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Luca Cavaggioni, Athos Trecroci, Damiano Formenti, Luke Hogarth, Massimiliano Tosin, and Giampietro Alberti

The purpose of this study was to monitor the changes in breathing pattern, trunk muscle stabilization, and upper-body muscular power in Paralympic swimmers throughout a competitive season over three time points: October (T1), March (T2), and August (T3). Six top-level Paralympic swimmers voluntarily participated in this study. The Friedman test, the Bonferroni–Dunn multiple comparison post hoc analysis, and Kendall’s W concordance coefficient for the measure of effect were used. A significant difference was found in the breathing pattern, trunk stability, and upper-body power variables from the T1 to T3 season (p < .05). However, no significant changes were found in the T2 season. A long-term assessment of these fitness parameters may be of practical importance for better tailoring the training programs of top-level Paralympic swimmers.

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Gopal Nambi, Walid Kamal Abdelbasset, Saud F. Alsubaie, Ayman K. Saleh, Anju Verma, Mohamed A. Abdelaziz, and Abdulaziz A. Alkathiry

Objective: To find the short-term psychological and hormonal effects of virtual reality training on chronic low back pain in American soccer players. Design, Setting, Participants: The 3-block random sampling method was used on 54 university American soccer players with chronic low back pain, and they were allocated into 3 groups: virtual reality training (VRT; n = 18), combined physical rehabilitation (n = 18), and control (n = 18) groups at University Hospital. They underwent different balance training exercises for 4 weeks. The participants and the therapist who is assessing the outcomes were blinded. Psychological (pain intensity and kinesiophobia) and hormonal (glucose, insulin, Homeostatic Model Assessment of Insulin Resistance, growth hormone, prolactin, adrenocorticotropic hormone, and cortisol) values were measured at baseline, after 4 weeks, and after 6 months. Results: The baseline demographic, psychological, and hormonal data between the VRT, combined physical rehabilitation, and control groups show no statistical difference (P ≥ .05). Four weeks following training, the VRT group shows more significant changes in pain intensity and kinesiophobia than the combined physical rehabilitation and control groups (P < .001), and the improvement was noted in the 6-month follow-up. All the hormonal variables (glucose, insulin, growth hormone, prolactin, adrenocorticotropic hormone, and cortisol) show significant changes at 4-week training (P < .001), except for the Homeostatic Model Assessment of Insulin Resistance (P = .075) between the 3 groups. At 6-month follow-up glucose, prolactin, adrenocorticotropic hormone, and cortisol show more significant difference in the VRT group than the other 2 groups (P < .001). At the same time, insulin (P = .694), Homeostatic Model Assessment of Insulin Resistance (P = .272), and growth hormone (P = .145) failed to show significant changes between the groups. Conclusion: Training through virtual reality is an effective treatment program when compared with conventional exercise training programs from a psychological and hormonal analysis perspective in American soccer players with chronic low back pain.

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Rachel K. Straub, Adam J. Barrack, Jordan Cannon, and Christopher M. Powers

Context: A limitation of previous studies on squatting mechanics is that the influence of trunk and shank inclination on the knee-extensor moment (KEM) has been studied in isolation. Objective: The purpose of the current study was to determine the influence of segment orientation on the KEM during freestanding barbell squatting. Design: Repeated-measures cross sectional. Setting: University research laboratory. Participants: Sixteen healthy individuals (8 males and 8 females). Intervention: Each participant performed 8 squat conditions in which shank and trunk inclinations were manipulated. Main Outcome Measures: 3D kinematic and kinetic data were collected at 250 and 1500 Hz, respectively. Regression analysis was conducted to identify the individual relationships between the KEM and the trunk and shank inclination at 60° and 90° of knee flexion. To identify the best predictor(s) of the KEM, stepwise regression was implemented. Results: Increased shank inclination increased the KEM (P < .001, R 2 = .21–.25). Conversely, increased trunk inclination decreased the KEM (P < .001, R 2 = .49–.50). For the stepwise regression, trunk inclination entered first and explained the greatest variance in the KEM (all P < .001, R 2 = .49–.50). Shank inclination entered second (all P < .010, R 2 = .53–.54) and explained an additional 3% to 5% of the variance. Conclusions: Our results confirm that inclination of the trunk and shank have an opposing relationship with the KEM. Increased forward shank posture increases the KEM, while increased forward trunk posture decreases the KEM. However, when viewed in combination, the trunk was the superior predictor of the KEM, highlighting the fact that increased quadriceps demand created by a forward shank can be offset by trunk inclination.

