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Theophanis Siatras, Dimitra Mameletzi, and Spiros Kellis

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.

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Panagiotis Ioakimidis, Vasilios Gerodimos, Eleftherios Kellis, and Spiros Kellis

Fifteen young basketball players (aged 14.4 – 0.5 yrs) underwent two identical testing sessions spaced one week apart, to determine the reliability of maximum isometric force and force-time parameters during a maximal bilateral isometric leg press effort. The maximal isometric force (MIF), the ratio of maximal force to time (T MIF) to attain maximal force (ARMIF), starting strength (F 50), and on a relative scale the time taken to increase the force from 10% to 30%, 60%, and 90% of maximal force were calculated. High intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC) were found for MIF (0.96), ARMIF (0.85), and F50 (0.90). On the relative scale, the ICCs for the times to produce 30%, 60%, and 90% of maximum force were 0.94, 0.95, 0.95, respectively. The present results indicate that maximum isometric force and the force-time parameters during a bilateral leg press can be measured reliably in pubertal basketball players.

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Eleftherios Kellis, Spiros Kellis, Vasilios Gerodimos, and Vasiliki Manou

The reliable examination of isokinetic parameters in young athletes is important for the establishment of appropriate strength testing protocols. The purpose of this study was to examine the reliability of peak moments, non-preferred/preferred leg and reciprocal ratios during isokinetic knee efforts in young soccer players. Thirteen circumpubertal (age = 13.0 ± 0.4 years) soccer players performed maximum knee extension and flexion efforts at 30, 120 and 180°·s1 in two occasions, a week apart. The reliability of the peak moments was high, with reliability coefficients ranging from 0.71 to 0.98. The non-preferred/preferred leg and reciprocal ratios demonstrated moderate to high reliability (coefficients ranged from 0.42 to 0.87). The reliable examination of moments of force and ratio measurements during eccentric tests and at fast angular velocities in young soccer players requires extensive familiarization of the subjects prior to the main test.

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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.

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Vassilis Gerodimos, Andreas Zafeiridis, Stefanos Perkos, Konstantina Dipla, Vassiliki Manou, and Spiros Kellis

This study examined from childhood to adulthood: (1) the effects of countermovement (use of stretch-shortening cycle-SSC) and arm-swing (AS) on vertical jumping (VJ) performance and (2) the ability to use the SSC and AS during VJ. Male basketball players (n = 106) were divided according to their age into: children (12.0 ± 0.23), young adolescents (14.5 ± 0.41), old adolescents (16.9 ± 0.27), and adults (21.9 ± 0.32). Each participant executed three maximal squat jumps (SJ), countermovement jumps without arms (CMJ) and with arms (CMJA). The contribution of SSC and AS was calculated by the augmentation (difference and percent change) in performance between CMJ and SJ, and CMJA and CMJ, respectively. CMJA performance was significantly (p < .05) higher than CMJ and SJ, and CMJ was higher than SJ within all age-groups. There were no significant differences (p > .05) among children, young and old adolescents, and adults in the percent contribution of SSC and AS to VJ performance. The variability in the contribution of SSC and AS to VJ performance was about twofold higher in children vs. adults. It appears that the ability to use the SSC and AS is not affected by the maturation process in males, trained in basketball.

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Vassilis Tsiaras, Andreas Zafeiridis, Konstantina Dipla, Kostas Patras, Anastasios Georgoulis, and Spiros Kellis

The aims were to develop and validate a VO2peak prediction equation from a treadmill running test in active male adolescents. Eighty-eight athletes (12–18 yrs.) performed a maximal exercise test on a treadmill to assess the actual VO2peak and a 20m Shuttle-Run-Test (20mST). A step-wise linear regression analysis was used and the following equation for estimation of VO2peak (mL·kg−1·min−1) = 35.477 + 1.832 × duration in min - 0.010 × duration × body mass in kg was developed. The cross-validation statistics were: R = .54, CE = 0.1 mL·kg−1·min−1, SEE = 2.5 mL·kg−1·min−1 (4.6%), and TE = 2.6 mL·kg−1·min−1 (4.9%). The cross-validation values (CE, SEE, and TE) were lower compared with those of previously published equations in adolescents that estimated VO2peak using anthropometric data, performance in 20mST, and energy cost at submaximal speeds.