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  • Author: Wissem Dhahbi x
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Wissem Dhahbi, Anis Chaouachi, Anis Ben Dhahbi, Jodie Cochrane, Laurence Chèze, Angus Burnett and Karim Chamari

Purpose:

To examine differences between ground-reaction-force (GRF)-based parameters collected from 5 types of plyometric push-ups. Between-trials reliability and the relationships between parameters were also assessed.

Methods:

Thirty-seven highly active commando soldiers performed 3 trials of 5 variations of the plyometric push-up in a counterbalanced order: standard countermovement push-up (SCPu), standard squat push-up (SSPu), kneeling countermovement push-up (KCPu), kneeling squat push-up (KSPu), and drop-fall push-up (DFPu). Vertical GRF was measured during these exercises using a portable Kistler force plate. The GRF applied by the hands in the starting position (initial force supported), peak GRF and rate of force development during takeoff, flight time, impact force, and rate of force development impact on landing were determined.

Results:

During standard-position exercises (SCPu and SSPu) the initial force supported and impact force were higher (P < .001) than with kneeling exercises (KCPu, KSPu, and DFPu). The peak GRF and rate of force development during takeoff were higher (P < .001) in the countermovement push-up exercises ([CMP] SCPu, KCPu, and DFPu) than squat push-up exercises ([SP] SSPu and KSPu). Furthermore, the flight time was greater (P < .001) during kneeling exercises than during standard-position exercises. A significant relationship (P < .01) between impact force and the rate of force development impact was observed for CMP and SP exercises (r = .83 and r = .62, respectively). The initial force supported was also negatively related (P < .01) to the flight time for both CMP and SP (r = –.74 and r = –.80, respectively). It was revealed that the initial force supported and the peak GRF during takeoff had excellent reliability; however, other parameters had poor absolute reliability.

Conclusions:

It is possible to adjust the intensity of plyometric push-up exercises and train athletes’ muscle power by correctly interpreting GRF-based parameters. However, caution is required as some parameters had marginal absolute reliability.

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Wissem Dhahbi, Anis Chaouachi, Johnny Padulo, David G. Behm and Karim Chamari

Purpose:

To examine the concurrent validity and absolute and relative reliabilities of a commando-specific power test.

Participants:

21 antiterrorism commandos.

Methods:

All participants were assessed on a 5-m rope-climbing test (RCT) and the following tests: pull-ups, push-ups, estimated-1-repetition-maximum (est-1RM), medicine-ball put, and handgrip-strength test. The stopwatch method related to the execution time (ET) was validated by comparison with video motion analysis. The best individual attempt of 3 trials was kept for analysis, and the performance was expressed in absolute power output (APO) and body-mass relative power output (RPO).

Results:

Stopwatch assessment had an excellent criterion validity (r = .99, P < .001), intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC3,1) of .98, standard errors of measurement (SEM%) of 1.19%, bias ± the 95% limits of agreement of 0.03 ± 0.26 s, and minimal detectable change (MDC95) of 0.51 s. The ET, APO, and RPO were significantly correlated (P < .05) with all cited tests (absolute-value r range .55−.98), while est-1RM was not significantly correlated with the other tests. Test-retest reliability coefficients were excellent for ET, APO, and RPO (ICC3,1 > .90). The SEM% values for the ET, APO, and RPO were all under 5% (range 3.73−4.52%), all being smaller than the corresponding smallest worthwhile change. The coefficients of variation for the ET, APO, and RPO were all under 10%. %MDC95 ranged from 10.37% to 12.53%.

Conclusions:

Considering the strong concurrent validity and excellent test–retest reliability, the RCT is simple to administer, has ecological validity, and is a valid specific field test of upper-body power for commandos and, in addition, can be accurately assessed with a stopwatch.

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Olfa Turki, Wissem Dhahbi, Sabri Gueid, Sami Hmaied, Marouen Souaifi and Riadh Khalifa

Purpose: To explore the effect of 4 different warm-up strategies using weighted vests and to determine the specific optimal recovery duration required to optimize the repeated change-of-direction (RCOD) performance in young soccer players. Methods: A total of 19 male soccer players (age 18 [0.88] y, body mass 69.85 [7.68] kg, body height 1.75 [0.07] m, body mass index 22.87 [2.23] kg·m−2, and body fat percentage 12.53% [2.59%]) completed the following loaded warm-up protocols in a randomized, counterbalanced cross-over, within-participants order and on separate days: weighted vest with a loading of 5% (WUV5%), 10% (WUV10%), 15% (WUV15%) body mass, and an unloaded condition (control). RCOD performance (total time, peak time, and fatigue index) was collected during the preintervention phase (5 min after the dynamic stretching sequence) for baseline values and immediately (at 15 min), at 4- and 8-minute postwarm-up intervention. Results: For each postwarm-up tested, recovery times (ie, 15 s, 4 min, and 8 min), of both total and peak times were faster following WUV5%, WUV10%, and WUV15%, compared with the unloaded condition (P ≤.001–.031, d = 1.28–2.31 [large]). There were no significant differences (P = .09–1.00, d = 0.03–0.72 [trivial–moderate]) in-between recovery times in both total and peak times following WUV5%, WUV10%, and WUV15%. However, baseline fatigue index score was significantly worse than all other scores (P ≤.001–.002, d = 1.35–2.46 [large]) following the loaded conditions. Conclusions: The findings demonstrated that a dynamic loaded warm-up increases an athlete’s initial RCOD performance up to the 8-minute postwarm-up intervention. Therefore, strength coaches need to consider using weighted vests during the warm-up for trained athletes in order to acutely optimize RCODs.

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Olfa Turki, Wissem Dhahbi, Johnny Padulo, Riadh Khalifa, Sana Ridène, Khaled Alamri, Mirjana Milić, Sabri Gueid and Karim Chamari

Purpose: To explore the immediate (15-s post-warm-up) and the delayed (after 20 and 40 min of simulated volleyball play) effects of 2 different warm-up protocols—a stretching-free volleyball warm-up (NS) and a warm-up incorporating dynamic stretching (DS)—on subsequent change of direction (COD) performance in young elite volleyball players. Methods: Sixteen male players (age 16.88 [0.34] y, body mass 75.81 [5.41] kg, body height 1.91 [0.05] m, body mass index 20.84 [1.79] kg·m−2, and body fat percentage 9.48 [1.83]%) from the U-17 national volleyball team performed NS and DS on 2 different nonconsecutive days. During each testing session (NS and DS), half T-test performance measurements were performed after 5 minutes of a general warm-up (ie, baseline), immediately post-warm-up (after 15 s), and after 20 and 40 minutes of simulated volleyball play. Results: For DS, a significant improvement in COD performance (2.08%, P < .001) was observed after 20 minutes of play compared with the baseline values. In addition, COD performance recorded after 40 minutes of play was better than after 15-second post-warm-up (5.85%, P = .001). Inferential statistics showed better COD performance in the DS condition after 20 minutes of play (2.32%, likely negative, d = 0.61). Conclusions: Compared with NS, DS tended to affect the pattern of improvement of COD performance during play by intensifying and accelerating it. Consequently, to enhance COD performance for up to 40 minutes into the game, it is recommended that DS be incorporated to the warm-up preceding the match.