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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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Cagla Ozkul, Arzu Guclu-Gunduz, Kader Eldemir, Yasemin Apaydin, Cagri Gulsen, Gokhan Yazici, Fatih Soke and Ceyla Irkec

This study aimed to investigate the dual-task cost of both motor and cognitive performances in patients with multiple sclerosis (PwMS) and in healthy controls and to determine their relationships with clinical features in PwMS. The participants performed motor tasks (postural stability, walking, and manual dexterity) and cognitive tasks (mental tracking and verbal fluency) under single- and dual-task conditions. The results showed that postural stability under dual-task conditions did not change, whereas walking and manual dexterity deteriorated, regardless of the concurrent cognitive task, in PwMS (median Expanded Disability Status Scale score: 1) and the healthy controls. Verbal fluency decreased during postural stability, whereas it increased during walking, and it was maintained during manual dexterity in both groups. Mental tracking did not change during walking; it declined during manual dexterity in both groups. Mental tracking during postural stability deteriorated in PwMS, while it did not change in the healthy controls. In general, dual-task costs were associated with baseline performances of tasks rather than clinical features. Therefore, baseline performances of both tasks should be increased for improving dual-task performance in PwMS.

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Julie Freedman, Sally Hage and Paula A. Quatromoni

Male athletes are underrepresented in eating disorders research. This phenomenological study investigated the experiences of male athletes who self-identified as having an eating disorder, disordered eating, or compulsive exercise behaviors. Eight male collegiate athletes were interviewed, and qualitative analysis identified factors associated with the onset and maintenance of disordered behaviors. Among the novel findings was the salient influence of social media as a driver of body dissatisfaction and disordered behaviors. The participants described a perceived sense of control and feeling of pride associated with the use of behaviors, cultural norms in a male sport environment that sustained these behaviors, and a shared belief that, until they experienced a loss of control over their use of behaviors, they would not likely ask for help or seek treatment. These findings have implications for additional research, as well as individual and systems-level strategies for the prevention, screening, and treatment of eating and exercise disorders in male sport.

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Caroline Pereira Santos, Mahara Proença, Tamara dos Santos Gouveia, Crystian Bitencourt Soares de Oliveira, Guilherme Yassuki Tacao, Iara Buriola Trevisan, Ercy Mara Cipulo Ramos and Dionei Ramos

Background: The specific benefits of aerobic exercises in smoking cessation are unclear, as they have different characteristics, intensities, and durations. The purpose of this systematic review with meta-analysis was to evaluate the effects of aerobic exercise, with or without co-interventions, compared with a control group of cognitive behavior treatment on smoking cessation. Methods: This review was prospectively registered on PROSPERO, and the searches were performed from 2016 to 2018. Randomized controlled trials evaluating the effects of aerobic exercise, with or without nicotine therapy replacement, compared with usual care were included. The primary outcome was smoking cessation defined as the prevalence of those who quit or continuous abstinence. Meta-analysis was calculated using random effects model in the comprehensive meta-analysis software. Results: The authors identified 18 trials reporting data for a total of 2815 participants. There was moderate-quality evidence that aerobic exercise was better than usual care in promoting smoking cessation at short term (11 trials, risk ratio 0.79; 95% confidence interval, 0.66–0.94). However, there were no differences between aerobic exercises and usual care at medium- or long-term follow-ups. Conclusions: According to review, aerobic exercise may be effective in promoting smoking cessation at short-term, but not at medium- and long-term follow-ups.

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Wendy O’Brien, Caroline Riot and Clare Minahan

In this paper, the authors explore how athletes from the Global South interact with the material environment of an international training camp program in the lead up to a major event. Set within the context of Pasifika nations with colonial and missionary legacies, they examine the material, affective, sensory, and rhythmic forces at work to produce enabling or constraining capacities for emplaced physical capital in athletes. Driven by a desire to improve their performance, athletes resisted, appropriated, and adopted various high-performance practices to develop their emplaced physical capital capacities.

Open access

Antje Ullrich, Sophie Baumann, Lisa Voigt, Ulrich John and Sabina Ulbricht

Background: The purposes of this study were to examine accelerometer measurement reactivity (AMR) in sedentary behavior (SB), physical activity (PA), and accelerometer wear time in 2 measurement periods and to quantify AMR as a human-related source of bias for the reproducibility of SB and PA estimates. Methods: In total, 136 participants (65% women, mean age = 54.6 y) received 7-day accelerometry at the baseline and after 12 months. Latent growth models were used to identify AMR. Intraclass correlations were calculated to examine the reproducibility using 2-level mixed-effects linear regression analyses. Results: Within each 7-day accelerometry assessment, the participants increased their time spent in SB (b = 2.4 min/d; b = 3.8 min/d) and reduced their time spent in light PA (b = −2.0 min/d; b = −3.2 min/d), but did not change moderate to vigorous PA. The participants reduced their wear time (b = −5.2 min/d) only at the baseline. The intraclass correlations ranged from .42 for accelerometer wear time to .74 for SB. The AMR was not identified as a source of bias in any regression model. Conclusions: AMR may influence SB and PA estimates differentially. Although 7-day accelerometry seems to be a reproducible measure, our findings highlight accelerometer wear time as a crucial confounder in analyzing SB and PA data.

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Matthew D. Bird, Eadie E. Simons and Patricia C. Jackman

Mental toughness has been associated with factors related to psychological well-being, but little is known about its relationship with stigma toward mental health and mental health help-seeking. This study investigated the relationship between mental toughness, sport-related well-being, and personal stigma toward mental health in a sample of 154 National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I student-athletes. The moderating effect of mental toughness on the relationship between public stigma and self-stigma toward mental health help-seeking was also explored. Mental toughness was significantly and positively associated with sport-related well-being, but not significantly related to personal stigma toward mental health. Moderation analysis indicated that mental toughness was not a significant moderator of the relationship between public stigma and self-stigma, but higher levels of mental toughness were significantly associated with lower levels of stigma toward mental health help-seeking. Building mental toughness may be a way to increase well-being and to reduce stigma toward help-seeking in student-athletes.