.3390/sports11090170
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 9 (2023)
  • Sports, Vol. 11, Pages 171: Accelerometer-Derived Intensity Thresholds Are
           Equivalent to Standard Ventilatory Thresholds in Incremental Running

    • Authors: Matthias Schützenhöfer, Philipp Birnbaumer, Peter Hofmann
      First page: 171
      Abstract: Accelerometer cut-points are commonly used to prescribe the amount of physical activity, but this approach includes no individual performance measures. As running kinetics change with intensity, acceleration measurements may provide more individual information. Therefore, the aim was to determine two intensity thresholds from accelerometer measures. A total of 33 participants performed a maximal incremental running test with spirometric and acceleration (Axivity AX3) measures at the left and right tibia. Ventilatory equivalents (VE/VO2, VE/VCO2) were used to determine a first and second ventilatory threshold (VT1/VT2). A first and second accelerometer threshold (ACT1/ACT2) were determined within the same regions of interest from vector magnitude ( v = √(ax2 + ay2 + az2). Accelerometer data from the tibia presented a three-phase increase with increasing speed. Speed at VT1/VT2 (7.82 ± 0.39/10.91 ± 0.87 km/h) was slightly but significantly lower compared to the speed at ACT1/ACT2 from the left (7.71 ± 0.35/10.62 ± 0.72 km/h) and right leg (7.79 ± 0.33/10.74 ± 0.77 km/h). Correlation analysis revealed a strong relationship between speed at thresholds determined from spriometric data or accelerations (r = 0.98; p < 0.001). It is therefore possible to determine accelerometer thresholds from tibia placement during a maximal incremental running test comparable to standard ventilatory thresholds.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2023-09-05
      DOI: 10.3390/sports11090171
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 9 (2023)
  • Sports, Vol. 11, Pages 172: Anthropometric Profiling and Changes in
           Segmental Body Composition of Professional Football Players in Relation to
           Age over the Training Macrocycle

    • Authors: Wiktoria Staśkiewicz-Bartecka, Elżbieta Grochowska-Niedworok, Grzegorz Zydek, Mateusz Grajek, Agata Kiciak, Agnieszka Białek-Dratwa, Ewa Niewiadomska, Oskar Kowalski, Marek Kardas
      First page: 172
      Abstract: Body composition is an important indicator of the overall health and fitness of team sports athletes, including in football, and therefore, anthropometric profiling of elite football players is useful as part of determining their skills, strengths, and weaknesses to develop effective strength and conditioning programs. One of the tools available to coaches to track correlates of performance and health is routine body composition assessment. The purpose of this study is to describe and compare the body composition and anthropometric profiles of players using the Direct Segmental Multi-Frequency Bio-Electrical Impedance Analysis method, and to manage body composition throughout the round in the 2020–2021 season. The investigation was carried out during the Polish football league, PKO BP Ekstraklasa, spring round of the football season 2020–2021, in which male football players participated. Athletes between the ages of 18 and 25 (n = 16) made up the younger age group, while those between the ages of 26 and 31 (n = 22) made up the older age group. This manuscript is a continuation of the presentation of the results of the study, which was conducted between 7 January and 23 July 2021. At different stages of the macrocycle, participants underwent six different body composition analyses. The younger and older groups of athletes were compared, as well as measurements of time points 1–6. The dominant extremities, assisting extremities, and trunk had larger fat-free mass contents in the older age group. In the study groups, there was a difference in the fat-free mass content between measures 1–6 that was statistically significant. In the younger group, there was a statistically significant difference in the amount of fat mass content between measurements 1–6. In the older age group, no statistically significant changes were found. The study showed changes in fat-free mass and fat mass in body segments; differences were observed between age groups and between different moments of measurement. Age is an important factor in determining body composition and is also related to an athlete’s experience and seniority. Anthropometric profiling and comprehensive body composition analysis are important tools used in preparing athletes for competition.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2023-09-05
      DOI: 10.3390/sports11090172
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 9 (2023)
  • Sports, Vol. 11, Pages 173: The Role of Motivation and Physical
           Self-Concept in Accomplishing Physical Activity in Primary School Children

    • Authors: Slobodan Pavlović, Vladan Pelemiš, Jovan Marković, Marko Dimitrijević, Marko Badrić, Sabolč Halaši, Ivko Nikolić, Nebojša Čokorilo
      First page: 173
      Abstract: Background: The goal of this research is to identify correlations of motivation and physical self-concept with physical activity among students of younger school age, as well as the level of prediction of motivation and physical self-concept with physical activity of students in physical education classes. Methods: The sample of respondents consisted of 411 students of the third and fourth grades from the territory of the Zlatibor district. A modified Self-Regulation Questionnaire was used to assess students’ motivational orientations, while appropriate subscales of the Self-perception Profile for Children measuring instrument were used to assess physical self-concept. Physical activity is shown as volume and intensive physical activity (vigorous physical activity (VPA)), measured with a Suunto memory belt pedometer and heart-rate monitor. Results: Boys’ motivational predictor variables accounted for 14% (volume) and 28% (VPA) of their physical activity in class, with intrinsic motivation, introjective regulation (just for the level of physical activity), and identified regulation as the most important determinants of physical activity. For girls, the identified regulation variable (from the system of motivational predictor variables) was shown to be the primary predictor variable on both criterion variables (R2 = 0.34 and 0.36). Conclusion: The teaching of physical education for students of younger school age should be conceived by creating a motivational climate, in order to encourage physical activity.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2023-09-05
      DOI: 10.3390/sports11090173
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 9 (2023)
  • Sports, Vol. 11, Pages 174: Perspectives on Player Performance during FIFA
           World Cup Qatar 2022: A Brief Report

    • Authors: Luís Branquinho, Pedro Forte, Ronaldo V. Thomatieli-Santos, Elias de França, Daniel A. Marinho, José E. Teixeira, Ricardo Ferraz
      First page: 174
      Abstract: Changing the date of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 may represent a factor to consider for the expected performance of participating players. This was due to fixture congestion at the start of the season and expected weather conditions during the competition. Thus, the main purpose of this brief report was to critically analyze the potential impact of changing the competition date and weather conditions on players’ performance. In addition, a brief description about the performance during the World Cup is also provided. For the research, the Web of Science, PubMed and SPORTDiscus databases were accessed using the primary keywords FIFA World Cup and World Soccer Cup associated with the secondary keywords match running performance, fixture congestion, fatigue and weather conditions. After applying inclusion and exclusion criteria, 52 articles were considered for analysis. The results seem to indicate that although changes were expected due to the modifications made (i.e., the competition date and scheduling congestion), the performance of the players seems not to have been affected in terms of the analyzed indicators. Furthermore, it seems possible to identify some patterns in the behavior of the teams that reached the most advanced stages of the competition.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2023-09-05
      DOI: 10.3390/sports11090174
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 9 (2023)
  • Sports, Vol. 11, Pages 175: Beneficial Effects of Asparagus officinalis
           Extract Supplementation on Muscle Mass and Strength following Resistance
           Training and Detraining in Healthy Males

    • Authors: Barakat Denben, Siriporn Sripinyowanich, Ratree Ruangthai, Jatuporn Phoemsapthawee
      First page: 175
      Abstract: The phytoecdysteroid 20-hydroxyecdysone (20E) is widely used for resistance training (RT). Little is known about its potential ergogenic value and detraining effects post-RT. This study aimed to examine the effects of 20E extracted from Asparagus officinalis (A. officinalis) on muscle strength and mass, as well as anabolic and catabolic hormones following RT and detraining. Twenty males, aged 20.1 ± 1.1 years, were matched and randomly assigned to consume double-blind supplements containing either a placebo (PLA) or 30 mg/day of 20E for 12 weeks of RT and detraining. Before and after RT and detraining, muscle strength and mass and anabolic and catabolic hormones were measured. This study found that 20E reduced cortisol levels significantly (p < 0.05) compared to the PLA, yet no effect was observed on muscle mass, strength, or anabolic hormones after RT. Subsequent to 6 weeks of detraining, the 20E demonstrated a lower percentage change in 1RM bench press/FFM than the PLA (p < 0.05). Compared to the PLA, detraining throughout the 12 weeks resulted in a lower percentage change in thigh (p < 0.05) and chest (p < 0.01) circumferences, as well as reduced cortisol levels (p < 0.01), with 20E. Our findings demonstrate that 20E supplementation is a promising way to maintain muscle mass and strength during detraining. Accordingly, 20E may prevent muscle mass and strength loss due to detraining by lowering catabolic hormone levels.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2023-09-05
      DOI: 10.3390/sports11090175
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 9 (2023)
  • Sports, Vol. 11, Pages 176: Educational Preparation and Course Approach of
           Undergraduate Sports Nutrition instructors in Large U.S. Institutions

    • Authors: Kayla Marie Norton, Randall Spencer Davies, James Derek LeCheminant, Susan Fullmer
      First page: 176
      Abstract: College courses are often offered from various disciplines, and depending on which department offers the class, the course could be taught by faculty with different educational preparation or training. This could result in significant differences in the approach and content of the course (i.e., theoretical or applied) or a difference in the instructors’ perceived importance and, therefore, the depth and time spent on various topics. We evaluated potential differences in the sports nutrition curriculum because it is a course that is usually taught by either nutritionists or exercise physiologists. A cross-sectional survey was sent to sports nutrition instructors at accredited large U.S. institutions. Descriptive statistics were analyzed via an ANOVA and Χ2 using Crosstabs in Qualtrics. Alpha was set at p < 0.001. Additionally, short interviews with some participants were recorded and transcribed verbatim. The findings of this study indicated that regardless of the instructor’s educational preparation and discipline, the majority of sports nutrition topics received similar time and depth and were rated as similarly important (p > 0.001). Out of 10 current textbooks, the majority of instructors preferred only 1 of 4 of them. From the short interviews, instructors reported that their courses were more applied than theoretical or balanced between the two. Most instructors designed their courses with a focus on achieving applied outcomes.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2023-09-05
      DOI: 10.3390/sports11090176
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 9 (2023)
  • Sports, Vol. 11, Pages 177: Short-Term L-Citrulline Supplementation Does
           Not Affect Blood Pressure, Pulse Wave Reflection, or Arterial Stiffness at
           Rest and during Isometric Exercise in Older Males

    • Authors: Andrea Tryfonos, Filippos Christodoulou, George M. Pamboris, Stephanos Christodoulides, Anastasios A. Theodorou
      First page: 177
      Abstract: Hypertension and arterial stiffness are significant factors contributing to cardiovascular disease. L-citrulline, a nitric oxide precursor, has been proposed as a nutritional, non-pharmacological blood pressure-lowering intervention. This study aimed to investigate the impact of L-citrulline on central and peripheral blood pressure, pulse wave reflection, and central arterial stiffness at rest and during an isometric knee extension exercise protocol. Twelve older males received 6 g of L-citrulline or a placebo for six days using a double-blind crossover design. Blood hemodynamics parameters (i.e., aortic and brachial systolic and diastolic blood pressure, mean arterial pressure, pulse pressure, heart rate), pulse wave reflection (i.e., augmented pressure, augmentation index, forward/backward wave pressure), and arterial stiffness (i.e., carotid–femoral pulse wave velocity) were measured at baseline, post-supplementation, and during isometric exercise. No significant effects of L-citrulline supplementation were observed at rest or during exercise on blood pressure, pulse wave reflection, or arterial stiffness. Both central and peripheral blood pressure were increased during the exercise, which is consistent with isometric contractions. The results of the present study do not support any blood pressure-lowering effect of short-term L-citrulline at rest or during low-intensity isometric exercise compared to the pre-exercise values in older males.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2023-09-07
      DOI: 10.3390/sports11090177
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 9 (2023)
  • Sports, Vol. 11, Pages 178: Assessment Tools Measuring Fundamental
           Movement Skills of Primary School Children: A Narrative Review in
           Methodological Perspective

    • Authors: Ágnes Virág Nagy, Márta Wilhelm, Mihály Domokos, Ferenc Győri, Tamás Berki
      First page: 178
      Abstract: This paper aimed to analyze fundamental movement skill (FMS) assessment tools that could be used for primary school children. In this narrative review, the Motoriktest für Vier- bis Sechjärige Kinder (MOT 4–6), Movement Assessment Battery for Children-2 (M-ABC-2), Motorische Basiskompetenzen (MOBAK) Körperkoordinationtest für Kinder (KTK), Test of Gross Motor Development (TGMD), Maastricht Motoriek Test (MMT) and the Bruininks–Oseretsky Test of Motor Proficiency-2 (BOT-2) were analyzed from a methodological perspective, such as the number of test items, tools and types of tests, in terms of the FMS area. The analysis revealed that to assess locomotor movement skills, the BOT-2 has an excellent test for running ability, but for detecting technical difficulties, the TGMD is recommended. To test hopping, the MMT is the best test. Object control movement skills are measured with throws, dribbles and catches. Most of the tools assessed these skills, but it turned out that the TGMD is the best for measuring object control. Stability movement skills are tested with static and dynamic balance tests. Dynamic balance is more frequently used, and the MOT 4–6, KTK and BOT-2 have the most tools to use. However, the MMT is an excellent test for static balance. Fine motor movement skills are easy to assess with the MMT and MOT 4–6, since they have low equipment requirements. The BOT-2 is the best measurement tool; however, it has high equipment requirements. All of the FMS assessment tools are good; however, we concluded that although these tools are excellent for research purposes, they are difficult to apply in a school setting. Thus, teachers and coaches are advised to always select a single task from the available assessment tools that is appropriate for the skills they would like to measure.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2023-09-07
      DOI: 10.3390/sports11090178
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 9 (2023)
  • Sports, Vol. 11, Pages 179: Are Late-Born Young Soccer Players Less Mature
           Than Their Early-Born Peers, Although No Differences in Physical and
           Technical Performance Are Evident'

    • Authors: Eduard Bezuglov, Georgiy Malyakin, Anton Emanov, Grigory Malyshev, Maria Shoshorina, Evgeny Savin, Artemii Lazarev, Ryland Morgans
      First page: 179
      Abstract: The aim of the study was to compare the status of somatic maturity, anthropometry, strength, speed, and soccer-specific technical skills of players from leading youth soccer academies born in different quarters of the same calendar year. A total of 678 young male soccer players from eight leading Russian soccer academies took part in the study. The following anthropometric measures and physical characteristics were measured: height, weight, body mass index, countermovement jumps (CMJ), 5, 10, and 20 m sprints, speed dribbling, foot and body ball juggling, and short and long pass accuracy. The determination of somatic maturity as a percentage of projected adult height was collected. All subject dates of birth were divided into four quartiles according to the month of birth. The analysis of all data obtained was conducted both within the total sample and by quartiles of birth, according to the age group categories of 12–13 years, 14–15 years, and 16–17 years and the degree of somatic maturity. There was a widespread relative age effect, with 43.5% of early-born players and only 9.6% of late-born players representing the sample. Early-born players were more mature than late-born players (p < 0.001 and p < 0.001) but had no statistically significant differences in strength, speed, or soccer-specific skills.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2023-09-08
      DOI: 10.3390/sports11090179
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 9 (2023)
  • Sports, Vol. 11, Pages 180: Cryo plus Ultrasound Therapy, a Novel
           Rehabilitative Approach for Football Players with Acute Lateral Ankle
           Injury Sprain: A Proof-of-Concept Study

    • Authors: Antonio Ammendolia, Alessandro de Sire, Lorenzo Lippi, Valerio Ammendolia, Riccardo Spanò, Andrea Reggiani, Marco Invernizzi, Nicola Marotta
      First page: 180
      Abstract: Background: Acute lateral ankle sprains are common injuries among athletes, but the optimal treatment strategies in elite athletes are still debated. This proof-of-concept study aimed to assess the impact of cryo-ultrasound therapy on the short-term recovery of football players with acute lateral ankle sprains. Methods: Semi-professional football players with grade I or II lateral ankle sprains were randomly assigned to the experimental group (receiving cryo-ultrasound therapy combined with conventional physical therapy) or control group (sham cryo-ultrasound therapy combined with conventional physical therapy). Pain intensity and physical functioning were assessed by the Numeric Rating Scale (NRS) and Foot and Ankle Disability Index (FADI) at baseline (T0) at the end of treatment (T1), after one month (T2), and two months after treatment (T3). Results: After the study intervention, significant between groups differences were reported in terms of pain relief (NRS: 4.08 ± 1.29 vs. 5.87 ± 1.19; p = 0.003) and physical function (FADI: 50.9 ± 10.3 vs. 38.3 ± 11.5; p = 0.021). However, no significant between group differences were reported at T2 and T3. No adverse effects were reported. Conclusions: Cryo-ultrasound therapy combined with conventional physical therapy can accelerate recovery and early return to sport in elite football players with acute lateral ankle sprains. While this study contributes valuable insights into the potential benefits of cryo-ultrasound therapy, further investigations with a longer follow-up are needed to validate and optimize the application of physical agent modalities in the management of ankle injuries.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2023-09-09
      DOI: 10.3390/sports11090180
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 9 (2023)
  • Sports, Vol. 11, Pages 181: Effects of Complex Training on Jumping and
           Change of Direction Performance, and Post-Activation Performance
           Enhancement Response in Basketball Players

    • Authors: Piotr Biel, Paulina Ewertowska, Petr Stastny, Michał Krzysztofik
      First page: 181
      Abstract: Exercise order is one of the significant factors modulating training effects. Therefore, the aim of this study was to compare the effectiveness of an 8-week complex (CPX) training program utilizing intra-CPX active recovery with compound training (CMP) on bilateral and single-leg jumping performance, change of direction test time (shuttle test), and the post-activation performance enhancement (PAPE) response in a group of basketball players. Thirteen participants were performing CPX bi-weekly combined with regular pre-season basketball practice, while eleven participants were performing CMP for 8 weeks. Before and after the interventions, the following fitness tests were assessed: (i) bilateral countermovement jump, (ii) single-leg countermovement jump, (iii) shuttle run test. All tests were performed pre- and post-conditioning activity (CA—three sets of five drop jumps). The results showed a statistically significant increase in non-dominant (p = 0.019) and dominant single-leg jump relative peak power (p = 0.001), and in non-dominant single-leg jump height (p = 0.022) post-training compared to pre-training. The CA was significantly and similarly effective in eliciting a PAPE response in all tests before and after each intervention (p < 0.039; for all). However, the magnitude of improvement in CMJ and shuttle test time was trivial to small and did not reach statistical significance. Both 8 weeks of CPX and CMP training led to significant improvements in the SLJ power output of both the dominant and non-dominant limbs as well as the height of the non-dominant SLJ. Neither of the training methods had significant impacts on the magnitude of the PAPE response.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2023-09-12
      DOI: 10.3390/sports11090181
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 9 (2023)
  • Sports, Vol. 11, Pages 182: Questions of Identity in Sport Psychology

