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Aaron T. Scanlan, Jordan L. Fox, Nattai R. Borges and Vincent J. Dalbo

Purpose:

Declines in high-intensity activity during game play (in-game approach) and performance tests measured pre- and postgame (across-game approach) have been used to assess player fatigue in basketball. However, a direct comparison of these approaches is not available. Consequently, this study examined the commonality between in- and across-game jump fatigue during simulated basketball game play.

Methods:

Australian, state-level, junior male basketball players (n = 10; 16.6 ± 1.1 y, 182.4 ± 4.3 cm, 68.3 ± 10.2 kg) completed 4 × 10-min standardized quarters of simulated basketball game play. In-game jump height during game play was measured using video analysis, while across-game jump height was determined pre-, mid-, and postgame play using an in-ground force platform. Jump height was determined using the flight-time method, with jump decrement calculated for each approach across the first half, second half, and entire game.

Results:

A greater jump decrement was apparent for the in-game approach than for the across-game approach in the first half (37.1% ± 11.6% vs 1.7% ± 6.2%; P = .005; d = 3.81, large), while nonsignificant, large differences were evident between approaches in the second half (d = 1.14) and entire game (d = 1.83). Nonsignificant associations were evident between in-game and across-game jump decrement, with shared variances of 3–26%.

Conclusions:

Large differences and a low commonality were observed between in- and across-game jump fatigue during basketball game play, suggesting that these approaches measure different constructs. Based on our findings, it is not recommended that basketball coaches use these approaches interchangeably to monitor player fatigue across the season.

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Kevin De Pauw, Bart Roelands, Jeroen Van Cutsem, Lieselot Decroix, Angelica Valente, Kim Taehee, Robert B. Lettan II, Andres E. Carrillo and Romain Meeusen

Introduction:

Nasal spray (NAS) containing caffeine (CAF) or glucose (GLUC) activates sensory(motor) cortices.

Purpose:

To investigate the influence of CAF or GLUC NAS on exercise and cognitive performance.

Methods:

Eleven male subjects (age 22 ± 2 y) performed a maximal cycle test and 2 familiarization and 3 experimental trials. Each trial included a 30-s Wingate test and a 30-min time-trial (TT) performance test interspersed by 15 min of rest. Before and after each exercise test a Stroop task was conducted. Placebo NAS with or without CAF or GLUC was provided before each exercise session and at each completed 25% of the TT. Exercise-performance, physiological, and cognitive measures were obtained. Magnitude-based inferences determined the likelihood that NAS solutions would be beneficial, trivial, or negative to exercise-performance measures based on the smallest worthwhile effect. Physiological and cognitive measures were analyzed using (non)parametric tests (P < .05).

Results:

GLUC NAS substantially increased the average power output during the TT (very likely beneficial: 98%). No further worthwhile exercise-performance enhancements were found for both substances. In addition, no significant differences in physiological and cognitive measures were observed. In line with mouth rinsing, GLUC was shown to substantially enhance endurance performance, probably due to the activation of the olfactory pathway and/or extra-oral sweet-taste receptors.

Conclusion:

GLUC NAS enhances endurance performance, which indicates a novel administration route. The higher activity in sensory brain cortices probably elicited the ergogenic effect. However, no further physiological and cognitive changes occurred, indicating that higher doses of substrates might be required.

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Tai T. Tran, Lina Lundgren, Josh Secomb, Oliver R.L. Farley, G. Gregory Haff, Laurent B. Seitz, Robert U. Newton, Sophia Nimphius and Jeremy M. Sheppard

Purpose:

To determine whether a previously validated performance-testing protocol for competitive surfers is able to differentiate between Australian elite junior surfers selected (S) to the national team and those not selected (NS).

