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Gavriil G. Arsoniadis, Gregory C. Bogdanis, Gerasimos Terzis and Argyris G. Toubekis

Purpose: To examine the acute effect of dry-land strength training on physiological and biomechanical parameters in a subsequent swim training session. Methods: Twelve male swimmers (age: 19.0 [2.2] y, peak oxygen uptake: 65.5 [11.4] mL·kg−1·min−1) performed a 5 × 200-m test with progressively increasing intensity. Blood lactate (BL) concentration was measured after each 200-m bout, and the speed corresponding to 4 mmol·L−1 (V4) was calculated. In the experimental (EXP) and control (CON) conditions, swimmers participated in a swim training session consisting of 1000-m warm-up, a bout of 10-second tethered swimming sprint, and 5 × 400 m at V4. In EXP condition, swimmers completed a dry-land strength training session (load: 85% of 1-repetition maximum) 15 minutes before the swimming session. In CON condition, swimmers performed the swimming session only. Oxygen uptake, BL concentration, arm-stroke rate, arm-stroke length, and arm-stroke efficiency were measured during the 5 × 400 m. Results: Force in the 10-second sprint was not different between conditions (P = .61), but fatigue index was higher in the EXP condition (P = .03). BL concentration was higher in EXP condition and showed large effect size at the fifth 400-m repetition compared with CON condition (6.4 [2.7] vs 4.6 [2.8] mmol·L−1, d = 0.63). During the 5 × 400 m, arm-stroke efficiency remained unchanged, arm-stroke length was decreased from the third repetition onward (P = .01), and arm-stroke rate showed a medium increment in EXP condition (d = 0.23). Conclusions: Strength training completed 15 minutes before a swim training session caused moderate changes in biomechanical parameters and increased BL concentration during swimming. Despite these changes, swimmers were able to maintain force and submaximal speed during the endurance training session.

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Joowon Lee, Baojiang Chen, Harold W. Kohl III, Carolyn E. Barlow, Chong do Lee, Nina B. Radford, Laura F. DeFina and Kelley P. Gabriel

The purpose of this study was to examine the association between self-reported physical activity (PA) and mean common carotid artery intima–media thickness (CCA IMT) among older adults. The data are from 1,811 Cooper Center Longitudinal Study participants, who were aged ≥60 years, with no history of cardiovascular disease. A medical history questionnaire was used to assess PA. Carotid ultrasound was performed to measure CCA IMT and the presence of plaque and stenosis. Logistic regression models were constructed to estimate the association between PA and CCA IMT after adjustment for covariates. The participants were aged 69.2 ± 5.9 years, and the majority were male (73.3%) and White (96.7%). The odds ratio of abnormal thickening of CCA IMT was 0.72 (95% confidence interval [0.54, 0.96]) in physically active participants (≥500 metabolic equivalent·min/week) after adjustment for covariates. In the current study, meeting PA guidelines in older adulthood was associated with lower odds of abnormal thickening of CCA IMT.

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Joel M. Garrett, Stuart R. Graham, Roger G. Eston, Darren J. Burgess, Lachlan J. Garrett, John Jakeman and Kevin Norton

Purpose: To determine the typical variation of variables from a countermovement jump (CMJ) test and a submaximal run test (SRT), along with comparing the sensitivity of each test for the detection of practically important changes within high-performance Australian rules football players. Methods: A total of 23 professional and semiprofessional Australian rules football players performed 6 CMJs and three 8-second 50-m runs every 30 seconds (SRT), 7 days apart. Absolute and trial-to-trial reliability was represented as a coefficient of variation, CV (±90% confidence intervals). Test–retest reliability was examined using the magnitude of the difference (effect size [±90% confidence interval]) from week 1 to week 2. The smallest worthwhile change was calculated as 0.25 × SD. Results: Good reliability (CVs = 6.6%–9.3%) was determined for all variables except eccentric displacement (CV = 12.8%), with no clear changes observed in any variables between week 1 and week 2. All variables from the SRT possessed a CV less than smallest worthwhile change, indicating an ability to detect practically important changes in performance. Only peak velocity from the CMJ test possessed a CV less than smallest worthwhile change, exhibiting a limitation of this test in detecting practically meaningful changes within this environment. Conclusions: The results suggest that while all variables possess acceptable reliability, a SRT might offer to be a more sensitive monitoring tool than a CMJ test within high-performance Australian rules football, due to its greater ability for detecting practically important changes in performance.

