Publications by authors named "Johnny Padulo"

158 Publications

Acute Effects of Caffeine on Overall Performance in Basketball Players-A Systematic Review.

Nutrients 2022 May 5;14(9). Epub 2022 May 5.

Department of Biomedical Sciences for Health, Università degli Studi di Milano, 20133 Milan, Italy.

Caffeine supplementation has become increasingly popular among athletes. The benefits of caffeine include delaying the negative effects of fatigue, maintaining a high level of physical and mental performance, and improving certain abilities necessary for sport success. Given the complex nature of basketball, caffeine could be a legal, ergogenic stimulant substance, which will positively affect overall basketball performance. The purpose of this systematic review was to summarize evidence for the effect of acute caffeine ingestion on variables related to the basketball performance. Web of Science, PubMed, Scopus and ProQuest, MEDLINE, and ERIC databases were searched up to February 2021. Studies that measured the acute effect of caffeine on basketball performance were included and analyzed. Eight studies published between 2000 and 2021 were included in the analysis. Pre-exercise caffeine intake increased vertical jump height, running time at 10 and 20 m without the ball, overall basketball performance (number of body impacts, number of free throws, rebounds, and assists) during simulated games, and reduced the time required to perform a basketball-specific agility test. Equivocal results between caffeine and placebo groups were found for aerobic capacity, free throw and three-point accuracy, and dribbling speed. Pre-exercise caffeine ingestion did not affect RPE, but insomnia and urinary excretion were increased. The pre-exercise ingestion of 3 and 6 mg/kg caffeine was found to be effective in increasing several physical performance variables in basketball players during sport-specific testing and simulated matches. However, considering the intermittent nature and complexity of basketball, and individual differences between players, future studies are needed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/nu14091930DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9099691PMC
May 2022

Bilateral deficit magnitude increases with velocity during a half-squat exercise.

J Sports Sci 2022 Apr 20:1-8. Epub 2022 Apr 20.

Department of Biomedical Sciences for Health (SCIBIS), Università degli Studi di Milano, Italy.

Movement velocity has been viewed as one of the bilateral deficit (BLD) determinants. This research tested the velocity effect on BLD during a half-squat exercise. The role of muscle excitation in BLD was also assessed. BLD amplitude was assessed in 12 male soccer players while performing a half-squat exercise with incremental load. During the exercise's pushing phase, the average force and velocity were measured in bilateral and unilateral conditions to provide the bilateral index (BI) at each interpolated velocity. The and excitation was assessed during the exercise by calculating the surface electromyography signal root mean square (sEMG). The BI for sEMG (sEMG BI) was calculated. The theoretical maximum force (F) and velocity (v) were also determined. F was +43 (28)% in bilateral compared with unilateral conditions ( < 0.001), whereas v was similar in both conditions ( = 0.386). The BI magnitude rose with the increase in velocity from -34 (7)% at 50%v to -70 (17)% at 90%v ( 0.03-<0.001), whereas no sEMG BI occurred (: 0.07-0.991 in both muscles). The study reported velocity-dependent changes in the BLD amplitude, with the largest BLD amplitudes occurring at the highest velocities. This behaviour could provide useful information for setting specific contraction velocities to exploit/limit the BLD amplitude as a possible training stimulus.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02640414.2022.2051304DOI Listing
April 2022

Effects of Gradient and Speed on Uphill Running Gait Variability.

Sports Health 2022 Mar 27:19417381211067721. Epub 2022 Mar 27.

School of Health and Life Sciences, University of the West of Scotland, Glasgow, UK.

Background: The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of gradient and speed on running variability (RV) and local dynamic stability (LDS) during uphill running.

Hypotheses: (1) Both gradient and speed increase metabolic effort, in terms of heart rate (HR) and perceived exertion (CR10), in line with the contemporary literature, and (2) gradient increases RV and impairs LDS.

Study Design: "Crossover" observational design.

Level Of Evidence: Level 3.

Methods: A total of 25 runners completed 10-minute running trials in 3 different conditions and in a randomized order: gradient at 0% (0CON), 2% (2CON), and 2% at isoefficiency speed (2IES). 0CON and 2CON speeds were calculated as the "best 10-km race performance" minus 1 km·h, whereas 2IES speed was adjusted to induce the same metabolic expenditure as 0CON. HR and perceived exertion as well as running kinematic variables were collected across all trials and conditions. Running variability was calculated as the standard deviation of the mean stride-to-stride intervals over 100 strides, while LDS was expressed by the Lyapunov exponent (LyE) determined on running cycle time over different running conditions.

Results: Increases in HR and CR10 were observed between 0CON and 2CON ( < 0.001) and between 2IES and 2CON ( < 0.01). Higher RV was found in 2CON compared with 0CON and 2IES (both < 0.001). Finally, the largest LyE was observed in 2IES compared with 0CON and 2CON ( = 0.02 and = 0.01, respectively).

Conclusion: Whereas RV seems to be dependent more on metabolic effort, LDS is affected by gradient to a greater extent.

Clinical Relevance: Running variability could be used to monitor external training load in marathon runners.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/19417381211067721DOI Listing
March 2022

Short-term in-season ballistic training improves power, muscle volume and throwing velocity in junior handball players. A randomized control trial.

Biol Sport 2022 Mar 1;39(2):415-426. Epub 2021 Jun 1.

Higher Institute of Sports and Physical Education of Ksar Saïd, Tunis, Tunisia.

