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Journal: International journal of sports medicine


We quantified the acceleration and high-velocity running of elite Australian soccer players. We hypothesised that high-intensity activity would be underestimated when excluding acceleration during match analysis given its high metabolic demand and occurrence at low velocities. Player movements were observed from 29 players (forwards and central and wide defenders and midfielders) during domestic Australian competition using 5-Hz global positioning system. Effort occurrence were determined for high-velocity running, sprinting and maximal accelerations. The commencement and final velocity of maximal accelerations were also identified. Players undertook an 8~fold greater number of maximal accelerations than sprints per game (65±21 vs. 8±5). Of maximal accelerations ~98% commenced from a starting velocity lower than what would be considered high-velocity running while ~85% did not cross the high-velocity running threshold. The number of efforts performed in all categories were position dependent (P<0.001). Wide defenders performed more maximal accelerations (P<0.006) and central defenders and midfielders performed less sprints compared to all other positions (P<0.02). Maximal accelerations are frequently undertaken during a match often occurring at low velocities. Excluding maximal accelerations in match analysis research may underestimate the amount of high-intensity movements undertaken. Additionally positional differences in high-intensity movements should be accounted for when developing specific conditioning drills.

Concepts: Specific force, Global navigation satellite system, Motion, General relativity, Global Positioning System, Kinematics, Acceleration, Velocity


A parallel group randomized trial was designed to analyze the impact of 6 weeks of strength training programs performed with or without whole-body vibration on muscular and endurance performance parameters in long-distance runners. 22 endurance runners were allocated into strength with whole-body vibration (n=8), without (n=8), and control (n=6) groups. Before and after the experimental period the subjects performed the following tests: a) maximum dynamic strength test, b) maximal incremental treadmill test, and c) time to exhaustion at velocity corresponding to maximal oxygen uptake. The fractions of the aerobic and anaerobic contribution in time to exhaustion test were also calculated. Both strength trained groups showed a similar increase in maximum dynamic strength (~18%). The aerobic contribution was enhanced for strength training group without whole-body vibration (~25%) after experimental period. No statistical differences were observed in any other variable. These results suggest that 6 weeks of strength training performed with or without whole-body vibration improve similarly the maximum dynamic strength in long-distance runners. In addition, both training modes studied had no deleterious effects on the traditional parameters of endurance performance, traditional strength training program results in increased aerobic contribution during high-intensity aerobic exercise.

Concepts: Exercise, Cooper test, Physical fitness, Weight training, Anaerobic exercise, Aerobic exercise, Exercise physiology, Strength training


The objective of this study is to examine the sensitivity to and changes in heart rate variability (HRV) in stressful situations before judo competitions and to observe the differences among judo athletes according to their competitive standards in both official and unofficial competitions. 24 (10 male and 14 female) national- and international-standard athletes were evaluated. Each participant answered the Revised Competitive State Anxiety Inventory (CSAI-2R) and their HRV was recorded both during an official and unofficial competition. The MANOVA showed significant main effects of the athlete’s standard and the type of competition in CSAI-2R, in HRV time domain, in HRV frequency domain and in HRV nonlinear analysis (p<0.05). International-standard judo athletes have lower somatic anxiety, cognitive anxiety, heart rate and low-high frequency ratio than national-standard athletes (p<0.05). International-standard athletes have a higher confidence, mean RR interval, standard deviation of RR, square root of the mean squared difference of successive RR intervals, number of consecutive RR that differ by more than 5 ms, short-term variability, long-term variability, long-range scaling exponents and short-range scaling exponent than national-standard judo athletes. In conclusion, international-standard athletes show less pre-competitive anxiety than the national-standard athletes and HRV analysis is sensitive to changes in pre-competitive anxiety.

Concepts: Nth root, Time, Square root, Arithmetic mean, Exponentiation, Standard deviation, Anxiety, Square


