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Open access

Konstantinos Papanikolaou, Athanasios Chatzinikolaou, Theodoros Pontidis, Alexandra Avloniti, Chariklia K. Deli, Diamanda Leontsini, Dimitrios Draganidis, Panagiotis D. Tsimeas, Lefteris Rafailakis, Athanasios Z. Jamurtas, Peter Krustrup, Magni Mohr and Ioannis G. Fatouros

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the reliability and reproducibility of the physiological and overload features of the Yo-Yo intermittent endurance test level 2 (Yo-Yo IE2) in competitive male soccer (n = 20), basketball (n = 11), and volleyball players (n = 10). The participants completed Yo-Yo IE2 tests on three separate occasions with assessment of performance, heart rate, running speed, accelerations, decelerations and body load using GPS instrumentation. The intra-class correlation coefficient index, confidence intervals and coefficients of variation were calculated to assess the reliability of the test. Intra-class correlation coefficients for test-retest trials in the total sample ranged from large to nearly perfect (total distance: 0.896; mean speed: 0.535; maximum speed: 0.715; mean HR: 0.876; maximum HR: 0.866; body load: 0.865). The coefficients of variation for distance, mean speed, HR response, as well as acceleration and deceleration scores for test-retest trials ranged from 1.2 to 12.5% with no differences observed among particular sport disciplines. The CV for shuttles performed ranged from 4.4 to 5.5% in all sports. Similar results were obtained for the three different categories of players tested. These results suggest that the Yo-Yo IE2 test appears to be a reliable alternative for evaluating the ability to perform intermittent high-intensity running in different outdoor and indoor team sports. Players may need one or two familiarization tests to ensure valid assessment of intermittent endurance capacity. It appears that the Yo-Yo IE2 test incorporates accelerations and decelerations in a consistent and reproducible fashion.

Open access

A. Vanessa Bataller-Cervero, Héctor Gutierrez, Jacobo DeRentería, Eduardo Piedrafita, Noel Marcén, Carlos Valero-Campo, Manuel Lapuente and César Berzosa

Abstract

Our purpose was to assess the 10 Hz Viper GPS devices’ validity and reliability (STATSport) in both instantaneous and mean speed measuring in accelerations and decelerations in straight-line running conditions. Eight amateur team sport players participated in the study, performing firstly 21 x 40 m sprints at submaximal incremental speed, and secondly 21 x 40 m sprints, with the first stage consisting of submaximal incremental speed, and the second stage of subsequent submaximal decreasing speed. Criteria systems used to evaluate the GPS validity were a radar gun for instantaneous speed, and timing-gates for mean speed. Reliability was measured with two GPS devices carried by the same athlete, running 10 x (20 m + 20 m) sprints with a 180º change of direction and a 10 s inter-set rest interval. Results showed an agreement between GPS devices and the criteria systems measuring instantaneous speed (r = 0.98; standardized mean bias (SMB) = -0.07; standard typical error (STE) = 0.22) and mean speed (r = 0.99; SMB = 0.38; STE = 0.17). The reliability study presented a nearly perfect correlation between devices, a trivial SMB and a small STE (r = 0.97; SMB = 0.04; STE = 0.23). 10 Hz GPS devices are an adequate solution to monitor straight-line running speed in acceleration and deceleration conditions, but we would like to draw attention to the small errors and bias detected, such as the speed overestimation compared with timing gates.

Open access

Alireza Monajati, Eneko Larumbe-Zabala, Mark Goss-Sampson and Fernando Naclerio

Abstract

The aim of this study was to perform an electromyography comparison of three commonly used lower limb injury prevention exercises: a single-leg squat on a bench (SLSB), a double-leg squat (DLS) and a double-leg squat on a BOSU® balance trainer (DLSB). After determining the maximum isometric voluntary contraction of the hamstring and quadriceps, eight female athletes performed 3 repetitions of each exercise, while electromyography activity of the biceps femoris (BF), semitendinosus (ST), vastus lateralis (VL) and vastus medialis (VM) was monitored. Comparisons between exercises revealed higher activation in BF (descending phase: p = 0.016, d = 1.36; ascending phase: p = 0.046, d = 1.11), ST (descending phase: p = 0.04, d = 1.87; ascending phase: p = 0.04, d = 1.87), VL (ascending phase: p = 0.04, d = 1.17) and VM (descending phase: p = 0.05, d = 1.11; ascending phase: p = 0.021, d = 1.133) muscles for the SLSB compared to the DLSQ. Furthermore, higher muscular activation of the ST (ascending phase: p = 0.01, d = 1.51; descending phase: p = 0.09, d = 0.96) and VM (ascending phase: p = 0.065, d = 1.03; descending phase: p = 0.062, d = 1.05) during the SLSB with respect to the DLSB was observed. In conclusion, the SLSB elicits higher neuromuscular activation in both hamstring and quadriceps muscles compared to the other two analysed exercises. Additionally, the higher muscle activation of both medial muscles (ST and VM) during the SLSB suggests that single leg squatting exercises may enhance lower limb medial to lateral balance, and improve knee stability in the frontal plane.

