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Timo Tapio Jaakkola, Arja Sääkslahti, Sami Yli-Piipari, Mika Manninen, Anthony Watt and Jarmo Liukkonen

The purpose of the study was to analyze students’ motivation in relation to their participation in fitness testing classes. Participants were 134 Finnish Grade 5 and 8 students. Students completed the contextual motivation and perceived physical competence scales before the fitness testing class and the situational motivation questionnaire immediately after the class. During the fitness test class, abdominal muscle endurance was measured by curl-up test, lower body explosive strength and locomotor skills by the five leaps test, and speed and agility by the Figure 8 running test. For the fitness testing class, students reported higher scores for intrinsic motivation, identified motivation, and amotivation than in their general physical education program. The result of the path analysis showed physical fitness was positively related to perceived physical competence. In addition, perceived competence was found to be a positive predictor of situational intrinsic motivation, but not of other forms of situational motivation. Significant path coefficients in the model ranged from −.15 to .26.

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Fátima Ramalho, Filomena Carnide, Rita Santos-Rocha, Helô-Isa André, Vera Moniz-Pereira, Maria L. Machado and António P. Veloso

Functional fitness (FF) and gait ability in older populations have been associated with increased survival rates, fall prevention, and quality of life. One possible intervention for the improvement of FF is well-structured exercise programs. However, there are inconsistent findings regarding the effects of exercise interventions in the maintenance of gait parameters. The aim of this protocol is to develop a community-based exercise intervention targeting an older population. The intervention aim is the improvement of gait parameters and FF. A control trial with follow-up will be performed. The primary outcome variables will be plantar pressure gait parameters. The secondary outcome variables will be aerobic endurance, lower limb strength, agility, and balance. These variables will be recorded at baseline and after 12, 24, and 36 weeks, in the intervention and control groups. If effective, this protocol can be used by exercise professionals in improving community exercise programs.

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N. Füsun Toraman, Alparslan Erman and Evren Agyar

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of a 9-week supervised multicomponent exercise program on functional fitness and body composition in independent older adults. Forty-two adults age 60–86 years were randomly assigned to an exercise or a control group and were evaluated before and after training. The training program consisted of 3 sessions of walking, strengthening, and flexibility exercises per week. The multicomponent training program resulted in significant (p < .005) improvements on the chair stand, arm curl, 6-min walk, and up-and-go tests. The findings of this study indicate that a 9-week training program increased upper and lower body strength, aerobic endurance, and agility/dynamic balance in older adults. The most affected components of functional fitness were lower body strength and aerobic endurance. There was no effect of the 9-week training on body composition.

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Juan Del Coso, Alberto Pérez-López, Javier Abian-Vicen, Juan Jose Salinero, Beatriz Lara and David Valadés

There are no scientific data about the effects of caffeine intake on volleyball performance. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of a caffeine-containing energy drink to enhance physical performance in male volleyball players. A double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized experimental design was used. In 2 different sessions separated by 1 wk, 15 college volleyball players ingested 3 mg of caffeine per kg of body mass in the form of an energy drink or the same drink without caffeine (placebo). After 60 min, participants performed volleyball-specific tests: standing spike test, maximal squat jump (SJ), maximal countermovement jump (CMJ), 15-s rebound jump test (15RJ), and agility T-test. Later, a simulated volleyball match was played and recorded. In comparison with the placebo drink, the ingestion of the caffeinated energy drink increased ball velocity in the spike test (73 ± 9 vs 75 ± 10 km/h, P < .05) and the mean jump height in SJ (31.1 ± 4.3 vs 32.7 ± 4.2 cm, P < .05), CMJ (35.9 ± 4.6 vs 37.7 ± 4.4 cm, P < .05), and 15RJ (29.0 ± 4.0 vs 30.5 ± 4.6 cm, P < .05). The time to complete the agility test was significantly reduced with the caffeinated energy drink (10.8 ± 0.7 vs 10.3 ± 0.4 s, P < .05). In addition, players performed successful volleyball actions more frequently (24.6% ± 14.3% vs 34.3% ± 16.5%, P < .05) with the ingestion of the caffeinated energy drink than with the placebo drink during the simulated game. A caffeine-containing energy drink, with a dose equivalent to 3 mg of caffeine per kg body mass, might be an effective ergogenic aid to improve physical performance and accuracy in male volleyball players.

