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Maamer Slimani, Helmi Chaabene, Bianca Miarka and Karim Chamari

Purpose:

To determine the performance aspects (time–motion and technical-tactical analysis) of top-level low-kick kickboxers according to gender, weight category, combat round, and match outcome.

Methods:

Seventy-two kickboxers (44 male, 28 female) were studied. Thirty-six bouts (male = 61, female = 41 rounds) were analyzed using a time–motion system. Time structure was classified into 3 phases: preparatory-activity time (PT), fighting time (FT), and stoppage time (ST).

Results:

Referee decisions caused an overall effort:pause ratio (E:P) of ~1:1.5, with a significant difference between weight categories (light and middleweights = 1:1.5, heavyweight = 1:1). This ratio was ~1:6 when high-intensity actions–to-pause activities were considered. Significant differences were also observed between rounds (all P < .001), with 1st-, 2nd-, and 3rd-round E:Ps of 1:1, 1:1.5, and ~1:2, respectively. The relative times of FT and PT, total attacking actions, upper-limb actions, number of technical actions performed on the head, and the number of high-intensity actions were higher in males than females (all P = .05). Males performed more jab-cross actions and fewer low kicks than females (P < .001). Males used upper-limb (63.4%) more than lower-limb techniques (36.6%), targeting the head (56.9%) more than the body/leg (43.1%), with no significant difference from females (P > .05). E:P was similar between winners and losers. However, the numbers of technical actions performed on the head, counterattack actions, jab-cross technique, and total punches were higher in winners than losers (all P < .05).

Conclusions:

Training programs need to be adapted to the specific requirements of kickboxers’ weight categories and gender to develop the technical-tactical abilities that improve athletes’ chances of winning.

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Markus J. Klusemann, David B. Pyne, Will G. Hopkins and Eric J. Drinkwater

Competition-specific conditioning for tournament basketball games is challenging, as the demands of tournament formats are not well characterized.

Purpose:

To compare the physical, physiological, and tactical demands of seasonal and tournament basketball competition and determine the pattern of changes within an international tournament.

Methods:

Eight elite junior male basketball players (age 17.8 ± 0.2 y, height 1.93 ± 0.07 m, mass 85 ± 3 kg; mean ± SD) were monitored in 6 seasonal games played over 4 mo in an Australian second-division national league and in 7 games of an international under-18 tournament played over 8 days. Movement patterns and tactical elements were coded from video and heart rates recorded by telemetry.

Results:

The frequency of running, sprinting, and shuffling movements in seasonal games was higher than in tournament games by 8–15% (99% confidence limits ± ~8%). Within the tournament, jogging and low- to medium-intensity shuffling decreased by 15–20% (± ~14%) over the 7 games, while running, sprinting, and high-intensity shuffling increased 11–81% (± ~25%). There were unclear differences in mean and peak heart rates. The total number of possessions was higher in seasonal than in tournament games by 8% (± 10%).

Conclusions:

Coaches should consider a stronger emphasis on strength and power training in their conditioning programs to account for the higher activity of seasonal games. For tournament competition, strategies that build a sufficient aerobic capacity and neuromuscular resilience to maintain high-intensity movements need to be employed. A focus on half-court tactics accounts for the lower number of possessions in tournaments.

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Nick Garrett, Philip J. Schluter and Grant Schofield

Background:

A minority of adults in developed countries engage in sufficient physical activity (PA) to achieve health benefits. This study aims to identify modifiable perceived resources and barriers to PA among New Zealand adults.

Methods:

Secondary analysis of a 2003 nationally representative cross-sectional mail survey, stratified by region, age, and ethnicity, and analyzed utilizing ordinal logistic regression.

Results:

Overall, n = 8038 adults responded to the survey, of whom 49% met updated guidelines for sufficient PA. Perceived accessibility of local resources was associated with PA; however, for some resources there was more awareness among individuals whose predominant activity was not commonly associated with that resource (eg, health clubs and walkers). Perceived local environmental barriers demonstrated negative (steep hills, crime, dogs) and positive (unmaintained footpaths) associations. The absence of perceived environmental barriers was strongly associated with increased activity, suggesting the number of barriers may be a critical factor.

Conclusion:

Complex relationships between perceptions of local environments and activity patterns among adults were found. Although complex, these results demonstrate positive associations between awareness of resources and perceived lack of barriers with being sufficiently physically active for health. Therefore, investments in provision and/or promotion of local resources have the potential to enable active healthy communities.

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Marco Cardinale, Rodney Whiteley, Ahmed Abdelrahman Hosny and Nebojsa Popovic

Context:

Handball is an Olympic sport played indoors by 6 court players and 1 goalkeeper with rolling substitutions. Limited data exist on elite players competing in a world championship, and virtually no information exists on the evolution of time–motion performance over the course of a long tournament.

Purpose:

To analyze time–motion characteristics of elite male handball players of the last world championships, played in Qatar in 2015.

