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Chris Knoester and B. David Ridpath

Traditionally, public opinions have largely opposed further compensation for U.S. college athletes, beyond the costs of going to school. This study uses new data from the National Sports and Society Survey (N = 3,993) to assess recent public opinions about allowing college athletes to be paid more than it costs them to go to school. The authors found that a majority of U.S. adults now support, rather than oppose, allowing college athletes to be paid. Also, the authors found that White adults are especially unlikely, and Black adults are especially likely, to support allowing payment. Furthermore, recognition of racial/ethnic discrimination is positively, and indicators of traditionalism are negatively, associated with support for allowing college athletes to be paid.

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Iván Peña-González, Alba Roldan, Carlos Toledo, Tomás Urbán and Raúl Reina

Purpose: This study aimed (1) to explore the validity and reliability of a new and specific change-of-direction (COD) test that requires dribbling skills to classify international footballers with cerebral palsy (CP) and compare it with another valid and reliable COD test without ball dribbling and (2) to probe whether both tests can discriminate between the new CP football classes (ie, FT1, FT2, and FT3) established worldwide in 2018. Methods: This study involved 180 international para-footballers with CP from 23 national teams at the 3 regional competitions held in 2018. They performed 2 COD tests, the modified agility test (no dribbling skills) and the dribbling speed test (DST). Results: Reliability was excellent for both the modified agility test (intraclass correlation coefficient [ICC]2,1 = .91, SEM = 5.75%) and the DST (ICC2,1 = .92, SEM = 4.66%). The modified agility test and DST results were highly to very highly correlated to one another for the whole group and considering the sport classes (r = .60–.80; P < .001). A 1-way analysis of variance showed significant differences between sport classes in both tests (P < .001). However, among classes, there were significant differences between FT1 and FT2 and FT3 (P < .01, effect size = large) and low to moderate effect sizes between FT2 and FT3 for either test. Conclusion: The DST appears to be valid and reliable to classify CP football players within the new classification system. Regression analysis revealed that 18.2% of the variance in the new sport classes could be explained by the 2 examined tests.

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Itsuroh Shimizu, Hiroichi Miaki, Katsunori Mizuno, Nobuhide Azuma, Takao Nakagawa and Toshiaki Yamazaki

Context: Lumbar instability can cause lumbar spondylolisthesis and chronic low-back pain in sports situation. Abdominal hollowing is commonly used in clinical practice to preferentially target the transversus abdominis (TrA) to stabilize the lumbar vertebrae; however, the contribution of muscle elasticity and lateral slide of the TrA to lumbar stability has not yet been clarified. Objective: To clarify the contribution of elasticity and lateral slide of the TrA to lumbar stability and to identify an effective exercise to stabilize the lumbar vertebrae. Design: Experimental study. Setting: Laboratory. Patients: A total of 29 healthy males participated in this study. Interventions: The participants performed hollowing during measurement of muscle elasticity of TrA and both knees extension from crook lying position for pelvic stability measurement. Main Outcome Measures: Lumbar stability, muscle elasticity change ratio, and lateral slide amount of TrA. Results: There was a significant correlation between elasticity of the TrA and lumbar stability; however, no relationship was observed between lateral slide and lumbar stability or elasticity of the TrA. Conclusion: Elasticity of the TrA and lumbar stability was significantly correlated; therefore, improving the tonicity of the TrA may stabilize the lumbar vertebrae in healthy individuals. Moreover, hollowing with maximum effort may be effective as training aimed to stabilize the lumbar vertebrae for physical dysfunction due to lumbar instability.

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Thomas A. Haugen, Felix Breitschädel, Håvard Wiig and Stephen Seiler