    • Authors: Karen Howells
      First page: 182
      Abstract: As with other academic disciplines, sport psychology academics working in higher education (HE) in the United Kingdom (UK) in lecturer and senior lecturer positions are typically required to hold a PhD in sport psychology or a related discipline. To work in applied practice with athletes, coaches, National Governing Bodies (NGBs), and sporting organisations, practitioners are required to acquire a qualification that affords registration with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) through either the British Psychology Society (BPS) or the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences (BASES). Accordingly, scholar–practitioners, who have “a foot in both worlds” (Tenkasi and Hay, 2008), are required to have two related but distinct qualifications, each of which requires considerable resources (i.e., time, finances, and commitment) to achieve. This paper addresses some of the dilemmas and conflicts that these individuals may encounter in their primary workplace, which typically does not provide for applied practice (either in time or financial incentives). Specifically, issues around the knowledge-transfer gap will be addressed. Real-world examples will be in the form of reflections from the author’s own experiences. I am a senior lecturer in sport and exercise psychology at Cardiff Metropolitan University and the programme director of the MSc Sport Psychology. The role requires me to be HCPC registered, as well as have a PhD in sport psychology. I am also an HCPC Practitioner Psychologist, registered following completion of the BPS Qualification in Sport and Exercise Psychology (QSEP). My practice is limited to minimal private work and the supervision of trainee sport psychologists (BPS). At the end of the paper, I leave the reader with three questions to prompt reflection on what being a sport psychologist means and what contributions scholar–practitioners may offer to academic institutions and the clients we work with.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2023-09-13
      DOI: 10.3390/sports11090182
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 9 (2023)
  • Sports, Vol. 11, Pages 183: Coconut Water: A Sports Drink Alternative'

    • Authors: Brendan J. O’Brien, Leo R. Bell, Declan Hennessy, Joshua Denham, Carl D. Paton
      First page: 183
      Abstract: Coconut water is used as an alternative to conventional sports drinks for hydration during endurance cycling; however, evidence supporting its use is limited. This study determined if drinking coconut water compared to a sports drink altered cycling performance and physiology. In a randomized crossover trial, 19 experienced male (n = 15) and female (n = 4) cyclists (age 30 ± 9 years, body mass 79 ± 11 kg, V̇O2 peak 55 ± 8 mL·kg−1·min−1) completed two experimental trials, consuming either a commercially available sports drink or iso-calorific coconut water during 90 min of sub-maximal cycling at 70% of their peak power output, followed by a simulated, variable gradient, 20 km time trial. Blood glucose, lactate, sweat loss, and heart rate were monitored throughout the 90 min of sub-maximal cycling, as well as the time trial performance (seconds) and average power (watts). A repeated measures analysis of variance and effect sizes (Cohen’s d) analysis were applied. There were no significant differences (p ≥ 0.05) between the treatments for any of the measured physiological or performance variables. Additionally, the effect size analysis showed only trivial (d ≤ 0.2) differences between the treatments for all the measured variables, except blood glucose, which was lower in the coconut water trial compared to the sports drink trial (d = 0.31). Consuming coconut water had a similar effect on the cycling time trial performance and the physiological responses to consuming a commercially available sports drink.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2023-09-14
      DOI: 10.3390/sports11090183
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 9 (2023)
  • Sports, Vol. 11, Pages 184: Development of a Cutting Technique
           Modification Training Program and Evaluation of its Effects on Movement
           Quality and Cutting Performance in Male Adolescent American Football

    • Authors: Lutz Thieschäfer, Julius Klütz, Julian Weig, Thomas Dos’Santos, Dirk Büsch
      First page: 184
      Abstract: This study developed a cutting technique modification training program and investigated its effects on cutting performance and movement quality in adolescent American football players. For six weeks, an intervention group (IG) of 11 players participated in 25 min cutting technique modification training sessions integrated into team training twice a week, while a control group (CG) of 11 players continued their usual team training. Movement quality was assessed by evaluating 2D high-speed videos, obtained during preplanned 45° and 90° cutting tests, using the Cutting Movement Assessment Score (CMAS) qualitative screening tool. Cutting performance was assessed based on change of direction deficit (CODD). Significant interaction effects of time × group were found for CMAS in 45° and 90° cuttings (p < 0.001, ηp2 = 0.76, p < 0.001, ηp2 = 0.64, respectively), with large improvements in the IG (p < 0.001, g = −2.16, p < 0.001, g = −1.78, respectively) and deteriorations in the CG for 45° cuttings (p = 0.002, g = 1.15). However, no statistically significant differences in CODD were observed pre-to-post intervention. The cutting technique modification training was effective at improving movement quality without impairing cutting performance, and it can be used by practitioners working with adolescent athletes.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2023-09-17
      DOI: 10.3390/sports11090184
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 9 (2023)
  • Sports, Vol. 11, Pages 185: Muscle Activation and Ground Reaction Force
           between Single-Leg Drop Landing and Jump Landing among Young Females
           during Weight-Acceptance Phase

    • Authors: Metaneeya Pilanthananond, Kittichai Tharawadeepimuk, Vitoon Saengsirisuwan, Weerawat Limroongreungrat
      First page: 185
      Abstract: Single-leg drop landing (SLDL) and jump landing (SLJL) are frequently used as assessment tools for identifying potential high-risk movement patterns; thus, understanding differences in neuromuscular responses between these types of landings is essential. This study aimed to compare lower extremity neuromuscular responses between the SLDL and SLJL. Thirteen female participants performed an SLDL and SLJL from a 30-cm box height. Vertical ground reaction force (vGRF), time to peak vGRF, and surface electromyography (sEMG) data were collected. Continuous neuromuscular responses, peak vGRF, and time to peak vGRF were compared between the tasks. Statistical parametric mapping (SPM) analysis demonstrated that the SLJL had a significantly higher sEMG activity in the rectus femoris (RF), vastus lateralis (VL) and vastus medialis (VM) within the first 10% of the landing phase compared with SLDL. At 20–30% of the landing phase, sEMGs in the RF and VL during the SLDL were significantly higher compared with SLJL (p < 0.05). A higher peak vGRF and shorter time to peak vGRF was observed during SLJL (p < 0.05). In conclusion, our findings highlight that SLJL exhibited greater RF, VL, and VM activities than SLDL at initial impact (10% landing), coinciding with a higher peak vGRF and shorter time to attain peak vGRF. Our findings support the role of the quadriceps as the primary energy dissipator during the SLJL.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2023-09-18
      DOI: 10.3390/sports11090185
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 9 (2023)
  • Sports, Vol. 11, Pages 186: Comparison of Ultra-Short Race Pace and
           High-Intensity Interval Training in Age Group Competitive Swimmers

    • Authors: Konstantinos Papadimitriou, Athanasios Kabasakalis, Anastasios Papadopoulos, Georgios Mavridis, Georgios Tsalis
      First page: 186
      Abstract: The aim of this study was tο examine the acute responses to an Ultra-Short Race Pace Training (USRPT) and a High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), both oriented for the event of 100 m freestyle. Eighteen national-level swimmers (8 boys, 10 girls) aged 13.5 ± 0.1 years, with 8.0 ± 0.5 years of experience participated in the study. All participants completed a USRPT and a HIIT protocol consisting of 2 × 10 × 25 m (USRPT1 & USRPT2) and 5 × 50 m. Significantly higher swimming velocity (SV) were achieved in USRPT compared to HIIT (p < 0.001), while significantly lower distance per stroke (DPS) and stroke index (SI) were obtained (p = 0.007 and p < 0.001). Also, significantly lower blood lactate and glucose (BL & BG) concentrations were found after USRPT (p ≤ 0.001 and p = 0.037). Heart rate (HR) and rate of perceived exertion (RPE) were significantly lower after USRPT than HIIT (p < 0.001 and p = 0.015). According to the results, an USRPT swimming set consisting of 20 × 25 m at a 100 m pace seems to induce more specific responses in kinematic characteristics, biomarkers, HR and RPE compared to a 5 × 50 m HIIT set.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2023-09-18
      DOI: 10.3390/sports11090186
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 9 (2023)
  • Sports, Vol. 11, Pages 187: Predicting Risk Factors of Lower Extremity
           Injuries in Elite Women’s Football: Systematic Review and

    • Authors: Feim Gashi, Tine Kovacic, Arbnore Ibrahimaj Gashi, Arben Boshnjaku, Ismet Shalaj
      First page: 187
      Abstract: This study identified and analyzed the risk factors of lower extremity injuries (LEI) in elite women football players to improve career and health outcomes. To address this aim, a systematic review and meta-analysis methodology was used. In total, four relevant research articles were identified through database searching and screening using the PRISMA flow diagram. From these articles, eight predictors were identified that influence the risk of LEI among elite women football players: higher body mass index (OR 1.51, 95% CI); previous knee injury (OR 3.57, 95% CI); low normalized knee separation (≤10th percentile) (RR 1.92, 95% CI); all previous injury (previous ACL tear: OR 5.24, 95% CI; ankle sprain: 1.39, 95% CI; knee sprain: 1.50, 95% CI); and previous injury in the lower body (OR 2.97, 95% CI). Meanwhile, lower knee valgus angle in a drop-jump landing (OR 0.64, 95% CI) was found to decrease the risk of LEI among elite women football players.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2023-09-20
      DOI: 10.3390/sports11090187
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 9 (2023)
  • Sports, Vol. 11, Pages 139: Motor Coordination in Children: A Comparison
           between Children Engaged in Multisport Activities and Swimming

    • Authors: Dušan Stanković, Maja Horvatin, Jadranka Vlašić, Damir Pekas, Nebojša Trajković
      First page: 139
      Abstract: Motor coordination has a crucial role in various physical activities and sports, highlighting its significance in overall movement proficiency and performance. This study aimed to compare motor coordination in children engaged in multisport versus swimming activities. The participants of this study included 180 boys and girls (girls = 87) aged 8.25 years ± 0.89. A total of three groups were included: group 1 consisted of inactive children, group 2 included children participating in swimming, and group 3 included children enrolled in multisport. Motor coordination was assessed using the Kiphard–Schilling body coordination test, evaluated by motor quotient (MQ): walking backwards, hopping for height, jumping sideways, and moving sideways. Additionally, a total motor quotient (Total MQ) was calculated based on the performance in all four tests. ANOVA revealed a significant difference in Total MQ and all subtests between the groups (p < 0.01). A significant difference in Total MQ was found not only between the inactive and multisport groups (Diff = 19.8000; 95%CI = 13.1848 to 26.4152; p = 0.001) but also between the multisport and swimming groups (Diff = 12.8000; 95%CI = 6.3456 to 19.2544; p = 0.001). In conclusion, the results revealed that children involved in multisport activities exhibited significantly better motor coordination compared to both the swimming group and the inactive group. Therefore, to enhance the growth of motor coordination abilities, it is crucial that parents, instructors, and coaches encourage kids to engage in multisport physical activities on a daily basis.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2023-07-25
      DOI: 10.3390/sports11080139
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 8 (2023)
  • Sports, Vol. 11, Pages 140: Effectiveness of a Judo Intervention Programme
           on the Psychosocial Area in Secondary School Education Students

    • Authors: David Lindell-Postigo, Félix Zurita-Ortega, Eduardo Melguizo-Ibáñez, Gabriel González-Valero, Manuel Ortiz-Franco, José Luis Ubago-Jiménez
      First page: 140
      Abstract: Currently, many combat sports are pedagogically conceived as uneducational and unreliable for the development of young people. The present research aims to investigate the influence of a Judo intervention programme on the motivational climate towards sport, aggressive behaviour, emotional intelligence, and self-concept in secondary school students and to establish the relationships between them. This objective was broken down into (a) developing an explanatory model of the variables mentioned above and (b) testing the model equations through a multi-group analysis in terms of pre-test and post-test. The present study conducted a pre–post-test quasi-experimental design with a single experimental group. The sample consisted of a total of 139 adolescents (12.67 ± 1.066), 50.4% of whom were male (n = 70) and 49.6% female (n = 69). The results show that the intervention decreased all types of aggression and increased levels of emotional intelligence. An increase in social, physical and academic self-concept and decreases in the family and emotional areas were also observed. Finally, for the motivational climate, a tendency towards the ego climate to the detriment of the task climate was observed. It is concluded that the Judo intervention programme is effective in decreasing aggressive behaviour and effective in increasing levels of emotional intelligence and self-concept.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2023-07-28
      DOI: 10.3390/sports11080140
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 8 (2023)
  • Sports, Vol. 11, Pages 141: A Systematic Review of Dynamic Forces and
           Kinematic Indicators of Front and Roundhouse Kicks across Varied
           Conditions and Participant Experience

    • Authors: Michal Vagner, Daniel John Cleather, Vladan Olah, Jan Vacek, Petr Stastny
      First page: 141
      Abstract: Impact force and maximum velocity are important indicators of kick efficiency. Therefore, this systematic review compared the front kick (FK) and roundhouse kick (RK), including their impact force, maximum velocity, angular velocity, and execution time, considering various target types and experience levels. Following PRISMA guidelines, the Web of Science, SportDiscus, and PubMed were systematically searched for articles published from January 1982 to May 2022. Normalized kicking values were compared using one-way ANOVA. Eighteen articles included FKs (sample: 113 elite men, 109 sub-elite men, and 46 novices), and twenty-five articles included RKs (sample: 238 elite men, 143 sub-elite men, and 27 novice men). The results indicate that the impact force of the FK were 47% (p < 0.01), 92% (p < 0.01), and 120% (p < 0.01) higher than those of the RK across novice, sub-elite, and elite groups, respectively. Moreover, the maximum foot velocity of the RK was 44% (p < 0.01) and 48% (p < 0.01) higher than that of the FK for the sub-elite and elite groups, respectively. Furthermore, the elite group had 65% (p < 0.01) higher knee extension angular velocity with the RK than with the FK and 138% (p < 0.01) higher hip extension angular velocity with the FK than with the RK. In summary, the findings suggest that the FK is more effective in generating forceful kicks, while the RK has the potential for rapid execution.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2023-07-28
      DOI: 10.3390/sports11080141
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 8 (2023)
  • Sports, Vol. 11, Pages 142: In-Season Longitudinal Hydration/Body Cell
           Mass Ratio Changes in Elite Rugby Players

    • Authors: Álex Cebrián-Ponce, Cristian Petri, Pascal Izzicupo, Matteo Levi Micheli, Cristina Cortis, Andrea Fusco, Marta Carrasco-Marginet, Gabriele Mascherini
      First page: 142
      Abstract: Background: Hydration status has a direct role in sports performance. Bioelectrical Impedance Vector Analysis (BIVA) and Urine Specific Gravity (USG) are commonly used to assess hydration. The study aims to identify the sensitivity and relationship between BIVA and USG in a field sports setting. Methods: BIVA and USG measurements were conducted five times throughout one rugby season. 34 elite male rugby players (25.1 ± 4.4 years; 184.0 ± 7.8 cm; 99.9 ± 13.4 kg) were enrolled. Differences over time were tested using one-way repeated measures ANOVA, and Bonferroni’s post-hoc test was applied in pairwise comparisons. Resistance-reactance graphs and Hotelling’s T2 test were used to characterize the sample and to identify bioelectrical changes. A repeated measures correlation test was conducted for BIVA-USG associations. Results: Two clear trends were seen: (1) from July to September, there was a vector shortening and an increase of the phase angle (p < 0.001); and (2) from December to April, there was a vector lengthening and a decrease of the phase angle (p < 0.001). USG reported neither changes nor correlation with BIVA longitudinally (p > 0.05). Vector variations indicated a body fluid gain (especially in the intracellular compartment) and a body cell mass increase during the preseason, suggesting a physical condition and performance improvement. During the last months of the season, the kinetic was the opposite (fluid loss and decreased body cell mass). Conclusions: Results suggested that BIVA is sensitive to physiological changes and a better option than USG for assessing hydration changes during a rugby sports season.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2023-07-28
      DOI: 10.3390/sports11080142
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 8 (2023)
  • Sports, Vol. 11, Pages 143: Educational Needs for Coaching Judo in Older
           Adults: The EdJCO Focus Groups

    • Authors: Federico Palumbo, Simone Ciaccioni, Flavia Guidotti, Roberta Forte, Envic Galea, Attilio Sacripanti, Nuša Lampe, Špela Lampe, Toma Jelušić, Slaviŝa Bradić, Maria-Loredana Lascau, Alina Rodica-Borza, Raúl Camacho Pérez, Fernando Diéguez Rodríguez-Montero, Mesut Kapan, Kaya Gezeker, Laura Capranica, Antonio Tessitore
      First page: 143
      Abstract: Judo coaches are urged to develop specific competencies and skills for addressing the special needs of older practitioners. Thus, the purpose of this study was to investigate the experts’ opinions on judo training in late adulthood to develop sound educational programs for coaches of older judo practitioners. Overall, eighty-eight experts from an international consortium of judo and educational partners participated in national focus groups. During the focus groups, experts discussed five themes and generated statements pertinent to educate coaches to support older judo practitioners (e.g., benefits; necessary knowledge; risks; training groups definition; tools; and tests for monitoring training plans). The initial list of 262 statements was synthesized, validated, analyzed, and organized into a final list of 55 statements and six macro-areas: aging process (n = 10); safety and first aid (n = 6); physiology and fitness (n = 12); psychology and mental health (n = 11); organization and environment (n = 5); adapted judo teaching and training (n = 11). The present international eminence-based study, harmonizing diverse intercultural perspectives, highlighted the specific needs of older judo practitioners. The results of this study will contribute to the structure of a sound educational program for coaches of older judo practitioners to enhance the quality of older adults’ sports experiences by linking safety, enjoyment, social interactions, and learning principles.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2023-07-31
      DOI: 10.3390/sports11080143
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 8 (2023)
  • Sports, Vol. 11, Pages 144: Muscle Damage, Inflammation, and Muscular
           Performance following the Physical Ability Test in Professional

    • Authors: Matthew L. Sokoloski, Brandon R. Rigby, George A. King, Kyle D. Biggerstaff, Christopher J. Irvine, Andrew M. Bosak, Ryan A. Gordon, Emily L. Zumbro, Cayla E. Clark, Nicole L. Varone, Brett W. Crossland
      First page: 144
      Abstract: Proper monitoring of fatigue and muscular damage may be used to decrease the high levels of cardiovascular disease, overuse musculoskeletal injuries, and workers compensation claims within the profession of firefighting. The purpose of this study was to examine muscle damage, muscular fatigue, and inflammation responses following a typical firefighting shift. Twenty-four professional firefighters completed two Physical Ability Tests to standardize the tasks typically performed in a day of work, and to elicit similar physiological responses. Participants were then monitored for 48 h. Prior to, and 48 h following the Physical Ability Tests, participants were evaluated for changes in strength, power, range-of-motion, as well as blood markers including myoglobin and c-reactive protein. Following the Physical Ability Tests, significant differences in myoglobin (p < 0.05), grip strength (p < 0.05), vertical jump (p < 0.05), and sit-and-reach (p < 0.05) were observed. No difference in c-reactive protein was observed (p > 0.05). After 24 hours following a shift, firefighters exhibited decreased strength, power, and range-of-motion. This may lead to decreases in performance and an increased risk of injury.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2023-08-01
      DOI: 10.3390/sports11080144
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 8 (2023)
  • Sports, Vol. 11, Pages 145: The Effect of Acute Exercise on State Anxiety:
           A Systematic Review

