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Journal Details
Format
Journal
eISSN
1899-7562
ISSN
1640-5544
First Published
13 Jan 2009
Publication timeframe
5 times per year
Languages
English

Search

Volume 29 (2011): Issue 2011 (September 2011)

Journal Details
Format
Journal
eISSN
1899-7562
ISSN
1640-5544
First Published
13 Jan 2009
Publication timeframe
5 times per year
Languages
English

Search

17 Articles
Open Access

Evaluation of Postural Asymmetry and Gross Joint Mobility in Elite Female Volleyball Athletes

Published Online: 04 Oct 2011
Page range: 5 - 13

Abstract

Evaluation of Postural Asymmetry and Gross Joint Mobility in Elite Female Volleyball Athletes

The purpose of the study was to evaluate marked postural asymmetry and gross joint mobility in elite female volleyball athletes.

Sixty-two Czech and Slovak elite female volleyball athletes (age 20.7±2.03 years, body mass 71.1±6.18 kg, body height 1.804±.0618 m, BMI 21.8±1.78) were examined by an experienced rehabilitation physician. The set of tests included the frontal posture gross examination, the forward bending test from the standing position and the deep squat test. The spiking hand and the presence of any lower extremity injury were estimated by interview. The proportion test, Mann-Whitney test and t-test were used to evaluate statistical significance (p<0.05).

Fifty subjects (80.6%) exhibited "typical" frontal plane posture in which the acromion, scapula and the iliac crest were in a higher position on the left side than on the right, significantly more frequently than all the other patterns (proportion test, p<0.0001). Ninety-eight percent of the subjects with the "LLL pattern" preferred the right arm for spiking (proportion test, p<0.0001). Forty-one subjects (66%) exhibited hypermobility in the forward bending test, significantly more frequently than twenty-one subjects (34%) with normal results (proportion test, p=0.0003). Thirty-four subjects (55%) did not succeed in the deep squat test and hypermobility in the forward bending test paradoxically prevailed in them significantly (proportion test, p=0.004). Restriction in the deep squat test was not linked to obesity, age (t-test, p=0.081) nor knee (proportion test, p=0.85) and ankle injury (Mann-Whitney test, p=0.36) in the past. Significant prevalence of hypermobility in the forward bending test was not surprising because of general body composition and the performance of regular stretching exercises in elite female volleyball athletes. On the other hand, surprisingly, more than half of the subjects did not succeed in the deep squat test. The cause of poor results in the deep squat test could be due to the tightness of the soleus muscle suffering from chronic overloading and/or an inappropriate stretching methods. An inappropriate and/or insufficient compensatory exercise and stretching method or system could be the cause of their marked postural asymmetry as well.

A detailed examination of posture and muscle imbalance performed by an experienced physician or physiotherapist as well as individually tailored compensatory exercises and a stretching system can be strongly recommended to all elite athletes, not only to volleyball players.

Keywords

  • posture
  • functional scoliosis
  • muscle imbalance
Open Access

Influence of Hamstring Muscles Extensibility on Spinal Curvatures and Pelvic Tilt in Highly Trained Cyclists

Published Online: 04 Oct 2011
Page range: 15 - 23

Abstract

Influence of Hamstring Muscles Extensibility on Spinal Curvatures and Pelvic Tilt in Highly Trained Cyclists

The purpose of this study was to determine the influence of hamstring muscles extensibility in standing, maximal trunk flexion with knees extended and on the bicycle in lower handlebar-hands position of highly trained cyclists. Ninety-six cyclists were recruited for the study (mean ± SD, age: 30.36 ± 5.98 years). Sagittal spinal curvatures and pelvic tilt were measured in the standing position, maximal trunk flexion with knees extended (sit-and-reach test) and while sitting on a bicycle in lower handlebar-hand position using a Spinal Mouse system. Hamstring muscles extensibility was determined in both legs by passive straight leg raise test (PSLR). The sample was divided into three groups according to PSLR angle: (1) reduced extensibility (PSLR < 80º; n = 30), (2) moderate hamstring extensibility group (PSLR = 80º; - 90º; n = 35), and (3) high hamstring extensibility (PSLR = > 90º; n = 31). ANOVA analysis showed significant differences among groups for thoracic (p < 0.001) and pelvic tilt (p < 0.001) angles in the sit-andreach test. No differences were found between groups for standing and on the bicycle position. Post hoc analysis showed significant differences in all pairwise comparisons for thoracic angle (p < 0.01) and pelvic angle (p < 0.001) in the sit-and-reach test. No differences were found in lumbar angle in any posture. In conclusion, the hamstring muscles extensibility influence the thoracic and pelvic postures when maximal trunk flexion with knees extended is performed, but not when cyclists are seated on their bicycles

Keywords

  • straight leg raise
  • sit-and-reach
  • posture
  • spine
  • cycling
Open Access

Kinematic Analysis of Canoe Stroke and its Changes During Different Types of Paddling Pace - Case Study

Published Online: 04 Oct 2011
Page range: 25 - 33

Abstract

Kinematic Analysis of Canoe Stroke and its Changes During Different Types of Paddling Pace - Case Study

The aim of the study was to describe and evaluate movements of an elite canoeist when different paddling paces are applied. One of the tasks consisted of finding differences in time-space characteristics of selected markers in the referencing system canoeist's body - canoe. 3D kinematic analysis was used for identification and comparison of selected parameters. The study confirmed that an elite canoeist has a high level of movement similarity in all types of stroke rates; differences were mainly found in time sequence of applied strokes. To evaluate properly the racing stroke rate, start, flying start, 200m pace, 500m pace, and 1000m pace were chosen. One of the evaluated parameters was the boat velocity that was 2.1-4.5 ms-1 at start, 3.2-5.2 ms-1 at flying start, 3.9-6.1 ms-1 at 200m pace, 3.9-5.9 ms-1 at 500m pace and 3.0-5.4 ms-1 at 1000m pace. Vertical change of the position of the right hand was 0.77 m at start, 0.73 m at flying start, 0.87 at 200m pace, 0.89 at 500m pace and 0.81 m at 1000m pace.

Keywords

  • Canoe
  • kinematic analysis
  • paddling technique
  • 3D analysis
Open Access

Reconstruction Error of Calibration Volume's Coordinates for 3D Swimming Kinematics

Published Online: 04 Oct 2011
Page range: 35 - 40

Abstract

Reconstruction Error of Calibration Volume's Coordinates for 3D Swimming Kinematics

The aim of this study was to investigate the accuracy and reliability of above and underwater 3D reconstruction of three calibration volumes with different control points disposal (#1 - on vertical and horizontal rods; #2 - on vertical and horizontal rods and facets; #3 - on crossed horizontal rods). Each calibration volume (3 × 2 × 3 m) was positioned in a 25 m swimming pool (half above and half below the water surface) and recorded with four underwater and two above water synchronised cameras (50 Hz). Reconstruction accuracy was determined calculating the RMS error of twelve validation points. The standard deviation across all digitisation of the same marker was used for assessing the reliability estimation. Comparison among different number of control points showed that the set of 24 points produced the most accurate results. The volume #2 presented higher accuracy (RMS errors: 5.86 and 3.59 mm for × axis, 3.45 and 3.11 mm for y axis and 4.38 and 4.00 mm for z axis, considering under and above water, respectively) and reliability (SD: underwater cameras ± [0.2; 0.6] mm; above water cameras ± [0.2; 0.3] mm) that may be considered suitable for 3D swimming kinematic analysis. Results revealed that RMS error was greater during underwater analysis, possibly due to refraction.

