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Open access

Ângelo Brito, Paulo Roriz, Pedro Silva, Ricardo Duarte and Júlio Garganta

Abstract

The aim of this study was to analyze the effect of different pitch surfaces (artificial turf, natural turf and dirt field) on positioning and displacement of young soccer players (age: 13.4 ± 0.5 yrs; body height: 161.82 ± 7.52 cm; body mass: 50.79 ± 7.22 kg and playing experience: 3.5 ± 1.4 yrs). Data were collected using GPS units which allowed to calculate spatial distribution variability, assessed by measuring entropy of individual distribution maps (ShannEn). Ellipsoidal areas (m2) representing players’ displacement on the pitch, centred on the average players’ positional coordinates, were also calculated, with axes corresponding to the standard deviations of the displacement in the longitudinal and lateral directions. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) was used to evaluate differences between pitch surfaces and across players’ positions. There was significant effect in positioning (η2 = 0.146; p < 0.001) and displacement (η2 = 0.063; p < 0.05) by the players between pitch surfaces. A dirt field condition induced an increase in the players’ movement variability, while players’ displacement was more restricted when playing on artificial turf. Also, there were significant effects on positioning (η2 = 0.496; p < 0.001) and displacement (η2 = 0.339; p < 0.001) across players’ positions. Central midfielders presented the greatest movement variability and displacement while fullbacks showed the lowest variability. Subsequently, the results may contribute to implement strategies that optimise players’ performance in different surface conditions.

Open access

Carlos Lago-Fuentes, Ezequiel Rey, Alexis Padrón-Cabo, Alejandro Sal de Rellán-Guerra, Ana Fragueiro-Rodríguez and Javier García-Núñez

Abstract

The aim of this study was to assess the effect of core strength training performed on a stable surface (CTS) compared with core strength training performed on an unstable surface (CTU) on physical fitness (jump performance, sprint, and repeated sprint ability (RSA)) and quality of movement (Fundamental Movement Screen) in professional female futsal players. Fourteen professional female futsal players (mean age: 23.7 ± 5.1 years, age range: 18-28 years) were randomly assigned to a CTS (n = 7) or a CTU (n = 7) group. The intervention program was carried out 3 times a week over 6 weeks. Players of both groups performed the same four core-strengthening exercises. The only difference between the two interventions was that the CTU group performed all exercises (i.e., shoulder bridge, side bridge, prone plank, and crunch) on an unstable surface (Togu® Dyn-Air). Within-group analysis showed significant improvements (p < 0.001) in 10 m sprint performance from the pre- to post-test in the CTS (+4.37%) and CTU (+5.00%) groups. Players in both the CTS (+10.39%) and CTU (+11.10%) group also showed significant enhancement in the Functional Movement Screen total score, from the pre-test to post-test. In addition, a significant time effect was also observed for the CTU group in the relative score of the RSA test decreasing from the pre- to post-test (-30.85%). In the between-groups analysis, there were no significant differences between the core strength training groups (CTS vs CTU) in any variable. To conclude, sprint and Functional Movement Screen performance improved following CTS and CTU when conducted in combination with regular futsal training. In addition, CTU had limited benefit in RSA compared to CTS.

Open access

Artur Magiera, Robert Roczniok, Ewa Sadowska-Krępa, Katarzyna Kempa, Oskar Placek and Aleksandra Mostowik

Abstract

Rock climbing is a physical activity that not only causes an increase in muscle tension, heart rate and blood pressure, but also results in the elevation of stress hormones including cortisol. It has not been established which of the above mentioned variables serve as the most accurate indicator of rock climbing-induced physical and mental stress. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of physical activity, short-term fatigue and mental demand on heart rate (HR), salivary cortisol (C) and blood plasma lactate (LA) concentrations in rock climbers under laboratory conditions. Twelve male and female rock climbers of comparable climbing performance (5a – 6b OS) were recruited. The participants completed two routes of different climbing difficulty (effect of physical demand), repeated a difficult route with a short 5-min recovery period three times (effect of fatigue), and repeated a difficult lead climb (effect of mental demand). Heart rate as well as C and LA concentrations were determined. The results indicated that more difficult climbing routes elicited increases in HR (especially relative values) and LA concentrations, whereas fatigue accumulation had an effect on climbing HR and relative C concentration values. Lead climbing only caused an increase in climbing HR. Based on the results it was concluded that HR was a good indicator of physical and mental stress intensity. Performing the same difficult route three times with a short recovery period in-between turned out to be the most demanding task and resulted in the highest increase of the cortisol concentration. Dynamics of changes in lactate concentrations depend on muscle loading (local muscular effort), lactate clearance and technical/tactical skills of the climber.

