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Luís Vaz, Tomaz Morais, Henrique Rocha and Nic James

Abstract

The aim of this study was to describe the fitness profiles of senior elite Portuguese rugby players. Forty-six senior Portuguese rugby players, classified as backs (n=22; age 26.2±2.8) and forwards (n=24; age 26.7±2.9) were assessed during physical testing sessions carried out for the Portuguese National rugby team. The body composition, maximum strength and anaerobic capacity of players are hypothesized to be important physical characteristics as successful performance in rugby is predicated on the ability to undertake skilled behaviours both quickly and whilst withstanding large forces when in contact situations. No absolute differences were found between the backs and forwards for the speed performance variables although positional differences were found across all speeds when assessed relative to body mass since the forwards were significantly heavier. Coaches and the management team can use this information for monitoring progressive improvements in the physiological capacities of rugby players. These physical characteristics of elite rugby players provide normative profiles for specific positions and should form the basis of developmental programmes for adolescents.

Open access

Yasuhiro Yuasa, Toshiyuki Kurihara and Tadao Isaka

Abstract

This study aimed to investigate the relationship between toe muscular strength and the ability to change direction in athletes. Seventeen collegiate American-football players participated in the study (age 19.9 ± 0.9 years, competition experience 7.3 ± 1.7 years). Two types of measurements were performed to evaluate toe muscular strength: toe flexor strength with the metatarsophalangeal joint in the planter flexed position and toe-pushing force with the metatarsophalangeal joint in the dorsiflexed position. The ability to change direction was evaluated using the pro-agility and 3-cone tests and change of direction deficits, calculated by subtracting the sprint times from the pro-agility and 3-cone times. There were significant correlations between toe-pushing force and the results of the pro-agility and 3-cone tests, but no significant correlations between toe flexor strength and the pro-agility and 3-cone tests. Neither toe-pushing force nor toe flexor strength was significantly correlated with the sprint test results. Furthermore, toe-pushing force was significantly correlated with the 3-cone test deficit, but toe flexor strength was not. The ability to change direction is more strongly affected by toe muscular strength (measured as toe-pushing force) with the metatarsophalangeal joint in the dorsiflexed angle than by toe muscular strength (measured as toe flexor strength) with the metatarsophalangeal joint in the plantar flexed angle. Our results suggest that athletes can improve their ability to change direction with toe muscular strength training with the metatarsophalangeal joint in the dorsiflexed position.

Open access

Adrian Cojocariu, Bogdan Ungurean and Alexandru Oprean

Abstract

The present study wishes to highlight the effects of some physical training means within the preparatory phase on specific endurance-speed combined motor ability in lower limbs, in Qwan Ki Do martial art. We started from the hypothesis that using an efficient planning and adequate means it is possible to improve the combined motor ability in lower limbs, with positive effects on athletes’ efficiency.

The experiment was performed over 5 weeks. In the study were included 11 male (group 1) and 8 female (group 2) elite athletes from the Romanian Qwan Ki Do national team. The team was in the preparatory phase for participating in European Championships. The means used for the experiment included long runs with constant tempo, Fartlek runs, intermittent long, medium, and short runs and also general and specific force–endurance and endurance–speed circuits.

The results reveal a general significant progress in tests in both groups, suggesting that an adequate programme could conduct to the improvement of specific endurance-speed combination in lower limbs, which may represent an important support in athletes’ physical training.

