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  • Author: Artur Gołaś x
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Neuromuscular Control During the Bench Press Movement in an Elite Disabled and Able-Bodied Athlete

Abstract

The disabled population varies significantly in regard to physical fitness, what is conditioned by the damage to the locomotor system. Recently there has been an increased emphasis on the role of competitive sport in enhancing health and the quality of life of individuals with disability. One of the sport disciplines of Paralympics is the flat bench press. The bench press is one of the most popular resistance exercises used for the upper body in healthy individuals. It is used not only by powerlifters, but also by athletes in most strength-speed oriented sport disciplines. The objective of the study was to compare neuromuscular control for various external loads (from 60 to 100% 1RM) during the flat bench press performed by an elite able-bodied athlete and an athlete with lower limb disability. The research project is a case study of two elite bench press athletes with similar sport results: an able-bodied athlete (M.W., age 34 years, body mass 103 kg, body height 1.72 m, 1RM in the flat bench press 200 kg) and a disabled athlete (M.T., age 31 years, body mass 92 kg, body height 1.70 m, 1RM in the flat bench press 190 kg). The activity was recorded for four muscles: pectoralis major (PM), anterior deltoid (AD), as well as for the lateral and long heads of the triceps brachii (TBlat and TBlong). The T-test revealed statistically significant differences between peak activity of all the considered muscles (AD with p = 0.001; PM with p = 0.001; TBlat with p = 0.0021 and TBlong with p = 0.002) between the 2 athletes. The analysis of peak activity differences of M.W and M.T. in relation to the load revealed statistically significant differences for load changes between: 60 to 100% 1RM (p = 0.007), 70 to 100% 1RM (p = 0.016) and 80 to 100% 1RM (p = 0.032). The flat bench press performed without legs resting firmly on the ground leads to the increased engagement of upper body muscles and to their greater activation. Isolated initial positions can be used to generate greater engagement of muscle groups during the bench press exercise and evoke their higher activation.

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Central and Peripheral Fatigue During Resistance Exercise – A Critical Review

Abstract

Resistance exercise is a popular form of conditioning for numerous sport disciplines, and recently different modes of strength training are being evaluated for health benefits. Resistance exercise differs significantly in nature, and several variables determine the direction and range of adaptive changes that occur in the muscular and skeletal system of the body. Some modes of resistance training can also be effective in stimulating the cardiovascular system. These variables include exercise selection (general, specific, single or multi joint, dynamic, explosive), type of resistance (free weights, variable resistance, isokinetics), order of exercise (upper and lower body or push and pull exercises), and most of all the training load which includes intensity expressed as % of 1RM, number of repetitions, number of sets and the rest interval between sets. Manipulating these variables allows for specific adaptive changes which may include gains in muscle mass, muscle strength or muscle endurance. It has been well established that during resistance exercise fatigue occurs, regardless of the volume and intensity of work applied. The peripheral mechanisms of fatigue have been studied and explained in more detail than those related to the CNS. This review is an attempt to bring together the latest knowledge regarding fatigue, both peripheral and central, during resistance exercise. The authors of this review concentrated on physiological and biochemical mechanisms underlying fatigue in exercises performed with maximal intensity, as well as those performed to exhaustion with numerous repetitions and submaximal load.

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Optimizing post activation potentiation for explosive activities in competitive sports

Abstract

Post activation potentiation (PAP) has shown improved performance during movements requiring large muscular power output following contractions under near maximal load conditions. PAP can be described as an acute enhancement of performance or an enhancement of factors determining an explosive sports activity following a preload stimulus. In practice, PAP has been achieved by complex training, which involves a combination of a heavy loaded exercise followed by a biomechanically similar explosive activity, best if specific for a particular sport discipline. The main objective of this study was to investigate the effects of PAP on performance in explosive motor activities specific for basketball, luge and athletics throws. The novel approach to the experiments included individualized recovery time (IRT) between the conditioning exercise and the explosive activity. Additionally, the research groups were homogenous and included only competitive athletes of similar age and training experience. Thirty one well trained athletes from 3 different sport disciplines participated in the study. All athletes performed a heavy loaded conditioning activity (80-130%1RM) followed by a biomechanically similar explosive exercise, during which power (W) or the rate of power development (W/s/kg) was evaluated. The results of our experiment confirmed the effectiveness of PAP with well-trained athlets during explosive motor activities such as jumping, throwing and pushing. Additionally, our research showed that eccentric supramaximal intensities (130% 1RM) can be effective in eliciting PAP in strength trained athletes. Our experiments also showed that the IRT should be individualized because athletes differ in the strength level, training experience and muscle fiber structure. In the three experiments conducted with basketball players, track and field athletes and luge athletes, the optimal IRT equaled 6 min. This justifies the need to individualize the volume and intensity of the CA, and especially the IRT, between the CA and the explosive activity.