Methods:

Thirty-two elite male competitive junior surfers were divided into 2 groups (S = 16, NS = 16). Their age, height, body mass, sum of 7 skinfolds, and lean-body-mass ratio (mean ± SD) were 16.17 ± 1.26 y, 173.40 ± 5.30 cm, 62.35 ± 7.40 kg, 41.74 ± 10.82 mm, 1.54 ± 0.35 for the S athletes and 16.13 ± 1.02 y, 170.56 ± 6.6 cm, 61.46 ± 10.10 kg, 49.25 ± 13.04 mm, 1.31 ± 0.30 for the NS athletes. Power (countermovement jump [CMJ]), strength (isometric midthigh pull), 15-m sprint paddling, and 400-m endurance paddling were measured.

Results:

There were significant (P ≤ .05) differences between the S and NS athletes for relative vertical-jump peak force (P = .01, d = 0.9); CMJ height (P = .01, d = 0.9); time to 5-, 10-, and 15-m sprint paddle; sprint paddle peak velocity (P = .03, d = 0.8; PV); time to 400 m (P = .04, d = 0.7); and endurance paddling velocity (P = .05, d = 0.7).

Conclusions:

All performance variables, particularly CMJ height; time to 5-, 10-, and 15-m sprint paddle; sprint paddle PV; time to 400 m; and endurance paddling velocity, can effectively discriminate between S and NS competitive surfers, and this may be important for athlete profiling and training-program design.

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Oliver Gonzalo-Skok, Julio Tous-Fajardo, Carlos Valero-Campo, César Berzosa, Ana Vanessa Bataller, José Luis Arjol-Serrano, Gerard Moras and Alberto Mendez-Villanueva

Purpose:

To analyze the effects of 2 different eccentric-overload training (EOT) programs, using a rotational conical pulley, on functional performance in team-sport players. A traditional movement paradigm (ie, squat) including several sets of 1 bilateral and vertical movement was compared with a novel paradigm including a different exercise in each set of unilateral and multi-directional movements.

Methods:

Forty-eight amateur or semiprofessional team-sport players were randomly assigned to an EOT program including either the same bilateral vertical (CBV, n = 24) movement (squat) or different unilateral multidirectional (VUMD, n = 24) movements. Training programs consisted of 6 sets of 1 exercise (CBV) or 1 set of 6 exercises (VUMD) × 6–10 repetitions with 3 min of passive recovery between sets and exercises, biweekly for 8 wk. Functional-performance assessment included several change-of-direction (COD) tests, a 25-m linear-sprint test, unilateral multidirectional jumping tests (ie, lateral, horizontal, and vertical), and a bilateral vertical-jump test.

Results:

Within-group analysis showed substantial improvements in all tests in both groups, with VUMD showing more robust adaptations in pooled COD tests and lateral/horizontal jumping, whereas the opposite occurred in CBV respecting linear sprinting and vertical jumping. Between-groups analyses showed substantially better results in lateral jumps (ES = 0.21), left-leg horizontal jump (ES = 0.35), and 10-m COD with right leg (ES = 0.42) in VUMD than in CBV. In contrast, left-leg countermovement jump (ES = 0.26) was possibly better in CBV than in VUMD.

Conclusions:

Eight weeks of EOT induced substantial improvements in functional-performance tests, although the force-vector application may play a key role to develop different and specific functional adaptations.

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Kathleen Geist, Claire Bradley, Alan Hofman, Rob Koester, Fenella Roche, Annalise Shields, Elizabeth Frierson, Ainsley Rossi and Marie Johanson

Study Design:

Randomized controlled trial.

Objectives:

The aim of this study was to determine the effects of dry needling on hamstring extensibility and functional performance tests among asymptomatic individuals with hamstring muscle tightness.

Background:

Dry needling has been shown to increase range of motion in the upper quarter and may have similar effects in the lower quarter.

Methods:

27 subjects with hamstring extensibility deficits were randomly assigned to side of treatment (dominant or nondominant) and group (blunt needling or dry needling). The first session included measurement of hamstring extensibility and performance on 4 unilateral hop tests, instruction in home hamstring stretching exercises and needling distal to the ischial tuberosity and midbellies of the medial and lateral hamstrings. A second session, 3–5 days following the first session, included outcome measures and a second needling intervention, and a third session, 4–6 weeks following the first session, included outcome measures only. A 2 × 3 × 2 ANOVA was used to statistically analyze the data.

