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Susan J. Leach, Joyce R. Maring and Ellen Costello

The aim of this study was to investigate whether a 6-week Divided-Attention Stepping Accuracy Task (DATSAT) intervention improved the primary outcome measure, maximal step length; other balance measures (Berg Balance scale and Timed Up and Go test); leg strength; endurance (6-min walk test); and functional tasks in 15 community-dwelling healthy older adults (x¯ age: 71.5 years, female: 46.7%) compared with 15 community-dwelling healthy older adults in a Bike and Strength (B&S) program (x¯ age: 73.8 years, female: 33.3%). Participants trained 3× per week, 30–60 min per session. Stepping-group differences were significant for all measures. B&S group improved in maximal step length (anterior and lateral), strength, and one functional task. Stepping group outperformed B&S group in Timed Up and Go and maximal step length posterior. B&S group outperformed stepping group in two strength measures. Exertion scores were lower for the stepping group. Overall, Divided-Attention Timed Stepping Accuracy Task training resulted in more within-group improvements and two between-group measures with less perceived effort and shorter intervention times.

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Linda Paschen, Tim Lehmann, Miriam Kehne and Jochen Baumeister

Purpose: Whereas many studies addressed the relation between acute physical exercise and executive functions (EF) in children, the effects of various modalities of acute exercise on EF still remain unclear. This systematic review investigated the effects of exercise with low and high cognitive demands on speed of processing and accuracy of performance in tasks examining inhibition, working memory, and cognitive flexibility in children. Method: A systematic literature research in electronic databases was performed. Controlled trials assessing the effects of acute exercise on EF in a pre–post design were included. Results: Ten studies involving a total of 890 participants revealed positive effects in working memory performance in speed of processing after acute exercises with low cognitive demands compared with seated rest, mixed results for inhibition after exercises with low and high cognitive demands, and mixed results for cognitive flexibility with low cognitive demands. Concerning accuracy, only mixed results were found for inhibition after exercises with low and high cognitive demands. Conclusion: The differentiated effects of acute exercises with low and high cognitive demands led to more positive effects in speed of processing compared with accuracy of performance. Further investigations including assessment of neurophysiological parameters of EF are needed.

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Marcus Colon, Andrew Hodgson, Eimear Donlon and James E.J. Murphy

Telomeres act as a mitotic clock and telomere-related senescence has been linked to age-related physiological decline. There is increasing evidence lifestyle factors can influence telomere length (TL). The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of competitive triathlon training on TL. Seven competitive male triathletes and seven recreationally active males participated in the study. Relative TL was measured using quantitative polymerase chain reaction. Physiological parameters key to athletic performance such as maximal oxygen intake, lactate threshold, and running economy were also measured. Triathletes had longer telomeres than the recreationally active (1.257 ± 0.028 vs. 1.002 ± 0.014; p < .0001). Positive association was found between TL and maximal oxygen intake, lactate threshold, and running economy (R 2 = .677, .683, and .696, respectively). This study indicates that competitive triathlon training buffers against age-related telomere shortening, and there is a correlation between exercise behaviors, higher maximal oxygen intake, and TL.

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Patrick Ippersiel, Richard Preuss and Shawn M. Robbins

Continuous relative phase (CRP) analysis using the Hilbert transform is prone to end effects. The purpose was to investigate the impact of padding techniques (reflection, spline extrapolation, extraneous data, and unpadded) on end effects following Hilbert-transformed CRP calculations, using sinusoidal, nonsinusoidal, and kinematic data from a repeated sit-to-stand-to-sit task in adults with low back pain (n = 16, mean age = 30 y). CRP angles were determined using a Hilbert transform of sinusoidal and nonsinusoidal signals with set phase shifts, and for the left thigh/sacrum segments. Root mean square difference and true error compared test signals with a gold standard, for the start, end, and full periods, for all data. Mean difference and 95% bootstrapped confidence intervals were calculated to compare padding techniques using kinematic data. The unpadded approach showed near-negligible error using sinusoidal data across all periods. No approach was clearly superior for nonsinusoidal data. Spline extrapolation showed significantly less root mean square difference (all periods) when compared with double reflection (full period: mean difference = 2.11; 95% confidence interval, 1.41 to 2.79) and unpadded approaches (full period: mean difference = −15.8; 95% confidence interval, −18.9 to −12.8). Padding sinusoidal data when performing CRP analyses are unnecessary. When extraneous data have not been collected, our findings recommend padding using a spline to minimize data distortion following Hilbert-transformed CRP analyses.