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Jan Boone and Jan Bourgois

Purpose:

The current study aimed to gain insight into the physiological profile of elite basketball players in Belgium in relation to their position on the field.

Methods:

The group consisted of 144 players, divided into 5 groups according to position (point guards [PGs], shooting guards [SGs], small forwards [SFs], power forwards [PFs], and centers [Cs]). The anthropometrics were measured and the subjects underwent fitness tests (incremental running test, 10-m sprint, 5 ×-10 m, squat and countermovement jump, isokinetic test) to obtain insight into endurance, speed, agility, and power. The parameters of these tests were compared among the different positions by means of 1-way variance analysis (MANOVA). Tukey post hoc tests were performed in case of a significant MANOVA.

Results:

It was observed that Cs were taller and heavier and had a higher percentage body fat than PGs and SGs. For the anaerobic sprint test Cs were slower than the other positions. For the 5 × 10-m the PGs and SGs were faster than SFs and PFs. For the jump test Cs displayed a significantly lower absolute performance than the other positions. PGs and SGs had a higher VO2peak and speed at the anaerobic threshold than PFs and Cs. The isokinetic strength test showed that the quadriceps muscle group of Cs could exert a higher torque during knee extension than the other positions.

Conclusions:

The current study showed that the physiological profile of elite players in the Belgian first division differs by player position. More specifically, guards were characterized by high endurance, speed, and agility, whereas centers and power forwards had higher muscle strength than the other positions.

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Jaime Fernandez-Fernandez, David Sanz, Jose Manuel Sarabia and Manuel Moya

Purpose:

To compare the effects of combining high-intensity training (HIT) and sport-specific drill training (MT) versus sportspecific drill training alone (DT) on fitness performance characteristics in young tennis players.

Methods:

Twenty young tennis players (14.8 ± 0.1 y) were assigned to either DT (n = 10) or MT (n = 10) for 8 wk. Tennis drills consisted of two 16- to 22-min on-court exercise sessions separated by 3 min of passive rest, while MT consisted of 1 sport-specific DT session and 1 HIT session, using 16–22 min of runs at intensities (90–95%) related to the velocity obtained in the 30–15 Intermittent Fitness Test (VIFT) separated by 3 min of passive rest. Pre- and posttests included peak oxygen uptake (VO2peak), VIFT, speed (20 m, with 5- and 10-m splits), 505 Agility Test, and countermovement jump (CMJ).

Results:

There were significant improvements after the training period in VO2peak (DT 2.4%, ES = moderate; MT 4.2%, ES = large) and VIFT (DT 2.2%, ES = small; MT 6.3%, ES = large) for both DT and MT, with no differences between training protocols. Results also showed a large increase in the 505 Agility Test after MT, while no changes were reported in the other tests (sprint and CMJ), either for MT or DT.

Conclusions:

Even though both training programs resulted in significant improvements in aerobic performance, a mixed program combining tennis drills and runs based on the VIFT led to greater gains and should be considered the preferred training method for improving aerobic power in young athletes.

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James Zois, David Bishop and Rob Aughey

