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Open access

Krzysztof Mazurek, Piotr Zmijewski, Hubert Makaruk, Anna Mróz, Anna Czajkowska, Katarzyna Witek, Sławomir Bodasiński and Patrycja Lipińska

Abstract

The aim of this study was to compare the effects of plyometric and jump training on physical performance in young male handball players. Twenty-six young male handball players were divided into two sub-groups to perform a five-week pre-season training programme supplemented with two ground-reactive protocols with an equal number of jumping exercises referred as to ground contacts: plyometric training (PLY; n = 14) and standard jump training (CON; n = 12). Before and after training, repeated sprint ability (RSA), jumping ability (JA), maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max) and aerobic power at the anaerobic threshold (PAT) were measured. A two-factor analysis revealed significant time effects with improvements in fat mass (p = 0.012), maximal power during the incremental cycling test (p = 0.001) and PAT (p < 0.001), power decline (PDEC) and maximal power (Pmax) in the 5th repetition (p < 0.05 and p < 0.01, respectively). The training-induced changes in absolute and relative peak power in the RSA test and absolute VO2max approached significance (p = 0.06, p = 0.053 and p = 0.06). No intervention time × exercise protocol effects were observed for any indices of JA, RSA and aerobic capacity. A five-week pre-season conditioning programme supplemented with only 15 sessions of plyometric exercise did not induce any additional benefits, compared to a matched format of standard jump training, in terms of improving jumping performance and maximal power in the RSA test. Aerobic capacity and the fatigue index in RSA were maintained under these two training conditions.

Open access

Charlini S. Hartz, Márcio A. G. Sindorf, Charles R. Lopes, José Batista and Marlene A. Moreno

Abstract

Inspiratory muscle training (IMT) is a strategy that has been used to improve performance in different sports modalities. This study investigated the effects of an IMT program on respiratory muscle strength and resistance as well as aerobic physical performance (PP) of handball athletes. Nineteen 20 ± 3 year-old male athletes were allocated into an experimental (EG, n = 10) or a placebo group (PG, n = 9). Their respiratory muscle strength was evaluated by measuring the maximum inspiratory and expiratory pressures (MIP and MEP), muscular respiratory resistance by maximum voluntary ventilation (MVV) and aerobic PP by the cardiopulmonary exercise test. The study was designed to evaluate the effects of a 12-week IMT program with five sessions a week. A significant difference was observed in the pre and post IMT values of the MIP (170 ± 34 to 262 ± 33 cmH2O) and MEP (177 ± 36 to 218 ± 37 cmH2O) in the EG, and MIP (173 ± 45 to 213 ± 21 cmH2O) in the PG, with a large effect size for the MIP, when the groups were compared. MVV showed a significant increase (162 ± 24 to 173 ± 30 L) in the EG, with a small effect size. There was a significant difference in maximum oxygen uptake (54 ± 8 to 60 ± 7 ml/kg/min) in aerobic PP. Oxygen uptake at the respiratory compensation point (RCP) (46 ± 6 to 50 ± 5 ml/kg/min), with a moderate effect size for both variables, was observed in the EG after IMT. We concluded that IMT provided a significant increase in respiratory muscle strength and resistance, contributing to increased aerobic PP in the EG, which suggests that IMT could be incorporated in handball players’ training.

Open access

Ljubomir Pavlović, Nenad Stojiljković, Nikola Aksović, Emilija Stojanović, Zoran Valdevit, Aaron T. Scanlan and Zoran Milanović

Abstract

The purposes of this study were to determine: 1) morning-to-evening differences in physical performance with and without a ball; and 2) associations between sleep outcomes (duration and quality) and physical performance in handball players. Sixteen elite, male handball players (25.4 ± 5.8 yr, 94.0 ± 7.4 kg, 193.5 ± 7.5 cm) completed physical performance tests without a ball (a zig-zag test assessing closed-skill agility, linear sprints, and countermovement (CMJ) and squat jumps) and with a ball (a zig-zag test and linear sprints) in the morning and evening. In addition, sleep quality and quantity during the night before testing were obtained using self-reported measures. Superior physical performance was evident in all tests during the evening compared to the morning hours (p < 0.003). Specifically, jump height was moderately (effect size (ES) = 0.73 to 1.02) higher during the evening. Similarly, moderate (ES = 1.17) and large (ES = 1.67) improvements in zig-zag test performance were apparent during the evening with and without the ball, respectively. Also, large to very large (ES = 1.29 to 2.09) increases in sprint performance with and without the ball were evident in the evening. No significant correlations (p > 0.05) were apparent between sleep duration and quality and physical performance in both the morning and evening sessions. Diurnal variations in physical performance were apparent in elite male handball players with enhanced performance with and without the ball in the evening compared to morning hours. These findings indicate that morning-to-evening differences in physical performance should be considered when developing conditioning plans or preparing for competition in handball.