Keywords

  • accuracy
  • reliability
  • digitisation
  • swimming
  • kinematics
Open Access

Sagittal Spinal and Pelvic Postures of Highly-Trained Young Canoeists

Published Online: 04 Oct 2011
Page range: 41 - 48

Abstract

Sagittal Spinal and Pelvic Postures of Highly-Trained Young Canoeists

The objective of this study was to determine the sagittal spinal curvatures and pelvic position in standing and kneeling in the canoe in young canoeists. Forty-four young highly-trained canoeists (mean age: 15.11 ± 0.61 years) were recruited. Thoracic and lumbar curvatures and pelvic inclination were evaluated with a Spinal Mouse system in standing position and in the base position (kneeling on one knee in the canoe) and catch phase of the stroke. The mean thoracic kyphosis, lumbar lordosis and pelvic inclination in standing were 44.66 ± 8.80º, -30.34 ± 8.31º, and 14.20 ± 7.32º, respectively. In the canoe, the thoracic, lumbar and pelvic angles were 39.66 ± 9.52º, -24.32 ± 6.79º, and 15.18 ± 4.34º, respectively, for the base position (p<0.001 with respect to standing, except for pelvic inclination), and 28.93 ± 10.45º, -13.45 ± 10.60º, and 37.61 ± 6.27º, respectively, for the catch phase of the stroke (p<0.001 with respect to standing and base position). A higher percentage of hyperkyphotic postures in standing than in the canoe was found, while thoracic hypokyphosis increased in the catch phase of the stroke. In regards to the lumbar curve, the percentage of hypolordosis postures in the base position was higher than when standing. Lumbar kyphotic postures were detected in the catch phase of the stroke. In conclusion, the standing thoracic hyperkyphosis in young canoeists may be related to factors other than the posture and movement in the canoe. The canoeists adopted a lumbar flexed posture at the catch phase of the stroke, although this position may not affect the sagittal configuration of lumbar spine in standing. Postural training should be included in the training program of canoeists to improve the thoracic posture in the standing position.

Keywords

  • thoracic
  • lumbar
  • pelvic
  • spine
  • posture
  • canoeists
Open Access

The Hydrodynamic Study of the Swimming Gliding: a Two-Dimensional Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) Analysis

Published Online: 04 Oct 2011
Page range: 49 - 57

Abstract

The Hydrodynamic Study of the Swimming Gliding: a Two-Dimensional Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) Analysis

Nowadays the underwater gliding after the starts and the turns plays a major role in the overall swimming performance. Hence, minimizing hydrodynamic drag during the underwater phases should be a main aim during swimming. Indeed, there are several postures that swimmers can assume during the underwater gliding, although experimental results were not conclusive concerning the best body position to accomplish this aim. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to analyse the effect in hydrodynamic drag forces of using different body positions during gliding through computational fluid dynamics (CFD) methodology. For this purpose, two-dimensional models of the human body in steady flow conditions were studied. Two-dimensional virtual models had been created: (i) a prone position with the arms extended at the front of the body; (ii) a prone position with the arms placed alongside the trunk; (iii) a lateral position with the arms extended at the front and; (iv) a dorsal position with the arms extended at the front. The drag forces were computed between speeds of 1.6 m/s and 2 m/s in a two-dimensional Fluent® analysis. The positions with the arms extended at the front presented lower drag values than the position with the arms aside the trunk. The lateral position was the one in which the drag was lower and seems to be the one that should be adopted during the gliding after starts and turns.

Keywords

  • tests and testing
  • computational fluid dynamics
  • technique
  • biomechanics
  • numerical simulations
  • swimming gliding
Open Access

Heart Rate Responses and Training Load During Nonspecific and Specific Aerobic Training in Adolescent Taekwondo Athletes

Published Online: 04 Oct 2011
Page range: 59 - 66

Abstract

Heart Rate Responses and Training Load During Nonspecific and Specific Aerobic Training in Adolescent Taekwondo Athletes

The efficacy of replacing generic running with Taekwondo (TKD) specific technical skills during interval training at an intensity corresponding to 90-95% of maximum heart rate (HRmax) has not yet been demonstrated. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to compare the HR responses and perceived exertion between controlled running and high-intensity TKD technical interval training in adolescent TKD athletes. Eighteen adolescent, male TKD athletes performed short-duration interval running and TKD specific technical skills (i.e. 10-20 [10-s of exercise interspersed with 20 s of passive recovery]) in a counterbalanced design. In both training methods, HR was measured and expressed as the percentage of HR reserve (%HRres). Rating of perceived exertion (RPE, Borg's category rating-10 scale), Banister's training impulse (TRIMP) and Edwards' training load (TL) were used to quantify the internal training load. Recorded cardiovascular responses expressed in %HRres in the two training methods were not significantly different (p > 0.05). Furthermore, the two training methods induced similar training loads as calculated by Banister and Edwards' methods. Perceived exertion ranged between "hard" and "very hard" during all interval training sessions. These findings showed that performing repeated TKD specific skills increased HR to the same level, and were perceived as producing the same training intensity as did short-duration interval running in adolescent TKD athletes. Therefore, using specific TKD kicking exercises in high-intensity interval training can be applied to bring more variety during training, mixing physical and technical aspects of the sport, while reaching the same intensity as interval running.

Keywords

  • interval training
  • martial arts
  • youth
  • physical integrated training
Open Access

Effects of Exercise and/or Diet Programs on Kinanthropometric and Metabolic Parameters in Obese Children: a Pilot Study

Published Online: 04 Oct 2011
Page range: 67 - 78

Abstract

Effects of Exercise and/or Diet Programs on Kinanthropometric and Metabolic Parameters in Obese Children: a Pilot Study

This study was aimed at determining the effects of implementing a medium-term (six-month) exercise and/or a diet program on the kinanthropometric and metabolic parameters of obese children. The participants were 42 subjects (27 boys, 15 girls), whose ages were between 8 and 11, divided into three groups according to the program they followed. The E group followed a physical exercise program (three 90-minute sessions per week), the D group a low calorie diet, and the E+D group both interventions. A repeated-measure ANOVA was used to compare measurements of the participants' kinanthropometric and metabolic parameters at different times of the program, with the means being compared using the Tukey post-hoc test. It was found that medium-term intervention based on the combination of exercise and low calorie diet improved the obese children's kinanthropometric and metabolic parameters, especially those related to the lipid profile. Also, this combined program was more effective in controlling weight than the exercise or low calorie diet interventions alone.