This study investigated the effects of a ballistic training programme using an arm/shoulder specific strength device (ASSSD) on the upper body peak power (PP), muscle volume (MV) of the dominant arm and throwing velocity in junior handball players. Twenty-six players were randomly assigned to an experimental (EG = 15, age 17.6 ± 0.51 years) and control (CG = 11, age 17.36 ± 0.50 years) group. Over an 8-week in-season period, the EG performed a ballistic training programme (2 sessions/week) immediately before their normal team handball training. Both groups underwent tests on the ASSSD, which operates in consecutive accelerative and decelerative actions, for throwing characteristics determination. Peak power (PP), peak force (PF), peak velocity (PV), peak rate of power development (PRPD), muscle volume (MV), throwing velocity with runup, standing throw, and jump throw were also assessed before/after the training programme. The EG group showed significant post-training improvements in PP (52.50% - p < 0.001), PF (26.45% - p < 0.01) and PRPD (78.47% - p < 0.001) better than the CG (1.81, 0.67 and 1.64%, p > 0.05, respectively). There was also a post-training improvement in the velocity at PP (22.82% - p < 0.001) and PF (42.45% - p < 0.001) in the EG compared to the CG (4.18 and 8.53%, p > 0.05 respectively). There was a significant increase in acceleration at PP (51.50% - p < 0.01) and PF (69.67% - p < 0.001). MV increased (19.11% - p < 0.001) in the EG, with no significant change (3.34% - p = 0.84) in the CG. Finally, significant increases were obtained in the three throw types (3.1-6.21%, p < 0.05- < 0.001) in the EG compared to the CG. The additional ASSSD training protocol was able to improve muscle strength/volume and ball throwing velocity in junior handball players.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.5114/biolsport.2022.106150DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8919889PMC
March 2022

Ecological and Construct Validity of a New Technical Level Cuban Dance Field Test.

Int J Environ Res Public Health 2021 12 16;18(24). Epub 2021 Dec 16.

Department of Philosophy, Sociology, Education, and Applied Psychology, Section of Applied Psychology, University of Padova, 35131 Padova, Italy.

The study aimed to explore the sensitivity and specificity of a new methodological approach related to the musical rhythm for discriminating a competitive Cuban dancer's (CDCs) level. Thirty CDCs (Age 23.87 ± 1.76 years, body mass 60.33 ± 9.45 kg, stature 1.68 ± 0.07 m) were divided into three groups: beginner (BEG, = 10), intermediate (INT, = 10), and advanced (ADV, = 10) according to their training experience/level. Each dancer was assessed while dancing at three different musical rhythms: fast (118 BPM), medium (96 BPM), and slow (82 BPM). The assessed variables were average heart rate (HR), peak (HR), and dancing time (DC). The ADV group succeeded at all three musical combinations (317, 302, 309 s for 82, 96, 118 BPM). The INT group correctly performed only the first two combinations (304, 304 s for 82, 96 BPM), while a significant time difference was shown at the fast musical rhythm (198 ± 6.64 s) compared to the medium ( < 0.001) and slow rhythms ( < 0.001) respectively. As the speed of the musical rhythms increased, the BEG group was not able to follow the rhythm: their results were 300 ± 1.25 s for the slow musical rhythm, 94.90 ± 12.80 s for the medium musical rhythm and 34.10 ± 5.17 s for the fast musical rhythm ( < 0.001). The HR and HR grew along with the increase in musical rhythm for all groups ( < 0.001). The ROC analysis showed a high sensitivity and specificity in discriminating the groups for each rhythm's condition. The BEG and INT groups showed an AUC = 0.864 (95% CI = 0.864-0.954); INT and ADV showed an AUC = 0.864 (95% CI = 0.864-0.952); BEG and ADV showed an AUC = 0.998 (95% CI = 0.993-1.000). The results of this study provided evidence to support the construct and ecological validity of the time of the musical rhythms related to competitive CDCs. Furthermore, the differences in the performances according to various musical rhythms, fast (118 BPM), medium (96 BPM), and slow (82 BPM), succeeded in discriminating a dancer's level. Coaches and strength and conditioning professionals should include the Cuban Dance Field Test (CDFT) in their test battery when dealing with talent detection, selection, and development.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182413287DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8701756PMC
December 2021

Special Issue "Researching Sports Biomechanics for Disabled People".

Sports (Basel) 2021 Nov 26;9(12). Epub 2021 Nov 26.

Department of Biotechnology and Life Sciences, University of Insubria, Via J-H Dunant 3, 21100 Varese, Italy.

Disabled people compete at high levels in several sport disciplines and physical activity for this population has become a high interest area of study in biomechanics [...].
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/sports9120161DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8705208PMC
November 2021

Editorial: The Biomechanics of Competitive Gait: Sprinting, Hurdling, Distance Running and Race Walking.

Front Sports Act Living 2021 11;3:790934. Epub 2021 Nov 11.

Institut National du Sport, de l'Expertise et de la Performance (INSEP), Paris, France.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fspor.2021.790934DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8632137PMC
November 2021

Training During the COVID-19 Lockdown: Knowledge, Beliefs, and Practices of 12,526 Athletes from 142 Countries and Six Continents.

Sports Med 2022 04 23;52(4):933-948. Epub 2021 Oct 23.

Facultad de Ciencias del Deporte, Universidad de Extremadura, Cáceres, Spain.

Objective: Our objective was to explore the training-related knowledge, beliefs, and practices of athletes and the influence of lockdowns in response to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2).

Methods: Athletes (n = 12,526, comprising 13% world class, 21% international, 36% national, 24% state, and 6% recreational) completed an online survey that was available from 17 May to 5 July 2020 and explored their training behaviors (training knowledge, beliefs/attitudes, and practices), including specific questions on their training intensity, frequency, and session duration before and during lockdown (March-June 2020).

Results: Overall, 85% of athletes wanted to "maintain training," and 79% disagreed with the statement that it is "okay to not train during lockdown," with a greater prevalence for both in higher-level athletes. In total, 60% of athletes considered "coaching by correspondence (remote coaching)" to be sufficient (highest amongst world-class athletes). During lockdown, < 40% were able to maintain sport-specific training (e.g., long endurance [39%], interval training [35%], weightlifting [33%], plyometric exercise [30%]) at pre-lockdown levels (higher among world-class, international, and national athletes), with most (83%) training for "general fitness and health maintenance" during lockdown. Athletes trained alone (80%) and focused on bodyweight (65%) and cardiovascular (59%) exercise/training during lockdown. Compared with before lockdown, most athletes reported reduced training frequency (from between five and seven sessions per week to four or fewer), shorter training sessions (from ≥ 60 to < 60 min), and lower sport-specific intensity (~ 38% reduction), irrespective of athlete classification.