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Judith Jiménez-Díaz, Karla Chaves-Castro and Walter Salazar

Background: To use the meta-analytic approach to assess the effectiveness of different types of movement programs on motor competence (MC) in participants of all ages. Methods: Studies were retrieved by searching 13 databases and included when criteria were met. Studies were selected, and data were extracted by 2 authors. Random effects models using the standardized mean difference effect size (ES) were used to pool results. Risk of bias, heterogeneity, and inconsistency were examined. Results: Thirty-six studies met the inclusion criteria. A total of 374 ESs were calculated and partitioned into 4 groups (motor intervention, free play, physical education classes, and control group). Statistically significant improvements in MC were observed for the motor intervention (ES = 1.50; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.18 to 1.82; n = 36), as well as for free play (ES = 0.33; 95% CI, 0.09 to 0.57; n = 5), physical education classes (ES = 0.52; 95% CI, 0.08 to 0.97; n = 15), and smaller statistically significant differences in MC were observed for the control groups (ES = 0.16; 95% CI, 0.01 to 0.31; n = 6). Conclusions: All 4 groups analyzed improved MC in children, adolescents, and young adults. However, motor interventions were superior to all other groups for improving MC.

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Rodrigo Ramirez-Campillo, Cristian Alvarez, Felipe García-Pinillos, Paulo Gentil, Jason Moran, Lucas A. Pereira and Irineu Loturco

Purpose: To compare the effects of plyometric drop jump (DJ) training against those induced by regular soccer training and assess the transference effect coefficient (TEC) of DJs (“trained exercises”) performed from 20- (DJ20) and 40-cm (DJ40) height boxes with respect to different physical qualities (jumping, linear and change of direction speed, kicking, endurance, and maximal strength) in youth male soccer players. Methods: Participants were randomly divided into a control group (n = 20; age: 13.5 [1.9] y) and a DJ training group (n = 19; age: 13.2 [1.8] y), and trained for 7 weeks. A 2-way analysis of variance for repeated measures with the within-subject factor time (preintervention and postintervention) and between-subject factor group (intervention vs control) was performed. To calculate the TECs between the trained exercises (DJ20 and DJ40) and the physical tests, the ratio between the “result gains” (effect size [ES]) in the analyzed physical qualities and the result gains in the trained exercises were calculated. The TECs were only calculated for variables presenting an ES ≥ 0.2. Results: Significant improvements (ES = 0.21–0.46; P < .05) were observed in the DJ training group, except in linear sprint performance. The control group improved only the maximal strength (ES = 0.28; P < .05). Significant differences were observed in all variables (ES = 0.20–0.55; P < .05) in favor of the DJ training group, except for maximal strength (group × time interaction). Conclusions: A plyometric training scheme based on DJs was able to significantly improve the physical performance of youth male soccer players. Overall, greater TECs were observed for DJ40 (0.58–1.28) than DJ20 (0.55–1.21).

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Gislaine S. Kogure, Cristiana L. Miranda-Furtado, Daiana C.C. Pedroso, Victor B. Ribeiro, Matheus C. Eiras, Rafael C. Silva, Lisandra C. Caetano, Rui A. Ferriani, Rodrigo T. Calado and Rosana M. dos Reis

Background: Physical activity is prescribed as a component of primary management for polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). This nonrandomized, therapeutic, open, single-arm study investigated the effects of progressive resistance training (PRT) on obesity indices in women with PCOS, and the relationship between obesity indices and telomere content. Methods: A total of 45 women with PCOS and 52 with non-PCOS (controls), aged 18 to 37 years, with body mass indexes of 18 to 39.9 kg/m2, performed three 1-hour sessions of PRT per week, for 16 weeks. Before and after PRT, measures included anthropometric indices and regions of interest of fat mass distribution, quantified by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry, metabolic and hormonal parameters, and telomere content. The general linear mixed models were used to determine the effects of PRT. Results: PRT did reduce the waist-to-height ratio, waist circumference, and the index of conicity among PCOS (P < .01). However, PRT did not influence regions of interest, body mass index, and WHR. After PRT, the telomere content was associated with regions of interest and anthropometric indices in whole group independent of PCOS (P < .05). Conclusion: Resistance exercise improves obesity indices in PCOS, independent of changes in body weight, and the relationship between telomeres and obesity parameters in PCOS remain to be fully clarified.