    • Authors: Madeleine Connor, Elaine A. Hargreaves, Orla K. Scanlon, Olivia K. Harrison
      First page: 145
      Abstract: Acute exercise has been shown to induce a small reduction in state anxiety, yet the most beneficial exercise stimulus is not clear. This review provides an update on the papers published since the last comprehensive review in 2015, with specific emphasis on whether study quality has improved. Randomised control trials, conducted in samples of healthy adults with non-clinical anxiety, were sourced from PubMed, PsycInfo, and Scopus. Study characteristics and study quality were assessed in nine studies comprising thirteen exercise conditions. Acute exercise significantly reduced anxiety in 53% (N = 7/13) of the exercise conditions. In comparison to a control condition, four showed exercising to be more effective, and one was as effective as the control. Two of the effective studies did not contain a control group. Six conditions were ineffective in reducing anxiety. There was no clear pattern of what combination of exercise mode, duration, and intensity was most effective, suggesting a variety may be effective in reducing anxiety. Methodological limitations still exist within the research, e.g., participant recruitment not considering baseline anxiety; variations in the control condition content. Future research should include participant samples exhibiting moderate-to-high levels of anxiety and examine self-selected exercise intensities.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2023-08-01
      DOI: 10.3390/sports11080145
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 8 (2023)
  • Sports, Vol. 11, Pages 146: Using a Standing Heel-Rise Test as a Predictor
           of Ankle Muscle Strength in the Elderly

    • Authors: Weerasak Tapanya, Sinthuporn Maharan, Noppharath Sangkarit, Puttipong Poncumhak, Saisunee Konsanit
      First page: 146
      Abstract: The senior population is at increased risk of falling due to a reduction in ankle muscle strength. Evaluating the strength of the ankle muscles in older adults is of paramount importance. The purpose of this study was to formulate an equation to estimate ankle muscle strength by utilizing the basic physical characteristics of the subject and the variables related to their ability to perform the standing heel-rise test (SHRT). One hundred and thirty-two healthy elderly participants (mean age 67.30 ± 7.60) completed the SHRT and provided demographic information. Ankle plantar flexor (PF) muscle strength was evaluated using a push–pull dynamometer. Multiple regression analysis was utilized to develop a prediction equation for ankle PF muscle strength. The study revealed that the ankle PF strength equation was derived from variables including the power index of the SHRT, gender, age, calf circumference, and single-leg standing balance test. The equation exhibited a strong correlation (r = 0.816) and had a predictive power of 65.3%. The equation is represented as follows: ankle PF strength = 24.31 − 0.20(A) + 8.14(G) + 0.49(CC) + 0.07(SSEO) + 0.20(BW/t-SHRT). The equation had an estimation error of 5.51 kg. The strength of ankle PFs in elderly individuals can be estimated by considering demographic variables, including gender, age, calf circumference, single-leg standing balance test, and the power index of the SHRT. These factors were identified as significant determinants of ankle PF strength in this population.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2023-08-02
      DOI: 10.3390/sports11080146
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 8 (2023)
  • Sports, Vol. 11, Pages 147: Effect of Self-Myofascial Release of the Lower
           Back on Myofascial Gliding, Lumbar Flexibility, and Abdominal Trunk Muscle
           Strength: A Crossover Study

    • Authors: Yuki Nakai, Katsutoshi Oe, Ryuko Matsuno, Ryoji Kiyama, Masayuki Kawada, Yasufumi Takeshita, Takasuke Miyazaki, Sota Araki
      First page: 147
      Abstract: Roller massage has been recognized as an effective intervention for managing various conditions. However, data on the effects of roller massage on the dynamic mechanisms of the myofascial and soft tissues of the lower back are limited. This study aimed to examine the effect of the self-myofascial release of the lower back on myofascial gliding, lumbar flexibility, and abdominal trunk muscle strength using a roller massager. This crossover study included 24 college athletes who underwent three interventions—roller massage, static stretching, and control (rest). Before and after the intervention, lumbar and fascial gliding were evaluated using ultrasonography. Long-seat anteflexion (lumbar flexibility) and abdominal trunk muscle strength were assessed. The movement velocities of the subcutaneous tissue and the multifidus muscle over time were calculated using echo video analysis software, and gliding was estimated using the cross-correlation coefficient between the velocities. Gliding, lumbar flexibility, and abdominal trunk muscle strength showed significant intervention-by-time interactions. Roller massage significantly improved gliding, lumbar flexibility, and abdominal trunk muscle strength. The self-myofascial release of the lower back using a roller massager improved the lumbar/fascia gliding, lumbar flexibility, and abdominal trunk muscle strength compared to static stretching.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2023-08-02
      DOI: 10.3390/sports11080147
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 8 (2023)
  • Sports, Vol. 11, Pages 148: Acute Effects of Supra- and High-Loaded Front
           Squats on Mechanical Properties of Lower-Limb Muscles

    • Authors: Michal Krzysztofik, Michal Wilk, Dominik Kolinger, Anna Pisz, Katarzyna Świtała, Jan Petruzela, Petr Stastny
      First page: 148
      Abstract: Knowledge about the acute effects of supramaximal-loaded resistance exercises on muscle mechanical properties is scarce. Therefore, this study aimed to examine changes in dominant limb biceps femoris and vastus lateralis oscillation frequency and stiffness before and after high- and supramaximal-loaded front squats. Nineteen male handball players participated in the experimental session with a barbell front squat 1RM. The first set was performed at 70% of the 1RM for four repetitions, and the second and third sets were performed at 90%1RM in an eccentric–concentric or an eccentric-only manner at 120% of the 1RM for three repetitions. The handheld myometer was used for the measurement of the biceps femoris and vastus lateralis stiffness and the oscillation frequency of the dominant limb 5 min before and at the 5th and 10th min after front squats. A two-way ANOVA neither indicated a statistically significant interaction (p = 0.335; η2 = 0.059 and p = 0.103; η2 = 0.118), the main effect of a condition (p = 0.124; η2 = 0.126 and p = 0.197; η2 = 0.091), nor the main effect of the time point (p = 0.314; η2 = 0.06 and p = 0.196; η2 = 0.089) for vastus lateralis and biceps femoris stiffness. However, there was a statistically significant interaction (F = 3.516; p = 0.04; η2 = 0.163) for vastus lateralis oscillation frequency. The post hoc analysis showed a significantly higher vastus lateralis oscillation frequency at POST (p = 0.037; d = 0.29) and POST_10 (p = 0.02; d = 0.29) compared to PRE during the SUPRA condition. Moreover, Friedman’s test indicated statistically significant differences in biceps femoris oscillation frequency (test = 15.482; p = 0.008; Kendall’s W = 0.163). Pairwise comparison showed a significantly lower biceps femoris oscillation frequency in POST (p = 0.042; d = 0.31) and POST_10 (p = 0.015; d = 0.2) during the HIGH condition compared to that in the corresponding time points during the SUPRA condition. The results of this study indicate that the SUPRA front squats, compared to the high-loaded ones, cause a significant increase in biceps femoris and vastus lateralis oscillation frequency.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2023-08-02
      DOI: 10.3390/sports11080148
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 8 (2023)
  • Sports, Vol. 11, Pages 149: Effects of Exercise on Quality of Life in
           Subjects with Alzheimer’s Disease: Systematic Review with
           Meta-Analysis of Randomized Clinical Trials

    • Authors: Mariana Mendes, Érica Correia, Anabela Vitorino, José Rodrigues, Luís Cid, Teresa Bento, Raul Antunes, Diogo Monteiro, Nuno Couto
      First page: 149
      Abstract: Alzheimer’s disease is a type of dementia that progressively affects memory, thinking, and behavior. It can interfere with daily activities and lead to a decline in cognitive abilities over time. Exercise-based interventions can complement Alzheimer’s disease treatment. Exercise is a valuable tool in all healthcare settings and has shown promise as an effective cognitive improvement intervention for people with cognitive impairments. This systematic review and meta-analysis aimed to analyze the effect of physical exercise on the QoL of subjects with Alzheimer’s disease. A search was performed with the help of the electronic databases PubMed and Web of Science. Randomized controlled trials with exercise-based interventions were selected. Four studies met the inclusion criteria, which included interventions based on exercise. The effects were summarized using standardized mean differences (95% confidence intervals) using random-effect models. The results showed that exercise had no significant effect on the QoL of subjects with Alzheimer. Thus, the effect of exercise interventions on the QoL of patients with Alzheimer’s disease is not conclusive. More research is needed about this topic and the way in which the QoL is assessed; the necessity to conduct an objective way to assess the QoL in this population is mandatory.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2023-08-09
      DOI: 10.3390/sports11080149
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 8 (2023)
  • Sports, Vol. 11, Pages 150: Plyometric Jump Training Exercise Optimization
           for Maximizing Human Performance: A Systematic Scoping Review and
           Identification of Gaps in the Existing Literature

    • Authors: Ekaitz Dudagoitia Barrio, Rohit K. Thapa, Francisca Villanueva-Flores, Igor Garcia-Atutxa, Asier Santibañez-Gutierrez, Julen Fernández-Landa, Rodrigo Ramirez-Campillo
      First page: 150
      Abstract: Background: Plyometric jump training (PJT) encompasses a range of different exercises that may offer advantages over other training methods to improve human physical capabilities (HPC). However, no systematic scoping review has analyzed either the role of the type of PJT exercise as an independent prescription variable or the gaps in the literature regarding PJT exercises to maximize HPC. Objective: This systematic scoping review aims to summarize the published scientific literature and its gaps related to HPC adaptations (e.g., jumping) to PJT, focusing on the role of the type of PJT exercise as an independent prescription variable. Methods: Computerized literature searches were conducted in the PubMed, Web of Science, and SCOPUS electronic databases. Design (PICOS) framework: (P) Healthy participants of any age, sex, fitness level, or sports background; (I) Chronic interventions exclusively using any form of PJT exercise type (e.g., vertical, unilateral). Multimodal interventions (e.g., PJT + heavy load resistance training) will be considered only if studies included two experimental groups under the same multimodal intervention, with the only difference between groups being the type of PJT exercise. (C) Comparators include PJT exercises with different modes (e.g., vertical vs. horizontal; vertical vs. horizontal combined with vertical); (O) Considered outcomes (but not limited to): physiological, biomechanical, biochemical, psychological, performance-related outcomes/adaptations, or data on injury risk (from prevention-focused studies); (S) Single- or multi-arm, randomized (parallel, crossover, cluster, other) or non-randomized. Results: Through database searching, 10,546 records were initially identified, and 69 studies (154 study groups) were included in the qualitative synthesis. The DJ (counter, bounce, weighted, and modified) was the most studied type of jump, included in 43 study groups, followed by the CMJ (standard CMJ or modified) in 19 study groups, and the SJ (standard SJ or modified) in 17 study groups. Strength and vertical jump were the most analyzed HPC outcomes in 38 and 54 studies, respectively. The effects of vertical PJT versus horizontal PJT on different HPC were compared in 21 studies. The effects of bounce DJ versus counter DJ (or DJ from different box heights) on different HPC were compared in 26 studies. Conclusions: Although 69 studies analyzed the effects of PJT exercise type on different HPC, several gaps were identified in the literature. Indeed, the potential effect of the PJT exercise type on a considerable number of HPC outcomes (e.g., aerobic capacity, flexibility, asymmetries) are virtually unexplored. Future studies are needed, including greater number of participants, particularly in groups of females, senior athletes, and youths according to maturity. Moreover, long-term (e.g., >12 weeks) PJT interventions are needed
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2023-08-09
      DOI: 10.3390/sports11080150
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 8 (2023)
  • Sports, Vol. 11, Pages 151: Evaluation of the Training Session in Elite
           Paralympic Powerlifting Athletes Based on Biomechanical and Thermal

    • Authors: Larissa Christine Vieira Santos, Felipe J. Aidar, Rodrigo Villar, Gianpiero Greco, Jefferson Lima de Santana, Anderson Carlos Marçal, Paulo Francisco de Almeida-Neto, Breno Guilherme de Araújo Tinoco Cabral, Georgian Badicu, Hadi Nobari, Raphael Frabrício de Souza, Walderi Monteiro da Silva Júnior
      First page: 151
      Abstract: Background: Paralympic powerlifting (PP) is performed on a bench press, aiming to lift as much weight as possible in a single repetition. Purpose: To evaluate thermal asymmetry and dynamic force parameters with 45 and 80% 1 Repetition Maximum (1 RM) in PP athletes. Methods: Twelve elite PP male athletes were evaluated before and after a training session regarding skin temperature (thermography) and dynamic force indicators (Average Propulsive Velocity-MPV, Maximum Velocity-VMax, and Power). The training consisted of five series of five repetitions (5 × 5) with 80% 1 RM. The force indicators and dynamics before and after (45% 1 RM) were evaluated in series “1” and “5” with 80% 1 RM. Results: The temperature did not present asymmetry, and there were differences between the moment before and after. In MPV, Vmax, and Power, with 45% 1 RM, there were differences both in asymmetry and in moments (p < 0.005). With 80% 1 RM, asymmetry was observed, but no differences between moments (p < 0.005). Conclusion: No thermal asymmetry was observed. There were reductions in MVP and VMax at 45 and 80% 1 RM but without significant differences between time points (before and after). However, there was asymmetry in the moments before and after within a safety standard, where Paralympic powerlifting was safe in terms of asymmetries.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2023-08-10
      DOI: 10.3390/sports11080151
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 8 (2023)
  • Sports, Vol. 11, Pages 152: Shoulder, Trunk, and Hip Sagittal Plane
           Kinematics during Stand-Up Paddle Boarding

    • Authors: Jamie E. Hibbert, Corina Kaufman, Deanna J. Schmidt
      First page: 152
      Abstract: Stand-up paddle boarding (SUP) as both a competitive and recreational sport has grown in popularity over the last decade. Better understanding paddling kinematics is beneficial for both injury prevention and informing coaching practices in this growing sport. The purpose of this study was to analyze sagittal plane kinematics during both standing and kneeling paddling postures commonly adopted by injury-free, recreational SUP participants. Eighteen recreational SUP participants (seven males/eleven females) were asked to complete a series of paddling tasks on a SUP ergometer in two postures, during which kinematic data were acquired. Sagittal plane kinematic data were analyzed for joint excursion, or range of motion used, while paddling on both sides of the body in each posture. Analysis of variance was used to compare joint excursions across tasks. There were no significant differences in hip or trunk sagittal plant excursion between postures. However, there was significantly greater sagittal plane excursion at the shoulder in the kneeling as compared to the standing posture with the shoulder opposite the paddling side demonstrating the greatest total excursion. These results help establish the parameters of the paddling technique currently in use among injury-free SUP participants and may be used in the future to inform coaching practices.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2023-08-13
      DOI: 10.3390/sports11080152
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 8 (2023)
  • Sports, Vol. 11, Pages 153: The Gaze Patterns of Group Fitness Instructors
           Based on Different Levels of Training and Professional Experience

    • Authors: Francisco Campos, Catarina M. Amaro, João P. Duarte, Rui Mendes, Fernando Martins
      First page: 153
      Abstract: The way in which group fitness instructors observe participants has a great influence on their pedagogical intervention. Based on the above, the main objective of this research is to characterize and compare their gaze patterns according to their training and professional experience. Twenty group fitness instructors of choreographed classes participated, aged between 18 and 42 years old, and for the comparison, four groups were created. Eye movements were captured with TOBII Pro Glasses 3, and data were coded and analyzed using the TOBII Pro Lab software. For the characterization of the gaze patterns, descriptive statistics were used in terms of count (f/m) and duration (s/m), while the comparison was performed using a one-way ANOVA test. More trained and experienced instructors tend to look at participants less, in count (80.59 ± 0.74) and duration (17.74 ± 0.71), with significant differences between the groups in some areas of interest (head, lower body, and other). There are also significant differences in the total number of eye fixations (F = 34.614; p = 0.001; η2 = 0.866; effect size very high). In conclusion, and projecting future works, it is important to understand how these gaze patterns are related to pedagogical behaviors in general or based on some specific factors (e.g., pedagogical feedback).
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2023-08-15
      DOI: 10.3390/sports11080153
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 8 (2023)
  • Sports, Vol. 11, Pages 154: Lateral Force and EMG Activity in Wide- and
           Narrow-Grip Bench Press in Various Conditions

    • Authors: Michiya Tanimoto, Hiroshi Arakawa, Mauto Sato, Akinori Nagano
      First page: 154
      Abstract: The purpose of this study was to investigate the lateral force and contribution of shoulder horizontal adductor and elbow extensor muscles activity during wide- and narrow-grip bench press (BP) in various conditions, such as resistance-trained/non-trained, concentric/eccentric, and muscle fatigue/non-fatigue. We measured the lateral force on the bar and the electromyographic (EMG) muscle activity of pectoralis major (PM) and triceps brachii (TB) during 10 RM BP with wide grip (81 cm) and narrow grip (40 cm) in seven resistance-trained men and seven non-trained men. The all-reps average of the lateral-to-vertical force ratio both in resistance-trained and non-trained subjects was about 30% outward for the wide grip and about 10% inward for the narrow grip. The EMG contribution ratio PM/TB shows no significant differences between narrow and wide grip in all evaluated conditions except in non-trained subjects’ muscle fatigue eccentric phase. Both resistance-trained and non-trained subjects did not push the bar straight upward, and the EMG PM/TB was almost unchanged by hand width. The direction adjustment of the force on the bar that achieves almost the same muscle activity degree of the shoulder and elbow joints might be optimal BP kinetics.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2023-08-15
      DOI: 10.3390/sports11080154
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 8 (2023)
  • Sports, Vol. 11, Pages 155: Constituent Year Effects and Performance in
           Alpine Skiing Junior World Championships

    • Authors: Øyvind Bjerke, Håvard Lorås, Arve Vorland Pedersen
      First page: 155
      Abstract: This study examines constituent year effect (CYE) and race performance among junior alpine skiers in the World Championships. In various junior age cohorts competing together, variation in skiing performance can be expected not only due to practice load and experience but also due to inter-individual differences in physical and psychological maturation. Within a one-year cohort, this effect has been referred to as the birth month effect or the relative age effect (RAE). In cohorts with multiple age bands, the effect is termed the constituent year effect (CYE). The CYE works in principle as the RAE but can function as a magnifying lens of the development within a larger multi-year cohort. The results of the current study indicate that CYEs are present among junior alpine skier performance in the junior World Championships. The magnitude of the constituent year effect is greater in speed events (i.e., downhill and super-G) than in technical events (i.e., slalom and giant slalom), and greater among male skiers compared to female skiers. The findings are discussed in relation to previous research on relative age effects more generally and within the sport context specifically.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2023-08-16
      DOI: 10.3390/sports11080155
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 8 (2023)
  • Sports, Vol. 11, Pages 156: Physical Fitness Tests as Predictors of
           High-Intensity Running Performance in Rugby

