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Miguel A. Sanchez-Lastra, Antonio J. Molina, Vicente Martin, Tania Fernández-Villa, Jose M. Cancela and Carlos Ayan

stretching exercises, proposed in numerous RCTs ( Collins et al., 2018 ; Desjardins-Crépeau et al., 2016 ; Fraser et al., 2017 ; Li et al., 2005 ; Liu-Ambrose, Khan, Eng, Lord, & McKay, 2004b ; Pothier et al., 2018 ; Rodrigues-Krause et al., 2018 ) as an active control, on the basis that they are

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Reed Ferber, Denise C. Gravelle and Louis R. Osternig

The effects of proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF) on joint range of motion (ROM) for older adults are unknown, and few studies have investigated changes in joint ROM associated with age. This study examined PNF stretch techniques' effects on knee-joint ROM in trained (T) and untrained (UT) older adults. Knee-joint ROM was tested in T and UT adults age 45–55 and 65–75 years using 3 PNF stretch techniques: static stretch (SS), contract-relax (CR). and agonist contract-relax (ACR). The 45–55 UT group achieved significantly more ROM than did the 65–75 UT group, suggesting an age-related decline in ROM. The 65–75 T group achieved significantly greater knee-extension ROM than did their UT counterparts, indicating a training-related response to PNF stretch techniques and that lifetime training might counteract age-related declines in joint ROM. The ACR-PNF stretch condition produced 4–6° more ROM than did CR and SS for all groups except the 65–75 UT group, possibly as a result of lack of neuromuscular control or muscle strength.

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Jongseong An, Gabriele Wulf and Seonjin Kim

We examined the effects of attentional focus instructions on the learning of movement form and carry distance in low-skilled golfers. The X-factor describes the rotation of the shoulders relative to the pelvis, and its increase during the downswing (so-called X-factor stretch) is associated with the carry distance of the ball. X-factor stretch and carry distance have been shown to be associated with an early weight shift toward the front leg during the downswing. In our study, one group (internal focus, IF) was instructed to focus on shifting their weight to their left foot while hitting the ball, whereas another group (external focus, EF) was instructed to focus on pushing against the left side of the ground. A control (C) group was not given attentional focus instructions. Participants performed 100 practice trials. Learning was assessed after a 3-day interval in a retention test without focus instructions. The EF group demonstrated a greater carry distance, X-factor stretch, and higher maximum angular velocities of the pelvis, shoulder, and wrist than both the IF and C groups, which showed very similar performances. These findings demonstrate that both movement outcome and form can be enhanced in complex skill learning by providing the learner with an appropriate external focus instruction. Moreover, they show that a single external focus cue can be sufficient to elicit an effective whole-body coordination pattern.

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Jailton Thulher do Rosario, Natalia Santos da Fonseca Martins, Carolina Carneiro Peixinho and Liliam Fernandes Oliveira

This study aimed to determine the effects of a functional training and ankle stretching program in triceps surae torque, passive stiffness index, and in the risk for fall indicators in older adults. Twenty women (73.4 ± 7.3 years) were allocated into an intervention or control group. The 12-week intervention consisted of functional training and calf stretching exercises performed twice a week. Measurements of peak passive and active torque, passive stiffness, maximum dorsiflexion angle, and indexes of risk for falls (Timed Up and Go, functional reach test, QuickScreen-test) were collected. There were no significant differences for all variables, except the maximum dorsiflexion angle, which increased in the intervention group from 33.78 ± 8.57° to 38.89 ± 7.52°. The exercise program was not sufficient to enhance performance on functional tests and decrease the risk for falls in older adults. The significant increase in the maximum dorsiflexion indicates a positive impact of stretching exercises.

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Maxwell Ruby, Chris P. Repka and Paul J. Arciero


Yoga/Stretching (YS) and functional resistance (FR) training are popular exercise routines. A protein-pacing (PP) diet is a common dietary regimen. Thus, we assessed the effectiveness of a PP diet alone and in combination with either YS or FR to improve body composition and cardiometabolic health.


