The aim of the present study was to investigate whether cycle training offers an effective and safe means for improving muscle strength in young people. Eighteen 10-year-old boys formed the training group and 17 age-matched boys participated as controls in the study. Participants took part in a strength-training program that included cycle training 3 times per week for a period of 12 weeks, whereas controls participated only in the school’s physical activities. Maximum knee extension and flexion was evaluated at various angular velocities using an isokinetic dynamometer. Significant increases (p < .001) were observed for both extensors and flexors in all angular velocities of the training group and only in the middle and high angular velocities of the control group (p < .05 to p < .001). The findings suggest that cycle training appears to be an effective means for improving muscle strength in prepubertal untrained males.
Athanasios Zakas, George Doganis, Christos Galazoulas and Efstratios Vamvakoudis
Although athletes routinely perform warm-up and stretching exercises, it has been suggested that prolonged stretching immediately before an activity might negatively affect the force production. Sixteen male pubescent soccer players participated in the study to examine whether a routine duration of acute static stretching is responsible for losses in isokinetic peak torque production. All participants performed two static stretching protocols in nonconsecutive training sessions. The first stretching protocol was performed three times for 15 s (volume 45) and the second 20 times for 15 s (volume 300). Range of motion (ROM) was determined during knee flexion with the use of a goniometer. The peak torque of the dominant leg extensors was measured on a Cybex NORM dynamometer at various angular velocities. The statistical analysis showed that peak torque did not change following the static stretching for 45 s in all angular velocities, while it decreased (p < .001) in all angular velocities following the static stretching for 5 min. The findings suggest that strength decreases after static stretching exercises may be the result of the performed stretching duration.