The aim of this study was to determine the external validity of Taekwondo-specific exercise protocols. 10 male international Taekwondo competitors (age 18±2 years) took part in a championship combat and an exercise protocol that simulated the activity pattern of Taekwondo combat. Heart rate and venous blood samples were obtained in both settings. Despite similarity in the activity profiles, the championship Taekwondo combats elicited higher (p<0.05) heart rate (188±8 beats.min - 1), plasma lactate (12.2±4.6 mmol.L - 1), glucose (10.3±1.1 mmol.L - 1), -glycerol (143.4±49.4 µmol.L - 1), -adrena-line (2.7±1.7 nmol.L - 1) and noradrenaline (14.3±9.4 nmol.L - 1) responses than the -Taekwondo exercise protocol (heart rate: 172±4 beats.min - 1; plasma lactate: 3.6±2.7 mmol.L - 1; glucose: 5.9±0.8 mmol.L - 1; glycerol: 77.7±21.3 µmol.L - 1; adrenaline: 0.6±0.2 nmol.L - 1 and noradrenaline: 3.0±1.1 nmol.L - 1). This discrepancy in the physiological responses appeared to be mediated by a reduced stress response in the Taekwondo exercise protocol. These findings suggest that Taekwondo-specific exercise protocols are not appropriate to study the physiological demands of Taekwondo. -Strategies designed to increase the stress response in this setting may be necessary to improve the external validity of this experimental framework.

Concepts: Pulse, Kick, Heart, Norepinephrine, Physiology, Epinephrine, Vein, Blood


The aim of this study was to examine in highly-trained young soccer players whether substantial changes in either maximal sprinting speed (MSS) or maximal aerobic speed (as inferred from peak incremental test speed, VVam-Eval) can affect repeated high-intensity running during games. Data from 33 players (14.5±1.3 years), who presented substantial changes in either MSS or VVam-Eval throughout 2 consecutive testing periods (~3 months) were included in the final analysis. For each player, time-motion analyses were performed using a global positioning system (1-Hz) during 2-10 international club games played within 1-2 months from/to each testing period of interest (n for game analyzed=109, player-games=393, games per player per period=4±2). Sprint activities were defined as at least a 1-s run at intensities higher than 61% of individual MSS. Repeated-sprint sequences (RSS) were defined as a minimum of 2 consecutive sprints interspersed with a maximum of 60 s of recovery. Improvements in both MSS and VVam-Eval were likely associated with a decreased RSS occurrence, but in some positions only (e. g., - 24% vs. - 3% for improvements in MSS in strikers vs. midfielders, respectively). The changes in the number of sprints per RSS were less clear but also position-dependent, e. g., +7 to +12% for full-backs and wingers, - 5 to - 7% for centre-backs and midfielders. In developing soccer players, changes in repeated-sprint activity during games do not necessarily match those in physical fitness. Game tactical and strategic requirements are likely to modulate on-field players' activity patterns independently (at least partially) of players' physical capacities.

Concepts: Sprint Nextel, Sprint, Global Positioning System, Running


The aim of this study was to compare different endurance parameters of elbow extensors between senior and junior athletes. A group of 23 junior (16.2±0.8years, BMI 21.8±2.9 kg/m2) and 16 senior athletes (23.1±6.2y, BMI 23.6±4.2 kg/m2) volunteered for the study. Strength measurements were performed on the isoacceleration dynamometer (5 sets of 10 maximal elbow extensions, 1 min resting period between each set). The following strength parameters were measured: maximal strength (MS), endurance strength (ES), fatigue rate (FR) and decrease in strength (DS). Both arms triceps brachii muscle mass (MM) was calculated using a series of cross-sectional images of upper arms obtained by the MRI. Triceps brachii muscle mass for both arms in senior athletes showed significantly higher values (1286.9±323.7 g) compared to young athletes (948.9±171.1 g, p<0.01). ES was 50% higher in seniors, while FR was 10% higher in juniors. MS was 35% higher in seniors, but no difference was discovered when this parameter was expressed in relation to muscle mass. DS was significantly different between juniors and seniors, except in absolute values. No significant correlation was found between triceps brachii muscle mass and FR or DS. Different values of strength decrease throughout multiple contractions could be attributed to different characteristics of various sports.

Concepts: Ulna, Elbow, Triceps brachii muscle, Biceps brachii muscle


With the recent worldwide increase in ski helmet use, new market trends are developing, including audio helmets for listening to music while skiing or snowboarding. The aim of this study was to evaluate whether listening to music with an audio ski helmet impairs reaction time to peripheral stimuli. A within-subjects design study using the Compensatory-Tracking-Test was performed on 65 subjects (36 males and 29 females) who had a mean age of 23.3±3.9 years. Using repeated measures analysis of variance, we found significant differences in reaction times between the 4 test conditions (p=0.039). The lowest mean reaction time (±SE) was measured for helmet use while listening to music (507.9±13.2 ms), which was not different from helmet use alone (514.6±12.5 ms) (p=0.528). However, compared to helmet use while listening to music, reaction time was significantly longer for helmet and ski goggles used together (535.8±14.2 ms, p=0.005), with a similar trend for helmet and ski goggles used together while listening to music (526.9±13.8 ms) (p=0.094). In conclusion, listening to music with an audio ski helmet did not increase mean reaction time to peripheral stimuli in a laboratory setting.