High-intensity, short-duration warm-up techniques improve acute physical performance, but sparse research has examined their consequence when followed by intermittent activity, which is pertinent to team sports. The authors compared a 5-repetition-maximum (5RM) leg-press, a small-sided game (SSG), and a current team-sport warm-up in 10 semiprofessional soccer players after 2 intermittent-activity protocols consisting of 15 repetitions of a 60-s circuit that included sprinting, slalom, walking, jogging, decelerations, changes of direction, backward running, and striding activities. There was a large improvement in countermovement-jump height in the 5RM after the 1st intermittent-activity protocol (mean, ±90% CL 6.0, ±4.0%, P = .03) and a small improvement after the 2nd (4.6, ±4.0%, P = .04) compared with team sport. Reactive agility was moderately faster via 5RM after the 1st intermittent-activity protocol (3.1, ±2.6%: P = .04) and the 2nd (5.7, ±2.7%, P = .001) than via SSG. There was a small improvement in reactive agility after the 1st intermittent-activity protocol in the 5RM, compared with team sport (3.3, ±2.9%, P = .04). There was a small improvement in mean 20-m-sprint times after both intermittent-activity protocols in the 5RM, compared with SSG (4.2, ±2.0%, P = .01, and 4.3, ±2.0%, P = .01) and, after the 1st intermittent-activity protocol only, compared with team sport (4.2, ±2.1%, P = 0.02). Small increases in blood lactate concentration were observed (46.7, ±18.6%, P = .01) in the 5RM compared with the SSG after the 2nd intermittent-activity protocol. Improved performances after the 5RM warm-up should encourage practitioners to reduce activity time and include high-intensity tasks in team-sport warmups aimed at inducing a potentiating effect.

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Patrick Delisle-Houde, Nathan A. Chiarlitti, Ryan E.R. Reid and Ross E. Andersen

Ice hockey is a physically demanding contact sport that requires players to perform repeated bouts of high-energy output shifts lasting 30 to 80 seconds. 1 , 2 Ice hockey players are required to develop many physical attributes such as speed, agility, and flexibility to perform optimally in the

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Peggy M. Roswal, Claudine Sherrill and Glenn M. Roswal

This study compared the effectiveness of data based and creative dance pedagogies in relation to motor skill performance and self-concept of mentally retarded students. Subjects (N=35) were moderately mentally retarded males and females, ages 11 to 16 years, in special education classes. Their mean age was 12.88 years in the data based group and 13.47 years in the creative dance group. Excluding testing, the study lasted 8 weeks. Each group received 40 lessons of 30 minutes each. Data based pedagogy was based on the work of Dunn, Morehouse, and Dalke (1979), and creative dance pedagogy was based primarily on the work of Riordan (Fitt & Riordan, 1980). Pretest and posttest data were collected through administration of the Data Based Dance Skills Placement Test, selected subtests of the Cratty Six-Category Gross Motor Test, and the Martinek-Zaichkowsky Self-Concept Scale. Multivariate analysis of covariance revealed no difference between pedagogies. The group means indicated improvement in dance skill performance but not in self-concept or body perception, balance, and gross and locomotor agility.

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Michael Wilkinson, Damon Leedale-Brown and Edward M. Winter

Purpose:

We examined the validity and reproducibility of a squash-specifc test designed to assess change-of-direction speed.

Methods:

10 male squash and 10 male association-football and rugby-union players completed the Illinois agility run (IAR) and a squash change-of-direction-speed test (SCODS) on separate days. Tests were repeated after 24 h to assess reproducibility. The best time from three attempts was recorded in each trial.

Results:

Performance times on the IAR (TE 0.27 s, 1.8%, 90% CI 0.21 to 0.37 s; LOA -0.12 s ± 0.74; LPR slope 1, intercept -2.8) and SCODS (TE 0.18 s, 1.5%, 90% CI 0.14 to 0.24 s; LOA 0.05 s ± 0.49; LPR slope 0.95, intercept 0.5) were reproducible. There were no statistically significant differences in performance time between squash (14.75 ± 0.66 s) and nonsquash players (14.79 ± 0.41 s) on the IAR. Squash players (10.90 ± 0.44 s) outperformed nonsquash players (12.20 ± 0.34 s) on the SCODS (P < .01). Squash player rank significantly correlated with SCODS performance time (Spearman’s ρ = 0.77, P < .01), but not IAR performance time (Spearman’s ρ = 0.43, P = .21).

Conclusions:

The results suggest that the SCODS test is a better measure of sport-specific capability than an equivalent nonspecific field test and that it is a valid and reliable tool for talent identification and athlete tracking.