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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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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.

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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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Justin Durandt, Jason C. Tee, Sebastian K. Prim and Michael I. Lambert

Purpose:

The 5-m repeat-sprint test (5-m RST) measures resistance to fatigue after repeated bouts of short-duration, high-intensity activity. This study determined the components of fitness associated with performance in 5-m RSTs.

Methods:

Speed (10-m and 40-m sprints), strength (bench press), agility, strength endurance (pull-ups and push-ups), and aerobic power (20-m shuttle-run test) were measured in male provincial- or national-level rugby (n = 110), hockey (n = 59), and soccer (n = 55) players.

Results:

Subjects with either high (HI) or low (LO) resistance to fatigue in the 5-m RST differed in body mass (76.9 ± 11.6 kg vs 102.1 ± 18.9 kg, HI vs LO, respectively, P < .001), agility (14.55 ± 0.41 seconds vs 15.56 ± 0.30 seconds, P < .001), bench press (86 ± 20 kg vs 114 ± 33 kg, P = .03), pull-ups (13 ± 4 vs 8 ± 5, P = .02), push-ups (56 ± 12 vs 39 ± 13, P = .002), and 20-m shuttle-run test (20-m SRT; 133 ± 11 vs 87 ± 12 shuttles, P < .001). Body mass, strength, and aerobic power were the best predictors of 5-m RST performance: 5-m RST = –1.274(mass) + 0.756(1RM bench press) + 2.053(number of 20-m SRT shuttles) + 549.409 (R 2 = .66).

Conclusions:

Performance in the 5-m RST is predicted best by a combination of factors including body mass, strength, and aerobic ability, rather than by any single component of fitness.

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Roberta E. Rikli and C. Jessie Jones

This article describes a nationwide study conducted to develop normative performance data for community-residing older adults. The physical parameters assessed are strength, aerobic endurance, flexibility, and agility/balance. Body mass index was also assessed as an estimate of body composition. The sample comprised 7,183 participants from 267 sites in 21 states. Summary data (M, SD, and percentiles) are reported separately for men and women in 5-year age groups. Results reveal a pattern of decline across most age groups on all variables. ANOVA and post hoc comparisons indicated a significant main effect for age on all variables and that most 5-year age-group declines were significant (p < .007). ANOVAs also revealed a significant main effect for gender on all test items (p < .0001): Men scored better on strength, aerobic endurance, and agility/balance; women scored better on flexibility. The data provide information about normal variations within and usual rates of change across age groups, and they provide a database for subsequent evaluation of individual and group performance.

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Gina Sobrero, Scott Arnett, Mark Schafer, Whitley Stone, T. A. Tolbert, Amanda Salyer-Funk, Jason Crandall, Lauren B. Farley, Josh Brown, Scott Lyons, Travis Esslinger, Keri Esslinger and Jill Maples

High intensity functional training (HIFT) emphasizes constantly varied, high intensity, functional activity by programming strength and conditioning exercises, gymnastics, Olympic weightlifting, and specialty movements. Conversely, traditional circuit training (TCT) programs aim to improve muscular fitness by utilizing the progressive overload principle, similar movements weekly, and specified work-to-rest ratios. The purpose of this investigation was to determine if differences exist in health and performance measures in women participating in HIFT or TCT after a six-week training program. Recreationally active women were randomly assigned to a HIFT (n = 8, age 26.0 + 7.3 yrs) or TCT (n = 11, age 26.3 + 9.6 yrs) group. Participants trained three days a week for six weeks with certified trainers. Investigators examined body composition (BC), aerobic and anaerobic capacity, muscular strength, endurance, flexibility, power, and agility. Repeated-measures ANOVA were used for statistical analyses with an alpha level of 0.05. Both groups increased body mass (p = .011), and improved muscular endurance (p < .000), upper body strength (p = .007), lower body power (p = .029) and agility (p = .003). In addition, the HIFT group decreased body fat (BF) %, while the TCT group increased BF% (p = .011). No changes were observed in aerobic or anaerobic capacity, flexibility, upper body power, or lower body stair climbing power. Newer, high intensity functional exercise programs such as HIFT may have better results on BC and similar effects when compared with TCT programs on health and fitness variables such as musculoskeletal strength and performance.

