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Gillian K. Myburgh, Sean P. Cumming, Manuel Coelho E. Silva, Karl Cooke and Robert M. Malina

Purpose:

To evaluate relationships among skeletal maturity, body size, and functional capacities of elite junior tennis players.

Methods:

Participants were 88 elite British Junior tennis players (44 male; 44 female), 8–16 years of age (12.4 } 1.9 years). Skeletal age estimated maturty. Anthropometry, grip strength, countermovement jump, squat jump, forehand agility, backhand agility, Yo-Yo, 5-m, 10-m and 20-m sprints were measured. Comparative analysis for each sex was performed, relating advanced maturers (Male: 15; Female: 29) to a combination of on-time and late maturers (Male: 29; Female: 31). ANCOVAs were used to determine absolute differences between male and female players and between the 2 maturity subgroups, with chronological age as the covariate.

Results:

Advanced maturity afforded male players advantages in absolute measures of grip strength, speed, upper and lower body power but not in acceleration, agility or aerobic endurance. Male players were significantly taller than females in the U13-U16 age group. Advanced maturity in female players afforded advantages in absolute measures of grip strength, agility and overhead power, but not in backhand agility, aerobic endurance or squat jump power.

Conclusion:

It is important that talent identification protocols consider the maturity of youth athletes to more satisfactorily address athletic potential rather than transient physical capabilities.

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João Ribeiro, Luís Teixeira, Rui Lemos, Anderson S. Teixeira, Vitor Moreira, Pedro Silva and Fábio Y. Nakamura

.01156 30177889 20. Hammami M , Negra Y , Billaut F , Hermassi S , Shephard RJ , Chelly MS . Effects of lower-limb strength training on agility, repeated sprinting with changes of direction, leg peak power, and neuromuscular adaptations of soccer players . J Strength Cond Res . 2018 ; 32 ( 1

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Laura Capranica, Monica Tiberi, Francesco Figura and Wayne H. Osness

This study compared functional fitness scores of American and Italian older adults on the AAHPERD test battery for adults over 60 years old. Sedentary participants (N = 186, age 60–79 years) undertook the 6 AAHPERD test items: Between American and Italian men, no statistically significant difference was found for coordination and endurance. American men scored better on flexibility and strength, whereas Italian men scored better on body mass index (BMI) and agility. Between American and Italian women, no statistically significant difference was found for BMI and agility. American women scored better on coordination and endurance, whereas Italian women scored better on flexibility and strength. The data suggest that the AAHPERD test battery is an appropriate tool for assessing and comparing functional fitness levels of older adults in different societies.

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Rodney Negrete and Jay Brophy

Objectives:

To determine (1) correlations between isokinetic lower extremity strength and functional performance and (2) correlations among different modes of isokinetic testing.

Design and Setting:

A correlational design with 6 measures. A series of strength, power, and agility tests was performed at a hospital-based outpatient physical therapy clinic.

Participants:

A volunteer sample of 29 male and 31 female, college-age subjects participated.

Measurements:

All subjects were tested in the following isokinetic tests: reciprocal leg press, single-leg squat, and knee extension. Performance tests included single-leg hop and vertical jump and a speed/agility test.

Results:

Analysis showed isokinetic knee extension, leg press, and single-leg squat strength significantly correlated to all functional tests. There were significant correlations among the 3 different isokinetic strength measures, as well.

Conclusions:

These results suggest a significant relationship between lower extremity open and closed chain isokinetic strength and functional performance testing.

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Ro DiBrezzo, Barbara B. Shadden, Blake H. Raybon and Melissa Powers

Loss of balance and falling are critical concerns for older adults. Physical activity can improve balance and decrease the risk of falling. The purpose of this study was to evaluate a simple, low-cost exercise program for community-dwelling older adults. Sixteen senior adults were evaluated using the Senior Fitness Test for measures of functional strength, aerobic endurance, dynamic balance and agility, and flexibility. In addition, measures of height, weight, resting blood pressure, blood lipids, and cognitive function were obtained. Participants then attended a 10-week exercise class including stretching, strengthening, and balance-training exercises. At the completion of the program, significant improvements were observed in tests measuring dynamic balance and agility, lower and upper extremity strength, and upper extremity flexibility. The results indicate that exercise programs such as this are an effective, low-cost solution to improving health and factors that affect falling risk among older adults.

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Martin G. Jorgensen, Uffe Laessoe, Carsten Hendriksen, Ole B.F. Nielsen and Per Aagaard

The aims of the current study were to examine the intrarater intersession reproducibility of the Nintendo Wii agility and stillness tests and explore the concurrent validity in relation to gold-standard force-plate analysis. Within-day intersession reproducibility was examined in 30 older adults (age 71.8 ± 5.1 yr). No systematic test–retest differences were found for the Wii stillness test; however, the Wii agility test scores differed systematically between test sessions (p < .05). The Wii stillness test yielded a test–retest ICC of .86 (95% CI 0.74–0.93), CV of 6.4%, LOA of 11.0, and LOA% of 17.9%. Likewise for the Wii agility test ICC was .73 (95% CI 0.50-0.86), CV 5.3%, LOA 1.8, and LOA% of 14.6%. Wii stillness scores correlated to force plate measures (r = .65–.82, p < .01), reflecting moderate to excellent validity. In conclusion, it appears that the Wii stillness test represents a low-cost, objective, reproducible, and valid test of undisturbed postural balance in community-dwelling older adults.

