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Open access

Abeer Eissa

Abstract

The triple jump is one of two track and field events in which the athlete aims to maximize the horizontal distance jumped. This jump is comprised of 3 take-off phases (hop, step, and jump), each playing an important role, as they require the jumper to tolerate extremely high forces of impact and to maintain a high level of horizontal velocity. The purpose of the study was to investigate the biomechanical characteristics of the 3 take-off phases in the triple jump in a top female athlete. The 3 take-off phases of the top national female triple jumper were videotaped and analyzed using 2D motion analysis. Three cameras (DSR-SR 68) were placed on the lateral sides of the 3 take-off points, to record the motions of the 3 take-off phases. Results indicated that maximum loss of the horizontal velocity was in the hop phase (1.13 m/s), while the maximum braking time was in the jump phase (0.05 sec). The maximum pushing time was in the jump phase (0.10 s), while the pushing time was equal in the hop and step phases (0.05 s). In conclusion, the success of the triple jump is the result of the physical and technical qualities of the jumper. The excessive loss in horizontal velocity during the 3 take-off phases is the main factor limiting the performance of the top female athlete.

Open access

Raquel Silva Lemos, Gabriel Andrade Paz, Marianna de Freitas Maia, Jurandir Baptista da Silva, Vicente Pinheiro Lima, Juliana Brandão Pinto de Castro and Humberto Miranda

Summary

Study aim: To investigate the correlation between anthropometric parameters, Sargent jump test, core muscles endurance and agility performance versus specific tests with and without a ball in female Brazilian field hockey athletes.

Material and methods: Nine professional female field hockey players (age: 27.4 ± 2.5 years) participated in this study. Body height, body weight, body fat percentage, Sargent jump test (SJT), shuttle run agility test (SR), core muscular endurance tests and sport-specific tests - repeated sprint ability test (RSA) and repeated sprint ability with the ball (RSAB) - were assessed in a randomized order.

Results: A moderate correlation was noted between SR and RSAB (r = 0.58, p = 0.09) and RSA (r = 0.60, p = 0.08). In addition, a moderate correlation was noted between percentage of body fat with RSAB (r = 0.59, p = 0.09) and with RSA (r = 0.72, p = 0.08). The other variables showed slight agreement or no agreement.

Conclusions: These results indicated that the SR could be implemented in training and evaluation programs of hockey athletes due to the correlation with specific tests. Thus, the percentage of body fat was the only anthropometric parameter that showed a correlation with the specific tests, revealing the importance of maintaining a proper percentage of body fat for better performance in hockey.

Open access

Azahara Fort-Vanmeerhaeghe, Alicia Montalvo, Alexander Latinjak and Viswanath Unnithan

Abstract

There were two aims of this study: first, to investigate physical fitness and match performance differences between under-16 (U16) and under-18 (U18) female basketball players, and second, to evaluate the relationship between physical fitness and game-related performances. Twenty-three young, female, elite Spanish basketball players (16.2 1.2 years) participated in the study. The sample was divided into two groups: U16 and U18 players. The average scores from pre- and post-season physical fitness measurements were used for subsequent analyses. Anthropometric variables were also measured. To evaluate game performance, game-related statistics, including the number of games and minutes played, points, rebounds, assists, steals and blocks per game, were recorded for every competitive match in one season. When anthropometric and physical performance variables were compared between groups, the U18 group demonstrated significantly (p<0.05) higher values in upper (+21.2%) and lower (+27.11%) limb strength compared to the U16 group. Furthermore, no significant differences between groups were observed in match performance outcomes. Only two performance variables, steals and assists per game, correlated significantly with jump capacity, speed, agility, anaerobic power, repeated sprint ability and aerobic power (p ≤ 0.005). These findings can help optimize training programs for young, elite female basketball players.

Open access

Zoran Milanović, Goran Sporiš, Nic James, Nebojša Trajković, Aleksandar Ignjatović, Hugo Sarmento, Athos Trecroci and Bruno Miguel Borges Mendes

Abstract

The popularity of female soccer is increasing as well as the number of females playing soccer. Similarly, over the last twenty or so years, research in soccer has increased significantly, but a large disparity exists in the volume of studies involving male and female players. As a consequence of this, female players remain less well understood compared to males. The purpose of the present narrative review was to describe morphological characteristics, physiological demands, physical abilities and injuries in female soccer players. Physiological demands are similar between men’s and women’s soccer, but competitive women’s matches were characterized by nearly 33% less distance covered, although at higher intensity levels (maximum speeds greater than 15 km/h) than typically found in the men’s game. Sub-elite female players also tended to run less at higher intensity levels at the end of both halves in comparison with elite female players. High intensity running is an important factor of success in soccer since many critical moments of the game occur under this condition. The ability to rapidly change direction also determined elite, sub-elite and amateur levels. The implementation of functional training, which focused on soccer-specific drills and plyometric exercises, to improve explosive power, may improve conditioning in female soccer players as well as decrease the risk of injuries which was 3-8 times higher in females compared to males. This review presents an in-depth overview of the most influential factors for determining success in female soccer.