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Helmi Chaabene, Yassine Negra, Jason Moran, Olaf Prieske, Senda Sammoud, Rodrigo Ramirez-Campillo and Urs Granacher

Purpose: This study examined the effects of an 8-week Nordic hamstring exercise (NHE) training on components of physical performance in young female handball players. Methods: Participants were allocated to an experimental group (EG; n = 10; age: 15.9 [0.2] y) and a control group (CG; n = 9; age: 15.9 [0.3] y). The EG performed NHE (2–3 sessions/wk) in replacement of some handball-specific drills, whereas the CG followed regular handball training. Pretraining and posttraining tests were carried out for the assessment of sprint speed (5 m, 10 m, and 20 m), jump performance (countermovement jump [CMJ] height), change-of-direction (t test), and repeated-sprint ability (RSA total time [RSAtotal], RSA best time [RSAbest], and RSA fatigue index [RSAFI]). Data were analyzed using magnitude-based inferences. Results: Within-group analyses for the EG showed moderate performance improvements for 5, 10, and 20 m (effect size [ES] = 0.68–0.82), t test (ES = 0.74), and CMJ (ES = 0.85). Trivial to small improvements were observed for RSA (ES = −0.06 to 0.35). For the CG, within-group outcomes showed performance decrements with moderate (t test [ES = 0.71]), small (5 m [ES = 0.46] and RSAbest [ES = 0.20]), and trivial magnitude (10 m [ES = 0.10], 20 m [ES = 0.16], and RSAtotal [ES = 0.00]). Furthermore, trivial to small performance improvements were found for CMJ (ES = 0.10) and RSAFI (ES = 0.5). Between-group analyses revealed small to large effects in favor of EG for 5 m (ES = 1.07), 10 m (ES = 0.66), 20 m (ES = 0.53), t test (ES = 1.38), and RSA (ES = 0.68–0.78). A trivial between-group difference was demonstrated for CMJ (ES = −0.01). Conclusions: The NHE training intervention, in replacement of some handball-specific drills, was more effective than regular handball training in improving physical performance (ie, linear sprint time, jumping, change-of-direction, and RSA) in young female handball players.

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Mathieu Lacome, Simon Avrillon, Yannick Cholley, Ben M. Simpson, Gael Guilhem and Martin Buchheit

Aim: To compare the effect of low versus high volume of eccentric-biased hamstring training programs on knee-flexor strength and fascicle length changes in elite soccer players. Methods: A total of 19 elite youth soccer players took part in this study and were randomly assigned into 2 subgroups. For 6 weeks in-season, the groups performed either a low-volume (1 set per exercise; 10 repetitions in total) or a high-volume (4 sets; 40 repetitions) eccentric training of their knee flexors. After 6-weeks midtraining (MID), players performed the alternate training regimen. Each training set consisted of 4 repetitions of the Nordic hamstring exercise and 6 repetitions of the bilateral stiff-leg deadlift. Eccentric knee-flexor strength (NordBord) as well as biceps femoris long head and semimembranosus fascicle length (scanned with ultrasound scanner) were assessed during pretraining (PRE), MID, and posttraining (POST) tests. Results: Knee-flexor eccentric strength very likely increased from PRE to MID (low volume: +11.3% [7.8%] and high volume: 11.4% [5.3%]), with a possibly-to-likely increase in biceps femoris long head (+4.5% [5.0%] and 4.8% [2.5%]) and semimembranosus (+4.3% [4.7%] and 6.3% [6.3%]) fascicle length in both groups. There was no substantial changes between MID and POST. Overall, there was no clear between-group difference in the changes from PRE to MID and MID to POST for neither knee-flexor eccentric strength, biceps femoris long head, nor semimembranosus fascicle length. Conclusions: Low-volume knee-flexor eccentric training is as effective as a greater training dose to substantially improve knee-flexor strength and fascicle length in-season in young elite soccer players. Low volume is, however, likely more appropriate to be used in an elite team facing congested schedules.

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Adam Grainger, Paul Comfort and Shane Heffernan

Purpose: Partial body cryotherapy (PBC) has been shown to be beneficial for postexercise recovery; however, no study has demonstrated the effectiveness of PBC for recovery following elite rugby union training. Rugby union is a unique sport that involves high-velocity collisions and may induce greater performance decrements than other sports; thus, PBC could be beneficial. The application of PBC in “real world” has rarely been investigated during the competitive phase of a playing season and warranted investigation. Methods: In a counterbalanced sequential research design, professional rugby athletes (n = 18; age 25.4 [4.0] y; training age 7.2 [4.0] y; mass 99.8 [10.6] kg; height 188.3 [6.0] cm) were assigned to a 12-week PBC intervention, washout period (4 wk), and reassessed as their own controls. Self-reported well-being, muscle soreness, sleep quality, and countermovement jump height were assessed before and 40 hours after “real-world” training. Wilcoxon signed-rank tests and Cohen d were used for statistical analysis. Results: No differences were observed between PBC and control conditions (P > .05; d = 0.00–0.14) for well-being (−0.02% [0.08%] vs 0.01% [0.06%]), muscle soreness (−0.01% [0.11%] vs 0.01% [0.16%]), sleep quality (−0.03% [0.14%] vs 0.10% [0.29%]), or countermovement jump height (36.48–36.59 vs 38.13–37.52 cm; P = .54). Conclusions: These results suggest PBC is ineffective for the restoration of selected performance parameters during the performance maintenance phase of the competitive season. To ascertain the appropriation of its use, future investigations should seek to assess the use of cryotherapies at various phases of the elite rugby union competitive season.

