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Omid Kazemi, Amir Letafatkar and Paulo H. Marchetti

Context: Several studies report static-stretch-induced deficits and dynamic-stretch performance improvement after intervention. Purpose: To investigate the muscle activation of the forehand and backhand in table tennis players after experiencing static- and dynamic-stretching protocols. Methods: A total of 24 elite male table tennis players (age 22.7 [3.46] y, height 1.78 [0.03] m) were tested before and 0, 10, 20, and 30 min after the 3 conditions (dynamic stretch, static stretch, and no stretch). The MEGA ME6000 (Mega Electronics, Kuopio, Finland) was used to capture the surface EMG data of the anterior deltoid, middle deltoid, posterior deltoid, biceps, and triceps muscles. Muscle activation data of the pretest were compared with posttest 0, 10, 20, and 30 min. These data were also compared between 3 different conditions (dynamic stretch, static stretch, and no stretch). Results: A 2-way repeated-measures analysis of variance indicated significant differences in the forehand and backhand, and Bonferroni test as a post hoc comparison revealed significant differences between the pretest and posttests in several muscles (P < .05). Furthermore, there were significant differences in the posttest between the 3 conditions (P < .05). Conclusions: In general, there was a short-term effect of static- and dynamic-stretching protocols on glenohumeral-joint muscle activation in elite table tennis players. The static and dynamic stretching presented a decrease and increase, respectively, in muscle activation up to 30 min after stretching. In conclusion, the additive and subtractive effects of dynamic- and static-stretching protocols on muscle activation seem to persist after 30 min.

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Justin J. Merrigan, James J. Tufano, Michael Falzone and Margaret T. Jones

Purpose: To identify acute effects of a single accentuated eccentric loading (AEL) repetition on subsequent back-squat kinetics and kinematics with different concentric loads. Methods: Resistance-trained men (N = 21) participated in a counterbalanced crossover design and completed 4 protocols (sets × repetitions at eccentric/concentric) as follows: AEL65, 3 × 5 at 120%/65% 1-repetition maximum (1-RM); AEL80, 3 × 3 at 120%/80% 1-RM; TRA65, 3 × 5 at 65%/65% 1-RM; and TRA80, 3 × 3 at 80%/80% 1-RM. During AEL, weight releasers disengaged from the barbell after the eccentric phase of the first repetition and remained off for the remaining repetitions. All repetitions were performed on a force plate with linear position transducers attached to the barbell, from which eccentric and concentric peak and mean velocity, force, and power were derived. Results: Eccentric peak velocity (−0.076 [0.124] m·s−1; P = .01), concentric peak force (187.8 [284.4] N; P = .01), eccentric mean power (−145.2 [62.0] W; P = .03), and eccentric peak power (−328.6 [93.7] W; P < .01) during AEL65 were significantly greater than TRA65. When collapsed across repetitions, AEL65 resulted in slower eccentric velocity and power during repetition 1 but faster eccentric and concentric velocity and power in subsequent repetitions (P ≤ .04). When comparing AEL80 with TRA80, concentric peak force (133.8 [56.9] N; P = .03), eccentric mean power (−83.57 [38.0] W; P = .04), and eccentric peak power (−242.84 [67.3] W; P < .01) were enhanced. Conclusions: Including a single supramaximal eccentric phase of 120% 1-RM increased subsequent velocity and power with concentric loads of 65% 1-RM, but not 80% 1-RM. Therefore, AEL is sensitive to the magnitude of concentric loads, which requires a large relative difference to the eccentric load, and weight releasers may not need to be reloaded to induce performance enhancement.