Open access

Cesare Altavilla, Roberto Cejuela and Pablo Caballero-Pérez

Abstract

To compare the effect of three different feedback modalities on swimming pace, sixteen male swimmers and triathletes participated in this study. Each participant swam 3 x 400 m, one for each feedback modality, swimming front crawl at 80% of their individual swimming critical speed. Three feedback modalities were examined: self-pacing, real time visual feedback and real time voice feedback. The swimmers adopted a fast start in all feedback modalities. In the real time voice feedback modality, the data recorded during the second lap (200 m) showed a significant improvement of their swimming pace approaching the swimming pace intended (-1.47 s, p < .01, medium effect size 0.79). A significant improvement toward the swimming pace intended was also noticed at the third split time (300 m) (0.05 s, p < .01, large effect size 0.81) and at the fourth split time (400 m) (0.46 s, p < .01, medium effect size 0.76). In self-pacing, the swimmers were not able to swim in line with the swimming pace intended. In real time visual feedback modality, the swimmers did not show a significant improvement approaching the swimming pace intended. The results revealed that communication with the swimmers using the real time voice feedback induced a significant improvement in their swimming pace and could help the athletes to swim with accurate and consistent pace.

Open access

Michal Kumstát, Tomáš Hlinský, Ivan Struhár and Andy Thomas

Abstract

The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of ingesting sodium bicarbonate (SB) and sodium citrate (SC) on 400 m high-intensity swimming performance and blood responses. Six nationally ranked male swimmers (20.7 ± 2.1 yrs; 184 ± 6 cm; 79.9 ± 3.9 kg; 10.6 ± 1% body fat) participated in a double blinded, placebo controlled crossover trial. Ninety minutes after consuming SB (0.3 g·kg-1), SC (0.3 g·kg-1) or a placebo (PL) participants completed a single 400-m freestyle maximal test on three consecutive days. The order of the supplementation was randomized. Capillary blood samples were collected on 4 occasions: at rest (baseline), 60 min post-ingestion, immediately post-trial and 15 min post-trial. Blood pH, HCO3- concentration and base excess (BE) were determined. Blood pH, HCO3-, BE were significantly elevated from before loading to the pre-test (60 min post-ingestion) (p < 0.05) after SB ingestion, but not after SC ingestion (p > 0.05). Performance times were improved by 0.6% (p > 0.05) after supplementation of SB over PL in 5 out of 6 participants (responders). In contrast, ingestion of SC decreased performance by 0.2% (p > 0.05). No side effects were observed in either trial. Delayed blood response was observed after SC ingestion compared to SB and this provided no or modest ergogenic effect, respectively, for single bout high-intensity swimming exercise. Monitoring the magnitude of the time-to-peak level rise in alkalosis may be recommended in order to individualize the loading time accordingly before commencement of exercise.

Open access

Petr Kutáč and Jaroslav Uchytil

Abstract

The objective of the study was to assess differences between the take-off and non-take-off limbs of athletes in track-and-field jumping events based on a segmental analysis of body composition as well as kinetic analysis. The research included 19 participants (10 males, 9 females) with an average age of 18.1 ± 2.8 years. We measured body height, body mass, body composition (body fat, fat free mass, bone mineral content and bone density) and segmental distribution of these variables. To assess strength of the lower limbs, we performed reaction force analysis during take-off and run symmetry. The difference in the representation of soft tissues between the take-off and non-take-off limbs was not significant; the differences were 0.06%, 0 kg in body fat and 0.01 kg in fat free mass. The differences in the values of bone matter were significant. The bone mineral content was 0.05 kg higher in the take-off limb (p < 0.001), and bone density was 0.07 g/cm2 higher (p < 0.001); the practical significance of the difference was intermediate (d = 0.5). Kinetic analysis showed that athletes exerted greater force on the pad with the take-off limb than the non-take-off limb when taking off while using arms in the first peak of the vertical force. The difference determined in this type of take-off was statistically significant (p < 0.05); the practical significance of the difference was medium (d = 0.7). The difference in the second peak of the vertical reaction force in the take-off arm was not statistically significant. The differences were reflected in the different bone matter compositions.

Open access

Joanna Basiaga-Pasternak

Abstract

The aim of the study was to present the relationships between the way of perceiving oneself and the world by young athletes, the cognitive anxiety and the ways of coping with stress. The target group consisted of 222 participants (114 boys and 108 girls) aged 16–20, students of sports-profiled secondary schools. The participants specialised in both winter and summer sports, as well as in individual and team sport disciplines. The following tools were implemented: Attitudes to Intrapersonal, Interpersonal and to the World Questionnaire, Coping Inventory for Stressful Situations (CISS) and Sport Anxiety Scale. The study showed that negative perception of oneself and others increases the level of cognitive anxiety and decreases the tendencies to search for social contacts in the face of stress. With regard to the positive image of oneself and others, the opposite was observed. The above relationships refer mainly to girls who practise sports.