Open access

Ramona Iancu, Letiţia Oprean, Diana Stegăruş, Ovidiu Tiţa, Adrian Boicean and Ecaterina Lengyel

ABSTRACT

Water pollution has become a worldwide problem and its influence over the health of human populations grows every day. This study was carried out to determinate the rate level of pollution of the Cibin River (Transylvania, Romania) via physical-chemical and microbiological tests. Water samples were measured at six different locations along the Cibin River for a period of 12 months. Analysis methods used to determine physical-chemical quality indices for water were as follows: O2 - ISO 5814/99, pH - SR ISO 10523-97, PO4- KIT Merck, SO4- - PS/LE 17, conductivity - Sonda, NH4+ - SR ISO 7150-1/2001, NO3- - SR ISO 7890/2000, NO2- - SR EN 26777 - ISO 6777/2002, chlorides - SR ISO 9297/2001, CCOCr - SR ISO 6060/96, CBO5 - SR ISO 5815/95, suspended solids - STAS 6953/81, residues - STAS 9187/95. The water samples were analyzed also from a sanitary and public health point of view, for example: total number of mesophilic bacteria, total number of yeasts and moulds, total coliforms, total fecal coliforms, Enterococcus and Escherichia coli, according to current Romanian legislation and normatives (Order 1146/2002). The significant results place the river in the first (sampling stations 1, 2 and 3) and second (sampling stations 4, 5 and 6) water Quality Class. Due to the fact that the upper dam reservoir at Gura Râului is the main source of drinking water for Sibiu, it is certain that this water presents optimal characteristics for human consumption and is thus declared to be one of the healthiest water sources in Romania.

Open access

Janusz Jaworski and Eligiusz Madejski

Importance of Urban Factor and Selected Socio-Economic Variables in the Differentiation of Coordination Motor Abilities Level (CMA)

Introduction. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of the urban factor and socio-economic status on selected coordination motor abilities of non-practicing physical education female students. Material and methods. The research covered 83 female students aged 20.6±0.8 SD years. Data on place of residence and socio-economic status of respondents were collected through a survey. The study of coordination motor abilities was carried out by a special computer application using for this purpose a "tablet" with touch screen. Assessment of the size, scope and direction of differentiation between the groups was made on the basis of standardized inter-group differences. Results. The inter-group differences were presented in the surveyed female students' coordination motor abilities, depending on the urban factor and socio-economic status. The gradient of these changes was as follows: the city over 25 thousand population > city of 25 thousand population > small town. The scale of differentiation was dependent on the type of tested abilities and the environmental factor. Conclusion. Gradient of observed changes could be caused by, e.g. more environmental stimuli stimulating the nervous system in the earlier periods of development of the female students from larger urban clusters and families with higher socio-economic status.

Open access

Aitor Iturricastillo, Cristina Granados and Javier Yanci

Abstract

The present study analyzed the changes in body composition and physical performance in wheelchair basketball (WB) players during one competitive season. Players from a WB team competing in the first division of the Spanish League (n = 8, age: 26.5 ± 2.9 years, body mass: 79.8 ± 12.6 kg, sitting height: 91.4 ± 4.4 cm) participated in this research. The upper limbs showed a decrease in subcutaneous adipose tissue and there was an improvement in physical abilities such as sprinting with the ball (5 and 20 m), handgrip and aerobic capacity. However, the changes in physical fitness concerning sprinting without the ball and agility tests were low. It would be interesting to study the effects of implementing specific programs to improve physical performance in WB and to establish more test sessions to monitor the effects of the programs followed.

Open access

Elżbieta Cieśla

Abstract

Introduction. The objective of the research was to assess the level of physical development and motor skills of six-yearold children from the Lublin voivodeship against the Polish population. Material and methods. The study included 2144 children, 997 girls and 1134 boys. To assess the level of physical fitness, selected, exercises from the EUROFIT test were used. In addition, children's ability to demonstrate simple motor skills during physical play and games was also assessed. The assessment involved: throwing a bag with the right hand, throwing a ball with both hands, gripping a bag with the right hand, kicking a ball with the right foot, jumping on the right leg and jumping with both feet. In addition, coordination during the exercises was evaluated. For measurement purposes, a four-point scale was used. The reference point was children from a nationwide sample. The results were statistically analyzed using the Student T-test and the nonparametric chi-square test. Results. Children from the Lublin region differ significantly in their level of physical fitness from children of the same age throughout Poland (p≤0.001). They achieved significantly lower results in tests assessing the strength of their arms, abdominal muscles and, the explosive strength of their lower limbs and in two tests evaluating speed (running speed: p≤0.001, hand movement speed: p≤0.001). Only in the test of their sense of balance, did both sexes, obtain significantly better results (p≤0.001). In addition, in the opinion of physical education teachers, children in the Lublin region exhibited significantly lower levels of skill when performing motor tasks. Conclusions. The results suggest that the motor potential of preschool children is being neglected, which seems to be indirectly caused by different factors in the external environment.