    • Authors: Takashi Sato, Minas Nalbandian, Masaki Takeda
      First page: 156
      Abstract: Understanding the physical fitness elements that influence high-intensity running ability during rugby matches is crucial for optimizing player performance and developing effective training strategies. In this study, we aimed to investigate the relationships between various physical fitness components and high-intensity running ability in rugby. For this purpose, 60 Japanese university rugby players were randomized into four groups and two matches were played. The participants were monitored in two matches, and their running abilities were assessed using GPS sensors. The running time was divided into three running velocity categories: distance run at ≤5.4 km/h (low-intensity running); distance run at 5.5~17.9 km/h (medium-intensity running), and distance run at ≥18.0 km/h ≤(high-intensity running) and backs and forwards were evaluated separately. To determine which physical fitness test is more predictive of performance, we decided to correlate several physical test performances with the running time intensities during the matches. Independently of the position, the high-intensity running time correlated with the repeated sprint ability (RSA) and the 40 m sprint speed. The results suggest that RSA measured in the field is the most important high-intensity running ability predictor during a match for both positions.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2023-08-16
      DOI: 10.3390/sports11080156
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 8 (2023)
  • Sports, Vol. 11, Pages 157: Functional and Morphological Adaptations in
           the Heart of Children Aged 12–14 Years following Two Different
           Endurance Training Protocols

    • Authors: Lefteris Rafailakis, Chariklia K. Deli, Ioannis G. Fatouros, Athanasios Tsiokanos, Dimitrios Draganidis, Athanasios Poulios, Dimitrios Soulas, Athanasios Z. Jamurtas
      First page: 157
      Abstract: This study investigated the cardiac functional and the morphological adaptations because of two endurance training protocols. Untrained children (N = 30, age: 12–14 years) were divided into three groups (N = 10/group). The first group did not perform any session (CONTROL), the second performed ventilatory threshold endurance training (VTT) for 12 weeks (2 sessions/week) at an intensity corresponding to the ventilatory threshold (VT) and the third (IT) performed two sessions per week at 120% of maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max). Two other sessions (30 min running at 55–65% of VO2max) per week were performed in VVT and IT. Echocardiograms (Left Ventricular end Diastolic Diameter, LVEDd; Left Ventricular end Diastolic Volume, LVEDV; Stroke Volume, SV; Ejection Fraction, EF; Posterior Wall Thickness of the Left Ventricle, PWTLV) and cardiopulmonary ergospirometry (VO2max, VT, velocity at VO2max (vVO2max), time in vVO2max until exhaustion (Tlim) was conducted before and after protocols. Significant increases were observed in both training groups in LVEDd (VTT = 5%; IT = 3.64%), in LVEDV (VTT = 23.7%; ITT = 13.6%), in SV (VTT = 25%; IT = 16.9%) but not in PWTLV and EF, after protocols. No differences were noted in the CONTROL group. VO2max and VT increased significantly in both training groups by approximately 9% after training. Our results indicate that intensity endurance training does not induce meaningful functional and morphological perturbations in the hearts of children.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2023-08-16
      DOI: 10.3390/sports11080157
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 8 (2023)
  • Sports, Vol. 11, Pages 158: Dietary Intake and Supplement Use in
           Competitive Women Bodybuilders

    • Authors: John E. Haubenstricker, Jerry W. Lee, Gina Segovia-Siapco, Ernesto Medina
      First page: 158
      Abstract: (1) Background: Women bodybuilders use extreme diets, dietary supplementation, and training regimes to sculpt their physiques. Women’s participation in bodybuilding competitions has increased since the 1980s. Currently, studies on their dietary intake and supplement use are limited. Their dietary intake may be of poor quality and low in several micronutrients, while supplement use appears to be omnipresent. Thus, the aim of this study was to examine and compare the dietary intake, supplement use, and diet quality of in-season and off-season women bodybuilders. (2) Methods: In a cross-sectional design, we compared dietary intake, supplement use, and diet quality between seasons in women bodybuilders (n = 227). An online questionnaire was developed, validated, and administered to assess all non-dietary and supplement variables. The Automated Self-Administered 24 h Dietary Assessment Tool was used to collect four 24 h dietary recalls. The Healthy Eating Index-2015 (HEI-2015) was used to calculate diet quality. The analysis of covariance and Welch’s t-tests were used to assess the differences between in-season and off-season women bodybuilders’ dietary intake, supplement, and HEI-2015 variables. (3) Results: In-season competitors reported consuming significantly less energy, carbohydrates, and fat but more protein than off-season competitors. All competitors consumed excess protein, while in-season competitors consumed excess fat and off-season competitors consumed less energy than the physique athlete nutrition recommendations. All competitors’ micronutrient intakes were above the Dietary Reference Intakes. Supplements were used by all competitors, and the mean number used was similar between seasons. The HEI-2015 scores were not significantly different between seasons yet were below the US Dietary Guidelines for Americans. (4) Conclusion: Women bodybuilders would benefit from health education to achieve physique athlete nutrition recommendations, improve diet quality, and safe/efficacious supplement use to reach physique goals and improve overall health.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2023-08-18
      DOI: 10.3390/sports11080158
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 8 (2023)
  • Sports, Vol. 11, Pages 159: Spinal Muscle Thickness and Activation during
           Abdominal Hollowing and Bracing in CrossFit® Athletes

    • Authors: Ioannis Tsartsapakis, Georgia-Andriana Pantazi, Agapi Konstantinidou, Aglaia Zafeiroudi, Eleftherios Kellis
      First page: 159
      Abstract: Exercises that improve muscle activation are essential for maintaining spinal stability and preventing low back pain. The purpose of this study was to compare the effects of abdominal hollowing and bracing on the activation of the core muscles in CrossFit® participants using ultrasound and electromyography (EMG). Twenty-four healthy adults aged 21 to 42 years old with at least two years of CrossFit® experience performed three core stability exercises (plank, side plank, bridge) with abdominal hollowing and bracing. We measured the ultrasound relative thickness of the local core muscles (transversus abdominis, internal oblique, and lumbar multifidus), and the EMG percentage of maximal voluntary contraction (MVC) of the global core muscles (rectus abdominis, external oblique, and iliocostalis lumborum). Analysis of variance tests showed that the relative thickness of the local core muscles was greater (p = 0.016) during hollowing (range from 26.8 ± 5.33 to 88.4 ± 11.9% of rest) than bracing (range from 15.9 ± 3.54 to 61.2 ± 15.9% of rest), while the EMG of the global muscles was greater (p = 0.001) in bracing (range from 24.4 ± 7.30 to 72.5 ± 9.17% of MVC) than hollowing (range from 16.4 ± 3.70 to 56.6 ± 7.65% of MVC). These results indicate that the recruitment of spinal muscles during popular exercises is achieved with both hollowing and bracing. Nevertheless, it appears that hollowing tends to recruit more of the local muscles, whilst bracing recruits more of the global muscles. The grading of the exercises varied between muscles and varied between maneuvers, especially for the surface abdominals and lumbar muscles. CrossFit® practitioners can choose to use either hollowing or bracing to activate their core muscles more selectively or more appropriately, depending on the goal and purpose of the exercise.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2023-08-18
      DOI: 10.3390/sports11080159
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 8 (2023)
  • Sports, Vol. 11, Pages 160: Emotional Intelligence in Spanish Elite
           Athletes: Is There a Differential Factor between Sports'

    • Authors: Daniel Mon-López, Cecilia Blanco-García, Jorge Acebes-Sánchez, Gabriel Rodríguez-Romo, Moisés Marquina, Adrián Martín-Castellanos, Alfonso de la Rubia, Carlos Cordente Martínez, Jesús Oliván Mallén, María Garrido-Muñoz
      First page: 160
      Abstract: Emotional intelligence is a determinant factor in sports performance. The present study analysed differences in total emotional intelligence and its four dimensions in 2166 Spanish athletes (25.20 ± 10.17 years) from eight sports (volleyball, track and field, shooting, football, basketball, handball, gymnastics, and judo). A total of 1200 men and 966 women answered anonymously using a Google Forms questionnaire sent via WhatsApp about demographics and psychological variables. A Pearson correlation was conducted to assess the age–emotional intelligence relationship. An independent T-test and One-Way ANOVA were carried out to check for age differences between biological sex and sport and a One-Way ANCOVA to determine differences between sports controlled by age. Age differences were observed by sex and sport (p < 0.001). An association was found between age and emotional intelligence dimensions (p < 0.001), except for other’s emotional appraisal (p > 0.05). Judo was the sport with the highest levels of regulation of emotions, other’s emotional appraisal, use of emotion, and total emotional intelligence (p < 0.05). Generally, emotional intelligence was found to be more developed in individual sports than in team sports, except football. Consequently, psychological skills like emotional intelligence could be critical to achieving high performance, depending on the sport.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2023-08-18
      DOI: 10.3390/sports11080160
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 8 (2023)
  • Sports, Vol. 11, Pages 137: Salivary Markers Responses in the
           Post-Exercise and Recovery Period: A Systematic Review

    • Authors: Rafael Santos Neves, Marco Antônio Rabelo da Silva, Mônica A. C. de Rezende, Adriana Caldo-Silva, João Pinheiro, Amândio M. C. Santos
      First page: 137
      Abstract: The use of saliva to monitor immune and hormonal responses in training, competitions, and during recovery is an easy and non-invasive alternative means of collecting samples compared to serum collection. Saliva can provide insight into a number of interesting biomarkers such as cortisol, testosterone, immunoglobulins, alpha-amylase, and melatonin, among others. High-intensity and exhaustive exercises, such as training or competition, provide variations in immune, protein and hormonal markers. An adequate recovery period, calming down, and recovery methods can contribute to a fast normalization of these markers, decreasing illness, as well as the likelihood of overtraining and injuries, but their effectiveness is still inconclusive. The aim of this review was to investigate the evidence of salivary markers in post-exhaustive exercise during the recovery period. This study is a systematic review from three electronic databases with studies from 2011 to 2021 within healthy humans. The search found 213 studies, and after applying the inclusion and exclusion criteria, while excluding duplicated studies, 14 studies were included in this review. The most cited salivary markers were cortisol and testosterone, as well as their ratio, alpha-amylase and IgA. Half of the studies applied a variety of recovery methods that showed controversial results over salivary markers’ impact. However, they showed an impact on the markers from the exercise, which was still dependent on exercise intensity, methodology, and duration.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2023-07-18
      DOI: 10.3390/sports11070137
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 7 (2023)
  • Sports, Vol. 11, Pages 138: The Effect on Flexibility and a Variety of
           Performance Tests of the Addition of 4 Weeks of Soleus Stretching to a
           Regular Dynamic Stretching Routine in Amateur Female Soccer Players

    • Authors: Mohammad Alimoradi, Mansour Sahebozamani, Elham Hosseini, Andreas Konrad, Sajad Noorian
      First page: 138
      Abstract: The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of 4 weeks of soleus stretching on ankle flexibility and dynamic balance, as well as selected monitoring and performance tests in soccer. Forty-five healthy female soccer players were randomly divided into a regular stretching group, a regular stretching group with soleus stretching, and a control group. Dynamic stretching protocols were performed for 4 weeks during three sessions per week as part of routine exercises. The regular group stretched three muscle groups (i.e., gastrocnemius, quadriceps, and hamstrings), while the regular + soleus group also stretched the soleus muscle. Before and after the stretching intervention, the ankle range of motion test, Y-balance test, drop jump test, dynamic knee valgus test, and Illinois Agility Running Test were performed. Ankle ROM, Y-balance, and DJ significantly improved in both intervention groups compared to controls. Only the regular + soleus group showed improvement in the Illinois Agility Running Test. Additionally, athletes performing the additional soleus stretching had greater improvements in ankle ROM and DJ but not in DKV or Y-balance. The results showed that adding soleus stretching into regular protocols can provide benefits for female soccer players in terms of performance parameters.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2023-07-19
      DOI: 10.3390/sports11070138
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 7 (2023)
  • Sports, Vol. 11, Pages 231: Conceptualisation and Measurement of Social

    • Authors: Louis Moustakas, Jule Wagner
      First page: 231
      Abstract: Sport, physical activity and social cohesion are increasingly linked within the academic literature. Indeed, studies recognise both the importance of social cohesion for promoting physical activity and the potential of sport to support social cohesion. Up until now, however, the ways in which social cohesion has been defined and measured in the context of sport and physical activity have not been the subject of much academic attention. Through a scoping review of studies measuring social cohesion in the sport and physical activity context, we aim to uncover how social cohesion is defined and measured, thus allowing us to better grasp how the concept is understood and operationalised in this field. As such, full-text inclusion occurred when studies quantitatively measured social cohesion through a questionnaire/survey instrument in connection with sport or physical activity participation or within programmes using sport to foster social cohesion. A total of 40 papers were included in the review, showing broad support for the argument that social cohesion is positively related to sport or physical activity participation. However, the retained texts engage on only a surface level with the concept of social cohesion, with around half not defining the term and the associated measurement tools using only a fraction of the dimensions typically associated with social cohesion. To conclude, we propose future directions to enhance conceptual engagement with and measurement of social cohesion.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2023-11-22
      DOI: 10.3390/sports11120231
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 12 (2023)
  • Sports, Vol. 11, Pages 232: The Effect of Contrast Water Therapy on
           Dehydration during Endurance Training Camps in Moderate-Altitude

    • Authors: Takayuki Inami, Shota Yamaguchi, Takuya Nishioka, Kenta Chida, Kosaku Hoshina, Osamu Ito, Takeshi Hashimoto, Mitsuyoshi Murayama
      First page: 232
      Abstract: The effects of contrast water therapy (CWT) on dehydration at moderate altitudes during training camps remain unknown. We hypothesized that CWT reduces dehydration resulting from training at moderate altitudes and improves performance, akin to conditions at sea level. A 13-day endurance training camp was held at a moderate altitude of 1100 m and included 22 university athletes, who were divided into two groups (CWT group, n = 12; control (CON) group, n = 10). The sample size was calculated based on an α level of 0.05, power (1 β) of 0.8, and effect size of 0.25 based on two-way ANOVA. Longitudinal changes over 13 days were compared using a two-group comparison model. Additionally, 16 athletes participated in an additional performance verification analysis. Subjective fatigue, body mass, and water content (total body water (TBW), extracellular water (ECW), and intracellular water) were measured using bioimpedance analysis every morning, and the titin N-terminal fragment in urine (UTF) was measured as an index of muscle damage. For performance verification, 10 consecutive jump performances (with the reactive strength index (RSI) as an indicator) were evaluated as neuromuscular function indices. The results indicated that the UTF did not significantly differ between the two groups. Moreover, the ECW/TBW values, indicative of dehydration, on days 4 and 5 in the CWT group were significantly lower than those in the CON group. However, there was no significant difference in RSI between the two groups. Therefore, although CWT reduces dehydration in the early stages of the training camp, it may not affect performance.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2023-11-22
      DOI: 10.3390/sports11120232
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 12 (2023)
  • Sports, Vol. 11, Pages 233: Work, Training and Life Stress in ITU World
           Olympic Distance Age-Group Championship Triathletes

    • Authors: Veronica Vleck, Luís Miguel Massuça, Rodrigo de Moraes, João Henrique Falk Neto, Claudio Quagliarotti, Maria Francesca Piacentini
      First page: 233
      Abstract: We assessed the training, work and Life Stress demands of a mixed gender group of 48 top amateur short-distance triathletes using an online retrospective epidemiological survey and the Life Events Survey for Collegiate Athletes. On superficial inspection, these mainly masters athletes appeared to undergo all the types of training that are recommended for the aging athlete. However, there were significant scheduling differences between their weekday vs. their weekend training, suggesting that age-groupers’ outside sports commitments may affect their training efficacy. The triathletes claimed to periodize, to obtain feedback on and to modify their training plans when appropriate—and some evidence of this was obtained. Over the year preceding the ITU World Age-Group Championships, they averaged 53%, 33% and 14% of their combined swim, cycle and run training time, respectively, within intensity zones 1, 2 and 3. Although the triathletes specifically stated that their training was focused on preparation for the ITU World Age-Group Championships, the way that they modified their training in the month before the event suggested that this aim was not necessarily achieved. Sports-related stress accounted for most—42.0 ± 26.7%—of their total Life Stress over the preceding year (vs. 12.7 ± 18.6% for Relationship-, 31.3 ± 25.9% for Personal- and 14.0 ± 21.1% for Career-related Stress). It affected most athletes, and was overwhelmingly negative, when it related to failure to attain athletic goal(s), to injury and/or to illness.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2023-11-24
      DOI: 10.3390/sports11120233
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 12 (2023)
  • Sports, Vol. 11, Pages 234: A Greek Translation of the Brunel Mood Scale:
           Initial Validation among Exercise Participants and Inactive Adults

    • Authors: Symeon P. Vlachopoulos, Andrew M. Lane, Peter C. Terry
      First page: 234
      Abstract: The aim of the present study was to provide initial validity evidence of a Greek translation of the 24-item Brunel Mood Scale, referred to as the BRUMS-Greek, a measure of anger, confusion, depression, fatigue, tension, and vigour. Data were collected from 1417 Greek adult exercise participants and 369 physically inactive adults, totaling 1786 adults (male = 578, female = 1208) aged 18–64 years (M = 34.73 ± 11.81 years). Given the large univariate and multivariate non-normality, a confirmatory factor analyses treating responses as ordered categorical variables was conducted which supported the hypothesised six-correlated factor measurement model. The internal consistency reliability of the BRUMS-Greek subscales was supported via Cronbach alpha coefficients. The construct validity of the scales was supported (a) via correlations in the hypothesised direction with trait positive and negative affect, (b) with more positive and less negative moods reported immediately after participation in a single exercise class compared to pre-exercise mood, and (c) with exercise participants reporting more positive and less negative mood states compared to physically inactive adults. Women reported higher tension and lower vigour scores than men. Tension scores were higher and confusion scores lower among younger participants (≤35 years) than older participants (≥36 years). Participants with obesity reported higher negative mood scores than those who were underweight or normal weight. In sum, the BRUMS-Greek demonstrated acceptable psychometric characteristics, and is proposed to be a suitable measure for use with exercise participants, physically inactive adults, and other Greek populations to explore research questions related to mood.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2023-11-27
      DOI: 10.3390/sports11120234
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 12 (2023)
  • Sports, Vol. 11, Pages 235: Comparison of VO2max Estimations for Maximal
           and Submaximal Exercise Tests in Apparently Healthy Adults

    • Authors: Marc-Olivier Dugas, Pénélope Paradis-Deschênes, Laurie Simard, Tommy Chevrette, Patricia Blackburn, Martin Lavallière
      First page: 235
      Abstract: Due to limited accessibility, direct measurement of VO2max is rarely performed in clinical settings or sports centers. As a result, regression equations have been developed and are currently used during exercise tests to provide an indirect estimation. The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) has recommended a regression equation for running to provide an indirect estimation of VO2. However, significant differences have been observed between these estimations and directly measured VO2max. Additionally, since submaximal assessments may be more convenient for both athletes and sedentary/diseased individuals, they were included in the analysis. This study aimed to evaluate the accuracy of VO2max estimations provided using the ACSM running equation when used during both maximal and submaximal exercise tests among adult runners. A total of 99 apparently healthy and active adults (age: 39.9 ± 12.2 years; VO2max: 47.4 ± 6.0 mL O2/kg∙min−1) participated in this study. Two types of submaximal estimations were performed to predict VO2max: one based on age-predicted maximal heart rate (HRmax) (ACSMsubmax,Fox), and the second using the actual HRmax measured during the exercise test (ACSMsubmax,measured). The measured VO2max was compared to these estimations obtained from a single exercise test. Both maximal and submaximal exercise tests significantly overestimated VO2max (ACSMmax: +9.8, p < 0.001; ACSMsubmax,Fox: +3.4, p < 0.001; ACSMsubmax,measured: +3.8 mL O2/kg∙min−1, p < 0.001). However, the submaximal estimations were closer to the measured VO2max (p < 0.001). This analysis demonstrated that the included methods overestimated the true VO2max. Nonetheless, the submaximal exercise tests provided a more accurate prediction of VO2max compared to the maximal exercise tests when using the ACSM running equation.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2023-11-27
      DOI: 10.3390/sports11120235
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 12 (2023)
  • Sports, Vol. 11, Pages 236: The Significance of Maximal Squat Strength for
           Neuromuscular Knee Control in Elite Handball Players: A Cross-Sectional

