The aim of this study was to compare skeletal muscle response to elbow flexors eccentric exercise in athletes and non-athletes. A set of eccentric (ECC) exercises was performed in a group of 12 athletes and 12 non-athlete controls. Maximal isometric force, electromyographic (EMG) activity of the biceps brachii and the resting elbow angle were assessed before, immediately, 48 hours, 5 and 10 days after high-intensity ECC exercises. During the set of the ECC exercises each participant performed 25 eccentric contractions of elbow flexors. Each contraction consisted of lowering a dumbbell from the flexed (elbow joint angle: to the extended elbow (elbow joint angle: position. The weight of the dumbbell was set at 80% of one-repetition maximum (1RM). The ECC contractions caused a decrease in maximal isometric force in both groups. The variable dropped by 8% in non-athletes and by 24% in athletes. Furthermore, the EMG RMS increased significantly only for non-athletes 10 days after the ECC exercise compared to baseline values. The present study showed different effects of ECC exercise on force and EMG in athletes and non-athletes, indicating a more pronounced force response in athletes and electromyographic response in non-athletes.
Changes of Reaction Time and Blood Lactate Concentration of Elite Volleyball Players During a Game
The purpose of this study was to investigate changes in reaction time of elite volleyball players during a game. Fourteen volleyball players participated in the study. Reaction time was measured using the Optojump system. In addition, blood lactate concentration was assessed to monitor physiological load during the game. All measurements were performed during a pre-game test and during sets 1, 2, 3 and 4. Reaction time during set 1 decreased significantly by 13,3 % compared with pre-game values, from 600 ms during the pre-game test to 520 ms during set 1 (p<0,05). Blood lactate concentration increased significantly during set 1, 2, 3 and 4 compared with pre-game conditions (p<0,05). Reaction time stays in the first phase of its changes pattern and elite volleyball players do not reach psychomotor fatigue threshold throughout the game.
Next to winning, minimizing injuries during training and matches is one of the primary goals of professional team sports games. Soreness and pain can be early indicators and risk factors for acute or long‐term injuries. Monitoring pain intensity and duration, as well as potential sources, are useful for planning practices and can be effective means for preventing injury. The aim of this study was to assess the areas and locations of pain in young soccer goalkeepers during a training camp, and to differentiate the area and frequency between pain arising from the muscles (MP), joints (JP), or as a result of an impact (IP). Recordings of the MP, JP, and IP location along with the area were performed using digital body mapping software (Navigate Pain Android app, Aalborg University, Denmark) installed on a tablet personal computer at the end of each training day across a 5‐day training camp. There was a significant difference in the area between the three types of pain (p < 0.001). The post hoc analysis revealed statistically significant differences between the pixel areas of IP versus JP (p < 0.001), IP versus MP (p < 0.001), and JP versus MP (p < 0.001). There was no significant time‐effect for the IP area between 1‐5 days of training (p = 0.610), neither for MP (p = 0.118) or JP (p = 0.797) and no significant difference for all three pain areas between the front and the back side of the body. The body regions most often reported for MP were thighs, while for JP they were groin and hips, and for IP the hips, shoulders, and forearms were most frequently indicated. This is the first study to map and report the pain distribution associated with training across a 5‐day training camp in soccer goalkeepers, and these findings emphasize the value of using digital pain drawings clinically as well as for monitoring the health status of soccer players.
The aim of the study was to investigate the influence of karate fights on Achilles tendon stiffness in karate competitors. Eleven male karate fighters participated in the present study. A handheld MyotonPRO device (MyotonPRO, Myoton Ltd, Estonia) was applied to measure Achilles tendon stiffness in karate fighters. The Achilles tendon was tested 5 cm above the tuber calcanei. Stiffness measurements were performed before and after eight sparring fights. Each fight lasted 2 min and was separated by a 2 min rest period. Achilles tendon stiffness for the dominant leg increased significantly from before fights (751.57 ± 123.493 N/m) to immediately after fights (809.43 ± 160.425 N/m) (p = 0.012). Presented results should be used by strength and conditioning coaches in training programs as a way to decrease the risk of injury.
Endurance and Speed Capacity of the Korea Republic Football National Team During the World Cup of 2010
The aim of the study was to characterize selected indices of endurance and speed of the Korea Republic team with reference to the four best teams during the World Cup of 2010. Five hundred and ninety-nine football players from thirty-two teams participated in the study. All teams played in the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. For the assessment of the players' motor activity during matches common kinematic test results were recorded using the Castrol Performance Index. The following variables were analysed: total distance covered by the team, distance covered by individual players, maximum running speed and average match running speed for the team and individual players, as well as with division with regard to playing position: defenders, midfielders, strikers. In comparison to the four best teams at the football World Cup of 2010, the Korea Republic players achieved the highest running speed (p≤0.05), and similar levels of covered distance and average match running speed.
Our primary objective was to investigate the effects of short-term core stability training on dynamic balance and trunk muscle endurance in novice weightlifters learning the technique of the Olympic lifts. Our secondary objective was to compare dynamic balance and trunk muscle endurance between novice and experienced weightlifters. Thirty novice (NOV) and five experienced (EXP) weightlifters participated in the study. Mediolateral (ML) and anteroposterior (AP) dynamic balance and trunk muscle endurance testing were performed a week before (Pre) and after (Post) a 4-week core stability training program. In the NOV group, there was an improvement of both dynamic balance (ML and AP, p = 0.0002) and trunk muscle endurance (p = 0.0002). In the EXP group, there was no significant difference between Pre and Post testing conditions, except an increase in muscle endurance in the right-side plank (p = 0.0486). Analysis of the results showed that experienced lifters were characterized by more effective dynamic balance and greater core muscle endurance than their novice peers, not only before the training program but after its completion as well. In conclusion, the applied short-term core stability training improved dynamic balance and trunk muscle endurance in novice weightlifters learning the Olympic lifts. Such an exercise program can be incorporated into a training regime of novice weightlifters to prepare them for technically difficult tasks of the Olympic snatch and clean and jerk.
The study aimed to assess the effects of compression trigger point therapy on the stiffness of the trapezius muscle in professional basketball players (Part A), and the reliability of the MyotonPRO device in clinical evaluation of athletes (Part B). Twelve professional basketball players participated in Part A of the study (mean age: 19.8 ± 2.4 years, body height 197 ± 8.2 cm, body mass: 91.8 ± 11.8 kg), with unilateral neck or shoulder pain at the dominant side. Part B tested twelve right-handed male athletes (mean ± SD; age: 20.4 ± 1.2 years; body height: 178.6 ± 7.7 cm; body mass: 73.2 ± 12.6 kg). Stiffness measurements were obtained directly before and after a single session trigger point compression therapy. Measurements were performed bilaterally over 5 points covering the trapezius muscle. The effects were evaluated using a full-factorial repeated measure ANOVA and the Bonferroni post-hoc test for equal variance. A p-value < .05 was considered significant. The RM ANOVA revealed a significant decrease in muscle stiffness for the upper trapezius muscle. Specifically, muscle stiffness decreased from 243.7 ± 30.5 to 215.0 ± 48.5 N/m (11.8%), (p = .008) (Part A). The test-retest relative reliability of trapezius muscle stiffness was found to be high (ICC from 0.821 to 0.913 for measurement points). The average SEM was 23.59 N/m and the MDC 65.34 N/m, respectively (Part B). The present study showed that a single session of compression trigger point therapy can be used to significantly decrease the stiffness of the upper trapezius among professional basketball players.