Open access
Effects of Krankcycle Training on Performance and Body Composition in Wheelchair Users

Abstract

Innovation in training equipment is important for increasing training effectiveness, performance and changes in body composition, especially in wheelchair users with paraplegia. The main objective of a workout session is to induce an adaptation stimulus, which requires overload of involved muscles by voluntary effort, yet this overload may be highly influenced by the size of the spinal cord lesion. Krancykl construction is designed to allow exercise on any wheelchair and with adjustable height or width of crank handles, where even the grip handle may be altered. The aim of this study was to determine the differences in body composition, performance and the rate of perceived exertion (RPE) in paraplegics with a different level of paralyses after a 12 week training programme of a unilateral regime on Krankcycle equipment (a crank machine). The study sample included four men and one women at a different spine lesion level. The 12 weeks programme was successfully completed by four participants, while one subject got injured during the intervention process. Three participants were paraplegics and one was quadriplegic with innervation of the biceps humeri, triceps humeri and deltoideus. The Krankcycle 30 min programme was followed by four other exercises, which were performed after themselves rather than in a circuit training manner as the latter would result in much longer rest periods between exercises, because paraplegics have to be fixed by straps during exercise on hydraulic machines. The RPE after the workout decreased following the twelve week adaptation period.

Open access
A systematic review of the main factors that determine agility in sport using structural equation modeling

Abstract

While tests of basic motor abilities such as speed, maximum strength or endurance are well recognized, testing of complex motor functions such as agility remains unresolved in current literature. Therefore, the aim of this review was to evaluate which main factor or factor structures quantitatively determine agility. In methodological detail, this review focused on research that explained or described the relationships between latent variables in a factorial model of agility using approaches such as principal component analysis, factor analysis and structural equation modeling. Four research studies met the defined inclusion criteria. No quantitative empirical research was found that tried to verify the quality of the whole suggested model of the main factors determining agility through the use of a structural equation modeling (SEM) approach or a confirmatory factor analysis. From the whole structure of agility, only change of direction speed (CODS) and some of its subtests were appropriately analyzed. The combination of common CODS tests is reliable and useful to estimate performance in sub-elite athletes; however, for elite athletes, CODS tests must be specific to the needs of a particular sport discipline. Sprinting and jumping tests are stronger factors for CODS than explosive strength and maximum strength tests. The authors suggest the need to verify the agility factorial model by a second generation data analysis technique such as SEM.

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Physical fitness and performance of polish ice-hockey players competing at different sports levels

Abstract

The study aimed to determine the values of selected aerobic and anaerobic capacity variables, physical profiles, and to analyze the results of on-ice tests performed by ice-hockey players relegated to a lower league. Performance of 24 ice-hockey players competing in the top league in the 2012/2013 season was analysed to this end. In the 2013/2014 season, 14 of them still played in the top league (the control group), while 10 played in the first league (the experimental group). The study was conducted one week after the end of the playoffs in the seasons under consideration. The results revealed that only in the experimental group the analysed variables changed significantly between the seasons. In the Wingate test, significant changes were only noted in mean relative power (a decrease from 9.91 to 9.14 W/kg; p=0.045) and relative total work (a decrease from 299.17 to 277.22 J/kg; p=0.048). The ramp test indicated significantly lower power output in its final stages (364 compared with 384 W; p=0.034), as well as a significant decrease in relative VO2max (from 52.70 to 48.30 ml/min/kg). Blood lactate concentrations were recorded at the 3rd, 6th, 9th and 12th min of recovery after the ramp test. The rate of post-exercise recovery, ∆LA, recorded after the ramp test turned out to be significantly lower. The times recorded in the on-ice “6x30 m stop” test increased from 32.18 to 33.10 s (p=0.047). The study showed that playing in a lower league where games were less intensive, training sessions shorter and less frequent, had an adverse effect on the performance level of the investigated players. Lower VO2max recorded in the study participants slowed down their rates of post-exercise recovery and led to a significantly worse performance in the 6x30 m stop test, as well as lower relative power and relative total work in the Wingate test.

Open access
Time Series Approach To Athletes Motor Potential
Time series approach to motor potential

Abstract

Introduction. The aim of this study was to determine the dynamics of changes in selected motor abilities of javelin throwers and to determine predictors of javelin throw distances. Material and methods. Research material included the results obtained from a group of 60 competitors from the Silesia Region of Poland, aged 14 - 15 years. In order to answer the research question, the following statistical analysis were employed: Pearson's linear correlation coefficients, vectors R0 and R1, time series analysis, distributed lag analysis and Almon distributed lag analysis and coefficient of concordance φ2 Results. The correlation analyzes allowed for a selection of two variables for further analyses: specific strength of arms and trunk (SSAT) and specific strength of shoulders girdle and trunk (SSGT). Calculated indexes revealed that the level of SSAT showed a constant upward tendency (+15%). The highest rise in SSAT level was recorded in the 4th and 5th quarter (+9%). The level of SSGT showed an upward tendency nearly (+6%). In this case, the highest rise was observed in the 7th and 8th quarter (+4.5%). Conclusions. The standardized regression analysis revealed that the variable of specific power of arms and trunk (SOBT) is the most important predictor for javelin throw distance with a full approach run.

