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Matt Spencer, David Pyne, Juanma Santisteban and Iñigo Mujika

Variations in rates of growth and development in young football players can influence relationships among various fitness qualities.

Purpose:

To investigate the relationships between repeated-sprint ability and other fundamental fitness qualities of acceleration, agility, explosive leg power, and aerobic conditioning through the age groups of U1 1 to U18 in highly trained junior football players.

Methods:

Male players (n = 119) across the age groups completed a fitness assessment battery over two testing sessions. The first session consisted of countermovement jumps without and with arm swing, 15-m sprint run, 15-m agility run, and the 20-m Shuttle Run (U11 to U15) or the Yo-Yo Intermittent Recovery Test, Level 1 (U16 to U18). The players were tested for repeated-sprint ability in the second testing session using a protocol of 6 × 30-m sprints on 30 s with an active recovery.

Results:

The correlations of repeated-sprint ability with the assorted fitness tests varied considerably between the age groups, especially for agility (r = .02 to .92) and explosive leg power (r = .04 to .84). Correlations of repeated sprint ability with acceleration (r = .48 to .93) and aerobic conditioning (r = .28 to .68) were less variable with age.

Conclusion:

Repeated-sprint ability associates differently with other fundamental fitness tests throughout the teenage years in highly trained football players, although stabilization of these relationships occurs by the age of 18 y. Coaches in junior football should prescribe physical training accounting for variations in short-term disruptions or impairment of physical performance during this developmental period.

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Mohamed Ali Nabli, Nidhal Ben Abdelkrim, Imed Jabri, Tahar Batikh, Carlo Castagna and Karim Chamari

Purpose:

To examine the relation between game performance, physiological responses, and field-test results in Tunisian basketball referees.

Methods:

Computerized time–motion analysis, heart rate (HR), and blood lactate concentration [La] were measured in 15 referees during 8 competitive games (under-19-y-old Tunisian league). Referees also performed a repeated-sprint test (RSA), Yo-Yo Intermittent Recovery Test level 1 (YYIRTL1), agility T-test, and 30-m sprint with 10-m lap time. Computerized video analysis determined the time spent in 5 locomotor activities (standing, walking, jogging, running, and sprint), then grouped in high-, moderate-, and low-intensity activities (HIAs, MIAs, and LIAs, respectively).

Results:

YYIRTL1 performance correlated with (1) total distance covered during the 4th quarter (r = .52, P = .04) and (2) distance covered in LIA during all game periods (P < .05). Both distance covered and time spent in MIA during the 1st quarter were negatively correlated with the YYIRTL1 performance (r = –.53, P = .035; r = –.67, P = .004, respectively). A negative correlation was found between distance covered at HIA during the 2nd half (3rd quarter + 4th quarter) and fatigue index of the RSA test (r = –.54, P = .029). Mean HR (expressed as %HRpeak) during all game periods was correlated with YYIRTL1 performance (.61 ≤ r < .67, P < .01).

Conclusions:

This study showed that (1) the YYIRTL1 performance is a moderate predictor of game physical performance in U-19 basketball referees and (2) referees’ RSA correlates with the amount of HIA performed during the 2nd half, which represents the ability to keep up with play.

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Yael Netz, Esther Argov and Omri Inbar

A recent study indicated that acute aerobic exercise improves cognitive flexibility in adults. The current study assessed age, habitual physical activity, and physical fitness as moderators of this improvement and examined whether the gains still exist an hour after the exercise session. The alternative-uses test, assessing cognitive flexibility, was administered individually to 20 older (age 63.67 ± 3.55 yr) and 19 young (age 23.9 ± 1.22) women before, immediately after, and an hour after a single moderate aerobic-exercise session. Results indicated significant improvement in cognitive flexibility in the older group immediately after the exercise but a decrease at the 1-hr follow-up. Further analysis indicated that physical fitness accounted for this improvement (R = –.622, p < .01). No such differences were observed in the young group. Further studies are needed to examine the duration of this effect, as well as the role of physical fitness as a moderator of it.

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Carla Caroliny de Almeida Santana, Breno Quintella Farah, Liane Beretta de Azevedo, James O. Hill, Thrudur Gunnarsdottir, João Paulo Botero, Edna Cristina do Prado and Wagner Luiz do Prado

Obesity has been associated with poor academic achievement, while cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) has been linked to academic success.

Purpose:

To investigate whether CRF is associated with academic performance in Brazilian students, independently of body mass index (BMI), fatness and socioeconomic status (SES).

Methods:

392 5th and 6th grade students (193 girls) (12.11 ± 0.75 years old) were evaluated in 2012. Skinfold thickness measures were performed, and students were classified according to BMI-percentile. CRF was estimated by a 20-meter shuttle run test, and academic achievement by standardized math and Portuguese tests. Multiple linear regression analyses were conducted to explore the association between academic performance and CRF, adjusted for SES, skinfold thickness or BMI-percentile.

Results:

Among girls CRF was associated with higher academic achievement in math (β = 0.146;p = .003) and Portuguese (β = 0.129;p = .004) in crude and adjusted analyses. No significant association was found among boys. BMI was not associated with overall academic performance. There was a weak negative association between skinfold thickness and performance in mathematics in boys (β =- 0.030;p = .04), but not in girls.

Conclusion:

The results highlight the importance of maintaining high fitness levels in girls throughout adolescence a period commonly associated with reductions in physical activity levels and CRF.

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Ross Armstrong, Christopher Michael Brogden and Matt Greig

is the Dance Aerobic Fitness Test (DAFT), 14 which is a standardized routine that elicits a quantifiable physiological response to exercise to allow the measurement of mechanical loading. Global positioning systems (GPS) with triaxial accelerometry have been used to measure mechanical loading which

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Melanie Vetter, Helen O’Connor, Nicholas O’Dwyer and Rhonda Orr

been increased interest in the potential impact of physical activity and fitness, especially aerobic fitness, on cognitive function and learning in children. 3 , 4 The possibility that higher levels of physical activity or fitness might improve scholastic performance, enhance attention, and improve

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Ian M. Greenlund, Piersan E. Suriano, Steven J. Elmer, Jason R. Carter and John J. Durocher

pressure. 15 Aerobic fitness was estimated via a Rockport Walk test 16 on a treadmill at 1% grade within the laboratory following completion of a Physical Activity Readiness Questionnaire (Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology). Following the orientation session, participants reported to the

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Jorge Arede, António Paulo Ferreira, Oliver Gonzalo-Skok and Nuno Leite

no significant differences were reported in sport-specific skills, such as dribbling, passing, shooting, and defensive movements, 7 the more mature players outperformed the less mature players at speed, jump, agility, aerobic fitness, and throwing level, 6 , 13 , 14 and, therefore, they may have an

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Rich D. Johnston

currently unknown. Previously, fatigue has been shown to impede technical skills, 8 – 10 with aerobic fitness 8 and lower body strength 9 protecting against fatigue-induced decrements in tackling technique. In addition, following the most intense 5-minute period of match play, reductions in skill actions

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Mitchell J. Henderson, Job Fransen, Jed J. McGrath, Simon K. Harries, Nick Poulos and Aaron J. Coutts

performed during the match. 9 However, it is not known whether this relationship holds for the 2-km time trial or final velocity during the 30:15 IFT . Moreover, although a previous study in rugby sevens has shown that players at higher levels have greater aerobic fitness, 10 it is not yet known if higher