Conclusions: COVID-19-related lockdowns saw marked reductions in athletic training specificity, intensity, frequency, and duration, with notable within-sample differences (by athlete classification). Higher classification athletes had the strongest desire to "maintain" training and the greatest opposition to "not training" during lockdowns. These higher classification athletes retained training specificity to a greater degree than others, probably because of preferential access to limited training resources. More higher classification athletes considered "coaching by correspondence" as sufficient than did lower classification athletes. These lockdown-mediated changes in training were not conducive to maintenance or progression of athletes' physical capacities and were also likely detrimental to athletes' mental health. These data can be used by policy makers, athletes, and their multidisciplinary teams to modulate their practice, with a degree of individualization, in the current and continued pandemic-related scenario. Furthermore, the data may drive training-related educational resources for athletes and their multidisciplinary teams. Such upskilling would provide athletes with evidence to inform their training modifications in response to germane situations (e.g., COVID related, injury, and illness).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s40279-021-01573-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8536915PMC
April 2022

Letter to Editor about 'Kiss goodbye to the "kissing knees": no association between frontal plane inward knee motion and risk of future non-contact ACL injury in elite female athletes'.

Sports Biomech 2021 Aug 29:1-3. Epub 2021 Aug 29.

Department of Musculoskeletal Disorders, Faculty of Medicine and Surgery, University of Salerno, Salerno, Italy.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14763141.2021.1968024DOI Listing
August 2021

Marathon shoes vs. track spikes: a crossover pilot study on metabolic demand at different speeds in experienced runners.

Res Sports Med 2021 May 14:1-8. Epub 2021 May 14.

Department of Biomedical Sciences for Health, Università Degli Studi Di Milano, Milan, Italy.

The aim of this study was to assess the metabolic cost (Cr) with marathon shoes (Adidas Adizero 3 [AA]) vs. track spikes (Nike Zoom Matumbo 3 [NZM]) on track. For this, five experienced runners were randomly assessed (NZM/AA) on a running track at 73% and 85% of best performance speed on 1500-m race. At first, speed (4.39 ± 0.53 m·s), Crs with AA and NZM resulted 3.63 ± 0.29 and 3.64 ± 0.43 J·kg·m (+0.3% with NZM, effect size [ES] small and = 0.951), respectively. Besides, at second speed (5.20 ± 0.18 m·s), Crs were 4.09 ± 0.28 and 4.07 ± 0.22 J·kg·m (-0.5% with NZM, ES small and = 0.919) with AA and NZM, respectively. It resulted in an increased Cr (+12.2%) between s1 and s2 with both shoe conditions (ES large and = 0.009 and 0.011 with AA and NZM, respectively). There is a pattern yet to be confirmed for track spikes to become more beneficial at higher speeds (when duty factor becomes lower and therefore grip on track is crucial).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15438627.2021.1929225DOI Listing
May 2021

The Effects of Short-Term Visual Feedback Training on the Stability of the Roundhouse Kicking Technique in Young Karatekas.

Int J Environ Res Public Health 2021 02 18;18(4). Epub 2021 Feb 18.

Department of Biomedical Sciences for Health (SCIBIS), Università degli Studi di Milano, 20133 Milan, Italy.

The aim of this study was to assess the efficacy of using real-time visual feedback (VF) during a one-week balance training intervention on postural sway parameters in young karatekas. Twenty-six young male karatekas (age = 14.0 ± 2.3 years) were randomly divided into two groups: real-time VF training (VFT; = 14) and control (CTRL; = 12). Their center of pressure (COP) displacement (path length, COPpl; distance from origin, COPod) was assessed pre- and post-training on a Wii Balance Board platform in two positions (Flex: knee of the supporting leg slightly bent, maximum hip and leg flexion of the other leg; Kick: knee of the supporting leg slightly bent, mawashi-geri posture for the kicking leg). Both groups trained twice a day for seven days, performing a one-legged stance on the non-dominant limb in the Kick position. During the training, VFT received real-time VF of COP displacement, while CTRL looked at a fixed point. No interaction effect was found ( > 0.05). VFT exhibited greater changes pre- and post-training in Flex COPpl (-25.2%, = 1.5), Kick COPpl (-24.1%, = 1.3), and Kick COPod (-44.1%, = 1.0) compared to CTRL (-0.9--13.0%, -range: 0.1-0.7). It is possible that superimposing real-time VF to a week-long balance training intervention could induce a greater sport-specific balance-training effect in young karatekas.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18041961DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7922084PMC
February 2021

The Validity of an Updated Metabolic Power Algorithm Based upon di Prampero's Theoretical Model in Elite Soccer Players.

Int J Environ Res Public Health 2020 12 20;17(24). Epub 2020 Dec 20.

Research Institute for Sport and Exercise Sciences (RISES), Tom Reilly Building, Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool L2 2ER, UK.

