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Szabolcs Lajos Molnár, Péter Hidas, György Kocsis, Gábor Rögler, Péter Balogh, Miklós Farkasházi and Péter Lang

Background:

Upper extremity injuries are common in wrestling, most of which do not require surgery.

Methods:

We retrospectively documented the case histories of six elite wrestlers who sustained elbow injuries that required surgical treatment, three of which involved reinjury and another surgical procedure.

Results:

All but one of the six initial injuries were associated with a defensive maneuver. Reinjury was more common for freestyle wrestling than for Greco-Roman style. The average time between the initial elbow injury and surgical intervention was 22 months. One-half of the wrestlers with elbow injuries that required surgery were reinjured and underwent revision surgery.

Conclusions:

All of the elite wrestlers waited for a long period of time before receiving surgery for the initial injury, and the reinjury rate was high.

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Lenka Humenikova Shriver, Nancy Mulhollen Betts and Mark Edward Payton

Background:

Many wrestlers engage in chronic dieting and rapid “weight cutting” throughout the year to compete in a category below their natural weight. Such weightmanagement practices have a negative influence on their health and nutritional status, so the National Wrestling Coaches Association implemented a new weight-management program for high school wrestlers in 2006.

Purpose:

The purpose of this study was to determine whether seasonal changes in weight, body fat, and eating attitudes occur among high school wrestlers after the implementation of the new weight-management rule.

Methods:

Fifteen high school wrestlers participated in the study. Their weight, body composition, and eating attitudes were measured preseason, in-season, and off-season. Body fat was assessed using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. Attitudes toward dieting, food, and body weight were assessed using the Eating Attitude Test (EAT).

Results:

No significant changes in body fat were detected from preseason to off-season. Weight increased from preseason to in-season (p < .05) and off-season (p < .05). Although the EAT score did not change significantly from preseason to offseason, 60% reported “thinking about burning up calories when exercising” during preseason, and only 40% felt that way during the season (p < .05) and 47% during off-season (p < .05).

Conclusions:

The wrestlers experienced a significant weight gain from preseason to off-season with no significant changes in body fat. Their eating attitudes did not change significantly from preseason to off-season in this study, but further research using a large sample of high school wrestlers is warranted to confirm these findings.

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Naoki Kikuchi, Dai Ueda, Seok-ki Min, Koichi Nakazato and Shoji Igawa

Purpose:

To examine the relationship between ACTN3 polymorphisms and level of athletic performance in Japanese wrestlers.

Methods:

The control group consisted of 243 healthy Japanese individuals. The authors divided 135 wrestlers into 3 groups based on their results in national or international competitions. They classified as elite 24 wrestlers who had placed in the top 8 in a world championship or participated in Olympic games, 28 wrestlers who had participated in world championships or become champions in Japan’s national championships were classified as subelite, and 83 wrestlers were classified as national (N-W, ie, national-level wrestler). In addition, the authors combined the elite and subelite to form the classification international-level wrestlers (I-W).

Results:

The frequency of the null X allele and the XX genotype were significantly lower in the I-W group than in the control group. However, there was no significant difference in ACTN3 genotype or allele frequency between the N-W and control groups. The frequency of the ACTN3 XX genotype in the elite groups was lower than that of all groups, and a linear tendency was observed between ACTN3 XX genotype and athletic status.

Conclusions:

In conclusion, the data indicated that ACTN3 polymorphisms were related to athletic performance in Japanese wrestlers.

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Reid Reale, Gary Slater and Louise M. Burke

All Olympic combat sports (currently, judo, taekwondo, boxing, and wrestling) separate athletes by body mass (BM) into “weight” divisions to minimize size/strength disparities. To ensure athletes meet weight requirements, official weigh-ins are held before competition. In addition to reducing body

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Emily C. Borden, William J. Kraemer, Bryant J. Walrod, Emily M. Post, Lydia K. Caldwell, Matthew K. Beeler, William H. DuPont, John Paul Anders, Emily R. Martini, Jeff S. Volek and Carl M. Maresh

For over 20 years, there have been concerns about the potential negative physiological effects of repeated body-mass losses over a wrestling season to “make weight” through a variety of methods including starvation, fluid restriction, and exercise. 1 – 3 In 1998, a study by Yankanich et al 1 was

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Heidi L. Keller, Stephen E. Tolly and Patty S. Freedson

The sport of wrestling often encourages participants to engage in extreme weight loss practices in order to compete in a weight class one to three weight categories below normal weight. This review discusses the prevalence of the problem, methods wrestlers use to accomplish weight loss, and the health and performance consequences of rapid weight loss, with particular emphasis on weight cycling and minimal safe wrestling weight assessment. Some useful and practical recommendations for minimizing extreme weight loss practices are presented. Several state wrestling associations have adjusted their rules and regulations based on recommendations by organizations such as the American College of Sports Medicine to reduce the prevalence of the problem. Nevertheless, extreme weight loss continues to be a concern among health professionals, particularly with regard to health and performance.

