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Open access

Rodrigo Rodrigues Gomes Costa, Jefferson Rodrigues Dorneles, Guilherme Henrique Lopes, José Irineu Gorla, and Frederico Ribeiro Neto

Context: Monitoring training loads and consequent fatigue responses are usually a result of personal trainers’ experiences and an adaptation of methods used in sports for people without disabilities. Currently, there is little scientific evidence on the relationship between training load and fatigue resulting from training sessions in wheelchair sports. Analogous to the vertical jump, which has been associated with competitive performance and used to assess fatigue in Olympic sports, the medicine ball throw (MBT) is a fast, feasible, and accessible test that might be used to measure performance outcomes in Paralympic athletes. Objective: To test the MBT responsiveness to detect meaningful changes after training sessions in beginner wheelchair basketball players (WBP). Design: Cross-sectional study. Setting: Rehabilitation Hospital Network, Paralympic Program. Participants: Twelve male WBP. Main Outcomes Measures: The participants performed 3 consecutive days of training sessions involving exercises of wheelchair basketball skills, strength, and power. The MBT test was performed pre and post training sessions. Results: The smallest worthwhile change for MBT was 0.10 cm, and the lower and upper limits were 3.54 and 3.75 m, respectively. On the first day, the MBT started below the smallest worthwhile change lower limit and increased above the upper limit (3.53 and 3.78 m, respectively). On the second day, the MBT pretraining and posttraining session results were near the sample mean (3.62 and 3.59 m, respectively). On the third day, the WBP started the MBT test training higher than the upper limit (3.78 m) and decreased to near the mean (3.58 m). Conclusions: During 3 consecutive days of training sessions, the magnitude-based inference model presented meaningful changes in MBT test performance. The accurate association of the magnitude-based inference model with the MBT allows coaches and sports team staff to interpret the correct magnitude of change in WBP performance.

Open access

Gabriel dos Santos Oliveira, João Breno de Araujo Ribeiro-Alvares, Felipe Xavier de Lima-e-Silva, Rodrigo Rodrigues, Marco Aurélio Vaz, and Bruno Manfredini Baroni

Context: Eccentric knee flexor strength assessments have a key role in both prevention and rehabilitation of hamstring strain injuries. Objective: To verify the reliability of a clinical test for measuring eccentric knee flexor strength during the Nordic hamstring exercise using a commercially available handheld dynamometer. Design: Reliability study. Setting: Physical Therapy Laboratory, Federal University of Health Sciences of Porto Alegre (Brazil). Participants: Fifty male amateur athletes (soccer or rugby players; 24 [3] y). Main Outcome Measures: Eccentric knee flexor strength. Results: When compared with a load cell–based device, the clinical test using a handheld dynamometer provided smaller force values (P < .05) with large effect sizes (.92–1.21), moderate intraclass correlation (.60–.62), typical error of 30 to 31 N, and coefficient of variation of 10% to 11%. Regarding the test–retest reproducibility (2 sessions separated by 1 week), the clinical test provided similar force values (P > .05) with only small effect sizes (.20–.27), moderate to good correlation (.67–.76), typical error of 23 to 24 N, and coefficient of variation of 9% to 10%. Conclusion: The clinical test with handheld dynamometer proposed by this study can be considered an affordable and relatively reliable tool for eccentric knee flexor strength assessment in the clinical setting, but results should not be directly compared with those provided by load cell–based devices.