The purpose of the study was to determine young male gymnasts’ and swimmers’ knee flexor:extensor (F:E) ratios during isokinetic testing at different velocities. Nine gymnasts (10.3 ± 0.5 years) and 14 swimmers (10.5 ± 0.5 years) participated. Concentric isokinetic peak torque was measured by a Cybex® Norm dynamometer at different angular velocities (60,120, and 180°/s) during unilateral knee extensions and flexions after gravity correction. Significant differences were found only in gymnasts’ knee F:E peak-torque ratios between the angular velocities of 60 and 120°/s (p < 0.01), as well as 60–180°/s (p < .01), whereas swimmers’ ratios were unchanged. Gymnasts presented significantly higher F:E ratios than swimmers did at the angular velocities of 120°/s (p < .01) and 180°/s (p < .001). The reciprocal ratios provided some indication that the training context of young athletes can influence the balance between agonistic and antagonistic activity of the lower limbs’ major muscle groups.
Theophanis Siatras, Dimitra Mameletzi, and Spiros Kellis
Theophanis Siatras, Georgios Papadopoulos, Dimitra Mameletzi, Vasilios Gerodimos, and Spiros Kellis
Although warm-up and stretching exercises are routinely performed by gymnasts, it is suggested that stretching immediately prior to an activity might affect negatively the athletic performance. The focus of this investigation was on the acute effect of a protocol, including warm-up and static and dynamic stretching exercises, on speed during vaulting in gymnastics. Eleven boys were asked to perform three different protocols consisting of warm-up, warm-up and static stretching and warm-up and dynamic stretching, on three nonconsecutive days. Each protocol was followed by a “handspring” vault. One-way analysis of variance for repeated-measures showed a significant difference in gymnasts’ speed, following the different protocols. Tukey’s post hoc analysis revealed that gymnasts mean speed during the run of vault was significantly decreased after the application of the static stretching protocol. The findings of the present study indicate the inhibitory role of an acute static stretching in running speed in young gymnasts.