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Joel L. Prowting, Debra Bemben, Christopher D. Black, Eric A. Day and Jason A. Campbell

The authors sought to determine whether consuming collagen peptides (CP) enhances musculoskeletal recovery of connective tissues following a damaging exercise bout. Resistance-trained males consumed 15 g/day of CP (n = 7) or placebo (n = 8), and after 7 days, maximal voluntary isometric contraction (MVIC), countermovement jump height, soreness, and collagen turnover were examined. Five sets of 20 drop jumps were performed and outcome measures were collected 24, 48, and 120 hr postexercise. Countermovement jump height was maintained in the CP group at 24 hr (PRE = 39.9 ± 8.8 cm vs. 24 hr = 37.9 ± 8.9 cm, p = .102), whereas the CP group experienced a significant decline at 24 hr (PRE = 40.4 ± 7.9 cm vs. 24 hr = 35.5 ± 6.4 cm, p = .001; d = 0.32). In both groups, muscle soreness was significantly higher than PRE at 24 hr (p = .001) and 48 hr (p = .018) but not at 120 hr (p > .05). MVIC in both legs showed a significant time effect (left: p = .007; right: p = .010) over the 5-day postexercise period. Neither collagen biomarker changed significantly at any time point. CP supplementation attenuated performance decline 24 hr following muscle damage. Acute consumption of CP may provide a performance benefit the day following a bout of damaging exercise in resistance-trained males.

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Stefano Montanari, Mehmet A. S¸ahin, Ben J. Lee, Sam D. Blacker and Mark E.T. Willems

Supplementation with anthocyanin-rich blackcurrant increases blood flow, cardiac output, and stroke volume at rest. It is not known whether cardiovascular responses can be replicated over longer timeframes in fed trained cyclists. In a randomized, double-blind, crossover design, 13 male trained cyclists (age 39 ± 10 years, V˙O2max 55.3 ± 6.7 ml·kg−1·min−1) consumed two doses of New Zealand blackcurrant (NZBC) extract (300 and 600 mg/day for 1 week). Cardiovascular parameters were measured during rest and submaximal cycling (65% V˙O2max) on day 1 (D1), D4, and D7. Data were analyzed with an RM ANOVA using dose (placebo vs. 300 vs. 600 mg/day) by time point (D1, D4, and D7). Outcomes from placebo were averaged to determine the coefficient of variation within our experimental model, and 95% confidence interval (CI) was examined for differences between placebo and NZBC. There were no differences in cardiovascular responses at rest between conditions and between days. During submaximal exercise, no positive changes were observed on D1 and D4 after consuming NZBC extract. On D7, intake of 600 mg increased stroke volume (3.08 ml, 95% CI [−2.08, 8.26]; d = 0.16, p = .21), cardiac output (0.39 L/min, 95% CI [−1.39, .60]; d = 0.14, p = .40) (both +2.5%), and lowered total peripheral resistance by 6.5% (−0.46 mmHg·min/ml, 95% CI [−1.80, .89]; d = 0.18, p = .46). However, these changes were trivial and fell within the coefficient of variation of our study design. Therefore, we can conclude that NZBC extract was not effective in enhancing cardiovascular function during rest and submaximal exercise in endurance-trained fed cyclists.

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Ava Farley, Gary J. Slater and Karen Hind

Athletic populations require high-precision body composition assessments to identify true change. Least significant change determines technical error via same-day consecutive tests but does not integrate biological variation, which is more relevant for longitudinal monitoring. The aim of this study was to assess biological variation using least significant change measures from body composition methods used on athletes, including surface anthropometry (SA), air displacement plethysmography (BOD POD), dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA), and bioelectrical impedance spectroscopy (BIS). Thirty-two athletic males (age = 31 ± 7 years; stature = 183 ± 7 cm; mass = 92 ± 10 kg) underwent three testing sessions over 2 days using four methods. Least significant change values were calculated from differences in Day 1 Test 1 versus Day 1 Test 2 (same-day precision), as well as Day 1 Test 1 versus Day 2 (consecutive-day precision). There was high agreement between same-day and consecutive-day fat mass and fat-free mass measurements for all methods. Consecutive-day precision error in comparison with the same-day precision error was 50% higher for fat mass estimates from BIS (3,607 vs. 2,331 g), 25% higher from BOD POD (1,943 vs. 1,448 g) and DXA (1,615 vs. 1,204 g), but negligible from SA (442 vs. 586 g). Consecutive-day precision error for fat-free mass was 50% higher from BIS (3,966 vs. 2,276 g) and SA (1,159 vs. 568 g) and 25% higher from BOD POD (1,894 vs. 1,450 g) and DXA (1,967 vs. 1,461 g) than the same-day precision error. Precision error in consecutive-day analysis considers both technical error and biological variation, enhancing the identification of small, yet significant changes in body composition of resistance-trained male athletes. Given that change in physique is likely to be small in this population, the use of DXA, BOD POD, or SA is recommended.

