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  • Psychology and Behavior in Sport/Exercise x
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Michelle Smith, Hayley E. McEwan, David Tod and Amanda Martindale

the helpful practices that TSEPs can engage with throughout the professional training period. Nevertheless, to advance on these insights, there is scope to examine how these practices may contribute to the cognitive development of TSEPs. For example, if peer mentoring offers guidance to a TSEP, it may

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Jarek Mäestu, Jaak Jürimäe, Kairi Kreegipuu and Toivo Jürimäe

The aims were to assess (a) the usefulness of RESTQ-Sport in the process of training monitoring and (b) whether a change in psychological parameters is reflected by similar changes in specific biochemical parameters. The high volume training period, in general, caused increases in stress scales and decreases in recovery scales of the RESTQ-Sport, while during recovery period, stress levels declined. Cortisol was not changed during the study period, but significant increases in creatine kinase activity were found during the high training period compared to reference period. The results of the present study demonstrate that changes in training volume were reflected by changes in the RESTQ-Sport scales. A close relationship was found between cortisol and creatine kinase activity and subjective ratings of stress and recovery.

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Seong-won Han, Dae-yeon Lee, Dong-Sung Choi, Boram Han, Jin-Sun Kim and Hae-Dong Lee

This study aimed to examine whether muscle force and tendon stiffness in a muscle-tendon complex alter synchronously following 8-week whole-body vibration (WBV) training in older people. Forty older women aged 65 years and older were randomly assigned into control (CON, n = 15) and whole-body vibration (WBV) training groups (exposure time, n = 13; vibration intensity, n = 12). For the training groups, a 4-week detraining period was completed following the training period. Throughout the training/detraining period, force of the medial gastrocnemius (MG) muscle and stiffness of the Achilles tendon were assessed four times (0, 4, 8, and 12 weeks) using a combined system of dynamometer and ultrasonography. While muscle force gradually increased throughout the training period (p < .05), a significant increase in tendon stiffness was observed after 8 weeks (p < .05). These findings indicated that, during the early phase of WBV training, muscle force and tendon stiffness changed asynchronously, which might be a factor in possible musculotendinous injuries.

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S. Tolomio, A. Ermolao, G. Travain and M. Zaccaria

Background and aims:

It is known that people affected by osteopenia/osteoporosis can benefit from an adequate amount of physical activity, counteracting the progressive loss of bone and muscle mass caused by aging. Moreover, there is increasing evidence that exercise has positive effects on bone structure. The aim of our study was to evaluate the effects on bone tissue and muscular strength of a short-term exercise program in osteopenic/osteoporotic postmenopausal women.

Methods:

Forty-nine osteopenic/osteoporotic postmenopausal women were divided into 2 groups: exercise and control. All subjects underwent 2 evaluations: before and after a training period. Bone quality was assessed by phalangeal quantitative osteosonography, and maximal strength of leg extensor muscles was also evaluated. The experimental group participated in a specific supervised 20-week physical activity program that included aerobic, balance, and strength training.

Results:

After the training period, all bone parameters and lower-limb maximal strength were significantly improved in the exercise group (P < .05), whereas no significant changes were observed in the control group.

Conclusions:

Our study showed that a broad-based training protocol, lasting 20 weeks, can improve leg strength and bone quality parameters—main determinants of fall and fracture risk, respectively.

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Christopher Dalton and Julie Nantel

The aim of this study was to investigate the impact of an 8-week Nordic walking (NW) intervention on older adult gait patterns and postural alignment. Twelve healthy older adults aged 60–80 years (8 female, 4 male) participated, all performing two 6-min walk tests (one with poles [WP], one without poles [NP]) and six 5-m walk trials (3 WP, 3 NP) at pre- and posttesting. Gait and postural variables were compared between poling conditions (i.e., WP to NP) as well as before and following the intervention. Following training, pole use resulted in various gait changes including: longer stride, faster gait, and increased power generation at the hip (H3) and power absorption at the knee (K1 and K4). We conclude that an initial 8-week training period is necessary for novice NW to perfect technique and to restore gait to a more natural, normal pattern following training.