Purpose: To quantify possible differences in countermovement jump height across sport disciplines and sex in national-team athletes. Methods: In this cross-sectional study, 588 women (23 [5] y, 66 [8] kg) and 989 men (23 [5] y, 82 [12] kg) from 44 different sport disciplines (including 299 medalists from European Championships, World Championships, and/or Olympic Games) tested a countermovement jump on a force platform at the Norwegian Olympic Training Center between 1995 and 2018. Results: Athletic sprinting showed the highest values among the men (62.7 [4.8] cm) and women (48.4 [6.0] cm), clearly ahead of the long jump/triple jump (mean difference ± 90% CL: 6.5 ± 5.0 and 4.3  ± 4.1; very likely and likely; moderate) and speed skating sprint (11.4 ± 3.1 and 7.5 ± 5.5 cm; most likely and very likely; very large and moderate). These horizontally oriented sports displayed superior results compared with more vertically oriented and powerful sports such as beach volleyball, weightlifting, and ski jumping, both in men (from 2.9 ± 4.7 to 15.6 ± 2.9 cm; small to very large; possibly to most likely) and women (5.9 ± 4.8 to 13.4 ± 3.4 cm; large to very large; very likely to most likely), while endurance sports and precision sports were at the other end of the scale. Overall, the men jumped 33% higher than the women (10.3, ±0.6 cm; most likely; large). Conclusions: This study provides practitioners and scientists with useful information regarding the variation in countermovement jump height among national-team athletes within and across sport disciplines.

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John H. Hollman, Nicholas J. Beise, Michelle L. Fischer and Taylor L. Stecklein

Context: Examining the coordinated coupling of muscle recruitment patterns may provide insight into movement variability in sport-related tasks. Objective: The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between coupled gluteus maximus and medius recruitment patterns and hip-adduction variability during single-limb step-downs. Design: Cross-sectional. Setting: Biomechanics laboratory. Participants: Forty healthy adults, including 26 women and 14 men, mean age 23.8 (1.6) years, mean body mass index 24.2 (3.1) kg/m2, participated. Interventions: Lower-extremity kinematics were acquired during 20 single-limb step-downs from a 19-cm step height. Electromyography (EMG) signals were captured with surface electrodes. Isometric hip-extension strength was obtained. Main Outcome Measures: Hip-adduction variability, measured as the SD of peak hip adduction across 20 repetitions of the step-down task, was measured. The mean amplitudes of gluteus maximus and gluteus medius EMG recruitment were examined. Determinism and entropy of the coupled EMG signals were computed with cross-recurrence quantification analyses. Results: Hip-adduction variability correlated inversely with determinism (r = −.453, P = .018) and positively with entropy (r = .409, P = .034) in coupled gluteus maximus/medius recruitment patterns but not with hip-extensor strength nor with magnitudes of mean gluteus maximus or medius recruitment (r = −.003, .081, and .035; P = .990, .688, and .864, respectively). Conclusion: Hip-adduction variability during single-limb step-downs correlated more strongly with measures of coupled gluteus maximus and medius recruitment patterns than with hip-extensor strength or magnitudes of muscle recruitment. Examining coupled recruitment patterns may provide an alternative understanding of the extent to which hip neuromuscular control modulates lower-extremity kinematics beyond examining muscle strength or EMG recruitment magnitudes.

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Wigand Poppendieck, Melissa Wegmann, Anne Hecksteden, Alexander Darup, Jan Schimpchen, Sabrina Skorski, Alexander Ferrauti, Michael Kellmann, Mark Pfeiffer and Tim Meyer

Purpose: Cold-water immersion is increasingly used by athletes to support performance recovery. Recently, however, indications have emerged suggesting that the regular use of cold-water immersion might be detrimental to strength training adaptation. Methods: In a randomized crossover design, 11 participants performed two 8-week training periods including 3 leg training sessions per week, separated by an 8-week “wash out” period. After each session, participants performed 10 minutes of either whole-body cold-water immersion (cooling) or passive sitting (control). Leg press 1-repetition maximum and countermovement jump performance were determined before (pre), after (post) and 3 weeks after (follow-up) both training periods. Before and after training periods, leg circumference and muscle thickness (vastus medialis) were measured. Results: No significant effects were found for strength or jump performance. Comparing training adaptations (pre vs post), small and negligible negative effects of cooling were found for 1-repetition maximum (g = 0.42; 95% confidence interval [CI], −0.42 to 1.26) and countermovement jump (g = 0.02; 95% CI, −0.82 to 0.86). Comparing pre versus follow-up, moderate negative effects of cooling were found for 1-repetition maximum (g = 0.71; 95% CI, −0.30 to 1.72) and countermovement jump (g = 0.64; 95% CI, −0.36 to 1.64). A significant condition × time effect (P = .01, F = 10.00) and a large negative effect of cooling (g = 1.20; 95% CI, −0.65 to 1.20) were observed for muscle thickness. Conclusions: The present investigation suggests small negative effects of regular cooling on strength training adaptations.