Twenty-seven overweight women (age = 43.2 ± 4.6 years) were randomized into 3 groups: yoga (YS, n = 8) or resistance (FR, n = 10) training (3 days/week) in conjunction with PP diet (50% carbohydrate, 25% protein, and 25% fat) or PP diet-only (PP, n = 9) throughout 12-week study. PP maintained preexisting levels of physical activity. Body weight (BW), total (BF) and abdominal (ABF) body fat, waist circumference (WC), plasma biomarkers, and aerobic fitness (VO2) were measured at baseline and 12 weeks.


WC and total cholesterol improved in all groups, whereas glycemia tended to improve (P = .06) in S. BF, ABF, and VO2 increased significantly in YS and FR (P < .05). Feelings of vigor increased in YS and tension decreased in FR (P < .05).


YS training tended to decrease blood glucose compared with FR and PP and is equally effective at enhancing body composition, and aerobic fitness in overweight women providing a strong rationale for further research on YS training.

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Timothy J. Walker, Jessica M. Tullar, Pamela M. Diamond, Harold W. Kohl III and Benjamin C. Amick III

-strengthening activities, that are also a key part of the physical activity guidelines. 5 Only one known study has included muscle-strengthening physical activity and stretching behavior as variables of interest, with results suggesting no significant association with presenteeism. 19 However, no studies have evaluated

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Serge Brand, Markus Gerber, Flora Colledge, Edith Holsboer-Trachsler, Uwe Pühse and Sebastian Ludyga

stretching on facial emotion recognition. To assess facial emotion recognition, we followed Palermo, O’Connor, Davis, Irons, and McKone ( 2013 ) and Shukla, Pandey, Jain, and Lau ( 2018 ), and assessed both emotion labeling and emotion matching, as these outcome variables allow both to measure processing

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Vinicius Cavani, Constance M. Mier, Anthony A. Musto and Nanette Tummers

The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of 6 weeks of stretching and moderate-intensity resistance training on older adults’ functional fitness. Twenty-two older adults (69 ± 1 year) participated in a resistance-training program, and 15 (70 ± 4 years) participated in a control group. Training involved 3 sessions per week, each consisting of 1 set of 12–15 repetitions of lower and upper body exercises on resistance machines. Before sessions, participants performed 20 min of stretching exercises. A recently developed test battery (Rikli & Jones, 1999) to assess the physical parameters associated with independent functioning in older adults was performed before and after training. The combined stretching and resistance exercise resulted in significant (p ≤ .008) improvements on all the functional tests except the 6-min walk. The results indicate that moderate-intensity resistance training in conjunction with stretching can improve functional fitness in older adults, enabling them to more easily perform activities of daily living.

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Deborah L. Garza and Deborah L. Feltz

This study examined the effectiveness of mental practice techniques for improving figure skating performance, self-efficacy, and self-confidence for competition. Two interventions, paper freestyle drawing (PFD) and walk through on floor (WTF), were compared to a stretching control group. Participants (n = 27), ages 10 to 18 years, were members of the United States Figure Skating Association and were randomly assigned to one of the three groups. The study included procedural reliability checks such as pre- and post-manipulation checks; structured seminars; and homework workbooks. Results indicated that the two mental practice groups significantly improved their performance ratings in jumps and spins, and their competition confidence compared to the stretching control group. Results also indicated that the WTF mental practice group increased their spinning self-efficacy beliefs compared to the PFD mental practice treatment and the stretching control group.

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Lew Hardy and Nichola Callow

Three experiments examined the relative efficacy of different imagery perspectives on the performance of tasks in which form was important. In Experiment 1,25 experienced karateists learned a new kata using either external or internal visual imagery or stretching. Results indicated that external visual imagery was significantly more effective than internal visual imagery, which was significantly more effective than stretching. In Experiment 2, 40 sport science students learned a simple gymnastics floor routine under one of four conditions: external or internal visual imagery with or without kinesthetic imagery. Results revealed a significant main effect for visual imagery perspective (external visual imagery was best) but no effect for kinesthetic imagery. Experiment 3 employed the same paradigm as Experiment 2 but with high-ability rock climbers performing difficult boulder problems. Results showed significant main effects for both visual imagery perspective (external visual imagery was best) and kinesthetic imagery. The findings are discussed in terms of the cognitive processes that might underlie imagery effects.