    • Authors: Sofia Ryman Augustsson, Erik Gannby
      First page: 236
      Abstract: Both weak muscle strength and impaired neuromuscular control has previous been suggested as risk factors for future traumatic knee injury. However, data on the relationship between these two factors are scarce. Thus, the aim of this study was to investigate the relationship and influence of the one repetition maximum (1RM) barbell squat strength on dynamic knee valgus in elite female and male handball players. In this cross-sectional study 22 elite handball players (7 females) were included. A unilateral drop jump (VDJ) test was used for the assessment of frontal plane dynamic knee valgus. Players also performed a one repetition maximum (1RM) barbell squat test, expressed relative to bodyweight (r1RM), to assess maximal strength, which were dichotomized to analyze ‘weak’ versus ‘strong’ players according to median. Correlations were noted between r1RM in squat and knee valgus angle for both the non-dominant (r = −0.54; p = 0.009) and dominant leg (r = −0.46, p = 0.03). The odds of knee valgus were eight times higher, for the dominant leg, in the weak group compared to the strong group (p = 0.03) and 27 times higher, for the non-dominant leg (p = 0.002). The outcome of the present study suggests that maximum squat strength plays an important role when it comes to neuromuscular control of the knee, and that weak handball players are at higher risk of knee valgus compared to strong players during jumping activity.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2023-11-27
      DOI: 10.3390/sports11120236
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 12 (2023)
  • Sports, Vol. 11, Pages 207: Home-Based Intelligent Exercise System for
           Seniors’ Healthcare: The Example of Golf Croquet

    • Authors: Yu-Li Zhou, Chia-Li Chen, Shih-Jui Chang, Bo-Sheng Wu
      First page: 207
      Abstract: In 2020, the world experienced the threat of the COVID-19 epidemic, and seniors and chronic disease patients generally reduced their exercise and social activities to avoid increasing the risk of infection, which could lead to increased loneliness and even many diseases. Combining golf croquet games with a mobile application (App) and AIoT companion robots, this research constructs a home-based intelligent exercise system, uses the technology acceptance model (TAM), deduces users’ intention to use this system based on perceived usefulness and perceived ease of use, and adds the needs of love and belonging, esteem, cognitive, aesthetic, and self-actualization in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs theory (HNT) to conduct an analysis of system needs. This study collected empirical data, totaling 320 participants including seniors and their caregivers, from elderly care centers in northern Taiwan using a cross-sectional survey and purposive sampling. Based on regression and variance analysis, the results show that participants have a high level of acceptance of this system, believing that it is easy to learn and operate and can increase interaction with others, improve self-confirmation, satisfy the thirst for knowledge, increase the feeling of happiness, and fulfill self-actualization needs. In the future, by collecting and recording the process of seniors using the App, so as to find out their health problems as soon as possible, expand their daily life through this exercise, and achieve the goal of happy living and better healthcare.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2023-10-26
      DOI: 10.3390/sports11110207
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 11 (2023)
  • Sports, Vol. 11, Pages 208: Effects of the New COVID-19-Induced Rule on
           Substitutions and Performance in Italian Elite Soccer

    • Authors: Bruno Ruscello, Matteo Tozzi, Gennaro Apollaro, Alberto Grossi, Gabriele Morganti, Mario Esposito, Laura Pantanella, Giuseppe Messina, Elvira Padua
      First page: 208
      Abstract: COVID-19 has resulted in widespread changes, including within the realm of sports. Professional soccer has adapted by allowing more substitutions, leading to tactical adjustments and potential physical benefits. Accordingly, this study analyzed the impact of the new rule in Italian top-level soccer, focusing on substitution patterns and performance differences between the pre-COVID (2017–2018, 2018–2019 seasons) and post COVID (2020–2021, 2021–2022 seasons) eras. As such, publicly available data from 1520 matches (760 matches per era) were recorded. The sample included matches played from 40 Italian top division teams in both the pre- and post-COVID eras. Analyses confirmed substitutions follow a consistent temporal pattern throughout the match in both eras, highlighting a slight difference in second-half management, and showed the new rule is still not used to its full potential, thus raising concerns about teams’ financial strength, as not all managers possess “deep benches” (i.e., a large number of top-level players available to play). Further analyses revealed a statistically significant increment (p = 0.002) in the quantity of collectively produced sprints in the post-COVID era compared to the pre-COVID one. The results from this study emphasize the need to carefully address sprint preparation and repeated sprint abilities, also considering factors such as the number of substitutes and their skill level.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2023-10-26
      DOI: 10.3390/sports11110208
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 11 (2023)
  • Sports, Vol. 11, Pages 209: Orthostasis Is Impaired Due to Fatiguing
           Intensive Acute Concentric Exercise Succeeded by Isometric Weight-Loaded
           Wall-Sit in Delayed-Onset Muscle Soreness: A Pilot Study

    • Authors: Balázs Sonkodi, Tamás Radovits, Emese Csulak, Bence Kopper, Nóra Sydó, Béla Merkely
      First page: 209
      Abstract: The aim of the study was to investigate any indication of diminished orthostatic tolerance as a result of fatiguing intensive acute concentric exercise with a successive isometric wall-sit followed by an orthostatic stress test, with a special focus on any distinguishable alterations due to a delayed-onset muscle soreness effect. The exercise protocol was carried out among nineteen (10 female, 9 male) junior swimmers from the Hungarian National Swim Team. All athletes showed a positive orthostatic stress test right after our exercise protocol. The diastolic blood pressure was significantly lower due to the delayed-onset muscle soreness effect in the standing position after the supine position of the orthostatic stress test, in contrast to the athletes who did not experience delayed-onset muscle soreness. Furthermore, the heart rate was dysregulated in athletes with a delayed-onset muscle soreness effect when they assumed a supine position after the sustained standing position during the orthostatic stress test, in contrast to the athletes without delayed-onset muscle soreness. Interesting to note is that, in three subjects, the sustained standing position decreased the heart rate below the level of the initial supine position and six athletes experienced dizziness in the standing position, and all of these athletes were from the group that experienced delayed-onset muscle soreness. Accordingly, this study, for the first time, demonstrated that delayed-onset muscle soreness impairs orthostasis after unaccustomed fatiguing intensive acute concentric exercise with a successive isometric weight-loaded wall-sit; however, validation of this association should be investigated in a larger sample size.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2023-10-27
      DOI: 10.3390/sports11110209
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 11 (2023)
  • Sports, Vol. 11, Pages 210: Exploring an Unknown Corner of a Well-Known
           Topic: HIIE Influence on Renal Health and Filtration in Healthy
           Individuals Free of Cardiometabolic Diseases

    • Authors: Jeffrey S. Forsse, Kathleen A. Richardson, Riccardo Torres, Catherine Lowry, James Kyle Taylor, Cassidy L. Beeson, Jacob Ward, Anurag Dhillon, Brock Niceler, Ahmed Ismaeel, Panagiotis Koutakis
      First page: 210
      Abstract: Aerobic exercise, specifically high-intensity interval exercise (HIIE), and its effects on renal health and filtration (RHF) are not well understood. Several studies support incorporating contemporary biomarkers serum cystatin C (CyC) and urine epidermal growth factor (uEGF) to combat the volatility of serum creatinine (sCr). Using these biomarkers, we examined the acute influences HIIE has on RHF to determine if there is a ceiling effect in healthy populations. The purpose was to determine the influence of an acute bout of HIIE on RHF. Thirty-six participants (n = 22 males; n = 14 females; age 37.6 ± 12.4 yrs.; BF% 19.2 ± 7.1%; VO2max 41.8 + 7.4 mL/kg/min) completed 30 min of HIIE on a treadmill (80% and 40% of VO2reserve in 3:2 min ratio). Blood and urine samples were obtained under standardized conditions before, 1 h, and 24 h post-exercise. CyC, sCR, uEGF, urine creatinine (uCr), uCr/uEGF ratio, and multiple estimates of glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) Modification of Diet in Renal Disease (MDRD) and CKD-EPI equations were used. The analysis employed paired sample t-tests and repeated measures ANOVAs. CyC, uEGF, uCr, and uCr/uEGF ratio concentrations were not altered between timepoints. sCr increased 1 h post-exercise (p > 0.002) but not at 24 h post-exercise. eGFR decreased in the MDRD and CKD-EPI equations at 1 h (p > 0.012) with no changes at 24 h post-exercise. CyC and sCr/CyC demonstrated no significant changes. CyC and uEGF are not altered by acute HIIE. The results demonstrate a potential ceiling effect in contemporary and traditional biomarkers of RHF, indicating improvements in RHF may be isolated to populations with reduced kidney function.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2023-10-30
      DOI: 10.3390/sports11110210
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 11 (2023)
  • Sports, Vol. 11, Pages 211: Products for Sportspeople Containing
           Constituents Derived from the Common Bean Phaseolus vulgaris L.
           (Fabaceae)—A Narrative Literature Review

    • Authors: Kinga Kostrakiewicz-Gierałt
      First page: 211
      Abstract: The third-largest land plant family, Fabaceae (Papilionaceae), includes trees, shrubs, and perennial or annual herbaceous plants containing both numerous beneficial constituents (e.g., proteins, carbohydrates, dietary fibre) and antinutrients (e.g., saponins, tannins, phytic acid, gossypol, lectins). The consumption of leguminous plants allows sports people to complete their requirements for nourishment but, on the other hand, it contributes to digestive system ailments. Therefore, the aim of the presented study was to review the experimental articles and patents referring to the application of common (kidney) bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.)-based nutritional products for athletes. The survey of the literature was carried out according to PRISMA statements by browsing Scopus, PubMed and ISI Web of Science databases, as well as Google Scholar, Google Patents and Espacenet Patent Search engines using factorial combinations of the following keywords: (‘common bean’ or ‘kidney bean’ or ‘Phaseolus vulgaris’) and (‘athlete’ or ‘sport’) and (‘food’ or ‘nutrition’ or ‘diet’). Altogether, 84 patents issued in the years 1995–2023 were noted. The majority of patents were developed by research teams consisting of at least four authors representing scientists affiliated in the United States of America and China. The patents refer to the production of food ingredients, nutritional products, and compositions: (i) for relieving fatigue, enhancing endurance, and increasing muscle mass and strength, (ii) for maintaining physical and mental health, and (iii) for controlling body weight. Moreover, the analysis of 19 original articles indicated the substantial acceptability of meals containing the common bean. To summarize, the performed investigations demonstrate the considerable use of Phaseolus vulgaris in sport nutrition and the growing acceptance of this trend.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2023-10-31
      DOI: 10.3390/sports11110211
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 11 (2023)
  • Sports, Vol. 11, Pages 212: Assessment of Intercostal Muscle Near-Infrared
           Spectroscopy for Estimating Respiratory Compensation Point in Trained
           Endurance Athletes

    • Authors: Salvador Romero-Arenas, Carmen Daniela Quero-Calero, Oriol Abellan-Aynes, Luis Andreu-Caravaca, Marta Fernandez-Calero, Pedro Manonelles, Daniel Lopez-Plaza
      First page: 212
      Abstract: This study aimed to assess the reliability and validity of estimating the respiratory compensation point (RCP) in trained endurance athletes by analyzing intercostal muscles’ NIRS-derived tissue oxygenation dynamics. Seventeen experienced trail runners underwent an incremental treadmill protocol on two separate occasions, with a 7-day gap between assessments. Gas exchange and muscle oxygenation data were collected, and the oxygen saturation breakpoint (SmO2BP) measured in the intercostal muscles was compared to the RCP, which was identified by the increase in the VE/V.CO2 slope and the point at which the PetCO2 started to decrease. No statistically significant differences were observed between the two methods for any of the variables analyzed. Bland–Altman analysis showed significant agreement between the NIRS and gas analyzer methods for speed (r = 0.96, p < 0.05), HR (r = 0.98, p < 0.05), V.O2 relative to body mass (r = 0.99, p < 0.05), and %SmO2 (r = 0.98, p < 0.05). The interclass correlation coefficient values showed moderate to good reliability (0.60 to 0.86), and test–retest analysis revealed mean differences within the confidence intervals for all variables. These findings suggest that the SmO2BP measured using a portable NIRS device in the intercostal muscles is a reliable and valid tool for estimating the RCP for experienced trail runners and might be useful for coaches and athletes to monitor endurance training.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2023-11-01
      DOI: 10.3390/sports11110212
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 11 (2023)
  • Sports, Vol. 11, Pages 213: Fundamentals or Icing on Top of the Cake' A
           Narrative Review of Recovery Strategies and Devices for Athletes

    • Authors: Matthew Driller, Alana Leabeater
      First page: 213
      Abstract: The sport and athletic performance industry has seen a plethora of new recovery devices and technologies over recent years, and it has become somewhat difficult for athletes, coaches, and practitioners to navigate the efficacy of such devices or whether they are even required at all. With the increase in recovery devices and tools, it has also become commonplace for athletes to overlook more traditional, well-established recovery strategies. In this narrative review, we discuss recovery strategies in relation to the hierarchy of scientific evidence, classifying them based on the strength of the evidence, ranging from meta-analyses through to case studies and reports. We report that foam rolling, compression garments, cryotherapy, photobiomodulation, hydrotherapy, and active recovery have a high level of positive evidence for improved recovery outcomes, while sauna, recovery boots/sleeves, occlusion cuffs, and massage guns currently have a lower level of evidence and mixed results for their efficacy. Finally, we provide guidance for practitioners when deciding on recovery strategies to use with athletes during different phases of the season.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2023-11-03
      DOI: 10.3390/sports11110213
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 11 (2023)
  • Sports, Vol. 11, Pages 214: Recovery Phase Nutrition and Insulin
           Strategies for a Collegiate Distance Runner with Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus:
           A Case Study

    • Authors: Amie E. Schroeder, Richard R. Rosenkranz, Linda K. Yarrow, Mark D. Haub, Sara K. Rosenkranz
      First page: 214
      Abstract: Purpose: There is scant published research regarding nutrition and insulin strategies for athletic performance in collegiate distance runners with type 1 diabetes mellitus (CDRT1). Acute carbohydrate supplementation (CHOsup) and insulin reduction used to minimize hypoglycemia during exercise may result in deteriorated glycemic control post exercise in CDRT1. The present case study of a CDRT1 investigated outcomes associated with a moderate-carbohydrate (ModCHO) diet and 24 h insulin adjustment during recovery phases for improved glycemic control and reduced use of acute strategies. Methods: During an 8-day period, a female CDRT1 followed a ModCHO (~4 g/kg/day) nutrition program. Recovery phase adjustments to insulin doses were made using an equation developed to estimate reduced insulin needs post exercise, as a function of exercise intensity and duration. Daily training was performed in the fasted state at 6:00 a.m. and included additional exercise strategies to reduce glycemic variability when needed. Daily blood glucose time-in-range (TIR) and use of CHOsup were assessed. Athlete well-being was determined using the Student-Athlete Well-Being Scale (SAWS)TM at baseline, and days 1, 3, and 7. Results: Throughout the 8-day period, mean TIR increased (77% versus < 50%) and the magnitude of glycemic excursions decreased (~3.8–15 versus ~3.0–26 mmol/L) relative to a prior comparison period. Minimal pre-exercise CHOsup was employed and CHOsup during exercise was not required. Additionally, the athlete achieved a new lifetime best in the 5000 m run and maintained positive well-being. Conclusion: The present case study provides examples of recovery phase strategies (i.e., ModCHO diet and 24 h insulin adjustments) that may support glycemic control and athletic performance in CDRT1 and provides potential considerations for nutrition and insulin strategies for use by athletes and coaches.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2023-11-03
      DOI: 10.3390/sports11110214
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 11 (2023)
  • Sports, Vol. 11, Pages 215: Sex Differences in Bone, Muscle, and
           Inflammatory Markers and Their Associations with Muscle Performance

    • Authors: Pragya Sharma Ghimire, Adam Eckart, Ibtihal K. Al-Makhzoomy, James Stavitz
      First page: 215
      Abstract: The importance of various markers such as Sclerostin, Dickkopf-1 (DKK-1), Irisin, receptor activator of NF-kB ligand (RANKL), and Vitamin D have been well studied in bone metabolism. Additionally, inflammatory cytokines such as tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) and Interleukin 6 (IL-6) have been shown to hinder muscle protein synthesis, leading to the loss of muscle and strength. However, a research gap exists in understanding their role in muscle function and physical activity. Therefore, this study aims to explore the serum levels of Sclerostin, DKK-1, Irisin, IL-6, RANKL, Vitamin D, and TNF-α and assess their relationships with upper- and lower-body strength in young adults. In this study, 38 college-aged students (18–23 years), males and females, participated and completed the protocols. The participants’ lower and upper body strength were assessed by the vertical jump test (Just Jump, Probotic, AL) with a Tendo FitroDyne (Tendo Sports Machines, Trencin, Slovak Republic) and handgrip (HG) dynamometry (Takei Scientific Instruments, Yashiroda, Japan), respectively. Fasting morning blood samples were analyzed for serum levels of biomarkers by ELISA. The results indicate significant sex differences in Sclerostin, DKK-1, Irisin, and Vitamin D levels (p < 0.05). Furthermore, a positive association was observed between Sclerostin, DKK-1, and Vitamin D, with lower body muscle performance variables (p < 0.05). Conversely, a significant negative correlation was observed between TNF-α and lower-body muscle performance variables (p < 0.05). The results suggest that these markers may have a distinct effect on muscle performance, underscoring the need for further investigation to elucidate the concept of muscle–bone crosstalk.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2023-11-06
      DOI: 10.3390/sports11110215
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 11 (2023)
  • Sports, Vol. 11, Pages 216: The Oral Microbiome Profile of Water Polo
           Players Aged 16–20