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Damir Sekulic, Sasa Krstulovic, Ratko Katic and Ljerka Ostojic

In this article we compared the effects of 9 months of judo training (JT; N = 41) and recreational sports games training (SGT; N = 57) on the fitness development of 7-year-old boys. Both programs were performed three times per week. Apart from body height, body weight, and skinfold thickness (SUM2SF), changes in muscular and cardiovascular endurance, flexibility, speed, agility, and coordination were studied. Using the analysis of variance, we found no differences between the groups at study entry, but after 9 months the JT participants achieved significantly better results in the shuttle-run task to test agility, the sit-up test for abdominal muscle endurance, and the sit-and-reach test for flexibility. The JT group also maintained their SUM2SF over the 9-month period, whereas the SGT group showed a significant increase in SUM2SF. No differences were observed between the groups in coordination, flexibility of the shoulder joint, speed, endurance, body height, and body weight. In conclusion, the specialized JT allowed the participants to improve more of their fitness capacities compared with nonspecialized SGT.

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Kenneth E. Mobily and Paula R. Mobily

The primary purpose of this investigation was to determine the internal consistency of the 60+ functional fitness test battery for older adults. A secondary purpose was to determine whether the number of trials recommended in the testing manual was optimal. Subjects were used from an ongoing study of a fitness program for community-dwelling older adults. Internal consistency coefficients for subtests of flexibility, agility, coordination, and strength were excellent. Post hoc analysis across trials indicated significant differences in means between early trials and later trials. Mean scores stabilized after two or three trials, depending on the subtest of interest. Data provided insight into the number of practice trials and amount of warm-up necessary to implement the 60+ functional fitness test battery in field settings.

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John E. Kovaleski, Robert J. Heitman, Damon P.S. Andrew, Larry R. Gurchiek and Albert W. Pearsall IV

Context:

Isokinetic strength and functional performance are used to assess recovery after rehabilitation. It is not known whether low-speed closed-linear-kinetic isokinetic muscle strength correlates with functional performance.

Objective:

To investigate the relationship between linear closed (CKC) and open (OKC) concentric isokinetic strength of the dominant lower-limb extensors and functional performance.

Design:

Correlational analysis.

Setting:

University laboratory.

Participants:

Thirty uninjured men and women (age = 20.9 ± 2.4 years).

Main Outcome Measures:

Peak CKC and OKC isokinetic strength and best score from a shuttle run for time, single-leg vertical jump, and single-leg hop for distance.

Results:

Neither lower-limb CKC nor OKC isokinetic strength measured at low speeds correlated highly with performance on the functional tasks of jumping, hopping, and speed/agility.

Conclusions:

Although the basis of both closed and open isokinetic strength must be appreciated, they should not be the only determinants of functional performance.

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Richard C. Nelson, Ted S. Gross and Glenn M. Street

The purpose of this report was to provide a model analysis of biomechanical films taken during the women's gymnastic vaulting events of the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games. Although a majority of the optional vaults were filmed, only the 16 vaults performed by the competitors in the individual championships were examined. The analysis included calculations of temporal, spatial, and velocity parameters as the gymnast's center of mass moved through four phases of the vault. The phases were identified as Reuther board contact, prehorse flight, horse contact, and posthorse flight. A representative profile of a female gymnast competing in the Games was compiled based on these parameters. This profile indicated that the gymnasts were much smaller than the average population, efficient in the use of the Reuther board and the horse to reach and maintain CM velocities necessary to complete the vault, and agile enough to perform complex airborne rotations during an average posthorse flight duration of .80s.