Keywords

  • Body mass index
  • cholesterol
  • insulin
  • accelerometry
Open Access

Effects of Ramadan Fasting on Body Composition, Aerobic Performance and Lactate, Heart Rate and Perceptual Responses in Young Soccer Players

Published Online: 04 Oct 2011
Page range: 79 - 91

Abstract

Effects of Ramadan Fasting on Body Composition, Aerobic Performance and Lactate, Heart Rate and Perceptual Responses in Young Soccer Players

The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of Ramadan fasting on body composition, aerobic exercise performance and blood lactate, heart rate and perceived exertion in regularly trained young soccer players. Sixteen male soccer players participated in this study. Mean age, stature, body mass and training age of the players were 17.4±1.2 years, 175.4±3.6 cm, 69.6±4.3 kg and 5.1±1.3 years, respectively. During the Ramadan period, all subjects voluntarily chose to follow the fasting guidelines and abstained from eating and drinking from sunrise to sunset. Body composition, hydration status, dietary intake and sleep duration were assessed on four occasions: before Ramadan, at the beginning of Ramadan, at the end of Ramadan and 2 weeks after the end of Ramadan. On each occasion, aerobic exercise performance and blood lactate, heart rate and rating of perceived exertion responses of players were also determined during an incremental running test. Repeated measures of ANOVA revealed that body mass, percentage of body fat, fat-free mass, hydration status, daily sleeping time and daily energy and macronutrient intake of players did not vary significantly throughout the study period (p>0.05). However, players experienced a small but significant decrease in skinfold thicknesses over the course of the study (p<0.05). Although ratings of perceived exertion at submaximal workloads increased during Ramadan (p<0.05), blood lactate and heart rate responses had decreased by the end of Ramadan (p<0.05). In line with these changes, peak running performance and running velocity at anaerobic threshold also improved by the end of Ramadan (p<0.05). Improvements in aerobic exercise performance with time were probably due to the effects of pre-season training program that was performed after the break of the fast (Iftar) during the month of Ramadan. The results of the present study suggest that if regular training regimen, body fluid balance, daily energy intake and sleep duration are maintained as before Ramadan, Ramadan fasting does not have detrimental effects on aerobic exercise performance or body composition in young soccer players.

Keywords

  • Ramadan fasting
  • body composition
  • aerobic exercise
  • soccer
Open Access

The Effects of 24 weeks of Resistance Training with Simultaneous Elastic and Free Weight Loading on Muscular Performance of Novice Lifters

Published Online: 04 Oct 2011
Page range: 93 - 106

Abstract

The Effects of 24 weeks of Resistance Training with Simultaneous Elastic and Free Weight Loading on Muscular Performance of Novice Lifters

The purpose of this investigation was to assess the effectiveness of variable resistance as provided through elastic plus free weight techniques in college aged males and females. Twenty novice lifters were randomly assigned to a traditional free weight only (6 males and 5 females) or elastic band plus free weight group (5 males and 5 females) and 9 more normally active controls (5 males and 4 females), were recruited to maintain normal activity for the duration of the study. No differences existed between control, free weight and elastic band at baseline for age, body height, body mass, body mass index, and body fat percentage. One-repetition maximums were performed for squat and bench press while both strength and power were assessed using isokinetic dynamometry. Elastic groups and free-weight groups completed 24 weeks of whole body, periodized, high intensity resistance (65-95% of one-repetition maximum) training three times/week. Training programs were identical except that the elastic group trained the barbell squat, bench press and stiff-legged deadlift with 20-35% of their total prescribed training loads coming from band resistance (assessed at the top of the range of motion) with the remainder from free weight resistance. A mixed-model analysis revealed that peak torque, average power and one-repetition maximums for squat were significantly greater after training for the elastic group compared to the control (p<0.05). In addition, the free weight group also showed significantly greater improvements over the control in peak torque and one-repetition maximums for squat and bench press. No significant differences were observed between the elastic band and free weight groups. Combined variable elastic band plus free weight exercises are effective at increasing strength and power similar to free-weights alone in novice college aged males and females. However, due to complexity in set-up and load assignment elastic adoption by novice lifters in an unsupervised situation is not advised.

Keywords

  • variable resistance
  • isokinetic exercise
  • muscular performance
  • elastic band loading
Open Access

Somatic Profile of Competitive Sport Climbers

Published Online: 04 Oct 2011
Page range: 107 - 113

Abstract

Somatic Profile of Competitive Sport Climbers

Since rock climbing grows in popularity, the number of the respective scientific reports increases. However, those concerning anthropometric profile of elite climbers are scarce and inconsistent, thus the aim of the study was to describe the anthropometric characteristics of competitive sport climbers. Male rock climbers (n = 21) aged 17 - 29 years took part in the study; their climbing ability ranged from 6b to 8c in the French scale. Body height, body mass, arm span, length and girths of both extremities, shoulder and pelvis widths, as well as thickness of 5 skinfolds were determined. From these, body mass index (BMI), body fat content and selected anthropometric indices were calculated. Data collected for climbers were compared with those of untrained students (n = 165) of Warsaw Technical University. Although no between-group differences were found for body height, body mass, BMI or body fat content, the climbers exhibited significantly (p<0.001) lower pelvis-to-shoulder ratio, longer lower extremities (p<0.05), and greater arm length and arm span (p<0.001) compared to untrained students. The results of this study do not support the view that climbers are small in stature and of low body mass. It seems that the core of the issue is not in body size but rather in specific body proportions and this may be of great importance in selecting subjects to competitive sport climbing.

Keywords

  • anthropometry
  • climbing
  • sport performance
Open Access

Relationships Between Vertical Jump Strength Metrics and 5 Meters Sprint Time

Published Online: 04 Oct 2011
Page range: 115 - 122

Abstract

Relationships Between Vertical Jump Strength Metrics and 5 Meters Sprint Time

The aim of this study was to examine the relationship between short sprint time (5 m) and strength metrics of the countermovement jump (CMJ) using a linear transducer in a group of trained athletes. Twenty-five male, trained subjects volunteered to participate in the study. Each volunteer performed 3 maximal CMJ trials on a Smith machine. Peak instantaneous power was calculated by the product of velocity taken with the linear transducer. For sprint testing, each subject performed three maximum 5 m sprints. Only the best attempt was considered in both tests. Pearson product-moment correlation coefficients between 5 m sprint performance and strength metrics of the CMJ were generally positive and of clear moderate to strong magnitude (r = -0.664 to -0.801). More noticeable was the significant predictive value of bar displacement time (r= ~0.70) to sprint performance. Nevertheless, a non-significant predictive value of peak bar velocity and rate of force development measurements was found. These results underline the important relationship between 5 m sprint and maximal lower body strength, as assessed by the force, power and bar velocity displacement. It is suggested that sprinting time performance would benefit from training regimens aimed to improve these performance qualities.

Keywords

  • lower extremity
  • force
  • power
  • sprinting
Open Access

Functional Abilities as a Predictor of Specific Motor Skills of Young Water Polo Players

Published Online: 04 Oct 2011
Page range: 123 - 132

Abstract

Functional Abilities as a Predictor of Specific Motor Skills of Young Water Polo Players

The purpose of this study was to assess the influence of functional abilities on specificmotor skills. A total number of 92 male water polo players (age 12±0.5 years, body height 156.96±22.3 cm, body weight 51.02±33.18 kg) with at least two years' experience, were enrolled in the study. The investigation protocol consisted of standardized anthropometric measurements, estimation of maximum oxygen uptake, determination of the lung function values, specific swim tests and swim tests with a ball. The factor analysis was used for the estimation of the structure of specific motor skills. The influence of functional abilities on specific motor skills was estimated by regression analysis. Out of 15 correlations in total between the variables of space of functional abilities of water polo players, 6 were significant at the level of 95% (between the variables of aerobic power and lung function) and all of the correlations (15) between the variables of specific motor skills in water polo players were significant at the 99% level. Only one principal component, the General factor of specific motor skills in water polo (GFSWP) was obtained by way of factorization of the tests of specific motor skills, so the GFSWP represents the latent space of specific motor skills as a criterion. The regression analysis showed that functional abilities (as group predictors) (p= 0.00) and forced expiratory volume in 1 second (as a separate variable) have a significant influence on GFSWP (the criterion). The results of the study pointed out the impact of functional abilities on specific motor skills of selected young water polo players. This may be important for the selection and effective coaching in the early period of training and can affect the development of more appropriate and specific training programmes for optimal physical fitness preparation in young water polo players.