The aim of this study was to update the metabolic power (MP) algorithm (PV˙O2, W·kg) related to the kinematics data (P, W·kg) in a soccer-specific performance model. For this aim, seventeen professional (Serie A) male soccer players (V˙O2max 55.7 ± 3.4 mL·min·kg) performed a 6 min run at 10.29 km·h to determine linear-running energy cost (C). On a separate day, thirteen also performed an 8 min soccer-specific intermittent exercise protocol. For both procedures, a portable Cosmed K4b gas-analyzer and GPS (10 Hz) was used to assess the energy cost above resting (C). From this aim, the MP was estimated through a newly derived C equation (P) and compared with both the commonly used (P) equation and direct measurement (PV˙O2). Both P and P correlated with PV˙O2 (r = 0.66, < 0.05). Estimates of fixed bias were negligible (P = -0.80 W·kg and P = -1.59 W·kg), and the bounds of the 95% CIs show that they were not statistically significant from 0. Proportional bias estimates were negligible (absolute differences from one being 0.03 W·kg for P and 0.01 W·kg for P) and not statistically significant as both 95% CIs span 1. All variables were distributed around the line of unity and resulted in an under- or overestimation of P, while P routinely underestimated MP across ranges. Repeated-measures ANOVA showed differences over MP conditions ( = 16.929 and < 0.001). Following Bonferroni post hoc test significant differences regarding the MP between P and PV˙O2/P ( < 0.001) were established, while no differences were found between PV˙O2 and P ( = 0.853). The new approach showed it can help the coaches and the soccer trainers to better monitor external training load during the training seasons.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17249554DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7766422PMC
December 2020

External Responsiveness of the SuperOp Device to Assess Recovery After Exercise: A Pilot Study.

Front Sports Act Living 2020 14;2:67. Epub 2020 Jul 14.

Faculty of Kinesiology, University of Split, Split, Croatia.

Post-exercise recovery is a complex process involving a return of performance and a physiological or perceptual feeling close to pre-exercise . The hypothesis of this study is that the device investigated here is effective in evaluating the recovery state of professional cyclists in order to plan effective training. Ten professional male cyclists belonging to the same team were enrolled in this study. Participants performed a 7-day exercise program [D1, D4, and D7: low-intensity training; D2 and D5: passive recovery; D3: oxygen consumption (VO) test (for mechanical power assessment only); and D6: constant load test]. During the week of monitoring, each morning before getting up, the device assessed each participant's so-called Organic Readiness {OR [arbitrary unit (a.u.)]}, based on blood pressure (BP), heart rate (HR), features of past exercise session, and following self-perceived condition. Based on its readings and algorithm, the device graphically displayed four different colors/values, indicating general exercise recommendations: green/3 = "you can train hard," yellow/2 = "you can train averagely," orange/1 = "you can train lightly," or red/0 = "you should recover passively." During the week of research, morning OR values and Bonferroni comparisons showed significant differences between days and, namely, values (1) D2 (after low intensity training) was higher than D4 (after VO test; = 0.033 and = 1.296) and (2) D3 and D6 (after passive recovery) were higher than D4 (after VO test; = 0.006 and = 2.519) and D5 (after low intensity training; = 0.033 and = 1.341). The receiver operating characteristic analysis area under curve (AUC) recorded a result of 0.727 and could differentiate between D3 and D4 with a sensitivity and a specificity of 80%. Preliminarily, the device investigated is a sufficiently effective and sensitive/specific device to assess the recovery state of athletes in order to plan effective training.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fspor.2020.00067DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7739672PMC
July 2020

Insertional Calcific Tendinopathy of the Achilles Tendon and Dysmetabolic Diseases: An Epidemiological Survey.

Clin J Sport Med 2022 01;32(1):e68-e73

Department of Musculoskeletal Disorders, School of Medicine and Surgery, University of Salerno, Salerno, Italy.

Objective: This study reports the incidence of insertional calcific tendinopathy (ICT) of the Achilles tendon in the general population and the percentage of symptomatic patients. The secondary aim is to ascertain whether ICT is associated with diabetes mellitus, thyroid disorders, obesity, and hypercholesterolemia. We hypothesized that metabolic diseases increase the risk of ICT of the Achilles tendon.

Design: Prospective observational study (level III study).

Setting: Orthopedic Outpatients Clinic and Emergency Department of Tor Vergata University Hospital, Rome, Italy.

Participants: Four hundred thirty-three subjects who met the inclusion criteria.

Intervention Methods: We collected the plain radiographs of the foot and ankle of patients who attended the hospital. Personal data were recorded [age, sex, and body mass index (BMI)], and comorbidities investigated (diabetes mellitus, hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, obesity, and hypercholesterolemia). Multivariate regression analyses were performed to study the predictors of the occurrence of Achilles ICT.

Results: A total of 101 patients (23.3%) showed radiographic evidence of ICT, and 3% (13 patients) were symptomatic. Age [odds ratio (OR) 1.05], diabetes (OR 2.95), hypercholesterolemia (OR 2.27), and hypothyroidism (OR 3.32) were significantly associated with the presence of ICT of the Achilles tendon. Independent predictors of ICT were age, diabetes, hypercholesterolemia, and hypothyroidism. A BMI >30 was associated with a higher incidence of calcifications, and patients with 2 or more comorbidities had more than 10 times higher risk to develop ICT.

Conclusion: Insertional calcific tendinopathy of the Achilles tendon is common, but few patients are symptomatic. The incidence of ICT increases with age and is significantly higher in patients with diabetes mellitus and hypothyroidism.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/JSM.0000000000000881DOI Listing
January 2022

Uphill walking at iso-efficiency speeds.

Biol Sport 2020 Sep 25;37(3):247-253. Epub 2020 May 25.

Department of Biomedical Sciences for Health, Università degli Studi di Milano, Milan, Italy.

Uphill walking gait has been extensively studied, but the optimal uphill speed able to enhance the metabolic demand without increasing fatigability has so far received little attention. Therefore, the aim of this study was to assess the metabolic/kinematic demand at constant speed (6 km·h G0 level, G2 2% uphill, G7 7% uphill) and at iso-efficiency speeds (G2IES 5.2 km·h 2% uphill and G7IES 3.9 km·h 7% uphill). For this aim, physically active women (n:24, Age 33.40 ± 4.97 years, BMI 21.62 ± 2.06 kg/m) after an 8-min warm-up were studied on a treadmill for 10' for every walking condition with a 5' rest in between. Average heart rate (AVG-HR), rating of perceived exertion (RPE) and kinematic variables (stance time, swing time, stride length, stride cycle, stride-length variability, stride-cycle variability and internal work) were studied. Modifications in stance time, stride length and stride cycle (p<0.005), and lower internal-work values (p<0.001) occurred in G7IES in comparison to the other conditions. Swing time was significantly modified only in G7IES compared to G0 and G7 (p<0.001 and p<0.005, respectively). Stride-length variability and stride-cycle variability were higher in G7IES compared to the other conditions (p<0.001). G7 induced the highest AVG-HR (p<0.005) and RPE (p<0.001) compared to the other conditions. This study demonstrates that by applying the equation for uphill walking gait, it is possible to maintain a similar metabolic demand and RPE at iso-efficiency speeds during uphill compared to level walking, inducing at the same time a modification of the kinematic parameters of walking gait performed at the same slope condition.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.5114/biolsport.2020.95635DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7433331PMC
September 2020

Shoes and Insoles: The Influence on Motor Tasks Related to Walking Gait Variability and Stability.