    • Authors: Irina Kalabiska, Dorina Annar, Zsuzsa Keki, Zoltan Borbas, Harjit Pal Bhattoa, Annamaria Zsakai
      First page: 216
      Abstract: Objectives: Chlorine has a strong antibacterial property and is the disinfectant most frequently used in swimming pools. Therefore, the microbiota community in the oral cavity of those who practice water sports is assumed to be special due to their regular immersion in water. Adverse changes in the composition of oral cavity microbiota may have serious health consequences. We aimed to compare the oral microbiome between water polo players and non-athletes. We hypothesized that the oral cavity microbiota community differed between water polo players and non-athletes. Materials and Methods: Altogether, 124 water polo players (62 males and 62 females, aged between 9 and 20 years) and 16 non-athlete youths (control group, eight males and eight females, aged between 16 and 20 years, mean age + SD = 17.1 + 1.4 years) who participated in body structure examinations voluntarily agreed to participate in the study. In a randomly selected subsample of water polo players (n: 29, aged between 16 and 20 years, mean age + SD = 17.3 + 1.0 years), saliva samples were also collected. Saliva samples were collected from all non-athlete youths (n: 16, aged between 16 and 20 years). The oral microbiome was determined from a saliva sample, and DNA was isolated using the QIAmp DNA Blood Mini Kit. The 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing method was used to analyze the microbiome community. PCR primers were trimmed from the sequence reads with Cutadapt. R library DADA2 was used to process reads in the abundance analysis. Results: In general, Streptococcus, Veilonella, and Prevotella genera constituted more than 50% of the oral microbiome community in the two participant groups combined (n = 45). The oral microbial profile had significant sexual dimorphism and differed between water polo players and the non-athletes. Compared to females, males had a higher (p < 0.05) relative abundance of the Atopobium (medium effect size) and Pravotella_7 (very large effect size) genera and a lower (p < 0.05) relative abundance of the Fusobacterium (large effect size), Gemella (large effect size), and Streptococcus (large effect size) genera. Compared to non-athletes, water polo players had higher (p < 0.05, medium effect size) relative abundance of the genus Veillonella and lower (p < 0.05, large effect size) relative abundance of the genus Gemella. Conclusions: The results suggest that regular water training can unfavorably alter the composition of the oral microbial community.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2023-11-07
      DOI: 10.3390/sports11110216
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 11 (2023)
  • Sports, Vol. 11, Pages 217: Effects of External Abdominal Pressure Support
           on Dynamic Balance: A Randomized Crossover Study

    • Authors: Yuki Nakai, Takara Kijimuta, Yasufumi Takeshita, Ryoji Kiyama, Sota Araki, Takasuke Miyazaki, Masayuki Kawada
      First page: 217
      Abstract: Abdominal pressure is vital in protecting the lumbar spine and controlling postural balance. Dynamic balance is associated with movement stability, adaptation to load, and reduced injury risk. Although trunk stability has been examined using belts and braces, the effects of external abdominal pressure support (APS) on balance control remain unknown. In this study, we aimed to determine the effects of external APS on dynamic balance. Overall, 31 young adults participated in this randomized crossover study. External APS was provided using a device that could be pressurized and decompressed by inflating a cuff belt wrapped around the trunk. The modified Star Excursion Balance Test was performed under external APS and non-APS conditions. The maximum anterior, posterolateral, and posteromedial values normalized to the spinal malleolar distance and their respective composite values were compared between the two conditions with and without APS. Posterolateral, posteromedial, and composite values were significantly higher in the APS condition than in the non-APS condition (p < 0.001). The external APS was effective in immediately improving dynamic balance. Furthermore, APS was effective in dynamic balance control as it improved stability during anterior trunk tilt, which displaces the center of gravity forward.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2023-11-07
      DOI: 10.3390/sports11110217
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 11 (2023)
  • Sports, Vol. 11, Pages 218: Leg and Joint Stiffness of the Supporting Leg

    • Authors: Akihiro Tamura, Keita Shimura, Yuri Inoue
      First page: 218
      Abstract: Soccer players with chronic ankle instability (CAI) may stabilize their supporting leg by the proximal joint to compensate for the ankle instability during kicking motion. This study aimed to investigate the characteristics of leg and joint stiffness of the supporting leg during side-foot kicking in soccer players with CAI. Twenty-four male collegiate-level soccer players with and without CAI participated in this study. The kinematic and kinetic data were obtained using a three-dimensional motion analysis system. Leg stiffness and joint (hip, knee, and ankle) stiffness in the sagittal and frontal planes were calculated and analyzed. The results clarified that soccer players with CAI (0.106 ± 0.053 Nm/°) had greater knee stiffness in knee adduction during the kicking cycle compared to those without CAI (0.066 ± 0.030 Nm/°; p = 0.046), whereas no characteristic differences were observed in knee stiffness in knee flexion and hip and ankle stiffness (p > 0.05). Knee stiffness is believed to occur to compensate for ankle joint instability in the supporting leg. Therefore, adjusting knee stiffness to accommodate ankle joint instability is crucial for maintaining kicking performance. Based on results of this study, it may be important to consider training and exercises focused on joint coordination to improve knee stiffness in soccer players with CAI.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2023-11-07
      DOI: 10.3390/sports11110218
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 11 (2023)
  • Sports, Vol. 11, Pages 219: Periodized Aerobic Training between Thresholds
           Improves Submaximal Cardiorespiratory Parameters in Octogenarians

    • Authors: Cristian Cofre-Bolados, Félix Vidal, Héctor Gutiérrez Espinoza, Ignacio Betancourt-Peters, Pedro A. Orihuela, Mikel Izquierdo
      First page: 219
      Abstract: Background and Aims: The worldwide aging population is expanding, with more individuals living into their 80s. Physiological functions decline gradually with age, compounded by sedentary lifestyles. Incorporating physical activity into daily routine is crucial for maintaining independence. This study aimed to assess a periodized high-intensity aerobic training program (PEZO-BT) in octogenarians, focusing on submaximal ergospirometry effects. Methods: A total of 48 non-frail octogenarian subjects (12 females, 36 males) were randomized into control and intervention groups. All subjects underwent submaximal cardiopulmonary exercise testing with gas analysis at baseline, stopping after the respiratory compensation point (RCP). Our intervention group completed a 14-week PEZO-BT aerobic training program. The outcomes were oxygen consumption at first ventilatory threshold (VO2AT), ventilatory efficiency slope (VE/VCO2), oxygen uptake efficiency slope (OUES), cardiorespiratory optimal point (COP), oxygen pulse change (ΔVO2/HR) from anaerobic threshold (AT) to respiratory compensation point (RCP), and power output at anaerobic threshold (POAT). Results: Mixed ANOVA examined time and treatment effects. If significance emerged, post hoc t-tests were used to compare significances between groups. The homogeneity of variance was assessed using Levene’s test. Chi-square tests compared ergospirometry criteria and ventilatory performance within groups. The mean differences at post intervention were significant in VO2AT (p < 0.001), VE/VCO2 (p < 0.001), ΔVO2/HR (p < 0.05), and POAT (p < 0.001), while OUES and COP were not significant (p > 0.05). However, clinical effects were observed in the entire intervention group. Conclusions: Training improved exercise capacity and workload. Overall, this periodic aerobic and high-intensity interval training (HIIT) program yielded significant improvements in cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) in previously untrained octogenarians with and without comorbidities. The findings suggest implications for promoting long-term healthy aging.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2023-11-08
      DOI: 10.3390/sports11110219
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 11 (2023)
  • Sports, Vol. 11, Pages 220: Sex Differences in the Load–Velocity
           Profiles of Three Different Row Exercises

    • Authors: Raúl Nieto-Acevedo, Blanca Romero-Moraleda, Almudena Montalvo-Pérez, Carlos García-Sánchez, Moisés Marquina-Nieto, Daniel Mon-López
      First page: 220
      Abstract: This study examined the force–velocity profile differences between men and women in three variations of row exercises. Twenty-eight participants (14 men and 14 women) underwent maximum dynamic strength assessments in the free prone bench row (PBR), bent-over barbell row (BBOR), and Smith machine bent-over row (SMBOR) in a randomized order. Subjects performed a progressive loading test from 30 to 100% of 1-RM (repetition maximum), and the mean propulsive velocity was measured in all attempts. Linear regression analyses were conducted to establish the relationships between the different measures of bar velocity and % 1-RM. The ANOVAs applied to the mean velocity achieved in each % 1-RM tested revealed significantly higher velocity values for loads < 65% 1-RM in SMBOR compared to BBOR (p < 0.05) and higher velocities for loads < 90% 1-RM in SMBOR compared to PBR (p < 0.05) for both sexes. Furthermore, men provided significantly higher velocity values than women (PBR 55–100% 1-RM; BBOR and SMBOR < 85% 1-RM; p < 0.05) and significant differences were found between exercises and sex for 30–40% 1-RM. These results confirm that men have higher velocities at different relative loads (i.e., % 1-RM) compared to women during upper-body rowing exercises.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2023-11-09
      DOI: 10.3390/sports11110220
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 11 (2023)
  • Sports, Vol. 11, Pages 221: Does the Installation or the Improvement of
           Existing Outdoor Parks Increase Physical Activity Levels' A Systematic

    • Authors: Miguel Peralta, Gianluca Viscioni, Xavier Melo, Élvio R. Gouveia, Thorsten Griesser, Alexander Blocher, Maurizio Bertollo, Andrea Di Blasio, Adilson Marques
      First page: 221
      Abstract: Investment in outdoor parks is proposed as a promising large-scale strategy to promote physical activity (PA). This study aimed to systematically review the impact of park renovations or installing new ones in increasing PA. Searches were conducted using predefined terms in three databases (PubMed, Scopus, and Web of Science) in March 2022. Studies examining the effectiveness of park renovations or developing new ones in increasing PA and having control or comparison were eligible for inclusion. Study quality was assessed using the Quality Assessment Tool for Quantitative Studies. Data were extracted from the included records using a predefined extraction table. The database search yielded 959 records, and 26 were included. For park renovations (n = 17), 11 (65%) studies presented findings supporting a positive effect on PA. The other six (35%) studies found no PA benefits when compared to control or pre-renovations/improvement levels. Regarding new installations (n = 9), five (56%) studies presented improvements in PA, and four (44%) did not. A promising positive impact of park renovations and new installations on park use and PA was observed. The review findings reflect the need to understand the context, daily routines, and interests of the surrounding population before renovating or installing new outdoor parks.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2023-11-09
      DOI: 10.3390/sports11110221
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 11 (2023)
  • Sports, Vol. 11, Pages 222: Pre-Event Self-Efficacy and Sports
           Performance: A Systematic Review with Meta-Analysis

    • Authors: Marc Lochbaum, Cassandra Sisneros, Sydney Cooper, Peter C. Terry
      First page: 222
      Abstract: The relationship between self-efficacy and performance exclusively within the sports environment is yet to be quantified. Hence, we meta-analysed this relationship by following the PRISMA guidelines. Two previous meta-analyses, five relevant databases, and Google Scholar were searched. Forty-four articles published between 1983 and 2021 met the inclusion criteria, with 55 independent samples. Comprehensive meta-analysis software version 4 was used for all meta-analytic calculations using a random-effects model to calculate the mean effect size, and a mixed-effects model was used for moderation analyses. The mean pre-event self-efficacy and performance effect size was r = 0.31 (95% CI 0.22, 0.40). For moderation analyses, notable mean differences (p values ≥ 0.08) resulted for concordance [concordant (r = 0.37), nonconcordant (r = 0.22)], sports skill [closed (r = 0.37), open (r = 0.23)], and athlete level [elite (r = 0.40), sub-elite (r = 0.28)]. The true effect prediction interval ranged from negative (i.e., self-efficacy impairing performance) to positive (self-efficacy improving performance) for all moderator variables except self-referenced vs. other-referenced performance. In conclusion, the relationship between pre-event self-efficacy and performance is positive and moderate in magnitude, although with prediction intervals ranging from debilitating to facilitating performance. Researchers and practitioners should note that high athlete-rated self-efficacy might not always improve impending competitive sports performance.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2023-11-12
      DOI: 10.3390/sports11110222
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 11 (2023)
  • Sports, Vol. 11, Pages 223: Knowledge and Self-Assessment of Dental
           Injuries and Oral Health among Croatian Professional Water Polo Players: A
           Cross-Sectional Study

    • Authors: Antonija Tadin, Josip Buzov
      First page: 223
      Abstract: Objectives/Aim: The purpose of this study was to evaluate oral health knowledge, and the incidence of self-reported dental injuries incidence, the frequency of mouthguard use, oral hygiene habits, and oral health status among professional water polo players. Materials and Methods: During the 2022/2023 season, 114 water polo players from the Croatian First League participated in a questionnaire-based online survey. The data collected included sociodemographic and professional attributes, oral health knowledge questions, dental injury experiences, and practices related to mouthguard use. Respondents also rated their own oral health status and oral hygiene habits. The data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and a regression analysis. Results: The respondents demonstrated inadequate knowledge of oral health, with a mean score of 6.4 ± 2.6 out of 12. Better knowledge correlated positively with older age (p ˂ 0.05) and consistent flossing (p = 0.014). Additionally, 27.2% (31 of 114) of reported dental injuries were related directly to incidents which occurred while participating in water polo. These injuries occurred more frequently during games (54.8%) and often involved the anterior maxillary incisors (71.0%) due to player contact (87.1%). Awareness of mouthguards was high (93.9%), whereas their actual use was low (7.0%) because 35.1% of respondents reported discomfort wearing them. The respondents’ self-assessments revealed widespread dental problems, including tooth sensitivity (13.3%), erosion (15.8%), calculus (28.1%), and pigmentation (7.9%). Conclusions: The research results indicate a lack of adequate knowledge among the respondents regarding oral health. This deficit was not associated with oral hygiene habits or oral cavity conditions. These findings highlight the disparities in oral health awareness and practices associated with water polo participation and emphasize the importance of education and prevention efforts.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2023-11-13
      DOI: 10.3390/sports11110223
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 11 (2023)
  • Sports, Vol. 11, Pages 224: Differences in Relaxation and Imagery among
           NCAA Division I Sport Types

    • Authors: Elizabeth Warfield, Philip Esposito, Robyn Braun-Trocchio
      First page: 224
      Abstract: Athletes use psychological skills such as imagery and relaxation to decrease stress, cope with competitive anxiety, and achieve an optimal state of arousal. There is conflicting literature on how team and individualsport athletes use these skills, with some saying that individual sport athletes have better capabilities and others saying team sport athletes use imagery more frequently. The current study analyzed sport type differences in the use of relaxation and performance imagery among NCAA Division I (DI) athletes. This study included 117 NCAA DI athletes, including team sport (n = 72) and individual sport (n = 45). Participants completed a modified version of The Deliberate Relaxation for Sport Survey through Qualtrics. Results indicated there is a statistically significant difference in the type of relaxation technique used based on the individual’s sport type. Team sport athletes used muscle relaxation (p = 0.034), eastern relaxation (p = 0.014), and stretching (p = 0.020) more frequently than individual sport athletes. Additionally, individual sport athletes used performance imagery more often for mental focus than team sport athletes (p = 0.012). There were no differences between sport types in the level of deliberate practice of relaxation and performance imagery. Athletes used a variety of methods to learn both imagery and relaxation skills and have been using these for an average of four years. The majority of participants (n = 67) did not work with a sport psychology professional, but their school has one. This study supports the use of individualized intervention programs to help athletes use relaxation and imagery in the most effective ways for their performances.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2023-11-13
      DOI: 10.3390/sports11110224
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 11 (2023)
  • Sports, Vol. 11, Pages 225: Analysis of Technical–Tactical Actions
           in High-Level Table Tennis Players: Differences between Sexes

    • Authors: Francisco Pradas de la Fuente, Miguel Ángel Ortega-Zayas, Víctor Toro-Román, Alejandro Moreno-Azze
      First page: 225
      Abstract: Table tennis is a sport played at a high speed; therefore, the technical–tactical variables are very important. The objective of the research is to analyze the technical and tactical characteristics of high-level TT players according to sex. A total of 48 high-level players (24 women and 24 men) participated in the present study. The investigation was carried out during two championships. The matches were recorded and subsequently analyzed by notational analysis. The results indicate that women stroke the ball more times during the rallies. In the men’s competition, the forehand technique predominates over the backhand technique. The flip was the most used in the male sex (p < 0.05). At the tactical level, more winning actions were performed in the men’s competition than in the women’s, both with the forehand and backhand game. Men performed more losing technical actions when using the forehand and backhand flips. The pivot footwork tactical action was higher in the men’s competition. The analysis of the technical–tactical actions highlighted important differences between the sexes. The predominant losing techniques among players are forehand and backhand flip. Female players use more defensive strokes, while male players use more offensive strokes, in particular the flip technique. The potential biomechanical progress of the male player characterized by a larger wingspan biotype could facilitate a better technical–tactical performance. The results obtained are of interest to improve the performance of the players as they must train at a technical–tactical level differently depending on the sex and style of play.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2023-11-14
      DOI: 10.3390/sports11110225
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 11 (2023)
  • Sports, Vol. 11, Pages 226: Hand Selection in Dribbling Phases: An
           Analysis of Non-Dominant Hand Usage and Dribble Change in Basketball

    • Authors: Keisuke Onodera, Masaki Takeda
      First page: 226
      Abstract: This study investigates the influence of different dribbling phases on hand selection among basketball players across various categories. A total of 33 guard players, including 11 from high school, college, and NBA teams each, were observed. Video data analysis was utilized to determine the frequency of players using their dominant hands (DHs) and non-dominant hands (NDHs) during in-game dribbling phases. The dribbling phases were classified into three categories: First (the initiation of the dribble), Middle (during the dribble but not in First and Last), and Last (the completion of the dribble). Percentage, means, and standard deviations were computed for each category within the First, Middle, and Last measurements. A two-factor analysis of variance (ANOVA) was conducted, considering player category and dribbling phase as factors. The ANOVA revealed significant main effects of player category (p < 0.01) and dribbling phase (p < 0.01). Post hoc multiple comparisons using Holm’s method indicated that, in the First phase, players exhibited a 6.5% higher preference for using their NDHs (43.4 ± 11.9%) compared to the Middle phase (36.9 ± 13.9%) (p < 0.05). Similarly, in the Last phase, players displayed a 5.3% greater inclination towards using their NDHs (42.2 ± 11.7%) compared to the Middle phase (p < 0.05). These findings provide quantitative evidence that the specific dribbling phase influences hand selection during gameplay. The implications of these results are significant for basketball coaches, as they can design targeted training programs and drills that simulate game scenarios and encourage NDH usage. By understanding the factors influencing hand choice, players can enhance their versatility and adaptability on the court. Furthermore, these findings contribute to player performance, skill development, and strategic decision making in dribbling phases.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2023-11-14
      DOI: 10.3390/sports11110226
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 11 (2023)
  • Sports, Vol. 11, Pages 227: Effects of Cycling on Spine: A
           Case–Control Study Using a 3D Scanning Method

    • Authors: Antonino Patti, Valerio Giustino, Giuseppe Messina, Flavia Figlioli, Stefania Cataldi, Luca Poli, Giacomo Belmonte, Alessandro Valenza, Alessandra Amato, Ewan Thomas, Izabela Rutkowska, Paula Esteban-García, Antonio Palma, Antonino Bianco
      First page: 227
      Abstract: Background: Few studies have investigated the effects of adopting a specific and prolonged posture on cyclists. This study aimed to evaluate the upright spine in a sample of recreational cyclists and compare it with a sample of non-cyclists, though still athletes, through a 3D scanning method. Methods: Forty-eight participants were enrolled in this observational study. The sample consisted of 25 cyclists for the cycling group and 23 non-cyclist athletes for the control group. The Spine3D device (Sensor Medica, Guidonia Montecelio, Rome, Italy) was used to evaluate the spine of the participants in both groups. Results: The results showed significantly greater spine inclination in the cycling group compared to the control group (p < 0.01). Furthermore, there was a significant decrease in lumbar lordosis in the cycling group compared to the control group (p < 0.01). Conclusions: This case–control study raises the possibility that the onset of lower back pain in cyclists may be due to a reduction in lumbar lordosis. Furthermore, this study demonstrated that the Spine3D device can be used in sports to monitor the spine of athletes to prevent and reduce musculoskeletal deficits.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2023-11-15
      DOI: 10.3390/sports11110227
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 11 (2023)
  • Sports, Vol. 11, Pages 228: Beyond a Game: A Narrative Review of
           Psychopathic Traits in Sporting Environments

