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Remco Polman, Jonathan Bloomfield and Andrew Edwards

Purpose:

The main objective of this study was to investigate the efficacy of both programmed (speed, agility, and quickness; SAQ) and random (small-sided games; SSG) conditioning methods on selected neuromuscular and physical performance variables.

Methods:

Twenty volunteers (21.1 ± 4.0 y, 1.71 ± 0.09 m, 66.7 ± 9.9 kg; mean ± SD) completed the study. The study design used two physically challenging periodized experimental conditions (SAQ and SSG conditions) and a non exercise control condition (CON). Participants engaged in 12.2 ± 2.1 h of directed physical conditioning. All participants had at least 24 h of recovery between conditioning sessions, and each 1-h session included 15 min of general warm-up and a 45-min exercise session. Participants completed a battery of tests (15-m sprint, isokinetic flexion/extension, depth jump) before and following the training program.

Results:

There was a 6.9% (95% CI: -4.4 to 18.3) greater improvement in 5-m acceleration time and 4.3% (95% CI: -0.9 to 9.5) in 15-m mean running velocity time for the SAQ group compared with the SSG group. In addition, increases in maximal isokinetic concentric strength for both the flexor and extensor muscles, with the exception of 180 °/s flexion, were greater in the SAQ than SSG condition. The SAQ group also showed 19.5% (95% CI: -11.2 to 50.2) greater gain in reactive strength (contact time depth jump) and 53.8% (95% CI: 11.2 to 98.6) in mean gastrocnemius medialis activity in comparison with SSG.

Conclusions:

SAQ training should benefit the physical conditioning programs of novice players performing invasion games.

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Pedro Figueiredo, Renata Willig, Francisco Alves, João Paulo Vilas-Boas and Ricardo J. Fernandes

Purpose:

To examine the effect of swimming speed (v) on the biomechanical and physiological responses of a trained front-crawl swimmer with a unilateral arm amputation.

Methods:

A 13-y-old girl with a unilateral arm amputation (level of the elbow) was tested for stroke length (SL, horizontal displacement cover with each stroke cycle), stroke frequency (SF, inverse of the time to complete each stroke cycle), adapted index of coordination (IdCadapt, lag time between propulsive phases), intracycle velocity variation (IVV, coefficient of variation of the instantaneous velocity–time data), active drag (D, hydrodynamic resistance), and energy cost (C, ratio of metabolic power to speed) during trials of increasing v.

Results:

Swimmer data showed a positive relationship between v and SF (R 2 = 1, P < .001), IVV (R 2 = .98, P = .002), D (R 2 = .98, P < .001), and C (R 2 = .95, P = .001) and a negative relationship with the SL (R 2 = .99, P = .001). No relation was found between v and IdCadapt (R 2 = .35, P = .22). A quadratic regression best fitted the relationship between v and general kinematical parameters (SL and SF); a cubic relationship fit the IVV best. The relationship between v and D was best expressed by a power regression, and the linear regression fit the C and IdCadapt best.

Conclusions:

The subject’s adaptation to increased v was different from able-bodied swimmers, mainly on interarm coordination, maintaining the lag time between propulsive phases, which influence the magnitude of the other parameters. These results might be useful to develop specific training and enhance swimming performance in swimmers with amputations.

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Susana M. Soares, Ricardo J. Fernandes, J. Leandro Machado, José A. Maia, Daniel J. Daly and João P. Vilas-Boas

Context:

It is essential to determine swimmers’ anaerobic potential and better plan training, understanding physiological effects of the fatigue.

Purpose:

To study changes in the characteristics of the intracyclic velocity variation during an all-out 50-m swim and to observe differences in speed and stroking parameters between these changes.

Methods:

28 competitive swimmers performed a 50-m front-crawl all-out test while attached to a speedometer. The velocity–time (v[t]) curve off all stroke cycles was analyzed per individual using a routine that included a wavelet procedure, allowing the determination of the fatigue thresholds that divide effort in time intervals.

Results:

One or 2 fatigue thresholds were observed at individual level on the v(t) curve. In males, when 1 fatigue threshold was identified, the mean velocity and the stroke index dropped (P < .05) in the second time interval (1.7 ± 0.0 vs 1.6 ± 0.0 m/s and 3.0 ± 0.2 vs 2.8 ± 0.3 m/s, respectively). When 2 fatigue thresholds were identified, the mean velocity of the first time interval was higher than that of the third time interval (P < .05), for both male (1.7 ± 0.0 vs 1.6 ± 0.1 m/s) and female (1.5 ± 0.1 vs 1.3 ± 0.1 m/s) swimmers.