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Hellen C.G. Nabuco, Crisieli M. Tomeleri, Rodrigo R. Fernandes, Paulo Sugihara Junior, Edilaine F. Cavalcante, Danielle Venturini, Décio S. Barbosa, Analiza M. Silva, Luís B. Sardinha and Edilson S. Cyrino

The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of protein intake beyond habitual intakes associated with resistance training on metabolic syndrome (MetS)-related parameters, isokinetic strength, and body composition in health older women. A total of 30 older women (68.8 ± 4.3 years) participated in this investigation and were assigned to receive 35 g of whey protein or placebo combined with resistance training, over 12-weeks, three times per week. Blood samples, blood pressure, dietary intake, strength, and body composition were assessed before and after the intervention period. Two-way analysis of variance for repeated measures was applied for comparisons. Both groups improved the skeletal muscle mass, muscular strength, waist circumference, triglycerides, high-density lipoprotein, glucose, resistance, reactance, and MetS Z-score risk. However, the improvements in skeletal muscle mass, waist circumference, and MetS Z-score risk were significantly greater in protein group when compared with control group. Moreover, protein group significantly decreased %body fat when compared with control group. Higher protein intake combined with resistance training promoted greater improvements in skeletal muscle mass, %body fat, waist circumference, and MetS Z-score risk in older women.

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Martyn Rothwell, Joseph Stone and Keith Davids

Social, cultural, and historical constraints can influence attitudes towards learning, developing, and performing in sport. A recent conceptualization of these environmental constraints in athlete development pathways is a form of life, which describes the values, beliefs, traditions, customs, and behaviors that contribute to an athlete’s development. Although a form of life can have a powerful influence on athlete development, research exploring this relationship is limited. In this article we explore the form of life in British rugby league football player development contexts to clarify how social, cultural, and historical constraints influence the development of rugby league players in the United Kingdom. Twenty-four coaches were interviewed through individual semi-structured interviews to collect the data. Findings show how forms of life in rugby league player development pathways are established and maintained by the complex interactions between the microsystem, mesosystem, exosystem, and macrosystem that shape and guide the development of players. We recommend that player development pathways in sport underpin practice with a theoretical framework of the learning process to protect athletes from social, cultural, and historical constraints that are not conducive to their development.

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Nick Dobbin, Jamie Highton, Samantha Louise Moss and Craig Twist

Purpose: To investigate the factors affecting the anthropometric and physical characteristics of elite academy rugby league players. Methods: One hundred ninety-seven elite academy rugby league players (age = 17.3 [1.0] y) from 5 Super League clubs completed measures of anthropometric and physical characteristics during a competitive season. The interaction between and influence of contextual factors on characteristics was assessed using linear mixed modeling. Results: All physical characteristics improved during preseason and continued to improve until midseason, whereafter 10-m sprint (η 2 = .20 cf .25), countermovement jump (CMJ) (η 2 = .28 cf .30), and prone Yo-Yo Intermittent Recovery (Yo-Yo IR) test (η 2 = .22 cf .54) performance declined. Second (η 2 = .17) and third (η 2 = .16) -year players were heavier than first-years, whereas third-years had slower 10-m sprint times (η 2 = .22). Large positional variability was observed for body mass, 20-m sprint time, medicine-ball throw, CMJ, and prone Yo-Yo IR1. Compared with bottom-ranked teams, top-ranked teams demonstrated superior 20-m (η 2 = −.22) and prone Yo-Yo IR1 (η 2 = .26) performance, whereas middle-ranked teams reported higher CMJ height (η 2 = .26) and prone Yo-Yo IR1 distance (η 2 = .20) but slower 20-m sprint times (η 2 = .20). Conclusion: These findings offer practitioners who design training programs for academy rugby league players insight into the relationships between anthropometric and physical characteristics and how they are influenced by playing year, league ranking, position, and season phase.