    • Authors: Jill Colangelo, Alexander Smith, Anna Buadze, Michael Liebrenz
      First page: 228
      Abstract: There has been a growing interest around the broader effects of psychopathic traits, particularly in relation to deviant behaviors and the notion of so-called “successful psychopathy”. As significant sociocultural touchstones, sporting events are often characterized by competitiveness and a sense of prestige. However, there has been limited attention towards psychopathic traits across recreational, amateur, and elite sports. Accordingly, we conducted a narrative review synthesizing primary observations on this topic, searching keywords in Scopus, APA PsychNet, and PubMed. Twenty-four academic papers were included in our results, which we thematized around demographic groups, namely: athletes and sport-adjacent non-athletes (i.e., coaches and spectators). Based on empirical findings from the reviewed papers, psychopathic traits could have medicolegal and forensic implications in relation to substance use, aggression, and violence. These could intersect with wider issues around doping, cheating, foul play, and have adverse outcomes for fellow participants, team dynamics, and spectators. Interestingly, our review also indicates that psychopathic traits may have correlations with determination and achievement in sport, echoing developing ideas around “successful psychopathy” in other domains. As such, increased awareness from all stakeholders and further multidisciplinary exchanges are vital to better understand the effects of psychopathic traits in sporting frameworks and their wider consequences.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2023-11-15
      DOI: 10.3390/sports11110228
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 11 (2023)
  • Sports, Vol. 11, Pages 229: Effect of a 6-Week Preseason Training Protocol
           on Physiological and Muscle Damage Markers in High-Level Female and Male
           Basketball Players

    • Authors: Dimitrios Mexis, Tzortzis Nomikos, Nikolaos Mitsopoulos, Nikolaos Kostopoulos
      First page: 229
      Abstract: This study aimed to investigate the effects of a 6-week preseason functional and plyometric fitness training protocol, on physiological and biochemical markers of performance and exercise-induced muscle damage, and to compare the response of these markers between high-level female and male basketball players. The sample of the study consisted of 19 professional athletes (10 male; 9 female) competing in two different teams. The examined markers were body mass, BMI, fat percentage, speed, acceleration, explosiveness, vertical jumping ability, creatine kinase (CK) and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH). The preseason training period improved speed, acceleration, explosiveness and vertical jumping ability (~1–8%) and led to significant fat percentage reductions in both groups equivalently. CK and LDH increased similarly in both groups, and the percentage increases were higher for CK compared to LDH. Further investigation and a larger sample size are required in order to determine an approach that is more capable of maximizing performance without causing any possible injuries that may be related to muscle damage.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2023-11-16
      DOI: 10.3390/sports11110229
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 11 (2023)
  • Sports, Vol. 11, Pages 230: Recovery Methods in Basketball: A Systematic

    • Authors: Mladen Mihajlovic, Dimitrije Cabarkapa, Damjana V. Cabarkapa, Nicolas M. Philipp, Andrew C. Fry
      First page: 230
      Abstract: Although different strategies have been implemented to manage recovery-fatigue status in athletes, there is still a lack of consensus on which recovery protocols have the greatest impact and effectiveness when implemented with basketball players, including both physiological and psychological recovery methods. Thus, the purpose of this systematic review is to: (a) determine which recovery methods attain the greatest benefit in restoring the process of attenuating fatigue and (b) provide sports practitioners with guidelines on how some of the most effective recovery strategies can be used to optimize athletes’ recovery and ultimately enhance their performance. Using the PRISMA guidelines, a total of 3931 research reports were obtained through four database searches (i.e., PubMed, Scopus, Cochrane, and Web of Science), from which only 25 met the inclusion and exclusion criteria. The recovery protocols analyzed in this systematic review were: sleep, nutrition, hydration, ergogenic aids, cold-water immersion, compression garments, massage, acupuncture, tapering, mindfulness, and red-light irradiation. The results revealed that all recovery strategies are capable of attenuating fatigue and enhancing recovery in basketball players to a certain degree. However, an individualized approach should be promoted, where a combination of proactive recovery modalities appears to result in the most rapid rates of recovery and athletes’ ability to maintain high-level performance. Recovery should be programmed as an integral component of training regimens. Also, cooperation and communication between coaches, players, and the rest of the team staff members are essential in minimizing the risk of non-functional overreaching or injury and optimizing basketball players’ on-court performance.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2023-11-20
      DOI: 10.3390/sports11110230
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 11 (2023)
  • Sports, Vol. 11, Pages 188: Performance Level Affects Full Body Kinematics
           and Spatiotemporal Parameters in Trail Running—A Field Study

    • Authors: Matteo Genitrini, Julian Fritz, Thomas Stöggl, Hermann Schwameder
      First page: 188
      Abstract: Trail running is an emerging discipline with few studies performed in ecological conditions. The aim of this work was to investigate if and how biomechanics differ between more proficient (MP) and less proficient (LP) trail runners. Twenty participants (10 F) were recruited for a 9.1 km trail running time trial wearing inertial sensors. The MP athletes group was composed of the fastest five men and the fastest five women. Group differences in spatiotemporal parameters and leg stiffness were tested with the Mann–Whitney U-test. Group differences in joint angles were tested with statistic parametric mapping. The finish time was 51.1 ± 6.3 min for the MP athletes and 60.0 ± 5.5 min for the LP athletes (p < 0.05). Uphill sections: The MP athletes expressed a tendency to higher speed that was not significant (p > 0.05), achieved by combining higher step frequency and higher step length. They showed a tendency to shorter contact time, lower duty factor and longer flight time that was not significant (p > 0.05) as well as significantly lower knee flexion during the stance phase (p < 0.05). Downhill sections: The MP athletes achieved significantly higher speed (p < 0.05) through higher step length only. They showed significantly higher knee and hip flexion during the swing phase as well as higher trunk rotation and shoulder flexion during the stance phase (p < 0.05). No differences were found with respect to leg stiffness in the uphill or downhill sections (p > 0.05). In the uphill sections, the results suggest lower energy absorption and more favorable net mechanical work at the knee joint for the MP athletes. In the downhill sections, the results suggest that the more efficient motion of the swing leg in the MP athletes could increase momentum in the forward direction and full body center of mass’ velocity at toe off, thus optimizing the propulsion phase.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2023-09-28
      DOI: 10.3390/sports11100188
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 10 (2023)
  • Sports, Vol. 11, Pages 189: The Effect of Acute Physical Exercise on
           Natural Killer Cells Populations and Cytokine Levels in Healthy Women

    • Authors: Estefania Quintana-Mendias, Judith M. Rodríguez-Villalobos, Argel Gastelum-Arellanez, Natanael Cervantes, Claudia E. Carrasco-Legleu, Gerardo Pavel Espino-Solis
      First page: 189
      Abstract: Physical exercise generates a systemic response in the immune system. It has been observed that cell populations respond to exercise stimuli, especially Natural Killer cells, whose number increase within minutes of starting physical exertion. This study aimed to evaluate the acute effect of moderate- and high-intensity exercise on immunological markers in healthy women. As specific objectives, the percentages of CD3-CD56+ Natural Killer total cells, CD56brightCD16dim effector subpopulation, CD56dimCD16bright cytotoxic subpopulation, NKG2A inhibition receptor, NKG2D activation receptor, and NKT cells were analyzed. In addition, the levels of the cytokines IL-1β, IL-6, IL-8, IL-10, IL-12p70, and TNF and the chemokines CCL5/RANTES, CXCL9/MIG, CCL2/MCP-1, and CXCL10/IP-10 were also analyzed. Natural Killer total cells showed an increase in their percentage in both exercise protocols (p = 0.001 for the moderate-intensity group and p = 0.023 for the high-intensity group); however, only in the high-intensity exercise session was there an increase in the CD56dimCD16bright cytotoxic subpopulation (p = 0.014), as well as a decrease in CD56brightCD16dim effector subpopulation (p = 0.001) and their NKG2A inhibition receptor (p = 0.043). An increase in IL-6 was observed after the high-intensity exercise session (p = 0.025). Conclusions. Physical exercise influences immunological markers and shows an acute response to moderate- or high-intensity exercise.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2023-10-02
      DOI: 10.3390/sports11100189
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 10 (2023)
  • Sports, Vol. 11, Pages 190: Neuromuscular Response during Different
           Side-Cutting Maneuvers and Its Influence on the Risk of Knee Injuries

    • Authors: Adrián Feria-Madueño, Timothy E. Hewett, Alejandro Sánchez-Arteaga, Borja Sañudo
      First page: 190
      Abstract: Background: The objective of this study was to investigate the impact of a customized exercise program on electromyographic (EMG) variables during side-cutting maneuvers. Methods: Fifty-seven physically active volunteers were recruited and randomized into two groups: a control group (CG) and an experimental group (EG). The CG maintained their regular physical activity, while the EG followed an individualized, integrated exercise regimen that included strength, neuromuscular, proprioceptive, eccentric training, and whole-body vibration (WBV) exercises, lasting for 12 weeks. EMG-Root Means Square (RMS) values for the quadriceps (Q) and hamstrings (H) were measured immediately following initial foot contact at 50, 100, 150, and 200 milliseconds. Changes in EMG activity were evaluated before and after a twelve-week intervention, and the effect size (ES, 90% confidence limit [90%CL]) was calculated. Results: The results showed that the EG participants exhibited enhanced co-contraction as measured by the hamstring/quadriceps ratio (H/Q ratio) during both open and cross-cutting side maneuvers after the twelve-week intervention. Conclusion: Furthermore, the customized, integrated exercise program that combined strength, neuromuscular, proprioceptive, eccentric training, and WBV exercises were could potentially serve as a beneficial neuromuscular and biomechanical strategy for addressing knee injury risk in non-professional, physically active populations at high risk for such injuries.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2023-10-03
      DOI: 10.3390/sports11100190
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 10 (2023)
  • Sports, Vol. 11, Pages 191: The Impact of Sex and Biological Maturation on
           Physical Fitness in Adolescent Badminton Players

    • Authors: Jaime Fernandez-Fernandez, Alba Herrero-Molleda, Francisco Álvarez-Dacal, Jose Luis Hernandez-Davó, Urs Granacher
      First page: 191
      Abstract: The main objective of this study was to examine the impact of maturity status and sex on selected measures of physical fitness in adolescent badminton players. Eighty-one badminton players (39 boys, 42 girls; age: 12.7 ± 1.4 years; body height: 153.5 ± 10.5 cm; body mass: 48.3 ± 13.2 kg) participated in the study and were divided into pre-peak height velocity (PHV, n = 31), circa-PHV (n = 29), and post-PHV (n = 21) groups. The assessment of physical fitness included linear sprint (5-m, 10-m) and change-of-direction (CoD) speed tests using a modified 5-0-5 CoD test (CoD deficit [CoDD%]) and an on-court CoD test, as well as the countermovement jump (CMJ) test as a proxy of lower limbs’ muscle power. Pre-PHV players presented lower performance levels (p < 0.001; ES: 1.81–1.21) than post-PHV in CMJ, linear sprint (5, 10-m) speed, and both CoD tests. In addition, compared to circa-PHV, pre-PHV players demonstrated moderately lower performances in the 10 m sprint and CoD tests (p < 0.05; ES: 0.65–1.00). Regarding the CoDD%, no between-group differences were found. Irrespective of the maturity status, boys outperformed girls in CMJ (p = 0.01; ES: 0.71), linear sprint speed (p < 0.05, ES: 0.52–0.77), and the modified 505 test (p = 0.01; ES: 0.71). Findings only showed significant sex-by-maturity interactions for the pre-PHV group. In addition, sex-related performance differences were found in favor of the boys for most measures except for CoDD%. Our results imply that maturity status (i.e., PHV) and not chronological age should be used to design training programs. Female adolescent badminton players should receive specifically targeted exercise interventions based on their fitness status and needs.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2023-10-03
      DOI: 10.3390/sports11100191
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 10 (2023)
  • Sports, Vol. 11, Pages 192: “Does Physical Exercise Promote Health
           Benefits for Diabetic Patients during the COVID-19 Pandemic'”: A
           Systematic Review

    • Authors: Erivaldo de Souza, Daniela Meneses-Santos, Josué Cruz Santos, Felipe J. Aidar, Carla Roberta de Oliveira Carvalho, Jymmys Lopes dos Santos, Anderson Carlos Marçal
      First page: 192
      Abstract: Patients affected by COVID-19 are prone to facing disorders in multiple systems and organs, which can lead to deleterious diseases; in addition, people with pre-existing diseases may be more prone to the worst outcomes, and the most vulnerable are patients with type 1 and type 2 diabetes mellitus. The aim of this systematic review was to evaluate the effects of physical activity and/or physical exercise prescribed to individuals with diabetes on the maintenance of plasma glucose and glycated hemoglobin during the COVID-19 pandemic. Studies were found by searching PubMed, SCOPUS, Embase, Web of Science, SciELO, LILACS, SportDiscus, Bireme/BVS and Google Scholar databases. The inclusion criteria were articles that addressed only patients with type 1 or type 2 diabetes (T1D and T2D) who had evaluated the level of physical activity or physical exercise and described the effects on plasma glucose and/or glycated hemoglobin in cross-sectional, retrospective, and observational studies, meeting the main criteria established by GRADE. The PICO and GRADE strategies were used to select and assess the methodological quality of studies. Two reviewers searched and selected the articles in databases independently and blindly, during which oppositions and disagreements about the inclusion of articles were discussed and resolved by a third reviewer. Evidence corroborates that levels of physical activity were reduced due to the lockdown, leading to increased body weight and worse glycemic control. On the other hand, individuals with diabetes mellitus (DM) (T1D and T2D) who maintained and/or increased levels of physical activity or physical exercise showed reduced plasma glucose and glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) levels. Adequate levels of physical exercise and physical activity are beneficial for glucose and HbA1c control in diabetic patients (type 1 or type 2). In addition, maintaining adequate levels of physical activity can contribute to reducing health problems when these patients are infected with COVID-19.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2023-10-03
      DOI: 10.3390/sports11100192
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 10 (2023)
  • Sports, Vol. 11, Pages 193: Short-Term Effects of Lower-Extremity Heavy
           Resistance versus High-Impact Plyometric Training on Neuromuscular
           Functional Performance of Professional Soccer Players

    • Authors: Michał Boraczyński, José Magalhães, Jacek J. Nowakowski, James J. Laskin
      First page: 193
      Abstract: Background: To compare the effects of short-term 8 week heavy-resistance or plyometric training protocols (HRT or PLY) incorporated into regular soccer practice on measures of neuromuscular functional performance in professional soccer players, a single-blind randomized controlled trial was conducted. Methods: Forty-seven participants aged 22.3 ± 3.52 years were assigned to three groups: HRT (n = 15), PLY (n = 15), and control (CON; n = 17). The HRT group performed 3 sets and 10 repetitions twice a week using 80% of their baseline 1-RM (weeks 1–3), followed by 8 repetitions at 85% 1-RM (weeks 4–6), and 6 repetitions at 90% 1-RM (weeks 7–8) of 6 lower-body strength exercises with a 1 min rest period between sets. The PLY protocol involved a preparatory phase (weeks 1–2), followed by two 3-week progressive periods (weeks 3–5 and weeks 6–8). The plyometric sessions consisted of four jump exercises/drills with progressively increasing number of sets and total number of foot contacts. The rest intervals between repetitions and sets were 15 and 90 s, respectively. Outcome measures included tests assessing 10 and 30 m speed (t10m and t30m), one-repetition maximum half-back squat (1-RM squat), isokinetic peak torques for the quadriceps and hamstring muscles (Qcon and Hcon), countermovement jump (CMJ), and squat jump (SJ). Results: Two-way ANOVA detected main effects of time and group×time interactions for all examined variables, except t30m, 1-RM, and relative 1-RM. Post hoc analyses revealed significant increases in the HRT group (t10m: 6.3%, t30m: 7.1%; absolute 1-RM: 29.6%; relative 1-RM: 30.3%, Qcon: 24.5%; Hcon: 14.4%; CMJ: 5.9%; SJ: 7.2%, all p < 0.001) and the PLY group (t10m: 3.1%; t30m: 4.1%; absolute 1-RM:19.1%; relative 1-RM: 20.3%; Qcon: 12.6%; Hcon: 8.7%; CMJ: 3.3%; SJ: 3.5%, all p < 0.001). HRT was superior compared to PLY in relative 1-RM, Qcon and Hcon (all p < 0.001). In addition, we found knee muscular strength imbalance in 70.5% of participants from the total sample (H/Q ratio < 60%). The HRT and PLY protocols resulted in improved neuromuscular functional performance compared to the regular soccer regime. Conclusions: This study showed that during the pre-competitive season, additional HRT and PLY drills/exercises as a substitute for standard soccer training as part of a regular 90 min practice twice a week for 8 weeks, can produce acute physical performance-enhancing effects in professional soccer players.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2023-10-04
      DOI: 10.3390/sports11100193
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 10 (2023)
  • Sports, Vol. 11, Pages 194: Personality Traits vs. Sports Classes of
           Polish Representatives in Junior Sports Acrobatics

    • Authors: Paweł Piepiora, Adrianna Naczyńska
      First page: 194
      Abstract: The aim of this paper was to determine the influence of adolescence, training discipline, and training regime on the personality formation of adolescent sports acrobats. Therefore, the purpose of this paper was to study the relationship between the personality traits and the sports classes of Polish junior sports acrobatics representatives. The respondents (N = 90) were juniors aged 18–19 and were divided into three samples: (1) n = 30 Polish representatives in sports acrobatics with a first or master sports class; (2) n = 30 kata athletes from Kyokushin karate and Shotokan karate as a reference sample from another sports discipline with gymnastic movement expression; (3) n = 30 high school students as a reference sample of non-athletic persons. The Big Five model was used, and the NEO-FFI personality questionnaire was used as a research tool. For the analyses of basic descriptive statistics, the Kruskal–Wallis test and Mann–Whitney test were performed to determine statistical significance (α = 0.05). It was noted that all athletes (the first and second samples) had personality traits at the same levels: low neuroticism, high extraversion, moderate openness to experience and agreeableness, and high conscientiousness in relation to non-athletes. In contrast, there were differences among the subjects in personality traits, except for agreeableness. Among the sports acrobats, master-class athletes showed lower neuroticism, greater openness to experience, lower agreeableness, and greater conscientiousness in relation to first-class athletes. It was found that there were differences between the personality traits and sports classes of junior sports acrobatics representatives in Poland in the four Big Five dimensions. But in general, sports acrobats and karate athletes had personality traits at similar levels, and at the same time, different from non-training people.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2023-10-06
      DOI: 10.3390/sports11100194
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 10 (2023)
  • Sports, Vol. 11, Pages 195: Analysis of the External and Internal Load in
           Professional Basketball Players