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Samuel Ryan, Thomas Kempton and Aaron J. Coutts

Purpose: To apply data reduction methods to athlete-monitoring measures to address the issue of data overload for practitioners of professional Australian football teams. Methods: Data were collected from 45 professional Australian footballers from 1 club during the 2018 Australian Football League season. External load was measured in training and matches by 10-Hz OptimEye S5 and ClearSky T6 GPS units. Internal load was measured via the session rate of perceived exertion method. Perceptual wellness was measured via questionnaires completed before training sessions with players providing a rating (1–5 Likert scale) of muscle soreness, sleep quality, fatigue, stress, and motivation. Percentage of maximum speed was calculated relative to individual maximum velocity recorded during preseason testing. Derivative external training load measures (total daily, weekly, and monthly) were calculated. Principal-component analyses (PCAs) were conducted for Daily and Chronic measures, and components were identified via scree plot inspection (eigenvalue > 1). Components underwent orthogonal rotation with a factor loading redundancy threshold of 0.70. Results: The Daily PCA identified components representing external load, perceived wellness, and internal load. The Chronic PCA identified components representing 28-d speed exposure, 28-d external load, 7-d external load, and 28-d internal load. Perceived soreness did not meet the redundancy threshold. Conclusions: Monitoring player exposure to maximum speed is more appropriate over chronic than short time frames to capture variations in between-matches training-cycle duration. Perceived soreness represents a distinct element of a player’s perception of wellness. Summed-variable and single-variable approaches are novel methods of data reduction following PCA of athlete monitoring data.

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Peter M. Fowler, Wade Knez, Heidi R. Thornton, Charli Sargent, Amy E. Mendham, Stephen Crowcroft, Joanna Miller, Shona Halson and Rob Duffield

Purpose: To assess the efficacy of a combined light exposure and sleep hygiene intervention to improve team-sport performance following eastward long-haul transmeridian travel. Methods: Twenty physically trained males underwent testing at 09:00 and 17:00 hours local time on 4 consecutive days at home (baseline) and the first 4 days following 21 hours of air travel east across 8 time zones. In a randomized, matched-pairs design, participants traveled with (INT; n = 10) or without (CON; n = 10) a light exposure and sleep hygiene intervention. Performance was assessed via countermovement jump, 20-m sprint, T test, and Yo-Yo Intermittent Recovery Level 1 tests, together with perceptual measures of jet lag, fatigue, mood, and motivation. Sleep was measured using wrist activity monitors in conjunction with self-report diaries. Results: Magnitude-based inference and standardized effect-size analysis indicated there was a very likely improvement in the mean change in countermovement jump peak power (effect size 1.10, ±0.55), and likely improvement in 5-m (0.54, ±0.67) and 20-m (0.74, ±0.71) sprint time in INT compared with CON across the 4 days posttravel. Sleep duration was most likely greater in INT both during travel (1.61, ±0.82) and across the 4 nights following travel (1.28, ±0.58) compared with CON. Finally, perceived mood and motivation were likely worse (0.73, ±0.88 and 0.63, ±0.87) across the 4 days posttravel in CON compared with INT. Conclusions: Combined light exposure and sleep hygiene improved speed and power but not intermittent-sprint performance up to 96 hours following long-haul transmeridian travel. The reduction of sleep disruption during and following travel is a likely contributor to improved performance.

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Sophia Nimphius and Matthew J. Jordan