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Robert A. Oppliger, Suzanne A. Nelson Steen and James R. Scott

Purpose: The purpose of this investigation was to examine the weight management (WM) behaviors of collegiate wrestlers after the implementation of the NCAA’s new weight control rules. Methods: In the fall of 1999, a survey was distributed to 47 college wrestling teams stratified by collegiate division (i.e., I, II, III) and competitive quality. Forty-three teams returned surveys for a total of 741 responses. Comparisons were made using the collegiate division, weight class, and the wrestler’s competitive winning percentage. Results: The most weight lost during the season was 5.3 kg ± 2.8 kg (mean ± SD) or 6.9% ± 4.7% of the wrestler’s weight; weekly weight lost averaged 2.9 kg ± 1.3 kg or 4.3% ± 2.3% of the wrestler’s weight; post-season, the average wrestler regained 5.5 kg ± 3.6 kg or 8.6% ± 5.4% of their weight. Coaches and fellow wrestlers were the primary influence on weight loss methods; however, 40.2% indicated that the new NCAA rules deterred extreme weight loss behaviors. The primary methods of weight loss reported were gradual dieting (79.4%) and increased exercise (75.2%). However, 54.8% fasted, 27.6% used saunas, and 26.7% used rubber/ plastic suits at least once a month. Cathartics and vomiting were seldom used to lose weight, and only 5 met three or more of the criteria for bulimia nervosa. WM behaviors were more extreme among freshmen, lighter weight classes, and Division II wrestlers. Compared to previous surveys of high school wrestlers, this cohort of wrestlers reported more extreme WM behaviors. However, compared to college wrestlers in the 1980s, weight loss behaviors were less extreme. Conclusions: The WM practices of college wrestlers appeared to have improved compared to wrestlers sampled previously. Forty percent of the wrestlers were influenced by the new NCAA rules and curbed their weight loss practices. Education is still needed, as some wrestlers are still engaging in dangerous WM methods.

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Ellen Weissinger, Terry J. Housh, Glen O. Johnson and Sharon A. Evans

Self-reports of weight loss knowledge, attitudes, and methods in a sample of 125 high school wrestlers are described. These responses are compared to perceptions of 88 wrestlers’ parents regarding their son’s weight loss behaviors. Responses to survey questionnaires indicated that wrestlers were highly likely to deliberately lose weight for wrestling and that they most commonly used increased exercise, caloric restriction, and fluid restriction as weight loss techniques. Wrestlers reported use of extreme weight loss techniques (fasting, vomiting, diuretics) in higher proportions than the general adolescent male population, despite their reports of detrimental effects of such methods. Compared to their sons, parents significantly underestimated the use of extreme methods and were more realistic about the potential harmful effects of severe weight loss. Wrestlers and parents alike felt that weight loss is overemphasized in wrestling competition. These findings indicate a need for improved adult monitoring of high school wrestling programs.

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Daniel Gould, Thelma Horn and Janie Spreemann

The present study was designed to examine precompetitive and competitive anxiety patterns of junior elite wrestlers. Specifically, 458 wrestlers participating in the United States Wrestling Federation Junior National Championships rated their typical levels of anxiety at various times prior to and during competitions. The relationships between success, years wrestling experience, age, trait anxiety, and precompetitive and competitive state anxiety were examined using both univariate and regression analyses. Contrary to previous studies, no significant differences were found in precompetitive and competitive anxiety patterns between successful and less successful as well as more and less experienced wrestlers. In addition, age was not found to be related to either precompetitive or competitive anxiety. Consistent with the previous research, however, significant anxiety differences were found between high as compared to low trait anxious wrestlers. Descriptive statistics summarized across the entire sample also revealed that the wrestlers became nervous or worried in 67% of all their matches and that their nervousness sometimes helped and sometimes hindered their performance. The results were discussed in terms of individual differences, situation-specific responses to stress, and the need to employ multidimensional measures of anxiety. It was also suggested that researchers must be cautious in generalizing the findings of exploratory studies, especially when small, nonrandomized samples have been employed.

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Dona J. Hough, Terry J. Housh, Glen O. Johnson and Rommie J. Hughes

The purpose of this investigation was twofold: (a) to determine the validity of high school wrestlers’ estimations of minimal wrestling weight (MWW) and (b) to compare their certified wrestling weight with the recommended MWW values based on underwater weighing (fat-free weight plus 5% fat). Sixty wrestlers (M age±SD) = 16.54±1.07 yrs) volunteered to be assessed via underwater weighing and were asked to estimate, within 1 lb, their MWW. The certified wrestling weight for each subject was also obtained from the state activities association. The results indicated that the total error for the wrestlers’ estimations of MWW ranged from 3.25 to 3.69 kg, and in 32 to 43% of the cases the certified wrestling weight was below (M = 2.29−2.84 kg) the recommended MWW from underwater weighing.