Concepts: Sports equipment, Skiing, Helmets, Skiing equipment, Snowboarding, Reaction time, Helmet, Analysis of variance


This study investigated if the quantity of high-speed running (movements >15 km.h - 1) completed in the first 15 min of competitive football matches differed from that completed in the corresponding 15 min of the second half. 20 semi-professional soccer players (age 21.2±3.6 years, body mass 76.4±3.8 kg, height 1.89±0.05 m) participated in the study. 50 competitive soccer matches and 192 data files were analysed (4±2 files per match) using Global Positioning Satellite technology. Data were analysed using 2-way repeated measures ANOVA and Pearson correlations. No differences were found between the first 15 min of each half for the distance completed at high-speed (>15 km.h - 1) or sprinting (>21 km.h - 1), or in the number of sprints undertaken (p>0.05). However, total distance covered was shorter (1st half vs. 2nd half: 1 746±220 vs. 1 644±224 m; p<0.001) and mean speed lower (1st half vs. 2nd half: 7.0±0.9 vs. 6.6±0.9 km.h - 1; p<0.001) in the first 15 min of the second half compared to the first. The correlations between the duration of the half-time interval and the difference in the high-speed running or sprinting between first and second halves (0-15 min) were very small (r=0.08 [p=0.25] and r=0.04 [p=0.61] respectively). Therefore, this study did not find any difference between the amount of high-speed running and sprinting completed by semi-professional soccer players when the first 15 min of the first and second half of competitive matches were compared The maintenance of high-speed running and sprinting, as total distance and mean speed declined, may be a function of the pacing strategies adopted by players in competitive matches.

Concepts: Time, Files, Differences, Sprint, Global Positioning System, Pearson product-moment correlation coefficient, Running, Analysis of variance


This study intended to determine if an acute bout of soccer heading alters postural control and pronounced self-reported symptoms of cerebral concussion. Collegiate soccer players were randomly assigned to one of 2 groups. Each participant completed a baseline postural control assessment prior to heading. Participants either simulated (control group; CG) or performed (experimental group; EG) 10 headers at 11.2 m/s in 10 min. The postural assessment was repeated post heading at hrs 1, 24, and 48. The postural control parameter assessed was the root mean square (RMS) of the center of mass (COM). COM RMS were calculated for the anterior-posterior (AP) and medial-lateral (ML) time series. Compared to the CG, for the AP and ML time series COM RMS values were significantly higher in the EG at hr 24 (p <0.05). An acute bout of heading results in quantifiable alterations in postural control that are detectable 24 h post heading and dissipate within an additional 24 h. The significant findings may be due to the dynamic postural control assessment that incorporated robust discordant environmental conditions.

Concepts: Experiment, Standard deviation, Post-concussion syndrome, Time, Statistics, College football, Hour, Root mean square


The present study aimed to examine the effect of short-term training utilizing voluntary co-contraction with maximal efforts. 23 healthy young men (training group: TG, n=13; control group: CG, n=10) participated in this study. TG conducted a 4-week training program (3 days/week), which consisted of 4s simultaneous maximal voluntary contractions of elbow flexors and extensors at 90°of the elbow joint, followed by 4s muscle relaxation (10 repetitions/set, 5 sets/day). Before and after the intervention, maximal voluntary isometric and isokinetic torques and the muscle thicknesses of the elbow flexors and extensors were determined. The electromyograms (EMGs) of the 2 muscle groups during isometric maximal voluntary contraction (MVC) were also recorded. After the intervention, CG did not show any significant changes in all measured variables. In TG, significant increases were found in the agonist EMG activities during MVC, and maximal isometric and isokinetic torques of the elbow flexors and extensors, without significant changes in the muscle thicknesses and involuntary coactivation levels during MVC. The current results indicate that the training mode with maximal voluntary co-contraction is effective for improving the force-generating capabilities of the exercising muscles, without any increases in the level of involuntary coactivation during MVC.

Concepts: Neuromuscular disease, Knee, Acetylcholine, Elbow, Electromyography, Muscle contraction, Extension, Muscle