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Tobias Alt, Igor Komnik, Jannik Severin, Yannick T. Nodler, Rita Benker, Axel J. Knicker, Gert-Peter Brüggemann, and Heiko K. Strüder

Purpose: Concentric hip and eccentric knee joint mechanics affect sprint performance. Although the biarticular hamstrings combine these capacities, empirical links between swing phase mechanics and corresponding isokinetic outcome parameters are deficient. This explorative study aimed (1) to explain the variance of sprint velocity, (2) to compare maximal sprints with isokinetic tests, (3) to associate swing phase mechanics with isokinetic parameters, and (4) to quantify the relation between knee and hip joint swing phase mechanics. Methods: A total of 22 sprinters (age = 22 y, height = 1.81 m, weight = 77 kg) performed sprints and eccentric knee flexor and concentric knee extensor tests. All exercises were captured by 10 (sprints) and 4 (isokinetics) cameras. Lower-limb muscle balance was assessed by the dynamic control ratio at the equilibrium point. Results: The sprint velocity (9.79 [0.49] m/s) was best predicted by the maximal knee extension velocity, hip mean power (both swing phase parameters), and isokinetic peak moment of concentric quadriceps exercise (R 2 = 60%). The moment of the dynamic control ratio at the equilibrium point (R 2 = 39%) was the isokinetic parameter with the highest predictive power itself. Knee and hip joint mechanics affected each other during sprinting. They were significantly associated with isokinetic parameters of eccentric hamstring tests, as well as moments and angles of the dynamic control ratio at the equilibrium point, but restrictedly with concentric quadriceps exercise. The maximal sprints imposed considerably higher loads than isokinetic tests (eg, 13-fold eccentric knee joint peak power). Conclusions: Fast sprinters demonstrated distinctive knee and hip mechanics in the late swing phase, as well as strong eccentric hamstrings, with a clear association to the musculoarticular requirements of the swing phase in sprinting. The transferability of isokinetic knee strength data to sprinting is limited inter alia due to different hip joint configurations. However, isokinetic tests quantify specific sprint-related muscular prerequisites and constitute a useful diagnostic tool due to their predicting value to sprint performance.

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Jessica Amie Hill, Karen Mary Keane, Rebecca Quinlan, and Glyn Howatson

The aim of this study was to determine the efficacy of tart cherry (TC) supplementation on recovery following strenuous exercise. A systematic review and meta-analysis were conducted using studies investigating TC supplementation on measures of muscle soreness, muscular strength, muscular power, creatine kinase, C-reactive protein, Interleukin-6, and tumor necrosis factor alpha. A literature search ending in July 2020 was conducted in three databases (SPORTDiscus, Web of Science, and PubMed). Data from 14 studies were extracted and pooled for analysis. Tart cherry supplementation had a small beneficial effect in reducing muscle soreness (effect size [ES] = −0.44, 95% confidence interval [CI] [−0.87, −0.02]). A moderate beneficial effect was observed for recovery of muscular strength (ES = −0.78, 95% CI [−1.11, −0.46]). A moderate effect was observed for muscular power (ES = −0.53, 95% CI [−0.77, −0.29]); a further subgroup analysis on this variable indicated a large effect of TC supplementation on recovery of jump height (ES = −0.82, 95% CI [−1.18, −0.45]) and a small significant effect of supplementation on sprint time (ES = −0.32, 95% CI [−0.60, −0.04]). A small effect was observed for both C-reactive protein (ES = −0.46, 95% CI [−0.93, −0.00]) and Interleukin-6 (ES = −0.35, 95% CI [−0.68, −0.02]. No significant effects were observed for creatine kinase and tumor necrosis factor alpha. These results indicate that the consumption of a TC supplement can aid aspects of recovery from strenuous exercise.

