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Volume 18 (2024): Issue 2 (Jun 2024)

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Swim, Strength, or Combined Programs: Effect on Health-Related Physical Fitness in Adolescents With Down Syndrome

Borja Suarez-Villadat, Kabir Sadarangani, Rui Manuel Corredeira, Mario Veiga, and Ariel Villagra

The adolescent population with Down syndrome (DS) appears to show higher levels of body fat and lower levels of cardiorespiratory fitness or muscle strength than their peers without disabilities. There is a need to create physical activity programs to improve these data. The aim of this research was to determine the effects of a 16-week swimming program, strength program, and combined program (swimming and strength training) on body composition and health-related physical fitness on adolescents with DS and to assess whether there are differences in the results of the different training programs. Forty-five adolescents (17 female and 28 male; average age 15.5 [1.53] years) with DS were recruited and randomized to three groups (swim [n = 15], strength [n = 15], and combined [n = 15]). Results showed that the swim group had significant improvements in all health-related physical fitness variables and there was an improvement in some body-composition variables (p < .05). The strength and combined groups obtained minor improvements in the variables analyzed. In summary, a 16-week swim program consisting of three sessions of 60 min is able to improve levels of body composition and health-related physical fitness in adolescents with DS. The swim training program seems to be more effective in improving body composition and health-related physical fitness than the strength or combined program. These findings could be useful in different special-education centers due to the predisposition shown by the population with DS to this sport modality.

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Blood Flow Restriction Training Improves Muscular Outcomes in Patients With Chronic Ankle Instability: A Critically Appraised Topic

Jared Spencer, Cheyann Sales, and Aric J. Warren

Clinical Scenario: The high recurrence of lateral ankle sprains progresses to chronic ankle instability (CAI) and can affect many athletes in all sports. CAI is often associated with a decrease in muscle strength, an increase in pain, a decrease in the range of motion, and a decrease in balance or neuromuscular control. The use of blood flow restriction (BFR) with CAI can increase muscular outcomes and be used as a rehabilitation tool. Clinical Question: Is there evidence to suggest that BFR improves strength, muscle activation, and/or cross-sectional area of the lower leg musculature in those with CAI? Clinical Bottom Line: There is moderate evidence to support therapeutic exercise with low-intensity BFR in patients with CAI. The evidence concluded a significant improvement in BFR to increase muscle activation of the fibularis longus, anterior tibialis, vastus lateralis, and soleus. There is moderate evidence suggesting BFR can induce strength gains in the muscles of the lower extremity in patients with CAI. Strength of Recommendation: The comprehensive evidence is a Strength of Recommendation Taxonomy (SORT) Grade B, with a level of evidence of 2, according to the Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine (CEBM) for the studies included.

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Combined Virtual-Reality- and Gym-Based Physical Activity Intervention for Children With a Developmental Disability: Effects on Physical Activity Levels, Motor Skills, and Social Skills

Hoo Kyung Lee and Jooyeon Jin

This study examined the effects of a combined virtual-reality- and gym-based physical activity (PA) program on PA levels, motor skills, and social skills of children with a developmental disability (DD). Twenty-five children with DD were randomly assigned to experimental and control groups. The intervention was conducted for 60 min, two times a week, for 12 weeks. Pre- and postintervention assessments encompassing PA levels measured via Gravity Estimator of Normal Everyday Activity, motor skills evaluated using the Test of Gross Motor Development-Third Edition, and social skills gauged via the Social Skills Rating System-Parent were conducted. Additionally, a follow-up assessment was administered to the experimental group 12 weeks postintervention. The findings unequivocally demonstrate that the combined virtual-reality- and gym-based PA program yielded significant enhancements in PA levels, motor skills, and social skills among children with DD in the experimental group. Notably, these improvements were sustained 12 weeks after the intervention. These findings may help professionals develop and implement better PA programs for children with DD.

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“Now We Can Speak”: Wheelchair Sport Participation in Areas of Armed Conflict

T.N. Kirk, Cathy McKay, and Katherine Holland

This study sought to understand the lived experiences of wheelchair basketball athletes from low- and middle-income countries of recent or current armed conflict and the meaning that they ascribed to their participation. Wheelchair basketball athletes (N = 108) from eight national teams participated in semistructured focus-group interviews. Study data were analyzed thematically using an interpretive descriptive approach. Three themes were developed: “I can do anything I want; not only basketball,” self-concept changes through sport participation; “Now they see me as a respectable person,” societal belonging through sport; and “I have motivated other disabled people,” influence on nonparticipating disabled persons. The findings indicated that participation in wheelchair sports may help disabled persons see themselves as capable individuals on the court and in aspects of daily living, perhaps even peer role models for other disabled persons in their communities and countries.