Open access

Vladimir M. Akulin, Frederic Carlier, Stanislaw Solnik and Mark L. Latash

Abstract

In this paper, we develop an algorithm-based approach to the problem of stability of salient performance variables during motor actions. This problem is reformulated as stabilizing subspaces within high-dimensional spaces of elemental variables. Our main idea is that the central nervous system does not solve such problems precisely, but uses simple rules that achieve success with sufficiently high probability. Such rules can be applied even if the central nervous system has no knowledge of the mapping between small changes in elemental variables and changes in performance. We start with a rule ”Act on the most nimble” (the AMN-rule), when changes in the local feedback-based loops occur for the most unstable variable first. This rule is implemented in a task-specific coordinate system that facilitates local control. Further, we develop and supplement the AMN-rule to improve the success rate. Predictions of implementation of such algorithms are compared with the results of experiments performed on the human hand with both visual and mechanical perturbations. We conclude that physical, including neural, processes associated with everyday motor actions can be adequately represented with a set of simple algorithms leading to sloppy, but satisfactory, solutions. Finally, we discuss implications of this scheme for motor learning and motor disorders.

Open access

Ian C Dunican, Charles C Higgin, Kevin Murray, Maddison J Jones, Brian Dawson, John A Caldwell, Shona L Halson and Peter R Eastwood

Abstract

Sleep is a vital component of preparation, performance and recovery for a Super Rugby game. The purpose of this study was to quantify sleep behaviours and alertness of professional rugby union players during training and a game. Thirty-six rugby union players from a Super Rugby team wore a wrist-activity device (Readiband™) to measure sleep for 3 days before, 3 days after and on the night of an evening game. Players were separated into those selected to play the game (n = 23) and those who were not (n = 13). Alertness was assessed for all training and game times using bio-mathematical modelling. Alertness measures ≤90% were considered to reflect impaired reaction time. Those selected to play in the game progressively increased sleep duration over the nights prior to the game (by 92 min p ≤ 0.05) by delaying wake time. Players went to bed later after the game (02:20 ± 114 min vs 22:57 ± 60 min; p ≤ 0.001) which resulted in decreased sleep duration on game night compared to pre-game nights (296 ± 179 min vs 459 ± 78 min; p ≤ 0.05). Four players did not achieve any sleep on game night. Sleep duration appeared to be truncated by early morning training sessions (before 08:00) on the second and third mornings after the game. Alertness was >90% for all training and game times for all players. In conclusion, in the days leading into a Super Rugby game, players delay morning time at wake and consequently increase sleep duration with post-game sleep reduced in some.

Open access

Andrew W. Smith and Del P. Wong

Abstract

The study purposes were to record the lower extremity sagittal and frontal joint moments and powers during gait initiation (GI); evaluate GI support moments in both planes; and analyze planar energy patterns in a group of 15 healthy, young adults. 3D motion and ground reaction force data were used to calculate support moments (SM) and joint moments and powers as well as center of mass (COM) kinematics. STEP1 had no visible SM. It appeared in STEP2 and, by STEP3, resembled that seen in steady-state gait. Joint moments demonstrated a similar development towards typical patterns over the three steps. Correlations of moment data between planes indicate that the frontal plane component of the SM acts to keep the COM centered. It is suggested that Winter’s 1980 SM definition be extended to include both a support (sagittal) component and a centering (frontal) component. Energy was calculated for individual bursts of joint powers in both planes and each step had characteristic patterns in each plane, with patterns resembling steady-state gait appearing in the third step. Test-retest reliability (ICC range: 0.796 – 0.945) was high with CV values in the sagittal plane (36.6 – 37.5%) being less variable than in the frontal plane (39.0 – 82.0%). COM kinematics revealed that acceleration peaked in STEP2 (ICC range: 0.950 – 0.980, CV < 20.0%). Data supported hypotheses regarding the dominance of the frontal plane power in STEP1, with substantial power coming from hip flexors. As well, powers in the sagittal plane were generally of larger magnitude than in the frontal plane.

Open access

João P. Duarte, Manuel J. Coelho-e-Silva, Daniela Costa, Diogo Martinho, Leonardo G. O. Luz, Ricardo Rebelo-Gonçalves, João Valente-dos-Santos, António Figueiredo, André Seabra and Robert M. Malina

Abstract

The objective of the study was to examine the effects of the relative age effect (RAE) and predicted maturity status on body size and repeated sprint ability (RSA: 7 x 34.2 m / 25 s interval) in youth soccer. The sample was composed of 197 male players aged 13-14 years. Body mass, stature, and sitting height were measured, RSA was assessed in the field, and age at peak height velocity (APHV) was predicted. Factorial ANOVA tested the independent and combined effects of RAE given by birth quarters (BQs) and maturity status on dependent variables. Players born in the second birth quarter (BQ2) were significantly taller (F = 4.28, p < 0.01) than their peers born in BQ1 and BQ3. Additionally, players born in BQ2 performed better than players born in BQ4 in RSA total time and ideal time (F ranged between 4.81 and 4.90, p < 0.01), while players born in BQ1 exhibited a lower RSA fatigue index compared to those born in BQ4 (F = 2.90, p < 0.05). The interaction of the BQ and maturity status was a significant source of inter-individual variation for body size (F ranged between 64.92 and 105.57; p < 0.01) and RSA output (F ranged between 4.082 and 6.76; p < 0.05). In summary, being relatively older and, simultaneously, advanced in maturity status corresponds to a substantial advantage in characteristics that are related to soccer-specific fitness.