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Angelo Sabag, Ric Lovell, Neil P. Walsh, Nick Grantham, Mathieu Lacome, and Martin Buchheit

Purpose: During heavily congested schedules, professional soccer players can experience exacerbated fatigue responses, which are thought to contribute to an increased risk of injury. Given that match-induced residual fatigue can last up to 72 hours, many coaches naturally prioritize recovery in the days immediately following match day. While it is intuitive for coaches and training staff to decrease the amount of auxiliary training practices to focus on recovery, prescribing upper-body resistance training on the day after match play has recently emerged as a specific training modality in this context. While these sessions may be implemented to increase training stimulus, there are limited data available regarding the efficacy of such a practice to improve recovery kinetics. Methods: In this narrative review, the authors look at the theoretical implications of performing upper-body resistance training on the day after match play on the status of various physiological and psychological systems, including neuromuscular, metabolic, hormonal, perceptual, and immunological recovery. Results: The available evidence suggests that in most cases this practice, as currently implemented (ie, low volume, low intensity), is unlikely to be complementary (ie, does not accelerate recovery) but is potentially compatible (ie, does not impair recovery). Conclusion: Overall, because the perception of such sessions may be player dependent, their programming requires an individualized approach and should take into account match dynamics (eg, fixture scheduling, playing time, travel).

Open access

Vilton E.L. de Moura e Silva, Jason M. Cholewa, François Billaut, Ralf Jäger, Marcelo C. de Freitas, Fabio S. Lira, and Fabrício E. Rossi

Context: Capsaicinoids and capsinoids (CAP) are natural substances found primarily in chili peppers and other spicy foods that agonize the transient receptor potential vanilloid-1 in the mouth, stomach, and small intestine. Several studies have shown CAP to be a potential antiobesity agent and to exhibit an analgesic effect in both rodents and humans. However, there is no scientific consensus about the effects of CAP on physical exercise performance and its physiological mechanisms of action. Purpose: This systematic review aimed to better elucidate the effects of CAP compounds as ergogenic aids and to discuss underlying mechanisms of action by which this supplement may potentially enhance endurance performance and muscular strength. Conclusions: Among 22 studies included in the review, 14 examined the effects of capsaicinoid or capsinoid compounds on endurance and resistance exercise performance in animals, with 9 studies showing benefits on performance. In humans, 8 studies were included: 3 demonstrated significant acute endurance benefits and 2 showed acute resistance exercise performance benefits compared with a placebo condition. Therefore, while more mechanistic studies are necessary to confirm these outcomes in humans, the available scientific literature appears to suggest that these compounds could be considered an effective nutritional strategy to improve exercise performance.

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Luca Filipas, Davide Ferioli, Giuseppe Banfi, Antonio La Torre, and Jacopo Antonino Vitale

Purpose: This study aimed to investigate the single and combined effects of sleep restriction (SR) and mental fatigue (MF) on free-throw (FT) performance among adult male basketball players. Methods: A total of 19 amateur male basketball players performed, in a randomized, counterbalanced, and crossover order, 2 identical experimental sessions separated by an interval of 1 week. The difference between the 2 sessions was in the quantity of sleep the night before the sessions, as follows: in one case, the participants followed their habitual sleep–wake routines; in the other session, they were forced to sleep not more than 5 hours. During the experimental sessions, the participants performed 60 basketball FTs on 2 occasions, separated by watching a basketball tactical video for 30 minutes designed to induce MF. As such, the FT test was completed in 4 different conditions: control, MF, SR, and SR and MF combined. Results: The participants registered a significantly lower total sleep time in acute SR (P < .001). The subjective rating of MF was lower in the control than in MF, SR, and SR and MF combined (P < .001). There were no differences between conditions for the subjective ratings of motivation. FT accuracy was higher in the control than in MF, SR, and SR and MF combined (P = .010), while no differences were observed between the 3 experimental conditions (all P > .05). Conclusion: The results indicate that a combined effect of MF and SR induces a small reduction in basketball FT performance, similar to MF or SR alone.

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Cody J. O’Grady, Jordan L. Fox, Daniele Conte, Davide Ferioli, Aaron T. Scanlan, and Vincent J. Dalbo