Open access

Anna Poświata, Teresa Socha and Józef Opara

Abstract

The goal of the study was to assess the prevalence of stress urinary incontinence in a group of elite female endurance athletes, as professional sport is one of the risk factors for stress urinary incontinence. SUI rates in the groups of female cross-country skiers and runners were compared to determine whether the training weather conditions like temperature and humidity influenced the prevalence of urinary incontinence. An anonymous questionnaire was distributed among 112 elite female athletes ie., 57 cross-country skiers and 55 runners. We used a short form of the Urogenital Distress Inventory (UDI-6) to assess the presence of SUI symptoms and the level of urogenital distress. Only women who had been practicing sport professionally for at least 3 years, on an international and national level, were included in the research. The study group consisted of 76% nulliparous and 24% parous women. 45.54% of all participants reported leakage of urine associated with sneezing or coughing which indicates stress urinary incontinence. 29.46% were not bothered by the urogenital distress symptoms. 42.86% of the participants were slightly bothered by the symptoms, 18.75% were moderately bothered, 8.04% were significantly bothered and 0.89% were heavily bothered. The absence of statistically significant differences between both groups seems to indicate that training weather conditions did not influence the prevalence of SUI in elite female endurance athletes.

Open access

Bartosz Molik, James J Laskin, Andrzej Kosmol, Jolanta Marszałek, Natalia Morgulec-Adamowicz and Tim Frick

Abstract

Purpose. The aim of this study was to evaluate the associations between anaerobic performance (AnP), applicable field tests, and the functional classification levels in female wheelchair basketball athletes. Methods. Female wheelchair basketball athletes (N = 23; Category A, n = 9; Category B, n = 14) from the Canadian national team were evaluated using field tests and the 30-second Wingate Anaerobic Test. Measures of peak power output (PP), time to achieve peak power (tPP), mean power output (MP), and a fatigue index (FI) were used to assess AnP. A test battery evaluating seven wheelchair basketball skills was applied. Student’s t test was used to identify differences between the two main functional categories (A and B). Spearman’s rank correlation coefficient and Pearson’s product-moment correlation coefficient were calculated to determine the significance of all relationships between the parameters of AnP, the results of the field tests, and the eight functional classification levels of the athletes (1.0-4.5 pts.). Results. In all analyzed parameters, except for the field test measuring shooting skills, the results of AnP were significantly higher for Category B players. Significant relationships were observed between athletes’ classification level and AnP and the field tests except for tPP, the 5 m sprint, and the shooting test. The strongest association was observed for MP and PP, MP and FI, PP and FI (p = 0.001). Conclusions. Strong associations were found between the functional classification level and AnP of the female wheelchair basketball athletes. The strongest correlation was confirmed between MP, PP, and the field test measuring the two-handed chest pass, suggesting that this test can be used to indirectly assess the anaerobic performance of female wheelchair basketball athletes.

Open access

Fabián Rosas, Rodrigo Ramírez-Campillo, Cristian Martínez, Alexis Caniuqueo, Rodrigo Cañas-Jamet, Emma McCrudden, Cesar Meylan, Jason Moran, Fábio Y. Nakamura, Lucas A. Pereira, Irineu Loturco, Daniela Diaz and Mikel Izquierdo

Abstract

Plyometric training and beta-alanine supplementation are common among soccer players, although its combined use had never been tested. Therefore, a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial was conducted to compare the effects of a plyometric training program, with or without beta-alanine supplementation, on maximal-intensity and endurance performance in female soccer players during an in-season training period. Athletes (23.7 ± 2.4 years) were assigned to either a plyometric training group receiving a placebo (PLACEBO, n = 8), a plyometric training group receiving beta-alanine supplementation (BA, n = 8), or a control group receiving placebo without following a plyometric training program (CONTROL, n = 9). Athletes were evaluated for single and repeated jumps and sprints, endurance, and change-of-direction speed performance before and after the intervention. Both plyometric training groups improved in explosive jumping (ES = 0.27 to 1.0), sprinting (ES = 0.31 to 0.78), repeated sprinting (ES = 0.39 to 0.91), 60 s repeated jumping (ES = 0.32 to 0.45), endurance (ES = 0.35 to 0.37), and change-of-direction speed performance (ES = 0.36 to 0.58), whereas no significant changes were observed for the CONTROL group. Nevertheless, compared to the CONTROL group, only the BA group showed greater improvements in endurance, repeated sprinting and repeated jumping performances. It was concluded that beta-alanine supplementation during plyometric training may add further adaptive changes related to endurance, repeated sprinting and jumping ability.

Open access

Małgorzata Grabara

Body posture of young female basketball players

Study aim: To assess body posture and somatic parameters in young females practicing basketball in comparison with their non-training peers and to state whether there is a relationship between the quality of one's posture and the length and frequency of training.