Participants:

384 handball players from 24 national teams.

Methods:

The athletes were analyzed during 88 matches using a tracking camera system and bespoke software (Prozone Handball v. 1.2, Prozone, Leeds, UK).

Results:

The average time on court (N = 2505) during the world championships for all players was 36:48 ± 20:27 min. Goalkeepers and left and right wings were on court most of the playing time (GK 43.00 ± 25:59 min; LW 42:02 ± 21:07 min; RW 43:44 ± 21:37 min). The total distance covered during each game (2607.5 ± 1438.4 m) consisted mostly of walking and jogging. The cumulative distance covered during the tournament was 16,313 ± 9423.3 m. Players performed 857.2 ± 445.7 activity changes with a recovery time of 124.3 ± 143 s. The average running pace was 78.2 ± 10.8 m/min. There was no significant difference between high-ranked and lower-ranked teams in terms of distance covered in different locomotion categories.

Conclusions:

Specific physical conditioning is necessary to maximize performance of handball players and minimize the occurrence of fatigue when performing in long tournaments.

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P. Margaret Grant, Malcolm H. Granat, Morag K. Thow and William M. Maclaren

This study measured objectively the postural physical activity of 4 groups of older adults (≥65 yr). The participants (N = 70) comprised 3 patient groups—2 from rehabilitation wards (city n = 20, 81.8 ± 6.7 yr; rural n = 10, 79.4 ± 4.7 yr) and the third from a city day hospital (n = 20, 74.7 ± 7.9 yr)—and a healthy group to provide context (n = 20, 73.7 ± 5.5 yr). The participants wore an activity monitor (activPAL) for a week. A restricted maximum-likelihood-estimation analysis of hourly upright time (standing and walking) revealed significant differences between day, hour, and location and the interaction between location and hour (p < .001). Differences in the manner in which groups accumulated upright and sedentary time (sitting and lying) were found, with the ward-based groups sedentary for prolonged periods and upright for short episodes. This information may be used by clinicians to design appropriate rehabilitation interventions and monitor patient progress.

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Stephen J. Kelly, Aron J. Murphy, Mark L. Watsford, Damien Austin and Michael Rennie

Purpose:

To investigate the validity and reliability of accelerometry of the SPI-ProX II dual data logger (GPSports, Canberra, Australia).

Methods:

Controlled laboratory assessments determined the accuracy and reproducibility of raw accelerometer data. Intra- and interdevice reliability assessed the ability of the SPI-ProX II accelerometers to repeatedly measure peak gravitational accelerations (g) during impact-based testing. Static and dynamic validity testing assessed the accuracy of SPI-ProX II accelerometers against a criterion-referenced accelerometer. Dynamic validity was assessed over a range of frequencies from 5 to 15 Hz.

Results:

Intradevice reliability found no differences (P < .05) between 4 SPI-ProX II accelerometers, with a low coefficient of variation (1.87–2.21%). SPI-ProX II accelerometers demonstrated small to medium effect-size (ES) differences (0.10–0.44) between groups and excellent interdevice reliability, with no difference found between units (F = 0.826, P = .484). Validity testing revealed significant differences between devices (P = .001), with high percentage differences (27.5–30.5%) and a large ES (>3.44).

Conclusions:

SPI-ProX II accelerometers demonstrated excellent intra- and interaccelerometer reliability. However, static and dynamic validity were poor, and caution is recommended when measuring the absolute magnitude of acceleration, particularly for high-frequency movements. Regular assessment of individual devices is advised, particularly for mechanical damage and signal-drift errors. It is recommended that guidelines be provided by the manufacturer on measuring shifts in the base accelerometer signal, including time frames for assessing accelerometer axis, magnitude of errors, and calibration of accelerometers from a stable reference point.

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Craig Twist, Jamie Highton, Mark Waldron, Emma Edwards, Damien Austin and Tim J. Gabbett

Purpose:

This study compared the movement demands of players competing in matches from the elite Australian and European rugby league competitions.

Methods:

Global positioning system devices were used to measure 192 performances of forwards, adjustables, and outside backs during National Rugby League (NRL; n = 88) and European Super League (SL; n = 104) matches. Total and relative distances covered overall and at low (0–3.5 m/s), moderate (3.6–5 m/s), and high (>5 m/s) speeds were measured alongside changes in movement variables across the early, middle, and late phases of the season.

Results:

The relative distance covered in SL matches (95.8 ± 18.6 m/min) was significantly greater (P < .05) than in NRL matches (90.2 ± 8.3 m/min). Relative low-speed activity (70.3 ± 4.9 m/min vs 75.5 ± 18.9 m/min) and moderate-speed running (12.5 ± 3.3 m m/min vs 14.2 ± 3.8 m/min) were highest (P < .05) in the SL matches, and relative high-speed distance was greater (P < .05) during NRL matches (7.8 ± 2.1 m/min vs 6.1 ± 1.7 m/min).