Int J Environ Res Public Health 2020 06 25;17(12). Epub 2020 Jun 25.

Department of Biomedical Sciences for Health, Università degli Studi di Milano, 20133 Milan, Italy.

The rhythmic control of the lower limb muscles influences the cycle-to-cycle variability during a walking task. The benefits of insoles, commonly used to improve the walking gait, have been little studied. Therefore, the aim of this study was to assess the walking gait variability and stability on different walking conditions (without shoes, WTS, with shoes, WS, with shoes and insoles, WSI) related to brain activity. Twelve participants randomly (WTS/WS/WSI) walked on a treadmill at 4 km/h for 10 min. Kinematic analysis (i.e., footstep and gait variability), brain activation (beta wave signal), rating of perceived exertion (RPE, CR-10 scale), and time domain measures of walking variability were assessed. The maximum Lyapunov exponent (LyE) on the stride cycle period's datasets was also calculated. Stride length and cycle calculated for all walking conditions were 61.59 ± 2.53/63.38 ± 1.43/64.09 ± 2.40 cm and 1.11 ± 0.03/1.14 ± 0.03/1.15 ± 0.04 s (F = 4.941/ = 0.01, F = 4.938/ = 0.012) for WTS, WS, WSI, respectively. Beta wave (F = 564.201/ = 0.0001) was higher in WTS compared to WS and WSI. Analysis of variance's (ANOVA) LyE showed a F = 3.209/ = 0.056, while post hoc analysis showed a significant effect between WS and WSI with = 0.023, and nonsignificant effects between WTS and WS/WSI ( = 0.070/0.607), respectively. Small perturbations of the foot can influence the control of gait rhythmicity by increasing the variability in a dissipative deterministic regimen.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17124569DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7345333PMC
June 2020

Validity and Reliability of Isometric-Bench for Knee Isometric Assessment.

Int J Environ Res Public Health 2020 06 17;17(12). Epub 2020 Jun 17.

Department of Biotechnology and Applied Clinical Science, University of L'Aquila, 67100 L'Aquila, Italy.

There is a strong need for a new, probably cheaper, smaller, and more portable isometric dynamometer. With this aim, we investigated the concurrent validity and reliability of a low-cost portable dynamometer to measure the isometric strength of the lower limb. Seventeen young participants (age 16.47 ± 0.51 years) were randomly assessed on three different days for knee flexion and extension isometric forces with two different devices: a commonly used isokinetic dynamometer (ISOC) and a portable isometric dynamometer prototype (ISOM). No significant differences were observed between the ISOC and the ISOM (all comparisons > 0.05). Test-retest comparison showed the ISOM to have high reliability (ICC 0.879-0.990). This study showed that measurements with the ISOM could be performed without systematic bias and with high reliability. The ISOM is a device that is able to assess knee isometric strength with excellent concurrent validity and reliability.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17124326DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7345336PMC
June 2020

Eight months of school-based soccer improves physical fitness and reduces aggression in high-school children.

Biol Sport 2020 Jun 31;37(2):185-193. Epub 2020 Mar 31.

Athlete Health and Performance Research Centre, Aspetar, Qatar Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine Hospital, Doha, Qatar.

School-based programmes have shown promising results in the reduction of aggressive behaviour, but the effectiveness of physical activity modalities among adolescents remains to be determined. The aim of this study was to determine the effects of a school-based soccer programme on physical fitness and aggression in adolescent students. One hundred and five high school students were randomized to a small-sided soccer training group (SG) or a control group (CG). In addition to the regular physical education classes performed as part of a curriculum, the SG completed eight months of small-sided soccer training twice a week after school. Aerobic fitness (YYIR1), vertical jump (VJ), backward overhead medicine ball throw (BOMBT), and Buss and Perry's aggression questionnaire were evaluated before and after eight months of training. Greater improvements were observed in the SG than in the CG in the BOMBT (%diff=4.3, ŋ =.308) and YYIR1 tests (%diff=2.2, ŋ =.159), and physical aggression subscale (%diff=-12.1, ŋ =.144). Extra, school-based recreational soccer for adolescents was accompanied by a significant improvement in physical fitness, compared to physical education classes only. Moreover, the implementation of recreational soccer into regular physical education classes seems to be a potentially appropriate stimulus for reducing aggression in high-school students.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.5114/biolsport.2020.94240DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7249792PMC
June 2020

Validity, Reliability, and Usefulness of My Jump 2 App for Measuring Vertical Jump in Primary School Children.

Int J Environ Res Public Health 2020 05 25;17(10). Epub 2020 May 25.

Faculty of Sport and Physical Education, University of Novi Sad, 21000 Novi Sad, Serbia.