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Tamara Kramer, Barbara C.H. Huijgen, Marije T. Elferink-Gemser and Chris Visscher

Purpose:

To analyze how physical fitness (PF) improves in elite junior tennis players related to age, maturity, and performance level.

Methods:

Elite junior tennis players (n = 113 boys, n = 83 girls) divided by performance level were monitored longitudinally from U14 to U16. Maturity, upper and lower-body power, speed, and agility were measured during subsequent competitive seasons. Improvement was analyzed per sex using multilevel analysis.

Results:

PF components for boys and girls improved over age (U14-U16) (ES .53–.97). In boys, the more mature boys outscored the less mature boys in upper and lower-body power from U14-U16. In girls, high-ranked girls outscored lower-ranked girls on lower-body power, speed, and agility (U14-U16) (p < .05).

Conclusion:

Boys and girls improved on all PF components during U14-U16. In boys, power was related to maturity. In girls, lower-body power, speed, and agility were related to tennis performance. This has important implications for talent development.

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Cloe Cummins, Blake McLean, Mark Halaki and Rhonda Orr

Purpose:

To quantify the external training loads of positional groups in preseason training drills.

Methods:

Thirty-three elite rugby league players were categorized into 1 of 4 positional groups: outside backs (n = 9), adjustables (n = 9), wide-running forwards (n = 9), and hit-up forwards (n = 6). Data for 8 preseason weeks were collected using microtechnology devices. Training drills were classified based on drill focus: speed and agility, conditioning, and generic and positional skills.

Results:

Total, high-speed, and very-high-speed distance decreased across the preseason in speed and agility (moderate, small, and small, respectively), conditioning (large, large, and small) and generic skills (large, large, and large). The duration of speed and generic skills also decreased (77% and 48%, respectively). This was matched by a concomitant increase in total distance (small), high-speed running (small), very-high-speed running (moderate), and 2-dimensional (2D) BodyLoad (small) demands in positional skills. In positional skills, hit-up forwards (1240 ± 386 m) completed less very-high-speed running than outside backs (2570 ± 1331 m) and adjustables (2121 ± 1163 m). Hit-up forwards (674 ± 253 AU) experienced greater 2D BodyLoad demands than outside backs (432 ± 230 AU, P = .034). In positional drills, hit-up forwards experienced greater relative 2D BodyLoad demands than outside backs (P = .015). Conversely, outside backs experienced greater relative high- (P = .007) and very-high-speed-running (P < .001) demands than hit-up forwards.

Conclusion:

Significant differences were observed in training loads between positional groups during positional skills but not in speed and agility, conditioning, and generic skills. This work also highlights the importance of different external-load parameters to adequately quantify workload across different positional groups.

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Dahn Shaulis, Lawrence A. Golding and Richard D. Tandy

This study assessed the relative and absolute reliability of the five tests in the AAHPERD functional fitness assessment for men and women over 60 years of age. Twenty-eight apparently healthy subjects, ages 60 to 81, were tested three times during a 2-week period on each item in the test battery: sit and reach flexibility, body agility, coordination, strength/endurance, and half-mile walk. Relative reliability was assessed for both sexes via intraclass correlation coefficient. Absolute reliability was evaluated using repeated measures ANOVA. Intraclass correlations among sessions for men and women, respectively, were 0.97 and 0.98 for flexibility, 0.98 and 0.96 for body agility, 0.89 and 0.71 for coordination, 0.94 and 0.81 for strength/endurance, and 0.99 and 0.96 for the walk. Repeated measures ANOVAs with Tukey’s post hoc tests revealed improved performance from repeated practice sessions in all tests, although the improvement was not consistent between tests. Although the tests have high intraclass correlations, researchers using the test battery should include a random control group to assess the effects of training.

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Priscila M. Nakamura, Camila B. Papini, Inaian P. Teixeira, Alberto Chiyoda, Eliete Luciano, Kelly Lynn Cordeira and Eduardo Kokubun

Background:

Interventions in primary health care settings have been effective in increasing physical fitness. In 2001, the Programa de Exercício Físico em Unidades de Saúde (Physical Exercise in Health Primary Care Program—PEHPCP) was launched in Rio Claro City, Brazil. The intervention consisted of biweekly, 60-minute group sessions in all primary health care settings in the city. This study evaluated the effect of PEHPCP on physical fitness and on the aging process after a decade of ongoing implementation.

Methods:

There were 409 women (50 ± 26 y old) and 31 men (64 ± 10 y old) who were eligible for this study. Every 4 months, participants completed the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance standardized tests.

Results:

Program participation was associated with a reduced effect, compared with baseline, of the natural decline of physical fitness caused by aging, as represented by changes in the following measures: coordination test time, −0.44 seconds; agility and dynamic balance test time; −1.81 seconds; aerobic capacity test time, 3.57 seconds; and muscle strength exercises, +0.60 repetitions. No significant effect on flexibility was found.

Conclusions:

The PEHPCP showed potential in improving muscle strength, coordination, aerobic capacity, and agility and dynamic balance in participants and in maintaining flexibility in participants.