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Role of the Flexion Relaxation Phenomenon in the Analysis of Low Back Pain Risk in the Powerlifter: A Proof-of-Principle Study

Nicola Marotta, Alessandro de Sire, Isabella Bartalotta, Maria Sgro, Roberta Zito, Marco Invernizzi, Antonio Ammendolia, and Teresa Iona

Introduction: Unlike the most common training approaches for bodybuilding, powerlifting programs are generally based on maximum and submaximal loads, putting enormous stresses on the lumbar spine. The flexion relaxation phenomenon evaluation is a clinical tool used for low back pain (LBP) assessment. This study aimed to evaluate the role of the flexion relaxation phenomenon in the analysis of LBP in the powerlifters. Methods: Healthy professional powerlifters participated in the study. In fact, we divided the participants into a LBP-low-risk group and a LBP-high-risk group, based on a prior history of LBP. Outcome measures included flexion relaxation ratio (FRR) and trough surface electromyography collected during trunk maximum voluntary flexion; furthermore, during a bench press lifting, we measured the height of the arched back (ARCH), using a camera and the Kinovea video editing software, to consider a potential correlation with the risk of LBP. Results: We included a group of 18 male (aged 24–39 y) powerlifters of 93 kg category. We measured a nonsignificant mean difference of ARCH between low-risk LBP group and high-risk LBP subjects. Curiously, maximum voluntary flexions were both above the threshold of 3.2 μV; therefore, with an absence of appropriate myoelectric silence, on the contrary, the FRR ratios were higher than 9.5, considering the presence of the phenomenon, exclusively for the low-risk group. The lumbar arched back measurement data did not report any association with the LBP risk, regarding the maximum voluntary flexion value, and even more than the FRR there is a relationship with the presence or the absence of LBP risk. Conclusions: FRR could be considered as a useful parameter for studying the risk of LBP in powerlifting. The FRR index not only refers to the possible myoelectric silence of the lumbar muscles in trunk maximum forward flexion but also takes into account the energy value delivered by the lumbar muscles during the flexion. Furthermore, we can indicate that the size of the powerlifter ARCH may not be a determining factor in the occurrence of LBP.

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Voluntary Contraction of the Abdominal Muscles Increases Hip Muscle Activation During Lower-Extremity Exercises: A Critically Appraised Topic

Birgul Dingirdan, Pinar Kuyulu, Ezgi Nur Can, Kubra Caylan Gurses, and Gulcan Harput

Clinical Scenario: Existing studies have posited that incorporating abdominal enhancement techniques during lower-extremity exercises might mitigate compensatory pelvic motions and enhance the engagement of specific hip muscles. Clinical Question: Does performing lower-extremity exercises with abdominal enhancement techniques increase hip muscle activation levels in healthy individuals? Summary of Key Finding: After the literature review, 4 cross-sectional studies met the inclusion criteria and were included in this critically appraised topic. Clinical Bottom Line: There is moderate evidence to support that prone hip extension with abdominal enhancement may increase gluteus maximus and hamstring muscle activity. Gluteus medius activity may not be affected by abdominal enhancement during hip abduction exercises. Strength and Recommendation: The collective findings from the 4 cross-sectional trials indicate that the incorporation of abdominal enhancement techniques during lower-extremity exercises may have the potential to enhance targeted muscle activation levels in healthy individuals. Further research is recommended to establish more robust conclusions.

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Self-Care and Emotional Competence in Supervision: Helping Clinical Sport Psychology Trainees Foster Professional Well-Being

Erin N.J. Haugen and Kristin Hoff

Within clinical sport psychology (CSP), there is increased attention on factors designed to enhance professional well-being, such as self-care, for practitioners. Emotional competence is a relatively new supervision topic despite it being an ethical imperative within clinical/counseling and sport psychology. CSP trainees deal with stressors that could threaten professional well-being and are complicated by ethical challenges within the sport ecosystem. The purpose of this article is to describe self-care and emotional competence as they relate to the professional well-being of CSP trainees. We offer practical applications for supervisors to consider adopting in their work with trainees. Overall, it is of vital importance that those in CSP attend to their well-being, and we call upon the CSP field to be more intentional about integrating well-being factors into the supervision relationship.

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Athletes’ Perspectives of the Classification System in Para Alpine Skiing for Those With Visual Impairment

Sara M. Douglas, Paul J. Kitchin, Andrew J. Jackson, Brendan T. Barrett, and Julie-Anne Little

This study explored the classification experiences and views of Para Alpine skiers with visual impairment. Data from 11  interviews were analyzed using reflexive thematic analysis to generate three themes: Suitability—The skiers questioned the suitability of the visual measurements, testing environment, and the information they received regarding classification; Exclusivity—Skiers felt certain aspects of the system remain exclusive due to the restrictions of sport classes and lack of the athlete voice; and (Dis)trust—Skiers felt distrust in those implementing the system and in other athletes due to intentional misrepresentation. Speculation surrounding this resulted in the skiers’ feeling doubt in their own classification. While there is not a “one size fits all” approach to classification, understanding skiers’ experiences can be a vital first step and will help to guide future research into the evolution of this sport’s classification.

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Erratum. The Relationship Between Childhood Trauma, Exercise Addiction, Emotion Regulation Difficulties, and Basic Psychological Needs in Türkiye

Journal of Clinical Sport Psychology