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Vasilios I. Kalapotharakos, Maria Michalopoulou, George Godolias, Savvas P. Tokmakidis, Paraskevi V. Malliou and Vasilios Gourgoulis

The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of a 12-week resistance-training program on muscle strength and mass in older adults. Thirty-three inactive participants (60–74 years old) were assigned to 1 of 3 groups: high-resistance training (HT), moderate-resistance training (MT), and control. After the training period, both HT and MT significantly increased 1-RM body strength, the peak torque of knee extensors and flexors, and the midthigh cross-sectional area of the total muscle. In addition, both HT and MT significantly decreased the abdominal circumference. HT was more effective in increasing 1-RM strength, muscle mass, and peak knee-flexor torque than was MT. These data suggest that muscle strength and mass can be improved in the elderly with both high- and moderate-intensity resistance training, but high-resistance training can lead to greater strength gains and hypertrophy than can moderate-resistance training.

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Deborah F. Verfaillie, Jeanne F. Nichols, Ellen Turkel and Melbourne F. Hovell

The purpose of this study was to compare the effects of resistance training alone or in combination with balance and gait training on balance and gait measures in seniors. Subjects, ranging in age from 65 to 83 years, were randomly assigned to a strength and balance/gait group (SB, n = 21 ) or a control group (S, n = 18) receiving strength and relaxation training. Both groups significantly increased their strength and gait speed over the 12-week training period, but step length remained unchanged. The results suggest that elders can make significant gains in muscular strength and walking speed through resistance training, and that adding balance and gait training to resistance training can significantly improve some balance and gait measures beyond improvements achieved from strength training alone. If replicated, these results set the stage for investigations of injury control benefits possible from balance training.

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Chris Harwood and Austin Swain

This study acts as a follow-up to a previous investigation into the development and activation of achievement goals within young tennis players (Harwood & Swain, 2001). The project investigated the effects of a season-long player, parent, and coach intervention program on goal involvement responses, self-regulation, competition cognitions, and goal orientations of three junior tennis players. First, each player reported goal involvement, self-regulation, self-efficacy, and perceptions of threat and challenge prior to three ego-involving match situations. Aligned with a matched control participant, each treatment player, with their parents and coach, engaged in educational sessions and cognitive-motivational tasks over a three-month competition and training period. Postintervention, positive directional changes were reported in all players except the control participant. This study reinforces to applied researchers and practitioners the importance and practicability of social-cognitive and task-based interventions designed to facilitate optimal, motivational, and psychological states in high pressure competitive situations.

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Amy L. Morgan, Jody D. Ellison, Margaret P. Chandler and Wojtek J. Ckodzko-Zajko

This study examined the supplemental benefits of strength training in aerobically active postmenopausal women. Eighteen women (61-71 yrs) who had been participating in regular aerobic exercise for the preceding 8 months were randomly assigned to control (n = 9) and experimental (n = 9) groups. Both groups continued aerobic exercise 3 times a week for the 8-week training period. In addition, the experimental group performed 3 sets (8–12 repetitions) of standard knee extension and flexion exercises at 80% of their 1-repetition maximum (1-RM). In the experimental group, highly significant increases in knee flexion and extension strength were observed. No changes in strength were noted in the control subjects. There were no significant changes in body composition for either group. The data suggest that aerobically active older individuals can greatly increase strength with resistance training, which is consistent with recent recommendations that resistance training should be used to supplement aerobic exercise.

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Monika Thomas and Michael Kalicinski

The present study investigated whether slackline training enhances postural control in older adults. Twenty-four participants were randomized into an intervention and a control group. The intervention group received 6 weeks of slackline training, two times per week. Pre–post measurement included the time of different standing positions on a balance platform with and without an external disturbance and the acceleration of the balance platform. Results showed significantly improved standing times during one-leg stance without external disturbance and a significantly reduced acceleration of the balance platform for the intervention group after the training period during tandem stance with and without an external disturbance. We conclude that slackline training in older adults has a positive impact on postural control and thus on the reduction of fall risk.