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Christopher Michael Brogden, Lewis Gough and Adam Kelly

Context: Physiological fitness testing, such as the Yo-Yo Intermittent Recovery Test (YYIR) is a key requirement of the Elite Player Performance Plan, introduced by the English Premier League. Eccentric hamstring strength has been identified as a risk factor for hamstring injuries in soccer players, with fatigue highlighted to further exasperate this issue. Objective: The aim of the current study was to examine the effect of the YYIR level 1 (YYIR1) on eccentric knee flexor strength assessed using the NordBord in youth soccer players. Design: Experimental design. Setting: Soccer club academy. Participants: A total of 67 male academy soccer players (age = 16.58 [0.57] y; height = 175.45 [5.85] cm; mass = 66.30 [8.21] kg) volunteered to participate in the current study during the English competitive soccer season. Main Outcome Measures: Participants conducted eccentric hamstring strength assessments using the NordBord prior to and immediately postcompletion of the YYIR1, with outcome measures of peak force and peak force relative to body mass recorded. Results: Paired t tests highlighted increased absolute eccentric knee flexor strength values (P < .001) immediately post-YYIR1 for both the dominant and nondominant limbs, with the same trend (P < .001) observed for eccentric strength relative to body mass. Conclusions: The results of this study indicate that the YYIR1 does not induce eccentric knee flexor fatigue and as such is not a valid assessment method to assess the effects of fatigue on hamstring function. However, results do suggest that the NordBord may be considered a viable and more accessible alternative to detect pre–post fitness test/fatigue protocol differences in eccentric knee flexor peak strength while working in the field.

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Michelle Ogrodnik, Jillian Halladay, Barbara Fenesi, Jennifer Heisz and Katholiki Georgiades

Background: Participation in physical activity (PA) is a modifiable factor that contributes to academic success, yet the optimal dose (ie, frequency) and mechanisms underlying the effect require further exploration. Methods: Using data from 19,886 elementary and 11,238 secondary school students across Ontario, Canada, this study examined associations between PA participation frequency, academic achievement, and inattention and hyperactivity. Results: Among elementary students, there was a positive association between PA frequency and academic achievement. Participating in 1 to 2 days per week of PA related to higher academic achievement compared with no days, whereas 7 days per week had the largest associations. For secondary students, a minimum of 3 to 4 days per week was associated with higher academic achievement with no significant benefit of additional days. Indirect effects of inattention and hyperactivity were found for both groups, suggesting that the benefits of PA on academic achievement may be partly explained by reductions in inattention and hyperactivity, especially for secondary school students. Conclusion: Students may experience academic benefits from PA even if they are not meeting the guidelines of exercising daily. These benefits may occur, in part, through reductions in inattention and hyperactivity. Further work is needed to determine the temporality and mechanism of these associations.

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Nikolaos Zaras, Angeliki-Nikoletta Stasinaki, Polyxeni Spiliopoulou, Giannis Arnaoutis, Marios Hadjicharalambous and Gerasimos Terzis

Purpose: The purpose of the present study was to investigate the relationship between weightlifting performance and the rate of force development (RFD), muscle architecture, and body composition in elite Olympic weightlifters. Methods: Six male Olympic weightlifters (age 23.3 [3.4] y, body mass 88.7 [10.2] kg, body height 1.76 [0.07] m, snatch 146.7 [15.4] kg, clean and jerk 179.4 [22.1] kg), all members of the national team, participated in the study. Athletes completed a 16-week periodized training program aiming to maximize their performance at the national competition event. Measurements, including maximal strength (1-repetition maximum) in snatch, clean and jerk, back and front squat, isometric leg press RFD and peak force, countermovement jump, vastus lateralis muscle architecture, and body composition, were performed before and after the training period. Results: Weightlifting performance increased significantly after training (P < .05). Leg press RFD increased only in time windows of 0 to 200 and 0 to 250 milliseconds after training (8.9% [8.5%] and 9.4% [7.7%], respectively, P < .05) while peak force remained unaltered (P < .05). Front squat strength increased significantly (P < .05), while countermovement jump power increased 2.3% (2.1%) (P < .05). No changes were observed for muscle architecture and lean body mass (P > .05). Significant correlations were observed between performance in snatch and clean and jerk with isometric leg press RFD, at all time windows, as well as with lean body mass and squat 1-repetition maximum. Conclusions: These results suggest that regular examination of RFD, lean body mass, and lower extremities’ 1-repetition maximum may be useful performance predictors in elite Olympic weightlifters.