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Maamer Slimani, Karim Chamari, Bianca Miarka, Fabricio B. Del Vecchio and Foued Chéour

Abstract

Plyometric training (PT) is a very popular form of physical conditioning of healthy individuals that has been extensively studied over the last decades. In this article, we critically review the available literature related to PT and its effects on physical fitness in team sport athletes. We also considered studies that combined PT with other popular training modalities (e.g. strength/sprint training). Generally, short-term PT (i.e. 2-3 sessions a week for 4-16 weeks) improves jump height, sprint and agility performances in team sport players. Literature shows that short PT (<8 weeks) has the potential to enhance a wide range of athletic performance (i.e. jumping, sprinting and agility) in children and young adult amateur players. Nevertheless, 6 to 7 weeks training appears to be too short to improve physical performance in elite male players. Available evidence suggests that short-term PT on non-rigid surfaces (i.e. aquatic, grass or sand-based PT) could elicit similar increases in jumping, sprinting and agility performances as traditional PT. Furthermore, the combination of various plyometric exercises and the bilateral and unilateral jumps could improve these performances more than the use of single plyometric drills or traditional PT. Thus, the present review shows a greater effect of PT alone on jump and sprint (30 m sprint performance only) performances than the combination of PT with sprint/strength training. Although many issues related to PT remain to be resolved, the results presented in this review allow recommending the use of well-designed and sport-specific PT as a safe and effective training modality for improving jumping and sprint performance as well as agility in team sport athletes.

Open access

Ciro José Brito, Bianca Miarka, Alfonso López Díaz de Durana and David H. Fukuda

Abstract

Previous studies indicate positive home advantage in judo; however, the factors that influence home advantage have yet to be fully explored. This study investigated the potential differences in technical-tactical variables between home and visiting athletes. A total of 1411 video recorded matches were analyzed (123 home, 1288 away) from 36 international judo competitions contested in 2011-12. The matches were analyzed by the following criteria: combat phases (approach, gripping, attack, defense, groundwork and pause), penalties (by the athlete or the opponent) and the types of attacks (with or without a score). Elite judo athletes competing in their home country attacked more frequently using trunk/leg couple techniques (p < 0.011) and scored more frequently with arm/leg couple techniques (p < 0.001), while visiting judo athletes received fewer scores from penalties (p < 0.001) and engaged in more frequent pauses during competition (p < 0.01). The results of this study provide an outline of technical-tactical differences that may contribute to home advantage in judo.

Open access

Bianca Miarka, Ciro José Brito, John Amtmann, Cláudio Córdova, Fabio dal Bello and Suzi Camey

Abstract

The present study aimed to compare pacing and decision making of athletes competing in judo, with particular attention paid to effort-pause ratios occurring in the championship phases of the Olympic Games and non-Olympic Games. The sample was composed of 53,403 sequential actions analyzed during 611 performances of the non-Olympic Games (eliminatory n = 330, quarterfinals n = 60, semi-final n = 88, repechage n = 21, third place playoff n = 26, and final n = 79) and 163 from the Olympic Games (eliminatory n = 71, quarterfinals n = 13, semi-final n = 26, repechage n = 20, third place playoff n = 24, and final n = 14). The analysis of effort-pause ratios included separating bouts into states of approach, gripping, attack, groundwork and pause, according to frequency and time. A Markov multi-state model and analysis of variance were applied (p ≤ 0.05). Approach time presented differences of the eliminatory Olympic Games (7.3 ± 3.2 s) versus final non-Olympic Games (6.0 ± 2.2s), and the third place playoff Olympic Games (8.1 ± 2.3 s) versus semi-final (6.2 ± 2.4 s) and third place playoff (5.9 ± 2.1 s) of the non-Olympic Games, and the semi-final Olympic Games (8.6 ± 2.3 s) versus eliminatory (6.5 ± 2.3 s), quarter-finals (6.5 ± 1.7 s), semi-final (6.2 ± 2.4 s), repechage (6.2 ± 2.2 s), third place playoff (5.9 ± 2.1 s), and final (6.0 ± 2.0 s) of the non-Olympic Games. Pause time presented differences of the semi-final Olympic Games (6.8 ± 2.1 s) versus eliminatory (5.1 ± 3.1 s). The present data suggest a focus on pacing strategy during championship phases, which mimic the requirements of judo combats.