Open access
Neuroendocrine Responses and Body Composition Changes Following Resistance Training Under Normobaric Hypoxia

Abstract

The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effects of a 6 week resistance training protocol under hypoxic conditions (FiO2 = 12.9%, 4000 m) on muscle hypertrophy. The project included 12 resistance trained male subjects, randomly divided into two experimental groups. Group 1 (n = 6; age 21 ± 2.4 years; body height [BH] 178.8 ± 7.3 cm; body mass [BM] 80.6 ± 12.3 kg) and group 2 (n = 6; age 22 ± 1.5 years; BH 177.8 ± 3.7cm; BM 81.1 ± 7.5 kg). Each group performed resistance exercises alternately under normoxic and hypoxic conditions (4000 m) for 6 weeks. All subjects followed a training protocol that comprised two training sessions per week at an exercise intensity of 70% of 1RM; each training session consisted of eight sets of 10 repetitions of the bench press and barbell squat, with 3 min rest periods. The results indicated that strength training in normobaric hypoxia caused a significant increase in BM (p < 0.01) and fat free mass (FFM) (p < 0.05) in both groups. Additionally, a significant increase (p < 0.05) was observed in IGF-1 concentrations at rest after 6 weeks of hypoxic resistance training in both groups. The results of this study allow to conclude that resistance training (6 weeks) under normobaric hypoxic conditions induces greater muscle hypertrophy compared to training in normoxic conditions.

Open access
Performance and Kinematic Differences in Putting Between Healthy and Disabled Elite Golfers

Abstract

Golfers with disability are limited in the execution of the full golf swing, but their performance in putting may be comparable because this stroke does not demand significant strength, balance and range of motion. Therefore, the aim of this study was to compare putting performance, kinetic and kinematic consistency between golfers with different disabilities and healthy athletes. The participants consisted of three disabled athletes (perinatal cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, below knee lower limb amputee) and three healthy golfers (age 34 ± 4.5 years, body height 178 ± 3.3 cm, body mass 83 ± 6.2 kg). The golfers’ movements were recorded by active 3D markers for kinematic analyses; the subjects performed 10 trials of a 6 m putting task while standing on separate force platforms placed under each lower limb. Putting performance was measured by the distance of the final ball position to the centre of the hole. ANOVA analyses did not show any differences in clubhead speed and total ball distance from the hole. The consistency of those two parameters expressed by the coefficient of variation (CV) was CV = 0.5% or better in both groups for clubhead speed and ranged from CV = 0.40 to 0.61% in healthy and CV = 0.21 to 0.55% in disabled athletes for total error distance. The main effect ANOVA showed differences in weight shift, hip and shoulder kinematics (p < 0.05) between healthy players and all players with disability. All disabled athletes shifted their weight toward the healthy side (towards the healthy lower limb) and alternated the end of the swing. The player with below knee amputation had the lowest range of motion in the shoulder joint during the putting stroke. The players with perinatal cerebral palsy and multiple sclerosis had the largest range of motion in the hips. Putting performance of disabled golfers was similar to healthy athletes. During training of disabled players, coaches should pay attention to the specificity of a particular disability when focused on putting performance. However, individual technique should achieve the same consistency as observed in healthy players.

Open access
Technical and Training Related Aspects of Resistance Training Using Blood Flow Restriction in Competitive Sport - A Review

Abstract

Blood flow restriction (BFR) combined with resistance training (RT-BFR) shows significant benefits in terms of muscle strength and hypertrophy. Such effects have been observed in clinical populations, in groups of physically active people, and among competitive athletes. These effects are comparable or, in some cases, even more efficient compared to conventional resistance training (CRT). RT-BFR stimulates muscle hypertrophy and improves muscle strength even at low external loads. Since no extensive scientific research has been done in relation to groups of athletes, the aim of the present study was to identify technical, physiological and methodological aspects related to the use of RT-BFR in competitive athletes from various sport disciplines. RT-BFR in groups of athletes has an effect not only on the improvement of muscle strength or muscle hypertrophy, but also on specific motor abilities related to a particular sport discipline. The literature review reveals that most experts do not recommend the use RT-BFR as the only training method, but rather as a complementary method to CRT. It is likely that optimal muscle adaptive changes can be induced by a combination of CRT and RT-BFR. Some research has confirmed benefits of using CRT followed by RT-BFR during a training session. The use of BFR in training also requires adequate progression or modifications in the duration of occlusion in a training session, the ratio of exercises performed with BFR to conventional exercises, the value of pressure or the cuff width.

Open access