Open access

Rūtenis Paulauskas, Nerijus Masiulis, Alejandro Vaquera, Bruno Figueira and Jaime Sampaio

Abstract

This study aimed to identify the game-related statistics that discriminated between Euroleague basketball players and European basketball players playing in the NBA, when competing in the same event (EuroBasket 2015). There was a total of 78 matches played by 24 teams in two groups of analysis: NBA, participants in the European Championship who played in the NBA season of 2014-2015 (n = 26); Euroleague, participants in the European Championship who played in the Euroleague season of 2014-2015 (n = 82). The players’ performance variables were normalized to the time they spent on the court. To identify which variables best discriminated between the NBA and the Euroleague performance profiles, a descriptive discriminant analysis was conducted. Structure coefficients (SC) from the matrix greater than |0.30| were interpreted as meaningful contributors to discriminating between the groups. The results revealed a significant function (p = 0.008, canonical correlation of 0.51, Λ = 0.74, reclassification = 84.2%) and substantial performance differences in game-related statistics much related to the influence of body size (body height and mass), such as two-point field goals made (SC = 0.42) and missed (SC = 0.40), free-throws made (SC = 0.55), defensive rebounds (SC = 0.62), blocks (SC = 0.48) and suffered fouls (SC = 0.34). No differences were found at the level of game-related statistics indirectly related to perception, such as assists, turnovers or steals. Also, the greater body size in NBA players was likely related to higher variability in performance, thus, being an important topic for coaches and recruiters to analyse.

Open access

Jonathan Sinclair, Bobbie Butters and Philip Stainton

Abstract

The current investigation examined the effects of running barefoot and in minimalist footwear on medial tibiofemoral compartment loading, compared to conventional running trainers. Fifteen male runners ran over a force platform in five different footwear conditions (barefoot, Vibram five-fingers (Footwear A), Inov-8 (Footwear B) Nike-Free (Footwear C), and running trainer) whilst lower extremity kinematics were examined using a three-dimensional camera system. Medial compartment loading during the stance phase was explored using the knee adduction moment (KAM). In addition, the KAM instantaneous load rate was also calculated. Differences between footwear across the entire stance phase were examined using 1-dimensional statistical parametric mapping, whereas differences in discrete parameters were explored using one-way repeated measures ANOVA. Statistical parametric mapping revealed that Footwear B was associated with a significantly larger KAM compared to the running trainer from 15-20 and 25-30% of the stance phase and also Footwear C from 15-20% of the stance phase. The KAM instantaneous load rate was significantly larger in the barefoot (210.69 Nm/kg/s), Footwear A (200.23 Nm/kg/s) and Footwear B (186.03 Nm/kg/s) conditions in comparison to Footwear C (100.88 Nm/kg/s) and running trainers (92.70 Nm/kg/s). The findings from this study indicate that running barefoot and in minimalist footwear with the least midsole interface may place runners at increased risk of medial compartment knee OA, although further exploration using habitual barefoot / minimalist footwear users is required.

Open access

Elena Bendíková, Michal Marko, Anetta Müller and Éva Bácsné Bába

Summary

The aim of the research was to determine the effect of the health-oriented exercises included in the final part of the physical and sport education on the selected factors of the musculoskeletal system of the female students of the selected secondary school, as well as to point out the diversification and the realization of the innovative contents of the teaching lessons with the health aspect, especially from the point of view of the primary prevention of the female students’ health of secondary school, improving the level of the posture and the overall muscular system. The monitored group consisted of 33 female students of the selected secondary school in Trenčín (Slovakia). The experimental group (EG) A consisted of 17 female students (age = 16.9 ± 1.3 years, height = 168.6 ± 3.9 cm, weight = 57.3 ± 3.4 kg) and the control group (CG) B consisted of 16 female students (age = 16.3 ± 1.1 years, height = 167.3 ± 4.7 cm, weight = 58.9 ± 4.8 kg). From the point of view of the data acquisition methods, in initial, ongoing and final evaluations were applied standardized methods for assessing the posture and the muscular system for physical and medical practice. Subsequently, the applied health-oriented exercises were used in the final part of the physical and sport education for 3 months, 3 times per week, for the duration of 12 minutes. The results significantly showed the improvement of the monitored musculoskeletal system (p < 0.01), as well as the overall muscular system (p < 0.01). Based on the findings, we point out the suitability of including the health-oriented exercises in the teaching process of the physical and sport education with the focus on the musculoskeletal system. This study was supported by VEGA 1/0242/17 Physical activity as prevention of functional disorders related to the musculoskeletal system of secondary school students.