Keywords

  • water polo
  • youth athletes
  • functional abilities
  • swim test
Open Access

Psychometric Properties of The Greek Version of the Test of Performance Strategies-Competition Scale (TOPS-CS)

Published Online: 04 Oct 2011
Page range: 133 - 139

Abstract

Psychometric Properties of The Greek Version of the Test of Performance Strategies-Competition Scale (TOPS-CS)

The aim of the present study was to examine the psychometric properties of the Test of Performance Strategies-Competition scale (TOPS-CS; Thomas et al., 1999) in Greek athletic population. The TOPS-CS was designed to assess eight psychological strategies used by athletes in competition (activation, automaticity, emotional control, goal-setting, imagery, negative thinking, relaxation and self-talk). In order to evaluate the psychometric properties of the inventory, two different research studies were conducted in two different age groups (n1=382 athletes, aged 16 to 20 years and n2=343 athletes, aged 12 to 15 years). Furthermore, 263 athletes, (aged 16 to 20 years) completed the TOPS-CS, purposing to perform confirmatory factor analysis. The results of the first study supported the initial factorial structure of the TOPS-CS for athletes aged 16-20 years. Reliability analysis also provided adequate evidence for the internal consistency and stability of the scale for Greek athletes of this age. However, for athletes aged 12 to 15 years, the validity and reliability of the inventory were questionable and further research is required.

Keywords

  • psychological skills
  • athletes
  • validity
  • reliability
  • competition
Open Access

Retesting The Validity Of A Specific Field Test For Judo Training

Published Online: 04 Oct 2011
Page range: 141 - 150

Abstract

Retesting The Validity Of A Specific Field Test For Judo Training

The main goal of this research project was to retest the validity of a specifically designed judo field test (Santos Test) in a different group of judokas. Eight (n=8) national-level male judokas underwent laboratory and field testing. The mean data (mean +/- SD) obtained in the laboratory tests was: HRmax: 200 ± 4.0 beats × min-1, VO2 max: 52.8 ± 7.9 ± ml × kg-1 × min-1, lactate max: 12 ± 2.5 mmol × l-1, HR at the anaerobic threshold: 174.2 ± 9.4 beats × min-1, percentage of maximum heart rate at which the anaerobic threshold appears: 87 ± 3.6 %, lactate threshold: 4.0 ± 0.2 mmol × l-1, and RPE: 17.2 ± 1.0. The mean data obtained in the field test (Santos) was: HRmax: 201.3 ± 4.1 beats × min-1, VO2 max: 55.6 ± 5.8 ml × kg-1 × min-1, lactate max: 15.6 ± 2.8 mmol × l-1, HR at the anaerobic threshold: 173.2 ± 4.3 beats × min-1, percentage of maximum heart rate at which the anaerobic threshold appears: 86 ± 2.5 %, lactate threshold: 4.0 ± 0.2 mmol × l-1, and RPE: 16.7 ± 1.0. There were no significant differences between the data obtained on both tests in any of the parameters, except for maximum lactate concentration. Therefore, the Santos test can be considered a valid tool specific for judo training.

Keywords

  • Aerobic-anaerobic transition
  • combat-sports
  • physiological demands
Open Access

The Effect of Hand Dimensions, Hand Shape and Some Anthropometric Characteristics on Handgrip Strength in Male Grip Athletes and Non-Athletes

Published Online: 04 Oct 2011
Page range: 151 - 159

Abstract

The Effect of Hand Dimensions, Hand Shape and Some Anthropometric Characteristics on Handgrip Strength in Male Grip Athletes and Non-Athletes

It has been suggested that athletes with longer fingers and larger hand surfaces enjoy stronger grip power. Therefore, some researchers have examined a number of factors and anthropometric variables that explain this issue. To our knowledge, the data is scarce. Thus, the aim of this study was to investigate the effect of hand dimensions, hand shape and some anthropometric characteristics on handgrip strength in male grip athletes and non-athletes. 80 subjects aged between 19 and 29 participated in this study in two groups including: national and collegian grip athletes (n=40), and non-athletes (n=40). Body height and mass were measured to calculate body mass index. The shape of the dominant hand was drawn on a piece of paper with a thin marker so that finger spans, finger lengths, and perimeters of the hand could be measured. The hand shape was estimated as the ratio of the hand width to hand length. Handgrip strength was measured in the dominant and non-dominant hand using a standard dynamometer. Descriptive statistics were used for each variable and independent t test was used to analyze the differences between the two groups. The Pearson correlation coefficient test was used to evaluate the correlation between studied variables. Also, to predict important variables in handgrip strength, the linear trend was assessed using a linear regression analysis. There was a significant difference between the two groups in absolute handgrip strength (p<0.001) and handgrip/height ratio (p<0.001). The indices of body height, body mass, lean body mass and body fat content (p<0.001) were significantly greater in grip athletes. All hand variables except FS1-4 (p>0.05) were significantly different between the groups (p<0.001). After controlling body mass all hand anthropometric characteristics except thumb length (r=0.240, p=0.135), hand shape (r=-0.029, p=0.858), middle finger length (r=0.305, p=0.056) and forearm circumference (r=0.162, p=0.319) significantly correlated with handgrip strength in grip athletes, but not in non-athletes, except for forearm circumference (r=0.406, p=0.010). The results showed that handgrip strength and some of the hand dimensions may be different in athletes who have handgrip movements with an object or opponent in comparison to non-athletes. Also, there was a significant positive correlation between handgrip strength and most of the hand dimensions in grip athletes. Therefore, these can be used in talent identification in handgrip-related sports and in clinical settings as well.

Keywords

  • handgrip
  • hand dimensions
  • handgrip-related sports
Open Access

Physical Activity and its Associations with other Lifestyle Elements in Polish Women

Published Online: 04 Oct 2011
Page range: 161 - 172

Abstract

Physical Activity and its Associations with other Lifestyle Elements in Polish Women

The aim of the study was to determine associations between physical activity and other elements of women's lifestyle (nutrition, being a nonsmoker, moderate alcohol consumption, medical check-ups).

Between 1999 and 2004, 1361 women aged 20-75 were studied. They were inhabitants of cities located in the west of Poland and engaged in physical activity (purposeful selection). The subjects fell into four groups depending on the length of their physical exercise history: G I - those who had been exercising for 1 year; G II [1-4); G III [4-6); G IV [≥7). The diagnostic poll method was employed, (questionnaire and interview techniques). For the verification of the research hypotheses concerning the influence of socio-demographic factors on women's physical activity, the evaluation of changes in health-related behaviors resulting from long term physical activity, indication of associated behaviors, the independence χ2 test and multiple correspondence analysis were used.

Women's physical activity was found to be related to maintenance of proper weight (BMI) (p≤0.05), moderate consumption of low-alcohol beverages (p≤0.05) and regular dental check-ups (p≤0.05). Despite more frequent attempts to take up smoking, the respondents gave up the habit two times as often as the whole population of women in Poland. These correlations were more apparent among women with longer exercise histories, who mostly had post-secondary education. Occurrence of associated behaviors affecting health positively and negatively was also shown, the latter concerning a smaller group of respondents.