There is a persistent need in sport science for developing a measuring tool that is affordable, portable, and easy to use. We aimed to examine the concurrent validity and test-retest reliability of the My Jump 2 app compared to a validated OptoJump instrument for measuring jump performance during the squat jump (SJ), countermovement jump (CMJ), and CMJ free arms (CMJAM) in primary school children. A total of 48 participants (11-14 years age), volunteered to participate in this research. The jumps were recorded with a validated OptoJump photoelectric cell system and a concurrent device (iPhone X through My Jump 2 app) at the same time. The participants repeated the testing procedure after two weeks to assess the reliability of the measurements (ICC). Systematic bias between sessions and tools was evaluated using the paired samples -test and Bland and Altman analysis. High test-retest reliability (ICC > 0.89) was observed for all measures' in-between conditions. Very large correlations in the total sample were observed between the My Jump 2 app and OptoJump for SJ (r = 0.97, = 0.001), CMJ (r = 0.97, = 0.001), and CMJAM (r = 0.99, = 0.001). Bland and Altman's plot depicting limits of agreement for the total sample between the OptoJump and My Jump 2 show that the majority of data points are within the 95% CIs. The results of this study suggest that My Jump 2 is a valid, reliable, and useful tool for measuring jump performance in primary school children.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17103708DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7277223PMC
May 2020

Musculoskeletal symptoms in SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) patients.

J Orthop Surg Res 2020 05 18;15(1):178. Epub 2020 May 18.

Department of Musculoskeletal Disorders, Faculty of Medicine and Surgery, University of Salerno, Salerno, Italy.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13018-020-01702-wDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7232908PMC
May 2020

Height-based model for the categorization of athletes in combat sports.

Eur J Sport Sci 2021 Apr 7;21(4):471-480. Epub 2020 Apr 7.

Department of Biomedical Sciences for Health, Università degli Studi di Milano, Milan, Italy.

Reducing bodyweight within a short-time participating in kicking combat sports can adversely affect health. This study's aim creating an improved model to categorize athletes in kicking combat sports. The investigation focused on 795 athletes (11-24 years), participating in the Croatian National Taekwondo Championship. The sample included athletes from both sexes (371 males), cadets ( = 325), juniors ( = 247) and seniors ( = 223). Data were collected during the preparatory period and prior to the athletes competing, using a bioelectrical impedance analysis device. According to current categorization rules, athletes are categorized by arbitrarily determined ranges in bodyweight, whereas, in this current study, the authors have devised an improved model, based on body height and the analysis of data collected. The difference in coefficients between the official model and the proposed, improved categorization method in terms of body height (2.70 and 0.71, respectively), showed that the improved model homogenized athletes almost four times more than the official model, reducing the maximal difference in body height from 29 to 9 cm within specific categories. Proposed, improved model had same number of categories as the official structure and directly homogenized differences in height within a category up to a 3-cm maximum for the middle categories and a 9-cm on the periphery of the bands. We expect this improved combat sports categorization model will indirectly reduce differences between other longitudinal body dimensions within categories (thus making match results less predictable) as well as reduce bodyweight manipulation potentially endangering athletes' health.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17461391.2020.1744735DOI Listing
April 2021

The Psychophysiological Effects of Different Tempo Music on Endurance Versus High-Intensity Performances.

Front Psychol 2020 5;11:74. Epub 2020 Feb 5.

Faculty of Psychology, eCampus University, Novedrate, Italy.

The use of music during training represents a special paradigm for trainers to stimulate people undertaking different types of exercise. However, the relationship between the tempo of music and perception of effort during different metabolic demands is still unclear. Therefore, the aim of this research was to determine whether high intensity exercise is more sensitive to the beneficial effects of music than endurance exercise. This study assessed 19 active women (age 26.4 ± 2.6 years) during endurance (walking for 10' at 6.5 km/h on a treadmill) and high intensity (80% on 1-RM) exercise under four different randomly assigned conditions: no music (NM), with music at 90-110 bpm (LOW), with music at 130-150 bpm (MED), and with music at 170-190 bpm (HIGH). During each trial, heart rate (HR) and the rating of perceived exertion (RPE) were assessed. Repeated analysis of variance measures was used to detect any differences between the four conditions during high intensity and low intensity exercise. RPE showed more substantial changes during the endurance exercises (11%), than during high intensity exercise (6.5%), between HIGH and NM conditions. The metabolic demand during the walking exercise increased between NM and HIGH bpm conditions. This study indicates the benefits of music under stress conditions as well as during endurance and high intensity training. The results demonstrate that the beneficial effects of music are more likely to be seen in endurance exercise. Consequently, music may be considered an important tool to stimulate people engaging in low intensity physical exercise.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2020.00074DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7013107PMC
February 2020

Motion analysis of elite Polish soccer goalkeepers throughout a season.

Biol Sport 2019 Dec 31;36(4):357-363. Epub 2019 Oct 31.

Institute of Physical Education, Kazimierz Wielki University in Bydgoszcz, Poland.

The study aims were to determine the distance covered by goalkeepers during matches in the context of game duration and result, to identify the area of their most frequent activity, and to assess goalkeepers' involvement in games finished with a win, draw, or loss. The investigation was based on two innovative tools: the goalkeeper's activity index (GAI) and an analysis of 5-min periods. A video tracking system was used to monitor 17 goalkeepers from Polish National League teams during 15 matches. The GAI was applied to assess their involvement in the game. Elite goalkeepers covered 72.7%, 25.8%, and 2.5% of the distance during the game by walking/jogging, running, and sprinting, respectively. The distances covered in lost, won, and drawn matches turned out similar (mean ± SD: 4800 ± 906 m, 4696 ± 1033 m, and 4660 ± 754 m, respectively). There were no significant differences between the distances covered in the first and second halves. The area of most frequent activity was the middle sector of the penalty area between the goal and penalty area lines. ANOVA results showed that in drawn matches, goalkeepers' activity significantly differed in mean values of the GAI in comparison with that in won and lost games (p = 0.034, p = 0.039, respectively). It was noted that goalkeepers tended to intervene more often in games where their team was winning rather than in those with a losing result. Their direct involvement in defending the goal was the lowest in drawn games.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.5114/biolsport.2019.88758DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6945045PMC
December 2019

Validity and Reliability of a New Specific Parkour Test: Physiological and Performance Responses.

Front Physiol 2019 30;10:1362. Epub 2019 Oct 30.

Sport Science Program, College of Arts and Sciences, Qatar University, Doha, Qatar.