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K. Andrew R. Richards, Kim C. Graber, Amelia Mays Woods, Shelby E. Ison, and Chad M. Killian

Purpose: To examine the workplace experience of physical education teacher educators while accounting for gender and institution type. Method: Participants included 286 U.S. faculty members (151 females and 135 males). Data were collected using an online survey that included measures of negative (i.e., marginalization, isolation, role stress, emotional exhaustion) and positive (i.e., perceived mattering, perceived organizational support) workplace experiences. Primary analyses began with a multivariate analysis of covariance followed up by univariate analyses of covariance to examine the differences in study variables based on gender and institution type. Results: Doctoral institution faculty members reported higher marginalization and lower perceived mattering and organizational support. Female faculty members reported higher role overload and emotional exhaustion. Discussion: Results highlight differences in the faculty experience across institution types as well as gender disparities. Recommendations are provided for improving the faculty experience as well as for future research in the area.

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Guan-Bo Chen, Che-Wei Lin, Hung-Ya Huang, Yi-Jhen Wu, Hung-Tzu Su, Shu-Fen Sun, and Sheng-Hui Tuan

Because of a shortage of health care providers, providing rehabilitation in health care facilities is difficult. Virtual reality–based rehabilitation is effective in older populations. There are only a few studies among patients with sarcopenia. This is a quasi-experimental, single-group, pretest–posttest design evaluating the clinical effectiveness of virtual reality–based progressive resistance training among residents aged over 60 years with sarcopenia in rural care facilities. The authors used Oculus Rift with headsets to provide the virtual reality–based progressive resistance training. The authors administered the program twice per week, 30 min per session, for 12 weeks. The primary outcomes were dominant handgrip strength, walking speed, and appendicular skeletal muscle mass index. Data from 30 participants were analyzed. Significant improvements in handgrip strength and walking speed were observed. Although an increasing trend in appendicular skeletal muscle mass index was observed, it did not reach statistical significance. The authors concluded that the virtual reality–based progressive resistance training is partially effective in older sarcopenic adults in health care facilities.

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Andy Vasily, Tim Fletcher, Doug Gleddie, and Déirdre Ní Chróinín

Purpose: The purpose of this research was to use an actor-oriented perspective to analyze one teacher’s implementation of the Meaningful Physical Education approach in one Grade 5 classroom in Saudi Arabia. Method: A single case study design was used, with the case being defined as Andy and his teaching of a cycling unit to one Grade 5 class. Data consisted of blog posts, tweets, and semistructured interviews. Results: Andy identified several spheres of influence on implementation, including his personal philosophy, students, co-teachers, and several organizational/environmental characteristics of King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) School, as well as important attributes of the innovation that supported implementation. Discussion/Conclusion: An actor-oriented perspective offered insight into a teacher’s insider perspective of a pedagogical innovation, which enabled understanding of how he made sense of Meaningful Physical Education and used those ideas to guide planning, instructional, and assessment decisions in the cycling unit.

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Yuri de Almeida Costa Campos, Jeferson M. Vianna, Miller P. Guimarães, Hiago L.R. Souza, Raúl Domínguez, Jefferson S. Novaes, Luis F.M. Leitão, Sandro F. Silva, and Victor M. Reis

Purpose: To identify the anaerobic threshold through the lactate threshold determined by Dmax and rating of perceived exertion (RPE) threshold by Dmax and to evaluate the agreement and correlation between lactate threshold determined by Dmax and RPE threshold by Dmax during an incremental test performed on the treadmill in long-distance runners. Methods: A total of 16 long-distance runners volunteered to participate in the study. Participants performed 2 treadmill incremental tests for the collection of blood lactate concentrations and RPE separated by a 48-hour interval. The incremental test started at 8 km·h−1, increasing by 1.2 km·h−1 every third minute until exhaustion. During each stage of the incremental test, there were pauses of 30 seconds for the collection of blood lactate concentration and RPE. Results: No significant difference was found between methods lactate threshold determined by Dmax and RPE threshold by Dmax methods (P = .664). In addition, a strong correlation (r = .91) and agreement through Bland–Altman plot analysis were found. Conclusions: The study demonstrated that it is possible to predict anaerobic threshold from the OMNI-walk/run scale curve through a single incremental test on the treadmill. However, further studies are needed to evaluate the reproducibility and objectivity of the OMNI-walk/run scale for anaerobic threshold determination.