The noticed correlations between physical activity and health behaviors, which comprehensively influence lifestyle, may be of importance in gradual reduction of risk factors.

Keywords

  • physical activity
  • women
  • lifestyle
  • health behaviors
17 Articles
Open Access

Evaluation of Postural Asymmetry and Gross Joint Mobility in Elite Female Volleyball Athletes

Published Online: 04 Oct 2011
Page range: 5 - 13

Abstract

Evaluation of Postural Asymmetry and Gross Joint Mobility in Elite Female Volleyball Athletes

The purpose of the study was to evaluate marked postural asymmetry and gross joint mobility in elite female volleyball athletes.

Sixty-two Czech and Slovak elite female volleyball athletes (age 20.7±2.03 years, body mass 71.1±6.18 kg, body height 1.804±.0618 m, BMI 21.8±1.78) were examined by an experienced rehabilitation physician. The set of tests included the frontal posture gross examination, the forward bending test from the standing position and the deep squat test. The spiking hand and the presence of any lower extremity injury were estimated by interview. The proportion test, Mann-Whitney test and t-test were used to evaluate statistical significance (p<0.05).

Fifty subjects (80.6%) exhibited "typical" frontal plane posture in which the acromion, scapula and the iliac crest were in a higher position on the left side than on the right, significantly more frequently than all the other patterns (proportion test, p<0.0001). Ninety-eight percent of the subjects with the "LLL pattern" preferred the right arm for spiking (proportion test, p<0.0001). Forty-one subjects (66%) exhibited hypermobility in the forward bending test, significantly more frequently than twenty-one subjects (34%) with normal results (proportion test, p=0.0003). Thirty-four subjects (55%) did not succeed in the deep squat test and hypermobility in the forward bending test paradoxically prevailed in them significantly (proportion test, p=0.004). Restriction in the deep squat test was not linked to obesity, age (t-test, p=0.081) nor knee (proportion test, p=0.85) and ankle injury (Mann-Whitney test, p=0.36) in the past. Significant prevalence of hypermobility in the forward bending test was not surprising because of general body composition and the performance of regular stretching exercises in elite female volleyball athletes. On the other hand, surprisingly, more than half of the subjects did not succeed in the deep squat test. The cause of poor results in the deep squat test could be due to the tightness of the soleus muscle suffering from chronic overloading and/or an inappropriate stretching methods. An inappropriate and/or insufficient compensatory exercise and stretching method or system could be the cause of their marked postural asymmetry as well.

A detailed examination of posture and muscle imbalance performed by an experienced physician or physiotherapist as well as individually tailored compensatory exercises and a stretching system can be strongly recommended to all elite athletes, not only to volleyball players.

Keywords

  • posture
  • functional scoliosis
  • muscle imbalance
Open Access

Influence of Hamstring Muscles Extensibility on Spinal Curvatures and Pelvic Tilt in Highly Trained Cyclists

Published Online: 04 Oct 2011
Page range: 15 - 23

Abstract

Influence of Hamstring Muscles Extensibility on Spinal Curvatures and Pelvic Tilt in Highly Trained Cyclists

The purpose of this study was to determine the influence of hamstring muscles extensibility in standing, maximal trunk flexion with knees extended and on the bicycle in lower handlebar-hands position of highly trained cyclists. Ninety-six cyclists were recruited for the study (mean ± SD, age: 30.36 ± 5.98 years). Sagittal spinal curvatures and pelvic tilt were measured in the standing position, maximal trunk flexion with knees extended (sit-and-reach test) and while sitting on a bicycle in lower handlebar-hand position using a Spinal Mouse system. Hamstring muscles extensibility was determined in both legs by passive straight leg raise test (PSLR). The sample was divided into three groups according to PSLR angle: (1) reduced extensibility (PSLR < 80º; n = 30), (2) moderate hamstring extensibility group (PSLR = 80º; - 90º; n = 35), and (3) high hamstring extensibility (PSLR = > 90º; n = 31). ANOVA analysis showed significant differences among groups for thoracic (p < 0.001) and pelvic tilt (p < 0.001) angles in the sit-andreach test. No differences were found between groups for standing and on the bicycle position. Post hoc analysis showed significant differences in all pairwise comparisons for thoracic angle (p < 0.01) and pelvic angle (p < 0.001) in the sit-and-reach test. No differences were found in lumbar angle in any posture. In conclusion, the hamstring muscles extensibility influence the thoracic and pelvic postures when maximal trunk flexion with knees extended is performed, but not when cyclists are seated on their bicycles

Keywords

  • straight leg raise
  • sit-and-reach
  • posture
  • spine
  • cycling
Open Access

Kinematic Analysis of Canoe Stroke and its Changes During Different Types of Paddling Pace - Case Study

Published Online: 04 Oct 2011
Page range: 25 - 33

Abstract

Kinematic Analysis of Canoe Stroke and its Changes During Different Types of Paddling Pace - Case Study

The aim of the study was to describe and evaluate movements of an elite canoeist when different paddling paces are applied. One of the tasks consisted of finding differences in time-space characteristics of selected markers in the referencing system canoeist's body - canoe. 3D kinematic analysis was used for identification and comparison of selected parameters. The study confirmed that an elite canoeist has a high level of movement similarity in all types of stroke rates; differences were mainly found in time sequence of applied strokes. To evaluate properly the racing stroke rate, start, flying start, 200m pace, 500m pace, and 1000m pace were chosen. One of the evaluated parameters was the boat velocity that was 2.1-4.5 ms-1 at start, 3.2-5.2 ms-1 at flying start, 3.9-6.1 ms-1 at 200m pace, 3.9-5.9 ms-1 at 500m pace and 3.0-5.4 ms-1 at 1000m pace. Vertical change of the position of the right hand was 0.77 m at start, 0.73 m at flying start, 0.87 at 200m pace, 0.89 at 500m pace and 0.81 m at 1000m pace.

Keywords

  • Canoe
  • kinematic analysis
  • paddling technique
  • 3D analysis
Open Access

Reconstruction Error of Calibration Volume's Coordinates for 3D Swimming Kinematics

Published Online: 04 Oct 2011
Page range: 35 - 40

Abstract

Reconstruction Error of Calibration Volume's Coordinates for 3D Swimming Kinematics

The aim of this study was to investigate the accuracy and reliability of above and underwater 3D reconstruction of three calibration volumes with different control points disposal (#1 - on vertical and horizontal rods; #2 - on vertical and horizontal rods and facets; #3 - on crossed horizontal rods). Each calibration volume (3 × 2 × 3 m) was positioned in a 25 m swimming pool (half above and half below the water surface) and recorded with four underwater and two above water synchronised cameras (50 Hz). Reconstruction accuracy was determined calculating the RMS error of twelve validation points. The standard deviation across all digitisation of the same marker was used for assessing the reliability estimation. Comparison among different number of control points showed that the set of 24 points produced the most accurate results. The volume #2 presented higher accuracy (RMS errors: 5.86 and 3.59 mm for × axis, 3.45 and 3.11 mm for y axis and 4.38 and 4.00 mm for z axis, considering under and above water, respectively) and reliability (SD: underwater cameras ± [0.2; 0.6] mm; above water cameras ± [0.2; 0.3] mm) that may be considered suitable for 3D swimming kinematic analysis. Results revealed that RMS error was greater during underwater analysis, possibly due to refraction.