Open access

Robert Roczniok, Adam Maszczyk, Miłosz Czuba, Arkadiusz Stanula, Przemysław Pietraszewski and Tomasz Gabryś

The Predictive Value of On-Ice Special Tests in Relation to Various Indexes of Aerobic and Anaerobic Capacity in Ice Hockey Players

Purpose. The main goal of this study was to determine the predictive value of the indexes of aerobic and anaerobic endurance in relation to specific on-ice tests performed by hockey players that focus on strength, power, speed as well as speed and strength endurance. Methods. Ice hockey players, who were members of the U20 (under 20 years of age) Polish National Ice Hockey Team, were selected from the Athletic School in Sosnowiec, Poland. Parameters that determine anaerobic and aerobic capacity were evaluated and a special physical fitness assessment was made based on a battery of ice-hockey specific tests. The degree and direction of correlations between the individual parameters of anaerobic and aerobic endurance and the special physical fitness test were calculated. Results. The obtained results found significant correlations between maximal power obtained from the Wingate test and certain aspects of the special physical fitness test, specifically the 6 × 9 turns, 6 × 9 stops and 6 × 30 m endurance tests. Significant correlations of the above-mentioned special physical fitness tests were also observed with the aerobic capacity parameter, VO2max. Conclusions. The obtained results could be considerably useful in training, as well as providing much more information on athletes which can then be suited for more personalized forms of training.

Open access

Judit Pető, Attila Hüvely, András Palkovics and Viktor Vojnich

Abstract

The rural development grants - among others - help to promote the competitiveness of the agricultural activities. Plantations take great interest in the southeastern part of Hungary. Farmers need to make soil tests before plantation of fruit and grape. We investigated the distribution of the main physical characteristics in this area. For the establishment of vineyards, the areas were adequate according to the pH, and salt content. The results of the soil tests show some strong relationships between the determined physical parameters.

Open access

Wojciech Gawroński

Abstract

Introduction: Initially, sport for the disabled (including skiing) was only considered to be a follow-up to rehabilitation. Modifications concerning the rules and classifications of athletes (reducing the number of classes) led to increased competition and to the fact that winning started to be determined more by physical performance features than by a type of dysfunction. This required more regular training and greater training loads as well as observing health state and training effectiveness more carefully. The aim of the work is to present the methodology of assessing health state of the athletes and the level of their physical capacity and to discuss the results of the research conducted on a female skier during the period of her greatest achievements. Materials and methods: The research group consisted of cross-country skiers with motor disabilities who were preparing for Paralympic Games in the years 2002-2010. A regular complex model of assessing health was implemented. It consisted of medical examinations and a physical capacity test (to failure) during which selected physiological and metabolic indices as well as the amount of work and mean power were marked. Results: Health assessment consisted of the report confirming that the athlete is capable of taking part in training sessions and competitions. The results of a physical capacity test, i.e. duration of work, peak power and power at the anaerobic threshold as well as heart reactions show the moment when the subject demonstrated the highest level of physical capacity in the course of the observation. Conclusions: A regular observation makes it possible to prevent negative health consequences of increased training loads and to monitor the reactions of the subjects’ bodies to the tasks in particular periods of the preparation cycle. Sports achievements of the female athlete confirm the effectiveness of the training and observation, while her features may serve as an example of morpho-functional posture which enabled her to compete for the title of the Paralympic Champion in cross-country skiing.