Open access

Lucas A. Pereira, César C. Cal Abad, Ronaldo Kobal, Katia Kitamura, Rita C. Orsi, Rodrigo Ramirez-Campillo and Irineu Loturco

Abstract

The aim of this study was to compare and examine differences in several neuromuscular assessments between female national Olympic team (Rio-2016) and national college team handball players (2015-Gwangju Summer Universiade). Twenty-eight elite female handball players of the national Brazilian Olympic (n = 12) and college (n = 16) teams participated in this study. The Olympic and college athletes performed the following speed-power tests assessing mean propulsive power (MPP) in loaded jump squat (JS) and bench press (BP) exercises, unloaded squat and countermovement jumps (SJ and CMJ), sprint performance over 5-, 10-, and 20-m, and change of direction ability in a standard Zig-zag test and a T-Test. The differences between Olympic and college team performances in all variables were analyzed using the magnitude-based inference. The Olympic group presented likely higher performances in the SJ, CMJ, and MPP JS and very likely higher performances in the MPP BP and T-Test than the college group. The differences in the linear sprint velocity in 5-, 10-, and 20-m tests as well as in the Zig-zag test were all rated as unclear. These findings may have substantial implications for the development of effective strength-power training and testing strategies in elite handball. In addition, coaches and researchers can use these data to create efficient talent identification programs for youth handball players.

Open access

Michał Górski, Michał Starczewski, Anna Pastuszak, Joanna Mazur-Różycka, Jan Gajewski and Krzysztof Buśko

Abstract

The aim of the study was to investigate changes of strength and power of the lower extremities in adolescent handball players during a two-year training cycle. Thirty-one male handball players (age 16.0 ± 0.2 years, body mass 81.4 ± 9.7 kg, body height 188.2 ± 6.4 cm) took part in this study. All tests were conducted three times at the beginning of a one-year training programme. The maximum joint torque (JT) of flexors and extensors of the elbow, shoulder, hip, knee and trunk was measured under static conditions. Power of lower extremities was assessed with a repeated sprint ability (RSA) test on a cycloergometer and jump tests: akimbo counter-movement jump (ACMJ), counter-movement jump (CMJ) and spike jump tests on a force plate. Peak power (PP) increased from 914.8 ± 93.9 to 970.0 ± 89.2 and 1037.8 ± 114.4 W (p < 0.05) following the RSA test results. Maximum power increased significantly (p < 0.05) in ACMJ (1951.9 ± 359.7 to 2141.9 ± 378.5 and 2268.5 ± 395.9 W) and CMJ tests (2646.3 ± 415.6 to 2831.2 ± 510.8 and 3064.6 ± 444.5 W). Although significant differences in JT (p < 0.05) were observed during the two year period, their values related to body mass for the lower right extremity, sum of the trunk and sum of all muscle groups increased significantly between the first and the second measurement (from 13.7 ± 1.8 to 14.58 ± 1.99 N·m·kg-1, from 9.3 ± 1.5 to 10.39 ± 2.16 N·m·kg-1, from 43.4 ± 5.2 to 46.31 ± 6.83 N·m·kg-1, respectively). The main finding of the study is that PP in the RSA test and maximal power in the ACMJ and CMJ increase in relation to training experience and age in the group of youth handball players.

Open access

Ingrida Smuka

Abstract

Introduction. Every year, the lack of physical activity causes the death of 600,000 people in Europe; lack of exercise also leads to overweight and obesity in more than one million people [1]. The study of the Latvian Public Health Agency (PHA) concerning students’ health habits shows that the proportion of students whose general physical activity level could be considered as sufficient is only 46.3% [2]. In several countries, different programmes are designed to facilitate school students’ physical activity, and beneficial out-of-class occupation is emphasised, recommending physical activities on the way to school and coming back home. Material and methods. Sixty-five students (grade 10 of secondary school located in a town) aged 15 to 18 participated in the survey. Results. Only 5% of the students questioned used a bicycle as a means of going to and from school during the previous four months. In the inquiry, students mentioned that if they were given the possibility to choose the mode of travel between school and home, then 36% would choose a bicycle, 13% would go on foot, and 48% would go by car. Conclusions. In Latvia, riding a bike has a seasonal character, and during the school year, it is possible to cycle from home to school in spring and autumn. Having analysed the students’ answers, we concluded that most often, the students from the region in question preferred to ride a bike in spring. There was a large difference between the number of students who would like to use a bicycle and the number of students who actually used it.