Keywords

  • accuracy
  • reliability
  • digitisation
  • swimming
  • kinematics
Open Access

Sagittal Spinal and Pelvic Postures of Highly-Trained Young Canoeists

Published Online: 04 Oct 2011
Page range: 41 - 48

Abstract

Sagittal Spinal and Pelvic Postures of Highly-Trained Young Canoeists

The objective of this study was to determine the sagittal spinal curvatures and pelvic position in standing and kneeling in the canoe in young canoeists. Forty-four young highly-trained canoeists (mean age: 15.11 ± 0.61 years) were recruited. Thoracic and lumbar curvatures and pelvic inclination were evaluated with a Spinal Mouse system in standing position and in the base position (kneeling on one knee in the canoe) and catch phase of the stroke. The mean thoracic kyphosis, lumbar lordosis and pelvic inclination in standing were 44.66 ± 8.80º, -30.34 ± 8.31º, and 14.20 ± 7.32º, respectively. In the canoe, the thoracic, lumbar and pelvic angles were 39.66 ± 9.52º, -24.32 ± 6.79º, and 15.18 ± 4.34º, respectively, for the base position (p<0.001 with respect to standing, except for pelvic inclination), and 28.93 ± 10.45º, -13.45 ± 10.60º, and 37.61 ± 6.27º, respectively, for the catch phase of the stroke (p<0.001 with respect to standing and base position). A higher percentage of hyperkyphotic postures in standing than in the canoe was found, while thoracic hypokyphosis increased in the catch phase of the stroke. In regards to the lumbar curve, the percentage of hypolordosis postures in the base position was higher than when standing. Lumbar kyphotic postures were detected in the catch phase of the stroke. In conclusion, the standing thoracic hyperkyphosis in young canoeists may be related to factors other than the posture and movement in the canoe. The canoeists adopted a lumbar flexed posture at the catch phase of the stroke, although this position may not affect the sagittal configuration of lumbar spine in standing. Postural training should be included in the training program of canoeists to improve the thoracic posture in the standing position.

Keywords

  • thoracic
  • lumbar
  • pelvic
  • spine
  • posture
  • canoeists
Open Access

The Hydrodynamic Study of the Swimming Gliding: a Two-Dimensional Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) Analysis

Published Online: 04 Oct 2011
Page range: 49 - 57

Abstract

The Hydrodynamic Study of the Swimming Gliding: a Two-Dimensional Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) Analysis

Nowadays the underwater gliding after the starts and the turns plays a major role in the overall swimming performance. Hence, minimizing hydrodynamic drag during the underwater phases should be a main aim during swimming. Indeed, there are several postures that swimmers can assume during the underwater gliding, although experimental results were not conclusive concerning the best body position to accomplish this aim. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to analyse the effect in hydrodynamic drag forces of using different body positions during gliding through computational fluid dynamics (CFD) methodology. For this purpose, two-dimensional models of the human body in steady flow conditions were studied. Two-dimensional virtual models had been created: (i) a prone position with the arms extended at the front of the body; (ii) a prone position with the arms placed alongside the trunk; (iii) a lateral position with the arms extended at the front and; (iv) a dorsal position with the arms extended at the front. The drag forces were computed between speeds of 1.6 m/s and 2 m/s in a two-dimensional Fluent® analysis. The positions with the arms extended at the front presented lower drag values than the position with the arms aside the trunk. The lateral position was the one in which the drag was lower and seems to be the one that should be adopted during the gliding after starts and turns.

Keywords

  • tests and testing
  • computational fluid dynamics
  • technique
  • biomechanics
  • numerical simulations
  • swimming gliding
Open Access

Heart Rate Responses and Training Load During Nonspecific and Specific Aerobic Training in Adolescent Taekwondo Athletes

Published Online: 04 Oct 2011
Page range: 59 - 66

Abstract

Heart Rate Responses and Training Load During Nonspecific and Specific Aerobic Training in Adolescent Taekwondo Athletes

The efficacy of replacing generic running with Taekwondo (TKD) specific technical skills during interval training at an intensity corresponding to 90-95% of maximum heart rate (HRmax) has not yet been demonstrated. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to compare the HR responses and perceived exertion between controlled running and high-intensity TKD technical interval training in adolescent TKD athletes. Eighteen adolescent, male TKD athletes performed short-duration interval running and TKD specific technical skills (i.e. 10-20 [10-s of exercise interspersed with 20 s of passive recovery]) in a counterbalanced design. In both training methods, HR was measured and expressed as the percentage of HR reserve (%HRres). Rating of perceived exertion (RPE, Borg's category rating-10 scale), Banister's training impulse (TRIMP) and Edwards' training load (TL) were used to quantify the internal training load. Recorded cardiovascular responses expressed in %HRres in the two training methods were not significantly different (p > 0.05). Furthermore, the two training methods induced similar training loads as calculated by Banister and Edwards' methods. Perceived exertion ranged between "hard" and "very hard" during all interval training sessions. These findings showed that performing repeated TKD specific skills increased HR to the same level, and were perceived as producing the same training intensity as did short-duration interval running in adolescent TKD athletes. Therefore, using specific TKD kicking exercises in high-intensity interval training can be applied to bring more variety during training, mixing physical and technical aspects of the sport, while reaching the same intensity as interval running.

Keywords

  • interval training
  • martial arts
  • youth
  • physical integrated training
Open Access

Effects of Exercise and/or Diet Programs on Kinanthropometric and Metabolic Parameters in Obese Children: a Pilot Study

Published Online: 04 Oct 2011
Page range: 67 - 78

Abstract

Effects of Exercise and/or Diet Programs on Kinanthropometric and Metabolic Parameters in Obese Children: a Pilot Study

This study was aimed at determining the effects of implementing a medium-term (six-month) exercise and/or a diet program on the kinanthropometric and metabolic parameters of obese children. The participants were 42 subjects (27 boys, 15 girls), whose ages were between 8 and 11, divided into three groups according to the program they followed. The E group followed a physical exercise program (three 90-minute sessions per week), the D group a low calorie diet, and the E+D group both interventions. A repeated-measure ANOVA was used to compare measurements of the participants' kinanthropometric and metabolic parameters at different times of the program, with the means being compared using the Tukey post-hoc test. It was found that medium-term intervention based on the combination of exercise and low calorie diet improved the obese children's kinanthropometric and metabolic parameters, especially those related to the lipid profile. Also, this combined program was more effective in controlling weight than the exercise or low calorie diet interventions alone.

