Amira Ben Moussa Zouita, Sghaier Zouita, Catherine Dziri, Matt Brughelli, David G. Behm and Anis Chaouachi
Investigations of trunk strength with high-level athletes are limited. The purpose of this study was to compare maximal concentric isokinetic trunk extension and flexion torque, power, and strength ratios between high-level weightlifters (n = 20), wrestlers (n = 20) and a control (n = 25) population. Isokinetic dynamometry was used to evaluate peak torque, power and strength ratios during seated trunk extension/flexion actions at 60°/s and 180°/s. There were no significant anthropometric differences between groups. Overall, trunk isokinetic force variables as a function of the increase in angular velocity, showed a decrease in peak torque, but an increase in power (athletes and controls). Compared to the control group, athletes demonstrated significantly higher trunk extension torque (+67.05 N·m, ES = 0.81) and power (+49.28 N·m, ES = 0.82) at 60°/s and 180°/s, respectively. Athletes produced significantly greater trunk flexion-extension ratios at 60°/s and 180°/s (ES = 0.80-0.47) than controls. Weightlifters and wrestlers exhibited significantly higher extensor than flexor torque at all angular velocities. Weightlifters demonstrated greater torque (ES = 0.79) than wrestlers at 60°/s. The wrestlers’ average power was significantly higher (ES = 0.43) than weightlifters at 180°/s. There were no significant ratio differences between wrestlers (66.23%) and weightlifters (72.06%). Weightlifters had stronger extensor muscles at 60°/s, whereas wrestlers had higher power at 180°/s for extensor muscles. It was postulated that the extensor muscles were stronger than the flexors to ensure trunk stabilisation, and for prevention of injuries. These differences seem to be associated to the movements that occur in each sport in terms of both muscle actions and contractile forces.
Ivan Struhár, Michal Kumstát and Dagmar Moc Králová
Limited practical recommendations related to wearing compression garments for athletes can be drawn from the literature at the present time. We aimed to identify the effects of compression garments on physiological and perceptual measures of performance and recovery after uphill running with different pressure and distributions of applied compression. In a random, double blinded study, 10 trained male runners undertook three 8 km treadmill runs at a 6% elevation rate, with the intensity of 75% VO2max while wearing low, medium grade compression garments and high reverse grade compression. In all the trials, compression garments were worn during 4 hours post run. Creatine kinase, measurements of muscle soreness, ankle strength of plantar/dorsal flexors and mean performance time were then measured. The best mean performance time was observed in the medium grade compression garments with the time difference being: medium grade compression garments vs. high reverse grade compression garments. A positive trend in increasing peak torque of plantar flexion (60o·s-1, 120o·s-1) was found in the medium grade compression garments: a difference between 24 and 48 hours post run. The highest pain tolerance shift in the gastrocnemius muscle was the medium grade compression garments, 24 hour post run, with the shift being +11.37% for the lateral head and 6.63% for the medial head. In conclusion, a beneficial trend in the promotion of running performance and decreasing muscle soreness within 24 hour post exercise was apparent in medium grade compression garments.
Strength imbalances between the hamstrings and quadriceps are an essential predictor for hamstring strain in soccer. The study aimed to investigate and compare the muscle strength imbalances of professional soccer players of different performance levels. One hundred and fifty nine senior male professional soccer players from first (n = 75) and second league (n = 84) Portuguese clubs participated in this study. Muscle strength was evaluated with a REV9000 isokinetic dynamometer. Maximal peak torque data were used to calculate quadriceps and hamstrings strength during concentric and eccentric actions, bilateral asymmetry, conventional strength ratios and dynamic control ratios. Second league athletes produced slightly lower conventional strength ratios in the right and left legs (ES = 0.22, p = 0.17 and ES = 0.36, p = 0.023, respectively) compared to the first league athletes. No significant differences were found in dynamic control ratios or in bilateral asymmetry among first and second league athletes. These findings do not show a clear link between the competitive level and injury risk in soccer players. However, some of the differences found, particularly in conventional strength ratios, highlight the importance of performing off-season and pre-season strength assessments to prescribe and adjust individual strength training programs among professional soccer players.
The aim of the present study was to provide alternative means of measurement and evaluation of muscle strength in rehabilitation practice and diagnostics. In the last few years many electronic devices for evaluation of muscle strength have developed. Contemporary studies have shown that in addition to the standard manual muscle testing muscle strength can be assessed more objectively and analytically using electronic dynamometers and equipment. The strain gauges are used as a tool of precision in the industry that allows measurement of mechanical loads by dynamometers. By using these tools is possible to obtain continuous digital measurement and recording of muscle strength.
The aim of the investigation was to: 1) compare shoulder external/internal rotator muscles’ peak torques and average power values and their ratios in the dominant and non-dominant arm; 2) determine correlations between shoulder rotator muscles’ peak torques, average power and ball-throwing speed in handball players. Fourteen 14 to 15- year-old male athletes with injury-free shoulders participated in the study (body height: 176 ± 7 cm, body mass 63 ± 9 kg). The tests were carried out by an isokinetic dynamometer system in the shoulder internal and external rotation movements at angular velocities of 60°/s, 90°/s and 240°/s during concentric contractions. The eccentric external- concentric internal rotator muscle contractions were performed at the velocity of 90°/s. The player threw a ball at maximal speed keeping both feet on the floor. The speed was recorded with reflected light rays. Training in handball does not cause significant side asymmetry in shoulder external/internal rotator muscle peak torques or the average power ratio. Positive correlations between isokinetic characteristics of the shoulder internal and external rotator muscles and ball-throwing speed were determined. The power produced by internal rotator muscles during concentric contractions after eccentric contractions of external rotator muscles was significantly greater in the dominant than in the non-dominant arm. Thus, it may be concluded that the shoulder eccentric external/concentric internal rotator muscle power ratio is significantly greater than this ratio in the concentric contractions of these muscles