Main aim of this study was examining validity and reliability of using a new specific Parkour repeated sprint ability test (SPRSA) for assessing repeated sprint ability while facing obstacles and establishing between-day reliability and sensitivity of SPRSA related to its physiological and performance responses. Thirteen high-level traceurs (three females) performed in random order and twice eight tests for assessing a total of 23 variables: SPRSA (a typical maximal-speed shuttle run interspersed with four Parkour competition-common fundamentals) and seven established fitness tests, core stability, hand-grip, vertical-jump, long-jump, pull-up, 300-m shuttle run (as a field test for anaerobic capacity), and Leger test. Except for muscular elasticity index of vertical jump test (intra-class Correlation Coefficient model 3,1 [ICC,] = 0.54 []), fitness tests' ICC,s resulted (ICC,: 0.93-1.00). SPRSA total time and time of its fastest sprint (SPRSA peak time) were significantly correlated with the majority of core stability (: -0.79 to 0.59; < 0.01-0.05), jumping (: -0.78 to 0.67; < 0.01-0.05), pull-up tests (: -0.86; < 0.01), 300-m shuttle run test total time (: 0.77-0.82; < 0.01), and Leger test-estimated VO max (: -0.78; < 0.01). Principal component analysis (PCA) of the 23 variables led to extraction of four significant components (each due to different variables' combinations), which explained 90.2% of 23 variables' total variance. SPRSA (i.e., total and peak time) showed high reliability (ICC,: 0.991-0.998 and standard-error-of-measurement %: 0.07-0.32). Finally, SPRSA showed high sensitivity (smallest-worthwhile-change %: 0.29-0.68). Considering its excellent logical and strong ecological validity, SPRSA may serve as a valid specific field test for Parkour sport. In addition, thanks to its high reliability and sensitivity, this test is suitable for monitoring, evaluating, and programming training processes for Parkour practitioners in repeated sprint ability involving crossing obstacles.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fphys.2019.01362DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6831735PMC
October 2019

Training session intensity affects plasma redox status in amateur rhythmic gymnasts.

J Sport Health Sci 2019 Nov 21;8(6):561-566. Epub 2016 Apr 21.

Sport and Exercise Sciences Research Unit, University of Palermo, Palermo 90144, Italy.

Purpose: The aim of this study was to examine systemic responses of oxidant/antioxidant status following 2 training sessions of different intensity in amateur rhythmic gymnasts.

Methods: Before the experimental training, 10 female gymnasts performed a gradually increased exercise test to assess maximal heart rate, maximal oxygen consumption, and anaerobic threshold. They executed 2 intermittent training sessions separated by 48 h of recovery (48 h-post R): the first was performed at low-moderate intensity (LMI) and the second at high intensity (HI). Blood samples were collected immediately pre- and post-training and 48 h-post R. Hydroperoxide level (OxL) and total antioxidant capacity (TAC) were photometrically measured.

Results: OxL was significantly higher in post-training and 48 h-post R following HI than the same conditions after an LMI session (HI LMI post-training: 381.10 ± 46.17 (mean ± SD) 344.18 ± 27.94 Units Carratelli (U.CARR); 48 h-post R: 412.21 ± 26.61 373.80 ± 36.08 U.CARR). There was no change in TAC between the 2 training sessions investigated. In LMI training, OxL significantly decreased in post-training and increased to reach the baseline at 48 h-post R, whereas TAC increased only at 48 h-post R. In HI training, OxL significantly increased to reach a high oxidative stress 48 h-post R, whereas TAC was lower in post-training than pre-training.

Conclusion: The pattern of OxL and TAC levels implies different regulation mechanisms by HI and LMI training sessions. High oxidative stress induced by an HI protocol might be associated with both insufficient TAC and recovery time at 48 h necessary to restore redox balance.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jshs.2016.04.008DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6834982PMC
November 2019

Warm-Up With Dynamic Stretching: Positive Effects on Match-Measured Change of Direction Performance in Young Elite Volleyball Players.

Int J Sports Physiol Perform 2019 Nov 6:1-6. Epub 2019 Nov 6.

Purpose: To explore the immediate (15-s post-warm-up) and the delayed (after 20 and 40 min of simulated volleyball play) effects of 2 different warm-up protocols-a stretching-free volleyball warm-up (NS) and a warm-up incorporating dynamic stretching (DS)-on subsequent change of direction (COD) performance in young elite volleyball players.

Methods: Sixteen male players (age 16.88 [0.34] y, body mass 75.81 [5.41] kg, body height 1.91 [0.05] m, body mass index 20.84 [1.79] kg·m-2, and body fat percentage 9.48 [1.83]%) from the U-17 national volleyball team performed NS and DS on 2 different nonconsecutive days. During each testing session (NS and DS), half T-test performance measurements were performed after 5 minutes of a general warm-up (ie, baseline), immediately post-warm-up (after 15 s), and after 20 and 40 minutes of simulated volleyball play.

Results: For DS, a significant improvement in COD performance (2.08%, P < .001) was observed after 20 minutes of play compared with the baseline values. In addition, COD performance recorded after 40 minutes of play was better than after 15-second post-warm-up (5.85%, P = .001). Inferential statistics showed better COD performance in the DS condition after 20 minutes of play (2.32%, likely negative, d = 0.61).

Conclusions: Compared with NS, DS tended to affect the pattern of improvement of COD performance during play by intensifying and accelerating it. Consequently, to enhance COD performance for up to 40 minutes into the game, it is recommended that DS be incorporated to the warm-up preceding the match.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1123/ijspp.2019-0117DOI Listing
November 2019

A single mega dose of vitamin D improves selected physical variables in vitamin D-deficient young amateur soccer players: a randomized controlled trial.

Appl Physiol Nutr Metab 2020 May 9;45(5):478-485. Epub 2019 Oct 9.

University of Tunis El Manar, Faculty of Medicine of Tunis, LR99ES11, Rabta Hospital, Laboratory of Biochemistry, 1007 Tunis, Tunisia.