Keywords

  • Body mass index
  • cholesterol
  • insulin
  • accelerometry
Open Access

Effects of Ramadan Fasting on Body Composition, Aerobic Performance and Lactate, Heart Rate and Perceptual Responses in Young Soccer Players

Published Online: 04 Oct 2011
Page range: 79 - 91

Abstract

Effects of Ramadan Fasting on Body Composition, Aerobic Performance and Lactate, Heart Rate and Perceptual Responses in Young Soccer Players

The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of Ramadan fasting on body composition, aerobic exercise performance and blood lactate, heart rate and perceived exertion in regularly trained young soccer players. Sixteen male soccer players participated in this study. Mean age, stature, body mass and training age of the players were 17.4±1.2 years, 175.4±3.6 cm, 69.6±4.3 kg and 5.1±1.3 years, respectively. During the Ramadan period, all subjects voluntarily chose to follow the fasting guidelines and abstained from eating and drinking from sunrise to sunset. Body composition, hydration status, dietary intake and sleep duration were assessed on four occasions: before Ramadan, at the beginning of Ramadan, at the end of Ramadan and 2 weeks after the end of Ramadan. On each occasion, aerobic exercise performance and blood lactate, heart rate and rating of perceived exertion responses of players were also determined during an incremental running test. Repeated measures of ANOVA revealed that body mass, percentage of body fat, fat-free mass, hydration status, daily sleeping time and daily energy and macronutrient intake of players did not vary significantly throughout the study period (p>0.05). However, players experienced a small but significant decrease in skinfold thicknesses over the course of the study (p<0.05). Although ratings of perceived exertion at submaximal workloads increased during Ramadan (p<0.05), blood lactate and heart rate responses had decreased by the end of Ramadan (p<0.05). In line with these changes, peak running performance and running velocity at anaerobic threshold also improved by the end of Ramadan (p<0.05). Improvements in aerobic exercise performance with time were probably due to the effects of pre-season training program that was performed after the break of the fast (Iftar) during the month of Ramadan. The results of the present study suggest that if regular training regimen, body fluid balance, daily energy intake and sleep duration are maintained as before Ramadan, Ramadan fasting does not have detrimental effects on aerobic exercise performance or body composition in young soccer players.

Keywords

  • Ramadan fasting
  • body composition
  • aerobic exercise
  • soccer
Open Access

The Effects of 24 weeks of Resistance Training with Simultaneous Elastic and Free Weight Loading on Muscular Performance of Novice Lifters

Published Online: 04 Oct 2011
Page range: 93 - 106

Abstract

The Effects of 24 weeks of Resistance Training with Simultaneous Elastic and Free Weight Loading on Muscular Performance of Novice Lifters

The purpose of this investigation was to assess the effectiveness of variable resistance as provided through elastic plus free weight techniques in college aged males and females. Twenty novice lifters were randomly assigned to a traditional free weight only (6 males and 5 females) or elastic band plus free weight group (5 males and 5 females) and 9 more normally active controls (5 males and 4 females), were recruited to maintain normal activity for the duration of the study. No differences existed between control, free weight and elastic band at baseline for age, body height, body mass, body mass index, and body fat percentage. One-repetition maximums were performed for squat and bench press while both strength and power were assessed using isokinetic dynamometry. Elastic groups and free-weight groups completed 24 weeks of whole body, periodized, high intensity resistance (65-95% of one-repetition maximum) training three times/week. Training programs were identical except that the elastic group trained the barbell squat, bench press and stiff-legged deadlift with 20-35% of their total prescribed training loads coming from band resistance (assessed at the top of the range of motion) with the remainder from free weight resistance. A mixed-model analysis revealed that peak torque, average power and one-repetition maximums for squat were significantly greater after training for the elastic group compared to the control (p<0.05). In addition, the free weight group also showed significantly greater improvements over the control in peak torque and one-repetition maximums for squat and bench press. No significant differences were observed between the elastic band and free weight groups. Combined variable elastic band plus free weight exercises are effective at increasing strength and power similar to free-weights alone in novice college aged males and females. However, due to complexity in set-up and load assignment elastic adoption by novice lifters in an unsupervised situation is not advised.

Keywords

  • variable resistance
  • isokinetic exercise
  • muscular performance
  • elastic band loading
Open Access

Somatic Profile of Competitive Sport Climbers

Published Online: 04 Oct 2011
Page range: 107 - 113

Abstract

Somatic Profile of Competitive Sport Climbers

Since rock climbing grows in popularity, the number of the respective scientific reports increases. However, those concerning anthropometric profile of elite climbers are scarce and inconsistent, thus the aim of the study was to describe the anthropometric characteristics of competitive sport climbers. Male rock climbers (n = 21) aged 17 - 29 years took part in the study; their climbing ability ranged from 6b to 8c in the French scale. Body height, body mass, arm span, length and girths of both extremities, shoulder and pelvis widths, as well as thickness of 5 skinfolds were determined. From these, body mass index (BMI), body fat content and selected anthropometric indices were calculated. Data collected for climbers were compared with those of untrained students (n = 165) of Warsaw Technical University. Although no between-group differences were found for body height, body mass, BMI or body fat content, the climbers exhibited significantly (p<0.001) lower pelvis-to-shoulder ratio, longer lower extremities (p<0.05), and greater arm length and arm span (p<0.001) compared to untrained students. The results of this study do not support the view that climbers are small in stature and of low body mass. It seems that the core of the issue is not in body size but rather in specific body proportions and this may be of great importance in selecting subjects to competitive sport climbing.

Keywords

  • anthropometry
  • climbing
  • sport performance
Open Access

Relationships Between Vertical Jump Strength Metrics and 5 Meters Sprint Time

Published Online: 04 Oct 2011
Page range: 115 - 122

Abstract

Relationships Between Vertical Jump Strength Metrics and 5 Meters Sprint Time

The aim of this study was to examine the relationship between short sprint time (5 m) and strength metrics of the countermovement jump (CMJ) using a linear transducer in a group of trained athletes. Twenty-five male, trained subjects volunteered to participate in the study. Each volunteer performed 3 maximal CMJ trials on a Smith machine. Peak instantaneous power was calculated by the product of velocity taken with the linear transducer. For sprint testing, each subject performed three maximum 5 m sprints. Only the best attempt was considered in both tests. Pearson product-moment correlation coefficients between 5 m sprint performance and strength metrics of the CMJ were generally positive and of clear moderate to strong magnitude (r = -0.664 to -0.801). More noticeable was the significant predictive value of bar displacement time (r= ~0.70) to sprint performance. Nevertheless, a non-significant predictive value of peak bar velocity and rate of force development measurements was found. These results underline the important relationship between 5 m sprint and maximal lower body strength, as assessed by the force, power and bar velocity displacement. It is suggested that sprinting time performance would benefit from training regimens aimed to improve these performance qualities.

Keywords

  • lower extremity
  • force
  • power
  • sprinting
Open Access

Functional Abilities as a Predictor of Specific Motor Skills of Young Water Polo Players

Published Online: 04 Oct 2011
Page range: 123 - 132

Abstract

Functional Abilities as a Predictor of Specific Motor Skills of Young Water Polo Players

The purpose of this study was to assess the influence of functional abilities on specificmotor skills. A total number of 92 male water polo players (age 12±0.5 years, body height 156.96±22.3 cm, body weight 51.02±33.18 kg) with at least two years' experience, were enrolled in the study. The investigation protocol consisted of standardized anthropometric measurements, estimation of maximum oxygen uptake, determination of the lung function values, specific swim tests and swim tests with a ball. The factor analysis was used for the estimation of the structure of specific motor skills. The influence of functional abilities on specific motor skills was estimated by regression analysis. Out of 15 correlations in total between the variables of space of functional abilities of water polo players, 6 were significant at the level of 95% (between the variables of aerobic power and lung function) and all of the correlations (15) between the variables of specific motor skills in water polo players were significant at the 99% level. Only one principal component, the General factor of specific motor skills in water polo (GFSWP) was obtained by way of factorization of the tests of specific motor skills, so the GFSWP represents the latent space of specific motor skills as a criterion. The regression analysis showed that functional abilities (as group predictors) (p= 0.00) and forced expiratory volume in 1 second (as a separate variable) have a significant influence on GFSWP (the criterion). The results of the study pointed out the impact of functional abilities on specific motor skills of selected young water polo players. This may be important for the selection and effective coaching in the early period of training and can affect the development of more appropriate and specific training programmes for optimal physical fitness preparation in young water polo players.