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Lore Metz, Laurie Isacco, Kristine Beaulieu, S. Nicole Fearnbach, Bruno Pereira, David Thivel, and Martine Duclos

Background: While the popularity of aquatic physical activities continues to grow among women, the effects on energy expenditure (EE) and appetite control remain unknown. The objective of this study was to examine the effect of water temperature during aqua-cycling session on EE, rate of perceived exertion, energy intake, appetite sensations, and food reward in healthy premenopausal women. Methods: Participants completed three experimental sessions, in the postprandial condition, in a randomized order: a land control session (CON), an aqua-cycling session in 18 °C (EXO18), and an aqua-cycling session in 27 °C (EXO27). The EE, food intake, appetite sensations, and food reward were investigated for each condition. Results: EXO18 induced a significant increase in EE (p < .001) and oxygen consumption (p < .01) compared with EXO27. The carbohydrate oxidation was higher in EXO18 session compared with EXO27 and CON (p < .05 and p < .001, respectively). While fat oxidation was higher in exercise sessions compared with CONT (p < .01), no difference was observed between EXO18 and EXO27. Exercise sessions did not alter absolute energy intake session but induced a decrease in relative energy intake (p < .001) and in hunger, desire to eat, and prospective food consumption compared with CON (p < .001). The authors also show here that cold-water exposure can increase EE while rate of perceived exertion is lower at the end of exercise session compared with same exercise at 27 °C (p < .05).Conclusion: An exposure to a moderately cold-water during aqua-cycling is an efficient strategy to promote increased EE and decreased hunger, which may be effective for energy balance management in healthy premenopausal women.

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Kerry McGawley, Matt Spencer, Anna Olofsson, and Erik P. Andersson

Context: Warming up in very cold climates and maintaining an elevated body temperature prior to a race is challenging for snow-sport athletes. Purpose: To investigate the effects of active (ACT), passive (PAS), and a combination of ACT and PAS (COM) warm-ups on maximal physical performance in a subzero environment among snow-sport athletes. Methods: Ten junior alpine skiers completed 3 experimental trials in −7.2 (0.2)°C. The ACT involved 5 minutes of moderate cycling, 3 × 15-second accelerations, a 6-second sprint, 5 countermovement jumps (CMJs), and a 10-minute passive transition phase, while in PAS, participants wore a lower-body heated garment for 24 minutes. In COM, participants completed the active warm-up, then wore the heated garment during the transition phase. Two maximal CMJs and a 90-second maximal isokinetic cycling test followed the warm-up. Results: CMJ performance was likely (P = .150) and very likely (P = .013) greater in ACT and COM, respectively, versus PAS. Average power output during the cycling test was likely (P = .074) greater in ACT and COM versus PAS. Participants felt likely to almost certainly warmer (P < .01) and more comfortable (P = .161) during ACT and COM versus PAS. In addition, participants felt likely warmer (P = .136) and very likely more comfortable (P = .161) in COM versus ACT. Conclusions: COM resulted in significantly improved CMJ performance versus PAS while both ACT and COM led to likely improved 90-second cycling performance. Participants felt significantly warmer during ACT and COM versus PAS and likely warmer in COM versus ACT. Therefore, a combined warm-up is recommended for alpine skiers performing in subzero temperatures.

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Oliver J. Chrzanowski-Smith, Robert M. Edinburgh, Mark P. Thomas, Aaron Hengist, Sean Williams, James A. Betts, and Javier T. Gonzalez

This study explored lifestyle and biological determinants of peak fat oxidation (PFO) during cycle ergometry, using duplicate measures to account for day-to-day variation. Seventy-three healthy adults (age range: 19–63 years; peak oxygen consumption [V˙O2peak]:42.4[10.1]ml·kgBM1·min1; n = 32 women]) completed trials 7–28 days apart that assessed resting metabolic rate, a resting venous blood sample, and PFO by indirect calorimetry during an incremental cycling test. Habitual physical activity (combined heart rate accelerometer) and dietary intake (weighed record) were assessed before the first trial. Body composition was assessed 2–7 days after the second identical trial by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry scan. Multiple linear regressions were performed to identify determinants of PFO (mean of two cycle tests). A total variance of 79% in absolute PFO (g·min−1) was explained with positive coefficients for V˙O2peak (strongest predictor), FATmax (i.e the % of V˙O2peak that PFO occurred at), and resting fat oxidation rate (g·min−1), and negative coefficients for body fat mass (kg) and habitual physical activity level. When expressed relative to fat-free mass, 64% of variance in PFO was explained: positive coefficients for FATmax (strongest predictor), V˙O2peak, and resting fat oxidation rate, and negative coefficients for male sex and fat mass. This duplicate design revealed that biological and lifestyle factors explain a large proportion of variance in PFO during incremental cycling. After accounting for day-to-day variation in PFO, V˙O2peak and FATmax were strong and consistent predictors of PFO.