This randomized controlled trial aimed to test whether vitamin D (VD) supplementation affects measures of physical performance in VD-deficient, mildly trained children. Thirty-six recreationally soccer player boys were randomly assigned to single dose (200 000 IU) of VD3 ( = 19) or placebo ( = 17). Plasma 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25-OHD) was assessed and measures of physical performance (i.e., vertical and standing broad jumps, triple hop, 10-m and 30-m sprints, shuttle run) were performed before and 12 weeks after the loading dose. Mixed ANCOVA models were performed and effect size was estimated by partial eta squared (η). Baseline 25-OHD and physical variables were equivalent in the 2 groups. Twelve weeks after VD loading, plasma 25-OHD increased and physical variables improved only in the VD group. There was a significant interaction effects for group by time for vertical jump ( = 14.9, = 0.001, η = 0.394), triple hop jump ( = 24.2, < 0.001, η = 0.513), 10-m ( = 4.46, = 0.046, η = 0.162) and 30-m ( = 6.56, = 0.017, η = 0.222) sprints, and shuttle run ( = 13.4, = 0.001, η = 0.369). In conclusion, a single bolus of VD3 resulted in significant improvements in jumping ability, agility, and running speed in mildly trained children that are deficient in VD. The findings suggest that correcting VD deficit might be beneficial for physical performance. A mega dose of VD3 improves jumping ability, agility, and running speed in VD-deficient, mildly trained children. Effect of VD on measures of physical performance is noticeable 3 months after the loading dose.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1139/apnm-2019-0525DOI Listing
May 2020

Development and factorial validity of the Psychological Skills Inventory for Sports, Youth Version - Short Form: Assessment of the psychometric properties.

PLoS One 2019 15;14(8):e0220930. Epub 2019 Aug 15.

Interdepartmental Center for Family Research, University of Padova, Padova, Italy.

Researchers in sport often try to investigate relations between athletes' psychological skills and their sports results to predict top athletic achievements or unexpectedly poor performances. The Psychology Skills Inventory for Sports (Youth version), PSIS-Y, was developed to measure psychological characteristics of young athletes-differentiating well more talented and less talented young athletes. Nevertheless, previous studies revealed its inadequate, factorial validity. Thus, the aim of this study was to develop and investigate the psychometric proprieties of a brief version of the PSIS-Y (PSIS-Y-SF) in a sample of young Croatian athletes. Participants (n = 304; 188 females and 116 male) were recruited in clubs/teams all over Croatia and all of them competed in the Croatian Championship in youth (n = 157) and junior category (n = 147). The PSIS-Y-SF was derived by ten expert psychologists with five of them who had past experiences of agonistic sport practice. Psychometric analysis included Confirmatory Factor Analysis (CFA), internal consistency analysis (Raykov's Maximal Reliability), and correlation between subscales. Moreover, Multivariate Analyses of Variance (MANOVA) was run to test statistical differences between the players' categories (male youth vs. male junior vs. female youth vs. female junior) in all of the subscales. Results of the CFA suggested the adequateness of the supposed six first-order factor solution for the PSIS-Y-SF. The Maximal Reliability statistics suggest a good internal consistency for all of the subscales and the MANOVA suggested differences between the player's categories. The PSIS-Y-SF resulted to be a valid and reliable tool for the assessment of sports psychological skills. Findings from the psychometric evaluation of PSIS-Y-SF suggest that this is a useful tool, which may further assist in the measurement and conceptualization of sport psychological skills.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0220930PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6695110PMC
March 2020

The ball kicking speed: A new, efficient performance indicator in youth soccer.

PLoS One 2019 17;14(5):e0217101. Epub 2019 May 17.

Sport Performance Lab, University of Split, Split, Croatia.

Success in different soccer skills like kicking depends on motor abilities achieved. Kicking is a soccer fundamental, which depends on many different and complex factors (technique, foot-ball interaction, ball flight, etc.). Therefore, it is important to identify players that are able to perform faster kicks using both dominant and non-dominant leg. The current study investigated some basic variables of different soccer kicking speed and their relevance to success in youth soccer academy. 119 players from the first and the second division participated to this study. They were randomly divided into age groups (U-15, U-17, and U19) and team status (first team, reserves). The diagnostic ability of the different ball kicking speed tests in capturing differences between first team players and reserves among different age categories were computed using the receiver operating characteristics analysis. Results demonstrated that first team players achieved better results when comparing to reserves in each category. In addition, differences were greater in the U-15 and the U-17 than in the U-19 age group. In conclusion, ball kicking speed could be one of the possible identification tools to evaluate players' success in youth soccer.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0217101PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6524813PMC
January 2020

Acute Effect of Toe Cap Choice on Toe Deviation Angle and Perceived Pain in Female Professional Ballet Dancers.

Biomed Res Int 2019 10;2019:9515079. Epub 2019 Apr 10.

Department of Psychology, University eCampus, Novedrate 22060, Italy.

Several classical dance complex movements, such as , require body weight to be supported properly to avoid risk of foot injury. Regarding the choice of toe cap for shoes, it is unclear which type can better alleviate pain symptoms and toe deviation angle in dancers. The aim of the current crossover study was to investigate the acute effect of using different types of toe caps among well-trained professional dancers on pain perception and toe deviation angle. Ten young female professional dancers volunteered to participate in the study. Each participant was tested during two separate sessions with an interval of 72 h in between. Participants were tested in the two sessions with a standard commercial or a customized prototype toe cap, always with shoes, and in randomized order. An anteroposterior X-ray examination was performed separately for each participant and a visual analogue scale for pain perception was administered following each situation (with a standard commercial or a customized prototype toe cap). Significant amelioration was obtained when a customized toe cap prototype was used both for toe deviation angle and for visual analogue scale. Use of a customized toe cap prototype compared to a standard one may acutely reduce both toe deviation angle and pain in elite female professional dancers.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2019/9515079DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6481146PMC
August 2019
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