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Nathan Hall, Brent Bradford, José da Costa and Daniel B. Robinson

Background and Purpose: Despite widespread evidence suggesting the numerous benefits from being active in outdoor environments, children in many Western nations have recently been spending less time outdoors. This cross-sectional exploratory study provides a descriptive examination of physical education teachers’ embracement of alternative environment activities (AEAs) in physical education programs. Method: Data were collected from 225 current physical education teachers in Alberta and Manitoba, Canada, through an online survey. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, factor analysis, Levene’s tests, and independent t tests. Results: Significant differences were found in relation to teachers’ experiences, or lack thereof, with professional development in relation to the extent to which teachers embraced AEAs. Furthermore, cost was discovered to be the greatest perceived barrier to teaching AEAs. Discussion and Conclusions: This study reveals an established need for teachers’ professional development in teaching AEAs and for discovering ways to decrease cost barriers for teaching AEAs.

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Paddy C. Dempsey, Chuck E. Matthews, S. Ghazaleh Dashti, Aiden R. Doherty, Audrey Bergouignan, Eline H. van Roekel, David W. Dunstan, Nicholas J. Wareham, Thomas E. Yates, Katrien Wijndaele and Brigid M. Lynch

Background: Recent updates to physical activity guidelines highlight the importance of reducing sedentary time. However, at present, only general recommendations are possible (ie, “Sit less, move more”). There remains a need to investigate the strength, temporality, specificity, and dose–response nature of sedentary behavior associations with chronic disease, along with potential underlying mechanisms. Methods: Stemming from a recent research workshop organized by the Sedentary Behavior Council themed “Sedentary behaviour mechanisms—biological and behavioural pathways linking sitting to adverse health outcomes,” this paper (1) discusses existing challenges and scientific discussions within this advancing area of science, (2) highlights and discusses emerging areas of interest, and (3) points to potential future directions. Results: A brief knowledge update is provided, reflecting upon current and evolving thinking/discussions, and the rapid accumulation of new evidence linking sedentary behavior to chronic disease. Research “action points” are made at the end of each section—spanning from measurement systems and analytic methods, genetic epidemiology, causal mediation, and experimental studies to biological and behavioral determinants and mechanisms. Conclusion: A better understanding of whether and how sedentary behavior is causally related to chronic disease will allow for more meaningful conclusions in the future and assist in refining clinical and public health policies/recommendations.

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Erin Calaine Inglis, Danilo Iannetta, Daniel A. Keir and Juan M. Murias

Purpose: To evaluate whether the coherence in the oxygen uptake (V˙O2) associated with the respiratory compensation point (RCP), near-infrared spectroscopy-derived muscle deoxyhemoglobin ([HHb]) break point ([HHb]BP), and maximal lactate steady state (MLSS) would persist at the midpoint and endpoint of a 7-month training and racing season. Methods: Eight amateur male cyclists were tested in 3 separate phases over the course of a cycling season (PRE, MID, and POST). Testing at each phase included a ramp-incremental test to exhaustion to determine RCP and [HHb]BP. The PRE and POST phases also included constant power output rides to determine MLSS. Results: Compared with PRE, V˙O2 at both RCP and [HHb]BP was greater at MID (delta: RCP 0.23 [0.14] L·min−1, [HHb]BP 0.33 [0.17] L·min−1) and POST (delta: RCP 0.21 [0.12], [HHb]BP 0.30 [0.14] L·min−1) (P < .05). V˙O2 at MLSS also increased from PRE to POST (delta: 0.17 [12] L·min−1) (P < .05). V˙O2 was not different at RCP, [HHb]BP, and MLSS at PRE (3.74 [0.34], 3.64 [0.40], 3.78 [0.23] L·min−1) or POST (3.96 [0.25], 3.95 [0.32], 3.94 [0.18] L·min−1) respectively, and RCP (3.98 [0.33] L·min−1) and [HHb]BP (3.97 [0.34] L·min−1) were not different at MID (P > .05). PRE–MID and PRE–POST changes in V˙O2 associated with RCP, [HHb]BP, and MLSS were strongly correlated (range: r = .85–.90) and demonstrated low mean bias (range = −.09 to .12 L·min−1). Conclusions: At all measured time points, V˙O2 at RCP, [HHb]BP, and MLSS were not different. Irrespective of phase comparison, direction, or magnitude of V˙O2 changes, intraindividual changes between each index were strongly related, indicating that interindividual differences were reflected in the group mean response and that their interrelationships are beyond coincidental.