Keywords

  • water polo
  • youth athletes
  • functional abilities
  • swim test
Open Access

Psychometric Properties of The Greek Version of the Test of Performance Strategies-Competition Scale (TOPS-CS)

Published Online: 04 Oct 2011
Page range: 133 - 139

Abstract

Psychometric Properties of The Greek Version of the Test of Performance Strategies-Competition Scale (TOPS-CS)

The aim of the present study was to examine the psychometric properties of the Test of Performance Strategies-Competition scale (TOPS-CS; Thomas et al., 1999) in Greek athletic population. The TOPS-CS was designed to assess eight psychological strategies used by athletes in competition (activation, automaticity, emotional control, goal-setting, imagery, negative thinking, relaxation and self-talk). In order to evaluate the psychometric properties of the inventory, two different research studies were conducted in two different age groups (n1=382 athletes, aged 16 to 20 years and n2=343 athletes, aged 12 to 15 years). Furthermore, 263 athletes, (aged 16 to 20 years) completed the TOPS-CS, purposing to perform confirmatory factor analysis. The results of the first study supported the initial factorial structure of the TOPS-CS for athletes aged 16-20 years. Reliability analysis also provided adequate evidence for the internal consistency and stability of the scale for Greek athletes of this age. However, for athletes aged 12 to 15 years, the validity and reliability of the inventory were questionable and further research is required.

Keywords

  • psychological skills
  • athletes
  • validity
  • reliability
  • competition
Open Access

Retesting The Validity Of A Specific Field Test For Judo Training

Published Online: 04 Oct 2011
Page range: 141 - 150

Abstract

Retesting The Validity Of A Specific Field Test For Judo Training

The main goal of this research project was to retest the validity of a specifically designed judo field test (Santos Test) in a different group of judokas. Eight (n=8) national-level male judokas underwent laboratory and field testing. The mean data (mean +/- SD) obtained in the laboratory tests was: HRmax: 200 ± 4.0 beats × min-1, VO2 max: 52.8 ± 7.9 ± ml × kg-1 × min-1, lactate max: 12 ± 2.5 mmol × l-1, HR at the anaerobic threshold: 174.2 ± 9.4 beats × min-1, percentage of maximum heart rate at which the anaerobic threshold appears: 87 ± 3.6 %, lactate threshold: 4.0 ± 0.2 mmol × l-1, and RPE: 17.2 ± 1.0. The mean data obtained in the field test (Santos) was: HRmax: 201.3 ± 4.1 beats × min-1, VO2 max: 55.6 ± 5.8 ml × kg-1 × min-1, lactate max: 15.6 ± 2.8 mmol × l-1, HR at the anaerobic threshold: 173.2 ± 4.3 beats × min-1, percentage of maximum heart rate at which the anaerobic threshold appears: 86 ± 2.5 %, lactate threshold: 4.0 ± 0.2 mmol × l-1, and RPE: 16.7 ± 1.0. There were no significant differences between the data obtained on both tests in any of the parameters, except for maximum lactate concentration. Therefore, the Santos test can be considered a valid tool specific for judo training.

Keywords

  • Aerobic-anaerobic transition
  • combat-sports
  • physiological demands
Open Access

The Effect of Hand Dimensions, Hand Shape and Some Anthropometric Characteristics on Handgrip Strength in Male Grip Athletes and Non-Athletes

Published Online: 04 Oct 2011
Page range: 151 - 159

Abstract

The Effect of Hand Dimensions, Hand Shape and Some Anthropometric Characteristics on Handgrip Strength in Male Grip Athletes and Non-Athletes

It has been suggested that athletes with longer fingers and larger hand surfaces enjoy stronger grip power. Therefore, some researchers have examined a number of factors and anthropometric variables that explain this issue. To our knowledge, the data is scarce. Thus, the aim of this study was to investigate the effect of hand dimensions, hand shape and some anthropometric characteristics on handgrip strength in male grip athletes and non-athletes. 80 subjects aged between 19 and 29 participated in this study in two groups including: national and collegian grip athletes (n=40), and non-athletes (n=40). Body height and mass were measured to calculate body mass index. The shape of the dominant hand was drawn on a piece of paper with a thin marker so that finger spans, finger lengths, and perimeters of the hand could be measured. The hand shape was estimated as the ratio of the hand width to hand length. Handgrip strength was measured in the dominant and non-dominant hand using a standard dynamometer. Descriptive statistics were used for each variable and independent t test was used to analyze the differences between the two groups. The Pearson correlation coefficient test was used to evaluate the correlation between studied variables. Also, to predict important variables in handgrip strength, the linear trend was assessed using a linear regression analysis. There was a significant difference between the two groups in absolute handgrip strength (p<0.001) and handgrip/height ratio (p<0.001). The indices of body height, body mass, lean body mass and body fat content (p<0.001) were significantly greater in grip athletes. All hand variables except FS1-4 (p>0.05) were significantly different between the groups (p<0.001). After controlling body mass all hand anthropometric characteristics except thumb length (r=0.240, p=0.135), hand shape (r=-0.029, p=0.858), middle finger length (r=0.305, p=0.056) and forearm circumference (r=0.162, p=0.319) significantly correlated with handgrip strength in grip athletes, but not in non-athletes, except for forearm circumference (r=0.406, p=0.010). The results showed that handgrip strength and some of the hand dimensions may be different in athletes who have handgrip movements with an object or opponent in comparison to non-athletes. Also, there was a significant positive correlation between handgrip strength and most of the hand dimensions in grip athletes. Therefore, these can be used in talent identification in handgrip-related sports and in clinical settings as well.

Keywords

  • handgrip
  • hand dimensions
  • handgrip-related sports
Open Access

Physical Activity and its Associations with other Lifestyle Elements in Polish Women

Published Online: 04 Oct 2011
Page range: 161 - 172

Abstract

Physical Activity and its Associations with other Lifestyle Elements in Polish Women

The aim of the study was to determine associations between physical activity and other elements of women's lifestyle (nutrition, being a nonsmoker, moderate alcohol consumption, medical check-ups).

Between 1999 and 2004, 1361 women aged 20-75 were studied. They were inhabitants of cities located in the west of Poland and engaged in physical activity (purposeful selection). The subjects fell into four groups depending on the length of their physical exercise history: G I - those who had been exercising for 1 year; G II [1-4); G III [4-6); G IV [≥7). The diagnostic poll method was employed, (questionnaire and interview techniques). For the verification of the research hypotheses concerning the influence of socio-demographic factors on women's physical activity, the evaluation of changes in health-related behaviors resulting from long term physical activity, indication of associated behaviors, the independence χ2 test and multiple correspondence analysis were used.

Women's physical activity was found to be related to maintenance of proper weight (BMI) (p≤0.05), moderate consumption of low-alcohol beverages (p≤0.05) and regular dental check-ups (p≤0.05). Despite more frequent attempts to take up smoking, the respondents gave up the habit two times as often as the whole population of women in Poland. These correlations were more apparent among women with longer exercise histories, who mostly had post-secondary education. Occurrence of associated behaviors affecting health positively and negatively was also shown, the latter concerning a smaller group of respondents.

The noticed correlations between physical activity and health behaviors, which comprehensively influence lifestyle, may be of importance in gradual reduction of risk factors.

Keywords

  • physical activity
  • women
  • lifestyle
  • health behaviors

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