Results:

Hamstring extensibility showed a significant side × time interaction (P < .05). The single hop for distance, timed 6-meter hop, and the crossover hop test had a significant main effect of time (P < .05). The triple hop for distance showed a significant side × time × group interaction (P < .05).

Conclusions:

It does not appear dry needling results in increased extensibility beyond that of stretching alone in asymptomatic individuals. Our study findings suggest that dry needling may improve certain dimensions of functional performance, although no clear conclusion can be made. Level of Evidence: Intervention, level 2b.

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Sam Lowings, Oliver Michael Shannon, Kevin Deighton, Jamie Matu and Matthew John Barlow

Nitrate supplementation appears to be most ergogenic when oxygen availability is restricted and subsequently may be particularly beneficial for swimming performance due to the breath-hold element of this sport. This represents the first investigation of nitrate supplementation and swimming time-trial (TT) performance. In a randomized double-blind repeated-measures crossover study, ten (5 male, 5 female) trained swimmers ingested 140ml nitrate-rich (~12.5mmol nitrate) or nitrate-depleted (~0.01mmol nitrate) beetroot juice. Three hours later, subjects completed a maximal effort swim TT comprising 168m (8 × 21m lengths) backstroke. Preexercise fractional exhaled nitric oxide concentration was significantly elevated with nitrate compared with placebo, Mean (SD): 17 (9) vs. 7 (3)p.p.b., p = .008. Nitrate supplementation had a likely trivial effect on overall swim TT performance (mean difference 1.22s; 90% CI -0.18–2.6s; 0.93%; p = .144; d = 0.13; unlikely beneficial (22.6%), likely trivial (77.2%), most unlikely negative (0.2%)). The effects of nitrate supplementation during the first half of the TT were trivial (mean difference 0.29s; 90% CI -0.94–1.5s; 0.46%; p = .678; d = 0.05), but there was a possible beneficial effect of nitrate supplementation during the second half of the TT (mean difference 0.93s; 90% CI 0.13–1.70s; 1.36%; p = .062; d = 0.24; possibly beneficial (63.5%), possibly trivial (36.3%), most unlikely negative (0.2%)). The duration and speed of underwater swimming within the performance did not differ between nitrate and placebo (both p > .30). Nitrate supplementation increased nitric oxide bioavailability but did not benefit short-distance swimming performance or the underwater phases of the TT. Further investigation into the effects of nitrate supplementation during the second half of performance tests may be warranted.

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Moisés de Hoyo, Marco Pozzo, Borja Sañudo, Luis Carrasco, Oliver Gonzalo-Skok, Sergio Domínguez-Cobo and Eduardo Morán-Camacho

Purpose:

To analyze the effect of an eccentric-overload training program (ie, half-squat and leg-curl exercises using flywheel ergometers) with individualized load on muscle-injury incidence and severity and performance in junior elite soccer players.

Methods:

Thirty-six young players (U-17 to U-19) were recruited and assigned to an experimental (EXP) or control group (CON). The training program consisted of 1 or 2 sessions/wk (3–6 sets with 6 repetitions) during 10 wk. The outcome measured included muscle injury (incidence per 1000 h of exposure and injury severity) and performance tests (countermovement jump [CMJ], 10-m and 20-m sprint test).

Results:

Between-groups results showed a likely (ES: 0.94) lower number of days of absence per injury and a possible decrement of incidence per 1000 h of match play in EXP than in CON. Regarding muscle performance, a substantial better improvement (likely to very likely) was found in 20-m sprint time (ES: 0.37), 10-m flying-sprint time (ES: 0.77), and CMJ (ES: 0.79) for EXP than for CON. Within-group analysis showed an unclear effect in each variable in CON. Conversely, substantial improvements were obtained in CMJ (ES: 0.58), 20-m sprint time (ES: 0.32), 10-m flying-sprint time (ES: 0.95), and injury severity (ES: 0.59) in EXP. Furthermore, a possible decrement in total injury incidence was also reported in EXP.

Conclusions:

The eccentric-based program led to a reduction in muscle-injury incidence and severity and showed improvements in common soccer tasks such as jumping ability and linear-sprinting speed.