Material and methods: The study included 32 young female basketball players aged 13-15 years old. The period of basketball practice was 3-4 years for the group aged 13-14 years; the frequency of practice was 3-7 times per week. In the case of the group of 15-year-olds, it was 4-5 years, 4-7 times a week, respectively. The control group consisted of 37 young female subjects in the same age brackets that did not participate in any directed physical activity. Body height was measured with the use of a height meter at medical scales, whereas body mass, fat mass, and total body water mass were defined with the use of Tanita electronic scale. A specialist device using the projection Moiré method (MORA, CQElektronik System, Poland) was used to assess one's body posture.

Results: Body height and water mass were significantly different in the younger group. However, the parameters of body posture differed significantly only in the group of 15-year-olds. The following have been observed: much greater asymmetries in pelvic placement in the transverse plane (p<0.05), significantly greater asymmetries of shoulder blades in relation to the transverse plane (p<0.01), as well as significantly smaller thoracic kyphosis angle (p<0.05) in female basketball players in comparison with the placement of the above parameters in their non-training peers. Moreover, correlations between the frequency of basketball practice and the deflection of the line of spinous processes, torso inclination angle, placement of shoulder blades in the transverse plane and towards the spine, kyphosis angle, and a synthetic index of body posture (i.e. postural symmetry) were noted.

Conclusions: Training basketball may lead to increased occurrence of asymmetry of one's body posture.

Open access

Nicolas Olivier and Frédéric N. Daussin

Abstract

Swimming and throwing are involved in water-polo player performance. These movements have a common biomechanical basis in the use of the internal shoulder rotation and adductor muscles. The aim of the study was to evaluate the relationship between shoulder isokinetic evaluation and throwing velocity as well as swimming performance in female water-polo players. Fifteen high level water-polo players completed two isokinetic shoulder evaluations to determine peak torque of shoulder rotators of the dominant shoulder (concentric and eccentric movements at an angular velocity of 60°·s-1 and concentric movements at an angular velocity of 240°·s-1) and shoulder extensors of both arms (concentric movements at an angular velocity of 60°·s-1 and 240°·s-1). Throwing velocity was measured using a radar gun placed 5 m behind the goal post. Front crawl swimming velocity was determined at 25 m, 100 m and 400 m distances. Concentric peak torque at 60°·s-1 and 240°·s-1 of internal rotators and eccentric peak torque at 60°·s-1 of external rotators were predictors of throwing velocity. The best model to explain the relationship between isokinetic evaluations and throwing velocity was obtained with concentric IR peak torque at 60°·s-1 and eccentric ER peak torque at 60°·s-1 (r2 = 0.52, p = 0.012). Relative total work done and peak torque of shoulder extensors were predictors of 25 m swimming velocity. Shoulder isokinetic evaluations correlate significantly with swimming performance and throwing velocity of female water-polo players. The results may help coaches to develop new strategies such as eccentric dry land training programs to increase both shoulder external rotators strength and throwing velocity.

Open access

Simone Araujo, Daniel Cohen and Lawrence Hayes

Abstract

Core stability training (CST) has increased in popularity among athletes and the general fitness population despite limited evidence CST programmes alone lead to improved athletic performance. In female athletes, neuromuscular training combining balance training and trunk and hip/pelvis dominant CST is suggested to reduce injury risk, and specifically peak vertical ground reaction forces (vGRF) in a drop jump landing task. However, the isolated effect of trunk dominant core stability training on vGRF during landing in female athletes had not been evaluated. Therefore, the objective of this study was to evaluate landing kinetics during a drop jump test following a CST intervention in female capoeira athletes. After giving their informed written consent, sixteen female capoeira athletes (mean ± SD age, stature, and body mass of 27.3 ± 3.7 years, 165.0 ± 4.0 cm, and 59.7 ± 6.3 kg, respectively) volunteered to participate in the training program which consisted of static and dynamic CST sessions, three times per week for six weeks. The repeated measures T-test revealed participants significantly reduced relative vGRF from pre- to post-intervention for the first (3.40 ± 0.78 vs. 2.85 ± 0.52 N·NBW-1, respectively [p<0.05, effect size = 0.60]), and second landing phase (5.09 ± 1.17 vs. 3.02 ± 0.41 N·NBW-1, respectively [p<0.001, effect size = 0.87]). The average loading rate was reduced from pre- to post-intervention during the second landing phase (30.96 ± 18.84 vs. 12.06 ± 9.83 N·NBW·s-1, respectively [p<0.01, effect size = 0.68]). The peak loading rate was reduced from pre- to postintervention during the first (220.26 ± 111.51 vs. 120.27 ± 64.57 N· NBW·s-1 respectively [p<0.01, effect size = 0.64]), and second (99.52 ± 54.98 vs. 44.71 ± 30.34 N· NBW·s-1 respectively [p<0.01, effect size = 0.70]) landing phase. Body weight, average loading rate during the first landing phase, and jump height were not significantly different between week 0 and week 6 (p=0.528, p=0.261, and p=0.877, respectively). This study provides evidence that trunk dominant core stability training improves landing kinetics without improving jump height, and may reduce lower extremity injury risk in female athletes.