Open access

Daniel Seabra

Abstract

The ultra-groups that support football clubs have been present in Portugal since the 1970s. Despite this support, performed with many chants and choreographies, the ultra-groups are reported mostly due to violent situations caused by their members. Based on an investigation of four ultra-groups that support football clubs in Oporto that was performed through lengthy observation, interviews, and surveys, this text highlights the characteristics of the dominant masculine profile present in these ultra-groups. The dimensions that allowed for the outline of this profile arise from theoretical perspectives reflecting gender and masculinity as an explanatory dimension of the aggressive behavior of hooligans and ultra-group members. These were briefly dealt in this text. They are composed of key features resulting from research about gender and masculinity in the Portoan ultra-groups, enabling their outlines. The physical and verbal violence, leadership profile, body display, homophobic discourse, and gendered exclusion expressed in the words, chants, and iconography of the ultra-groups allow for the definition of the key characteristics of the aggressive dominant masculine profile present in these Portoan ultra-groups.

Open access

Demirhan Oğuzhan, Eskiler Ersin and Altunışık Remzi

Abstract

Market segmentation and consumer motivation are among the most important concepts utilized in the prediction and explanation of consumer behavior. Although fantasy sports consumption has shown a remarkable growth in recent years, there has been limited research on the characteristics of participants of this activity, motivational factors influencing participation, and the effects of these factors on consumer behavior and preferences. For this purpose, we aimed to reveal the motives of fantasy football consumers, to comprise motivational market segments, and to show the potential differences between the segments in terms of experience. In the present study, we used non-hierarchical clustering (K-mean analysis) and hierarchical clustering (Ward cluster algorithm) analyses to determine the number of segments. In addition, we analyzed the potential differences between segments using ANOVA and chi-square analyses. As a result, we found that fantasy football consumers were classified into three different segments (loyal gamblers, hedonists, and casual players) with a motivational basis for the different behavioral responses. According to difference analysis, the consumers who are in different segments were found to be statistically different in terms of consumption behavior and experiential characteristics. The theoretical and practical effects of the study results were evaluated for academicians and practitioners.

Open access

Wojciech Wiesner and Piotr Kunysz

Abstract

This article discusses issues related to safety during kitesurfing (swimming on a board with a kite). The considerations are based on risk management procedures. These procedures can be described interchangeably as managing your own safety. Risk management allows you to minimize threats without sacrificing your planned sport goals. The authors first describe the procedures related to the identification of threats occurring in this discipline. Teaching and practicing kitesurfing involves overcoming a large number of threats. These threats can have both external and internal character. The next stage is risk analysis, understood as the product of negative events and the probability of their occurrence. Afterwards, we discuss the ways of dealing with the threat in the event of its occurrence. The last stage is the risk control (tracking) - whether new threats have emerged, or the level of risk has remained unchanged. The described methodical impacts can be labelled as education for safety.

Open access

Olga Theocharidou, Georgios Lykesas, Ioannis Giossos, Dimitrios Chatzopoulos and Maria Koutsouba

Abstract

The combination of Creative Dance and BrainDance within the context of physical education could be a promising innovation. This combined program can be implemented in primary school to help students achieve a better and more holistic assessment of their Health-Related Quality of Life (HRQoL), covering aspects of physical, emotional, social, and mental functioning and well-being. The aim of this study was to investigate the impact that a combined Creative Dance and BrainDance program based on the Laban Theory of Movement Analysis has on HRQoL perceptions of primary school students when this program is implemented within the context of the physical education curriculum in primary school. For this purpose, an eight-week educational intervention was designed combining Creative Dance and BrainDance into one single program. The survey sample consisted of 32 fifth- and sixth-grade primary school students. The Kidscreen-52 questionnaire was used to collect data. Data analysis was performed with the use of descriptive statistical indices and mixed analysis of variance (ANOVA). Although the results showed no differences between the beginning and end of the educational intervention, a fact that might be due to the small sample and the time of the implementation of the program (limited to 8 weeks), its implementation produced very good results with regard to improvisation, body control, balance, and coordination, as well as kinaesthetic awareness and musical rhythmic skills. Creative Dance and BrainDance promote imagination, creativity, improvisation, and self-esteem in general, particularly in primary school students..