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Martin J. Turner, Stuart Carrington and Anthony Miller

It is not fully understood the extent to which cognitive mediators are involved in the transaction between the athletic environment and athlete mental health. Rational emotive behaviour therapy (REBT) holds that primary irrational beliefs lead to psychological distress through secondary irrational beliefs. Therefore this study examined the mediational effects of primary and secondary irrational beliefs on psychological distress across three sport participation groups; non-sport participants, recreational sport participants, and elite athletes. This study also examined the differences in irrational beliefs and psychological distress between individual and team sport participants, between females and males, and across the three sport participation groups. Data revealed that secondary irrational beliefs mediated the relationships between primary irrational beliefs and psychological distress. Between-groups analyses revealed that elite athletes demonstrated smallest depreciation irrational beliefs, and elite female athletes reported greater depression symptoms than elite male athletes. The implications of the findings for research and applied work are discussed.

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Anthony D. J. Webborn, Roslyn J. Carbon and Brian P. Miller

The concept that exercise therapy is an important and integral part of rehabilitation following injury seems to be universally accepted. However, there is little information on athletes' perceptions of understanding their instructions as they relate to the rehabilitation program. A questionnaire study, involving athletes attending a number of multidisciplinary sports injury clinics over a 6-month period, was performed to examine their understanding of the rehabilitation program relating to site, frequency, and repetitions of exercises as well as reason for exercise. Although exercise prescription for injury was assumed to be commonplace, over 150 consultations were observed and only 22 athletes were prescribed rehabilitation exercises (a total of 56 exercises). Seventy-eight percent of these athletes misunderstood some aspect of their programs, although they did not perceive a problem with their instructions. Written instructions were used infrequently (14%), but when used they significantly improved the athletes' understanding. Since rehabilitation adherence is a problem, athletes should receive adequate explanation and written instructions to ensure that the program is followed correctly. Factors affecting treatment adherence are also discussed.

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Sean J. Maloney, Anthony N. Turner and Stuart Miller

It has previously been shown that a loaded warm-up may improve power performances. We examined the acute effects of loaded dynamic warm-up on change of direction speed (CODS), which had not been previously investigated. Eight elite badminton players participated in three sessions during which they performed vertical countermovement jump and CODS tests before and after undertaking the dynamic warm-up. The three warm-up conditions involved wearing a weighted vest (a) equivalent to 5% body mass, (b) equivalent to 10% body mass, and (c) a control where a weighted vest was not worn. Vertical jump and CODS performances were then tested at 15 seconds and 2, 4, and 6 minutes post warm-up. Vertical jump and CODS significantly improved following all warm-up conditions (P < .05). Post warm-up vertical jump performance was not different between conditions (P = .430). Post warm-up CODS was significantly faster following the 5% (P = .02) and 10% (P < .001) loaded conditions compared with the control condition. In addition, peak CODS test performances, independent of recovery time, were faster than the control condition following the 10% loaded condition (P = .012). In conclusion, the current study demonstrates that a loaded warm-up augmented CODS, but not vertical jump performance, in elite badminton players.

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Florian Fath, Anthony J. Blazevich, Charlie M. Waugh, Stuart C. Miller and Thomas Korff

The muscle-tendon moment arm is an important input parameter for musculoskeletal models. Moment arms change as a function of joint angle and contraction state and depend on the method being employed. The overall purpose was to gain insights into the interactive effects of joint angle, contraction state and method on the Achilles tendon moment arm using the center of rotation (COR) and the tendon excursion method (TE). Achilles tendon moment arms were obtained at rest (TErest, CORrest) and during a maximum voluntary contraction (CORMVC) at four angles. We found strong correlations between TErest and CORMVC for all angles (.72 ≤ r ≤ .93) with Achilles tendon moment arms using CORMVC being 33–36% greater than those obtained from TErest. The relationship between Achilles tendon moment arms and angle was similar across both methods and both levels of muscular contraction. Finally, Achilles tendon moment arms for CORMVC were 1–8% greater than for CORrest.

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Anthony P. Marsh, Michael E. Miller, W. Jack Rejeski, Stacy L. Hutton and Stephen B. Kritchevsky

It is unclear whether strength training (ST) or power training (PT) is the more effective intervention at improving muscle strength and power and physical function in older adults. The authors compared the effects of lower extremity PT with those of ST on muscle strength and power in 45 older adults (74.8 ± 5.7 yr) with self-reported difficulty in common daily activities. Participants were randomized to 1 of 3 treatment groups: PT, ST, or wait-list control. PT and ST trained 3 times/wk for 12 wk using knee-extension (KE) and leg-press (LP) machines at ~70% of 1-repetition maximum (1RM). For PT, the concentric phase of the KE and LP was completed “as fast as possible,” whereas for ST the concentric phase was 2–3 s. Both PT and ST paused briefly at the midpoint of the movement and completed the eccentric phase of the movement in 2–3 s. PT and ST groups showed significant improvements in KE and LP 1RM compared with the control group. Maximum KE and LP power increased approximately twofold in PT compared with ST. At 12 wk, compared with control, maximum KE and LP power were significantly increased for the PT group but not for the ST group. In older adults with compromised function, PT leads to similar increases in strength and larger increases in power than ST.

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Melissa Daly, Meghan E. Vidt, Joel D. Eggebeen,, W. Greg Simpson, Michael E. Miller, Anthony P. Marsh and Katherine R. Saul

Aging leads to a decline in strength and an associated loss of independence. The authors examined changes in muscle volume, maximum isometric joint moment, functional strength, and 1-repetition maximum (1RM) after resistance training (RT) in the upper extremity of older adults. They evaluated isometric joint moment and muscle volume as predictors of functional strength. Sixteen healthy older adults (average age 75 ± 4.3 yr) were randomized to a 6-wk upper extremity RT program or control group. The RT group increased 1RM significantly (p < .01 for all exercises). Compared with controls, randomization to RT led to greater functional pulling strength (p = .003), isometric shoulder-adduction moment (p = .041), elbow-flexor volume (p = .017), and shoulder-adductor volume (p = .009). Shoulder-muscle volumes and isometric moments were good predictors of functional strength. The authors conclude that shoulder strength is an important factor for performing functional reaching and pulling tasks and a key target for upper extremity RT interventions.