    • Authors: José M. Gamonales, Víctor Hernández-Beltrán, Adrián Escudero-Tena, Sergio J. Ibáñez
      First page: 195
      Abstract: The quantification of the external load and internal load of professional players is of vital importance since it provides a great deal of information on the state of the physical condition of athletes during competition and training. The aim of the present study was to quantify the external load and internal load of the players of a first level team of the Spanish basketball league for two weeks corresponding to the pre-season 2022/2023. Seventeen load variables were analyzed and organized into kinematics external load, neuromuscular external load, and internal load. All variables were normalized to the same time unit (minute). For this purpose, all training sessions were monitored using inertial devices. The results show significant differences in the external load and internal load variables depending on the task performed and the specific position. Each type of task provokes different responses in the players, with Full Game situations producing the highest values in the kinematic external load variables (p < 0.05). The selection of each type of task must be adjusted to the physical and technical–tactical objective to be developed. Despite the general work carried out in the pre-season, the centers are the players who bear the greatest internal load in this period. For this reason, it is necessary to individualize the training processes from the pre-season.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2023-10-07
      DOI: 10.3390/sports11100195
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 10 (2023)
  • Sports, Vol. 11, Pages 196: Artificial Intelligence Program for Predicting
           Wrestlers’ Sports Performances

    • Authors: Roman Sergeevich Nagovitsyn, Roza Alexeevna Valeeva, Liliia Agzamovna Latypova
      First page: 196
      Abstract: To date, there are conflicting opinions about the effectiveness of the introduction of artificial intelligence technologies in sports. In this regard, the purpose of the study was to develop and integrate an intellectual program for predicting competitive success into the process of selecting wrestlers to increase its effectiveness. The authors developed a program for predicting the sports performance of wrestlers on the basis of artificial intelligence technology. To implement the study, the individual data of Greco-Roman wrestlers (n = 72) were collected and processed on 36 comparison traits, ranked into categories according to three key areas: sports space, hereditary data and individual achievements. As a result of data processing through means of deep neural networks and machine learning algorithms, two prediction categories were identified: athletes who performed at the sport rank or the highest standard and athletes who did not achieve this standard. Control testing of the created program showed only 11% of error probability in predicting a given wrestler’s competitive performance. As for the functionality of the program in the area of classification of the features by category, the authors’ artificial intelligence program with 100% probability identified key categories of traits that reliably affect the results of the future sports performance of a young wrestler. Thus, the use of neural networks and machine learning algorithms, according to the results of the study, improves the quality of sports selection, which will allow further timely individualization and improvement of the training process of young wrestlers.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2023-10-08
      DOI: 10.3390/sports11100196
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 10 (2023)
  • Sports, Vol. 11, Pages 197: Blood Flow Restriction Training in Nonspecific
           Shoulder Pain: Study Protocol of a Crossover Randomised Controlled Trial

    • Authors: Kyriakos Pavlou, Christos Savva, Vasileios Korakakis, George M. Pamboris, Christos Karagiannis, George Ploutarchou, Antonis Constantinou
      First page: 197
      Abstract: “Nonspecific shoulder pain” encompasses various non-traumatic musculoskeletal shoulder disorders, diverging from diagnostic terminologies that refer to precise tissue-oriented clinical diagnosis. Blood flow restriction (BFR) training, involving partial arterial inflow and complete venous outflow restriction, has exhibited acute hypoalgesic effects primarily in healthy populations by increasing their pain thresholds. This study aims to examine whether a single BFR session with low-load exercises can alleviate pain perception among nonspecific shoulder pain patients. Conducted as a single-blind crossover randomised clinical trial, 48 adults (age range: 18 to 40) presenting with nonspecific shoulder pain will partake in two trial sessions. Random assignment will place participants into BFR or sham BFR groups and ask them to perform one exercise with BFR. Subsequently, participants will complete a shoulder girdle loading regimen comprising six exercises. The second session will involve participants switching treatment groups. Pain pressure thresholds (PPTs), shoulder pain and disability via the shoulder pain and disability index (SPADI), maximal voluntary isometric contraction (MVIC) of shoulder external rotators, pain during active abduction, and peak pain during shoulder external rotation will be evaluated using the numeric pain rating scale (NPRS). Immediate post-exercise assessments will include patient-perceived pain changes using the global rating of change scale (GROC) and participant-rated perceived exertion (RPE), employing a modified Borg’s scale (Borg CR10) post-BFR or sham BFR exercise session. Each session will encompass three assessment periods, and a combination of mixed-effect models and descriptive statistics will underpin the analysis. Pending approval from the Cyprus National Bioethics Committee, this protocol has been registered in (Registration number: NCT05956288). Conclusion: The anticipated outcomes of this study illuminated the acute effects of BFR training on pain perception within the context of nonspecific shoulder pain, potentially advancing strategies for managing pain intensity using BFR techniques.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2023-10-09
      DOI: 10.3390/sports11100197
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 10 (2023)
  • Sports, Vol. 11, Pages 198: From Incremental Test to Continuous Running at
           Fixed Lactate Thresholds: Individual Responses on %VO2max, %HRmax, Lactate
           Accumulation, and RPE

    • Authors: Daniel Fleckenstein, Jannik Seelhöfer, Nico Walter, Olaf Ueberschär
      First page: 198
      Abstract: With Norway’s successes in middle and long-distance running, lactate-guided threshold training has regained importance in recent years. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to investigate the individual responses on common monitoring parameters based on a lactate-guided conventional training method. In total, 15 trained runners (10 males, 5 females; 18.6 ± 3.3 years; VO2max: 59.3 ± 5.9 mL kg−1 min−1) completed a 40-min continuous running session at a fixed lactate threshold load of 2 mmol L−1. Lactate (La), oxygen uptake (VO2), heart rate (HR), and rating of perceived exertion (RPE) were recorded. The chosen workload led to lactate values of 2.85 ± 0.56 mmol L−1 (range: 1.90–3.80), a percentage of VO2max utilization (%VO2max) of 79.2 ± 2.5% (range: 74.9–83.8), a percentage of HRmax utilization (%HRmax) of 92.2 ± 2.5% (range: 88.1–95.3), and an RPE of 6.1 ± 1.9 (range: 3–10) at the end of the running session. Thereby, the individual responses differed considerably. These results indicate that a conventional continuous training method based on a fixed lactate threshold can lead to different individual responses, potentially resulting in various physiological impacts. Moreover, correlation analyses suggest that athletes with higher lactate threshold performance levels must choose their intensity in continuous training methods more conservatively (lower percentage intensity based on a fixed threshold) to avoid eliciting excessively strong metabolic responses.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2023-10-09
      DOI: 10.3390/sports11100198
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 10 (2023)
  • Sports, Vol. 11, Pages 199: Pacing Strategies Differ by Sex and Rank in
           2020 CrossFit® Open Tests

    • Authors: Gerald T. Mangine, Elisabeth K. Zeitz, Joshua D. Dexheimer, Ashley Hines, Brandon Lively, Brian M. Kliszczewicz
      First page: 199
      Abstract: This retrospective study collected video recordings of a random selection of eighty men and women (n = 160) completing all five tests of the 2020 CrossFit® Open. All competitors were ranked within the top 10,000 overall but were sub-divided based on whether they ranked within the top 10% of their respective divisions. To examine the effect of sex and rank on pacing strategy, video analysis quantified the overall repetition completion rate on each test, as well as per minute (or round) repetition completion rates for each test’s individual exercises, quantity of failed repetitions, break times, and transition times. All per minute (or round) data were aggregated into first- and last-half or total test average, slopes, and coefficient of variation. Sex and rank analyses of variance were performed on averages, slopes, and coefficients of variation for each variable calculated over the first and last halves of each test, except test 5 (total only). The top 10% of men were 17.5% faster (p < 0.001) than everyone else in tests 1, 3, and 5. The top 10% of women and remaining men were ~9.5% faster than remaining women in tests 1 and 3. In test 5, the remaining men were faster than top 10% of women (~11.2%, p < 0.001), and both were faster than the remaining women. In tests 2 and 4, the top 10% of athletes were 9.7% faster (p < 0.001) than remaining athletes, and at the same time, men were 7.7% faster (p < 0.001) than women. Analysis of each test’s components revealed the top 10% of competitors to be faster and more consistent in most areas, while men were generally faster than women in gymnastics components and more consistent with their pace for resistance training exercises. These data provide insight into the differential factors linked to success in the men’s and women’s CFO divisions.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2023-10-11
      DOI: 10.3390/sports11100199
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 10 (2023)
  • Sports, Vol. 11, Pages 200: The Effects of Core Stabilization Trunk Muscle
           Fatigue on Lower Limb Stiffness of Basketball Players

    • Authors: Mehdi Khaleghi Tazji, Hassan Sadeghi, Ali Abbasi, Mohammad Aziminia, Ali Shahhosseini, Mohammad Ebrahim Marjani, George A. Koumantakis
      First page: 200
      Abstract: Core stability is the ability to control the position and motion of the trunk over the pelvis and legs to allow the optimum production and transfer of force to the terminal segment in sporting activities. The effect of fatigue, especially core muscle fatigue, on stiffness as a performance index requires more study. This research aimed to investigate the effect of the core stabilization muscles’ fatigue on lower limb stiffness during hopping. Thirty active basketball players participated in this study (age: 20.90 ± 1.49 years; weight: 60.30 ± 3.10 kg; height: 163.2 ± 5.04 cm). The hopping test (15 jumps) was performed before and after the fatigue protocol in three states including at a preferred (no frequency control), maximum, and 2.2 Hz frequency on the force plate. The stiffness of the lower extremities was measured before and after the fatigue protocol. The results of the dependent t-test showed core muscle fatigue led to reduced lower extremity stiffness under all three hopping-test conditions by 15.3–15.9% (p ≤ 0.005). It seems that core muscle function affects lower extremity stiffness, and can function as a performance index in athletes. Although performed in healthy volunteers, this study may have implications for injury prevention, highlighting the necessity to perform interspersed endurance training using the different body parts of the kinetic chain.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2023-10-12
      DOI: 10.3390/sports11100200
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 10 (2023)
  • Sports, Vol. 11, Pages 201: Perceptions of Cheating and Doping in

    • Authors: Andrew Richardson, Nicolas Berger, Phillip Smith
      First page: 201
      Abstract: E-cycling is a growing area of cycling appealing to competitive cyclists and fitness enthusiasts. Zwift is the most popular e-cycling platform, with approx. 1 million subscribers and is a virtual environment that hosts regular races, including the UCI e-cycling world championships. The popularity of Zwift has given rise to cases of cheating and hacking the system to gain an advantage in e-racing. As a result, some high-profile professional riders have faced bans. We set out to understand the thoughts and concerns e-cyclists have about cheating, hacking, and doping in e-cycling. A total of 337 females and 1130 males were recruited over a 7-week period via social networking sites to complete an online survey. Forty-four per cent had experienced cheating during e-racing, which made them feel angry, annoyed, disappointed, and cheated. However, 15% of those who experienced cheating said they did not care, possibly because many see e-racing as a game or training tool rather than a competitive event. Eighty-seven per cent of participants were in favour of enforcing a ban on cheaters in e-cycling, while 34% wanted cheaters to be banned during in-person cycling events too. Results indicate that many e-cyclists have experienced cheating and would like clearer rules and bans for cheaters during e-races.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2023-10-14
      DOI: 10.3390/sports11100201
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 10 (2023)
  • Sports, Vol. 11, Pages 202: Strength and Conditioning Programs to Increase
           Bat Swing Velocity for Collegiate Baseball Players

    • Authors: Ryosuke Haruna, Tatsuo Doi, Daiki Habu, Shinya Yasumoto, Nobuko Hongu
      First page: 202
      Abstract: Bat swing velocity (BSV) is an imperative element of a successful baseball hitting performance. This study aimed to investigate the anthropometric and physiological variables associated with BSV and explore strength and conditioning programs to increase BSV in collegiate baseball players. Seventy-eight collegiate baseball players (mean age ± SD, 19.4 ± 1.0 years) participated in this study. Maximum BSV (km/h) was measured using Blast Baseball (Blast Motion Inc., Carlsbad, CA, USA). The anthropometric and physiological variables measured were height, body mass, lean body mass, grip strength, back muscle strength, the 30 m sprint, standing long jump, and backward overhead medicine ball throwing. Analysis using Pearson’s product-moment correlation coefficient showed a weak but significant positive correlation between all anthropometric measurements to BSV. Significant relationships existed between physiological variables of hand grip, back muscle strength, and backward overhead medicine ball throwing, but not the standing long jump and 30 m sprint. These data show that BSV is related to anthropometric and physiological variables, particularly upper and lower body strength and full-body explosive power. Based on the results of this study, we designed examples of sound training programs to increase BSV. Strength and conditioning coaches may want to consider using this information when designing a training program for collegiate baseball players.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2023-10-16
      DOI: 10.3390/sports11100202
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 10 (2023)
  • Sports, Vol. 11, Pages 203: Identity Work in Athletes: A Systematic Review
           of the Literature

    • Authors: Yoonki Chun, Elodie Wendling, Michael Sagas
      First page: 203
      Abstract: The identity work process allows athletes to achieve a continuous development, revision, and maintenance of themselves. It provides insight into their self-perceptions and particularly intensifies during critical life events. While this process has been widely acknowledged, scant attention has been given to explicitly identifying the specific activities (i.e., identity work modes) involved in athletic identity work and integrating an overarching framework to inform coherent and continuous identities. Thus, we conducted a systematic review of the athletic identity literature to assess how this perspective is represented. Following the PRISMA guidelines, we reviewed 54 articles and analyzed the overall characteristics, bibliographical networks, and accumulated empirical findings. Through this process, we were able to identify the impact of having a strong athletic identity on key variables within and outside of sport. Based on the findings, we examined how identity work modes are depicted and discussed in the literature. Further discussion on how athletic identity literature can contribute to the broader body of knowledge is outlined.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2023-10-17
      DOI: 10.3390/sports11100203
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 10 (2023)
  • Sports, Vol. 11, Pages 204: Relationship between Longitudinal Upper Body

    • Authors: Charlotte Lang, Axel Schleichardt, Frank Warschun, Nico Walter, Daniel Fleckenstein, Fides Berkel, Olaf Ueberschär
      First page: 204
      Abstract: Running is a basic form of human locomotion and one of the most popular sports worldwide. While the leg biomechanics of running have been studied extensively, few studies have focused on upper-body movement. However, an effective arm swing and longitudinal rotation of the shoulders play an important role in running efficiency as they must compensate for the longitudinal torques generated by the legs. The aim of this study is to assess the upper-body rotation using wearable inertial sensors and to elucidate its relation to energy expenditure. Eighty-six junior elite middle- and long-distance runners (37 female, 49 male) performed an incremental treadmill test with sensors attached on both shoulders, tibiae and the sacrum. The mean and total horizontal shoulder and pelvis rotations per stride were derived while energy costs were determined using respiratory gas analysis and blood sampling. Results show that shoulder and pelvis rotations increase with running speed. While shoulder rotation is more pronounced in female than in male runners, there is no sex difference for pelvis rotation. The energy cost of running and upper trunk rotation prove to be slightly negatively correlated. In conclusion, upper body rotation appears to be an individual characteristic influenced by a sex-specific body mass distribution.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2023-10-18
      DOI: 10.3390/sports11100204
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 10 (2023)
  • Sports, Vol. 11, Pages 205: Bone Health, Body Composition and
           Physiological Demands in 70–85-Year-Old Lifelong Male Football

    • Authors: Domenico Martone, Daniela Vitucci, Annamaria Mancini, Georgios Ermidis, Jeppe Panduro, Loretta Francesca Cosco, Morten Bredsgaard Randers, Malte Nejst Larsen, Magni Mohr, Pasqualina Buono, Peter Krustrup
      First page: 205
      Abstract: The effects of lifelong football training on bone health, body composition and physiological demands were evaluated. A total of 20 veteran football players (VPG; 73.4 ± 3.7 years) and 18 untrained age-matched men (CG; 75.6 ± 4.2 years) were enrolled. Whole-body and regional dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry scans of arms, legs, proximal femur and lower spine (L1-L4) were recorded in all participants. We observerd higher bone mineral density (BMD) in the whole-body, arms and femoral regions and higher bone mineral content (BMC) in the legs and lower spine compared to the CG (p < 0.05), also higher total lean body mass (p < 0.05) and lower total body fat percentage (p < 0.05), were found. No differences in food habits were evidenced between the VPG and the CG, as evaluated using 3-day food records. Resting heart rate (RHR), blood pressure (BP) and activity profile during a football match were recorded using a global positioning system only in the VPG. The mean heart rate (HR)of theoretical maximal HR (ThHRmax), and peak of ThHRmax were 83.9 ± 8.6% and 98.6 ± 10.2%, respectively; the mean of total distance covered was 3666 ± 721 m, and the means of accelerations and decelerations were 419 ± 61 and 428 ± 65, respectively. Lifelong participation in football training improves regional BMD and BMC in legs, femur and lumbar spine compared to the CG. A high number of intense actions in term of HR and accelerations and decelerations suggests an elevated energy expenditure that in turn correlates to the healthier body composition observed in the VPG compared to the CG.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2023-10-18
      DOI: 10.3390/sports11100205
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 10 (2023)
  • Sports, Vol. 11, Pages 206: Critical Reflexivity and Positionality on the
           Scholar–Practitioner Continuum: Researching Women’s Embodied
           Subjectivities in Sport

    • Authors: Fabiana Cristina Turelli, Alexandre Fernandez Vaz, David Kirk
      First page: 206
      Abstract: The sports world has many prejudices that have been converted into common sense. Some relate to the idea of athletes being strong or pretty but endowed with little intelligence. There is another view, perhaps a little more accurate, around the reification of consciousness in the name of the automation and maximum outcome of the body. Both views are informed by Cartesian thinking, perpetuating the mind–body dichotomy. Such a dichotomy is spread in several other areas in our society, expressed as binaries. We meet a binary when conducting research as well, disembodying the researcher as someone who is neutral, objective, and highly rational, and someone who, in synthesis, performs good mental work, but who must not let feelings intrude. On the contrary, we argue that we are embodied beings who are often not able to (and maybe should not) become detached from previous experiences and knowledge when conducting research. Even though this can present itself as a challenge, we consider that a fluid non-binary positioning encompasses actions holistically and leads to tasks being performed on a continuum. The purpose of this paper is to explore the reflexive process embedded in carrying out a PhD project committed to studying the production of the embodied subjectivities of a group of women high-level athletes in karate. The researcher inserted in the researched environment was not a high-level athlete; however, she had several experiences competing at the amateur level in different countries and faced experiences that were, to some extent, similar to those of the elite athletes. She used her previous experiences as a karateka, researcher, and woman to inform her research-doing since the intersectional social issues faced by her and lived queer feelings motivated her research questions. She plunged into a process of self-reflection and counted on the guidance of the other authors to organise her learning in order to use it in her scholarship. That was, primarily, an experience of “practice” of subjectivity through examining others’ production of subjectivity, besides strengthening a positionality that lacked self-confidence. Thus, we explore issues around the researcher–practitioner theoretical–practical continuum of research-doing, presenting a journey that became empowering.
      Citation: Sports
      PubDate: 2023-10-19
      DOI: 10.3390/sports11100206
      Issue No: Vol. 11, No. 10 (2023)
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Heriot-Watt University
Edinburgh, EH14 4AS, UK
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