Conclusion:

One or 2 fatigue thresholds were found in the intracyclic velocity-variation patterns. Concurrently, changes in velocity and stroke parameters were also observed between time intervals. This information could allow coaches to obtain new insights into delaying the degenerative effects of fatigue and maintain stable stroke-cycle characteristics over a 50-m event.

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Jean-Benoît Morin, George Petrakos, Pedro Jiménez-Reyes, Scott R. Brown, Pierre Samozino and Matt R. Cross

Background:

Sprint running acceleration is a key feature of physical performance in team sports, and recent literature shows that the ability to generate large magnitudes of horizontal ground-reaction force and mechanical effectiveness of force application are paramount. The authors tested the hypothesis that very-heavy loaded sled sprint training would induce an improvement in horizontal-force production, via an increased effectiveness of application.

Methods:

Training-induced changes in sprint performance and mechanical outputs were computed using a field method based on velocity–time data, before and after an 8-wk protocol (16 sessions of 10- × 20-m sprints). Sixteen male amateur soccer players were assigned to either a very-heavy sled (80% body mass sled load) or a control group (unresisted sprints).

Results:

The main outcome of this pilot study is that very-heavy sled-resisted sprint training, using much greater loads than traditionally recommended, clearly increased maximal horizontal-force production compared with standard unloaded sprint training (effect size of 0.80 vs 0.20 for controls, unclear between-groups difference) and mechanical effectiveness (ie, more horizontally applied force; effect size of 0.95 vs –0.11, moderate between-groups difference). In addition, 5-m and 20-m sprint performance improvements were moderate and small for the very-heavy sled group and small and trivial for the control group, respectively.

Practical Applications:

This brief report highlights the usefulness of very-heavy sled (80% body mass) training, which may suggest value for practical improvement of mechanical effectiveness and maximal horizontal-force capabilities in soccer players and other team-sport athletes.

Results:

This study may encourage further research to confirm the usefulness of very-heavy sled in this context.

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Pedro G. Morouço, Tiago M. Barbosa, Raul Arellano and João P. Vilas-Boas

interface was used to acquire, display, and process pairwise velocity–time data on-line during the trials. To transfer data from the speedometer to the software application, a 12-bit resolution acquisition card (USB-6008; National Instruments Corp) was used as well. For the maximal effort 30-second tethered

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Ramón Marcote-Pequeño, Amador García-Ramos, Víctor Cuadrado-Peñafiel, Jorge M. González-Hernández, Miguel Ángel Gómez and Pedro Jiménez-Reyes

providing more meaningful data to implement individualized training programs. 12 , 13 Namely, the force and velocity data collected during vertical jumps performed against 2 or more loads 14 , 15 and the displacement–time (or velocity–time) data recorded during sprint running 16 , 17 can be used to model

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Reed D. Gurchiek, Hasthika S. Rupasinghe Arachchige Don, Lasanthi C. R. Pelawa Watagoda, Ryan S. McGinnis, Herman van Werkhoven, Alan R. Needle, Jeffrey M. McBride and Alan T. Arnholt

metrics clear—increases in v 0 or the ratio v 0 / τ are associated with improved sprint performance. In practice, these constants are estimated for an athlete using position–time or velocity–time data and Equation  3 or 2 , respectively. 1 – 5 , 7 Experiments have been conducted for smartphone

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Caleb D. Bazyler, Satoshi Mizuguchi, Ashley A. Kavanaugh, John J. McMahon, Paul Comfort and Michael H. Stone

obtain a velocity–time trace. Peak power was the maximal value obtained from the product of the velocity–time and force–time traces. The mean of the 2 best trials within a 2-cm difference in JH was used for analysis. Additional trials were performed when the difference between 2 trials was greater than 2

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Jesús J. Ruiz-Navarro, Pedro G. Morouço and Raúl Arellano

’s hip by way of a belt, recording at 200 Hz. Data were recorded, converted (signal frame MF020; Sportmetrics, Valencia, Spain), and exported to the software (SignalFrame version 2.00; Sportmetrics). Total time and SR were recorded using automatic swimming performance analysis. Force–time and velocity–time

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Adam Culiver, J. Craig Garrison, Kalyssa M. Creed, John E. Conway, Shiho Goto and Sherry Werner

collection. Kinematic variables used for analysis in the current study included stride length, time to maximal humerus velocity, time to maximal thorax velocity, and time from SFC to maximal knee flexion. All kinematic data were analyzed using a 9-camera Qualisys (Göteborg, Sweden) camera system sampling at