Conclusions:

NRL players have better maintenance of high-speed running between the first and second halves of matches and perform less low- and moderate-speed activity, indicating that the NRL provides a higher standard of rugby league competition than the SL.

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Tim J. Gabbett, Ben Walker and Shane Walker

Purpose:

To investigate the influence of prior knowledge of exercise duration on the pacing strategies employed during gamebased activities.

Methods:

Twelve semiprofessional team-sport athletes (mean ± SD age 22.8 ± 2.1 y) participated in this study. Players performed 3 small-sided games in random order. In one condition (Control), players were informed that they would play the small-sided game for 12 min and then completed the 12-min game. In a 2nd condition (Deception), players were told that they would play the small-sided game for 6 minutes, but after completing the 6-min game, they were asked to complete another 6 min. In a 3rd condition (Unknown), players were not told how long they would be required to play the small-sided game, but the activity was terminated after 12 min. Movement was recorded using a GPS unit sampling at 10 Hz. Post hoc inspection of video footage was undertaken to count the number of possessions and the number and quality of disposals.

Results:

Higher initial intensities were observed in the Deception (130.6 ± 3.3 m/min) and Unknown (129.3 ± 2.4 m/min) conditions than the Control condition (123.3 ± 3.4 m/min). Greater amounts of high-speed running occurred during the initial phases of the Deception condition, and more low-speed activity occurred during the Unknown condition. A moderately greater number of total skill involvements occurred in the Unknown condition than the Control condition.

Conclusions:

These findings suggest that during game-based activities, players alter their pacing strategy based on the anticipated endpoint of the exercise bout.

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Rhona Martin-Smith, Duncan S. Buchan, Julien S. Baker, Mhairi J. Macdonald, Nicholas F. Sculthorpe, Chris Easton, Allan Knox and Fergal M. Grace

Background: This study examined the impact of a 4-week school-based sprint interval training program on cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF), daily physical activity (PA) behavior, and cardiometabolic risk (CMR) outcomes in adolescents. Methods: A total of 56 adolescents (22 females) were allocated to either an intervention (n = 22; 17.0 [0.3] y) or control group (n = 30; 16.8 [0.5] y). Intervention group performed 5 to 6, 30 second “all out” running sprints, interspersed with 30-second rest intervals, 3 times per week, for 4 consecutive weeks, whereas control group performed their normal physical education lessons. CRF was estimated from the 20-m multistage fitness test and PA behavior was determined using accelerometry. Fasting blood samples were obtained to measure biochemical markers of CMR. Results: Significant group × time interactions were observed for CRF (5.03 [1.66 to 8.40]; P < .001; d = 0.95), sedentary time (136.15 [91.91 to 180.39]; P = .004; d = 1.8), moderate PA (57.20 [32.17 to 82.23]; P < .001; d = 1.5), vigorous PA (5.40 [4.22 to 6.57]; P < .001; d = 1.2), fasting insulin (0.37 [−0.48 to 1.21]; P = .01; d = 1.0), homeostasis model of assessment-insulin resistance (0.26 [0.15 to 0.42]; P < .001; d = 0.9), and clustered CMR score (0.22 [−0.05 to 0.68]; P < .001; d = 10.63). Conclusion: Findings of this study indicate that 4 weeks of school-based sprint interval training improves CRF, improves PA profiles, and maintains CMR in adolescents during the school term.

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Tim J. Gabbett and Caleb W. Gahan

Purpose:

To examine the nature and frequency of rugby league repeated high-intensity-effort (RHIE) activity in relation to tries scored and conceded in successful and unsuccessful teams.

Participants:

185 semiprofessional rugby league players (mean ± SD age 23.7 ± 3.2 y) from 11 teams.

Methods:

Global positioning system (GPS) data were collected during 21 matches and analyzed for the total number of RHIE bouts, efforts per bout, duration of efforts, and recovery between efforts. Using notational analysis, a RHIE-bout frequency distribution, representing 0–60 s, 61–120 s, 121–180 s, 181–240 s, and 241–300 s before scoring and conceding a try, was established.

Results:

Over 50% of RHIE bouts occurred within 5 min of a try. Bottom-4 teams performed a greater proportion of bouts within 5 min of a try than top-4 teams (61.5% vs 48.2%, effect size, ES = 0.69 ± 0.28, P = .0001). Top-4 teams performed a greater number of RHIE bouts per conceded try (3.0 ± 2.1 vs 1.6 ± 0.7, ES = 0.74 ± 0.51, P < .05), while bottom-4 teams performed a greater number of RHIE bouts per try scored (3.6 ± 2.5 vs 2.1 ± 1.7, ES = 0.70 ± 0.71, P = .10).

Conclusion:

The majority of rugby league RHIE bouts occur at critical periods during match play. Successful rugby league teams perform more RHIE bouts before conceding tries, while unsuccessful teams perform more bouts before scoring tries. These findings demonstrate that unsuccessful teams are required to work harder to score tries while successful teams work harder to prevent tries.