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Darrell L. Bonetti, Will G. Hopkins and Andrew E. Kilding

Context:

Live-high train-low altitude training produces worthwhile gains in performance for endurance athletes, but the benefits of adaptation to various forms of artificial altitude are less clear.

Purpose:

To quantify the effects of intermittent hypoxic exposure on kayak performance.

Methods:

In a crossover design with a 6-week washout, we randomized 10 subelite male sprint kayak paddlers to hypoxia or control groups for 3 weeks (5 days/week) of intermittent hypoxic exposure using a nitrogen-filtration device. Each day's exposure consisted of alternately breathing hypoxic and ambient air for 5 minutes each over 1 hour. Performance tests were an incremental step test to estimate peak power, maximal oxygen uptake, exercise economy, and lactate threshold; a 500-m time trial; and 5 × 100-m sprints. All tests were performed on a wind-braked kayak ergometer 7 and 3 days pretreatment and 3 and 10 days post treatment. Hemoglobin concentration was measured at 1 day pretreatment, 5 and 10 days during treatment, and 3 days after treatment.

Results:

Relative to control, at 3 days post treatment the hypoxia group showed the following increases: peak power 6.8% (90% confidence limits, ± 5.2%), mean repeat sprint power 8.3% (± 6.7%), and hemoglobin concentration 3.6% (± 3.2%). Changes in lactate threshold, mean 500-m power, maximal oxygen uptake, and exercise economy were unclear. Large effects for peak power and mean sprint speed were still present 10 days posthypoxia.

Conclusion:

These effects of intermittent hypoxic exposure should enhance performance in kayak racing. The effects might be mediated via changes in oxygen transport.

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Peter M. Christensen and Jens Bangsbo

Purpose:

To evaluate the influence of warm-up exercise intensity and subsequent recovery on intense endurance performance, selected blood variables, and the oxygen-uptake (VO2) response.

Methods:

Twelve highly trained male cyclists (VO2max 72.4 ± 8.0 mL · min−1 · kg−1, incremental-test peak power output (iPPO) 432 ± 31 W; mean ± SD) performed 3 warm-up strategies lasting 20 min before a 4-min maximal-performance test (PT). Strategies consisted of moderate-intensity exercise (50%iPPO) followed by 6 min of recovery (MOD6) or progressive high-intensity exercise (10–100%iPPO and 2 × 20-s sprints) followed by recovery for 6 min (HI6) or 20 min (HI20).

Results:

Before PT venous pH was lower (P < .001) in HI6 (7.27 ± 0.05) than in HI20 (7.34 ± 0.04) and MOD6 (7.35 ± 0.03). At the same time, differences (P < .001) existed for venous lactate in HI6 (8.2 ± 2.0 mmol/L), HI20 (5.1 ± 1.7 mmol/L), and MOD6 (1.4 ± 0.4 mmol/L), as well as for venous bicarbonate in HI6 (19.3 ± 2.6 mmol/L), HI20 (22.6 ± 2.3 mmol/L), and MOD6 (26.0 ± 1.4 mmol/L). Mean power in PT in HI6 (402 ± 38 W) tended to be lower (P = .11) than in HI20 (409 ± 34 W) and was lower (P = .007) than in MOD6 (416 ± 32 W). Total VO2 (15–120 s in PT) was higher in HI6 (8.18 ± 0.86 L) than in HI20 (7.85 ± 0.82 L, P = .008) and MOD6 (7.90 ± 0.74 L, P = .012).

Conclusions:

Warm-up exercise including race-pace and sprint intervals combined with short recovery can reduce subsequent performance in a 4-min maximal test in highly trained cyclists. Thus, a reduced time at high exercise intensity, a reduced intensity in the warm-up, or an extension of the recovery period after an intense warm-up is advocated.

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Bryan L. Riemann and George J. Davies

Compared with the lower-extremity, fewer functional performance tests are available for upper-extremity (UE) testing, along with a scarcity of data validating the few UE functional performance tests described. The seated single-arm shot-put (SSASP) test is a functional performance test, which