Open access

Javier Sanchez-Sanchez, Mario Sanchez, Daniel Hernández, Oliver Gonzalo-Skok, David Casamichana, Rodrigo Ramirez-Campillo and Fabio Y. Nakamura

Abstract

The aim of this study was to compare the activity profile (external loads) during soccer-7 competition versus 6 vs 6 small-sided games ( SSGs) in U12 players. Peak velocity (Vmax), total distance completed (DT), total distance relative to match duration, the percentage of DT in acceleration (%DAC) and in deceleration (%DEA), and the percentage of DT at different speeds were recorded. Six types of SSGs were randomly implemented: without pitch orientation-delimitation and with a limit of three ball-contacts per player (3TOU), with no limit of ball-contacts (MAN), with a greater number of players as internal-offensive wildcard players (2WI) or external-offensive wildcard players (4WE); and with pitch orientation-delimitation and crossing the rival goal-line while dribbling the ball without goalkeepers (INV) or using official goalkeepers (GKP). The physical demands of SSGs were compared with the average of two soccer-7 match plays. During soccer-7 match plays a lower %DAC and %DEA (p < 0.05) were observed compared to 2WI, 4WE, INV and GKP, and to INV and GKP, respectively. The Vmax and %HI were greater (p < 0.05) in soccer-7 match plays compared to all SSGs. In conclusion, the demands imposed on U12 players during different formats of SSGs differ from the soccer-7 match play demands, presenting a low stimulation of the actions performed at high-speed and an adequate simulation of acceleration-deceleration actions.

Open access

Filipe Manuel Clemente, Bruno Mendes, Sarah da Glória Teles Bredt, Gibson Moreira Praça, André Silvério, Sandro Carriço and Emanuel Duarte

Abstract

This study aimed to compare the perceived training load (session-RPE) and wellness status (muscle soreness, stress, fatigue, and sleep quality) within and between regular (one-match) and congested (two matches) weeks. Fifteen professional basketball players from a European First league club participated in this study. Wellness status (Hooper’s questionnaire) and perceived training loads (session-RPE) were measured for each training session and matches over a full season. Regular weeks presented moderately greater session-RPE than congested weeks (p = 0.201; d = 2.15, moderate effect). Both regular and congested weeks presented a decrease in perceived training load before matches, which was accompanied by improved wellness status on a match day. Congested weeks presented moderately lower sleep quality (p = 0.421; d = 1.320, moderate effect) and moderately greater fatigue (p = 0.468; d = 1.401, moderate effect) than regular weeks. Regular and congested weeks presented minimum differences for DOMS and stress. Lower wellness in congested weeks may be associated to an accumulative effect of training and match loads. Tapering phases before matches seem to play an important role for improving athletes’ wellness and preventing overtraining.

Open access

Patrick M. Tomko, C. Matthew Laurent, Adam M. Fullenkamp, Nicholas R. Voth and Carmen A. Young

Abstract

Sensing carbohydrates via the oral cavity benefits performance outcomes during brief high intensity bouts of exercise. However, the extent to which carbohydrates need to be present in the oral cavity to influence sprint performance is less understood. The purpose of this study was to determine if serial increases in carbohydrate rinse time across sprint sets attenuates increases in sprint time compared to no serial increases in carbohydrate rinse time across sprint sets. Fifteen sprint trained participants completed three repeated anaerobic sprint tests (RAST), 3 sets of 6 x 35-m sprints, under two different carbohydrate mouth rinsing (CMR) conditions; (1) rinsing for only 5 seconds (s), and (2) rinsing for 5 s, 10 s and 15 s (serial rinse). Prior to a RAST, participants provided perceived recovery status (PRS) and perceived feeling of arousal (FAS). Upon completion of each individual sprint, participants gave a rating of perceived exertion (RPE). A lactate sample was taken upon completion of each individual sprint set and after all 3 RASTs a session rating of perceived exertion (S-RPE) was measured. There were no significant differences in peak (p = 0.18) and average sprint time (p = 0.41). There were no significant differences in perceptual measures: RPE, PRS, FAS, S-RPE or for blood lactate concentration between CMR conditions. Overall, serial rinsing resulted in changes that were most likely trivial, but showed a 50% chance in perceiving a sprint session as less difficult. Rinsing carbohydrates in a serial manner between repeated sprint sets produces trivial changes of sprint speed and perceptual measures from sprint performance.