Purpose: Games-based drills are the predominant form of training adopted during basketball practice. As such, researchers have begun to quantify the physical, physiological, and perceptual demands of different games-based drill formats. However, study methodology has not been systematically reported across studies, limiting the ability to form conclusions from existing research. The authors developed this call to action to draw attention to the current standard of methodological reporting in basketball games-based drill research and establish a systematic reporting standard the authors hope will be utilized in future research. The Basketball Games-Based Drill Methodical Reporting Checklist (BGBDMRC) was developed to encourage the systematic reporting of games-based drill methodology. The authors used the BGBDMRC to evaluate the current methodological reporting standard of studies included in their review published in the International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance, “A Systematic Review of the External and Internal Workloads Experienced During Games-Based Drills in Basketball Players” (2020), which highlighted this issue. Of the 17 studies included in their review, only 38% (±18%) of applicable checklist items were addressed across included studies, which is problematic as checklist items are essential for study replication. Conclusions: The current standard of methodological reporting in basketball games-based drill research is insufficient to allow for replication of examined drills in future research or the application of research outcomes to practice. The authors implore researchers to adopt the BGBDMRC to improve the quality and reproducibility of games-based drill research and increase the translation of research findings to practice.

Open access

Jos J de Koning, Teun van Erp, Rob Lamberts, Stephen Cheung, and Dionne Noordhof

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Fabio R. Serpiello and Will G. Hopkins

Purpose: To assess the convergent validity of internal load measured with the CR100 scale in youth football players of 3 age groups. Methods: A total of 59 players, age 12–17 years, from the youth academy of a professional football club were involved in this study. Convergent validity was examined by calculating the correlation between session ratings of perceived exertion (sRPE) and Edwards load, a commonly used load index derived from the heart rate, with the data originating from 1 competitive season. The magnitude of the relationship between sRPE and Edwards load was obtained with weighted mean correlations and by assessing the effect of the change of the Edwards load on sRPE. Differences between the individuals’ intercepts and slopes were assessed by interpreting the SD representing the random effects (player identity and the interaction of player identity and scaled Edwards load). Probabilistic decisions about true (infinite sample) magnitudes accounting for sampling uncertainty were based on 1-sided hypothesis tests of substantial magnitudes, followed by reference Bayesian analysis. Results: Very high relationships exist between the sRPE and Edwards load across all age groups, with no meaningful differences in the magnitudes of the relationships between groups. Moderate to large differences between training sessions and games were found in the slopes of the relationships between the sRPE and Edwards load in all age groups. Finally, mostly small to moderate differences were observed between individuals for the intercepts and slopes of the relationships between the sRPE and Edwards load. Conclusion: Practitioners working in youth team sports can safely use the CR100 scale to track internal load.

Open access

Daniel Boullosa, Marco Beato, Antonio Dello Iacono, Francisco Cuenca-Fernández, Kenji Doma, Moritz Schumann, Alessandro Moura Zagatto, Irineu Loturco, and David G. Behm

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Aaron T. Scanlan, Emilija Stojanović, Zoran Milanović, Masaru Teramoto, Mario Jeličić, and Vincent J. Dalbo

Purpose: To compare the aerobic capacity of elite female basketball players between playing roles and positions determined using maximal laboratory and field tests. Methods: Elite female basketball players from the National Croatian League were grouped according to playing role (starter: n = 8; bench: n = 12) and position (backcourt: n = 11; frontcourt: n = 9). All 20 players completed 2 maximal exercise tests in a crossover fashion 7 days apart. First, the players underwent a laboratory-based continuous running treadmill test with metabolic measurement to determine their peak oxygen uptake (VO2peak). The players then completed a maximal field-based 30-15 Intermittent Fitness Test (30-15 IFT) to estimate VO2peak. The VO2peak was compared using multiple linear regression analysis with bootstrap standard errors and playing role and position as predictors. Results: During both tests, starters attained a significantly higher VO2peak than bench players (continuous running treadmill: 47.4 [5.2] vs 44.7 [3.5] mL·kg−1·min−1, P = .05, moderate; 30-15 IFT: 44.9 [2.1] vs 41.9 [1.7] mL·kg−1·min−1, P < .001, large), and backcourt players attained a significantly higher VO2peak than frontcourt players (continuous running treadmill: 48.1 [3.8] vs 43.0 [3.3] mL·kg−1·min−1, P < .001, large; 30-15 IFT: 44.2 [2.2] vs 41.8 [2.0] mL·kg−1·min−1, P < .001, moderate). Conclusions: Starters (vs bench players) and guards (vs forwards and centers) possess a higher VO2peak irrespective of using laboratory or field tests. These data highlight the role- and position-specific importance of aerobic fitness to inform testing, training, and recovery practices in elite female basketball.