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Summary

Study aim: To assess the impact of an ordinary training week cycle lasting 6 months on the anaerobic endurance of dance sport athletes.

Material and methods: Two couples of standard style and six couples of ten dance style, aged 14–26 years, of diverse competitive categories (E, D, B, A, S), were subjected to maximum runs 8 × 50 m spaced by 15-s intermissions, before and after half-year training. Running time of every run and post-run heart rate (HR) were measured. The results were expressed as running velocities (m/s) and R-R intervals for heart rates.

Results: Velocities were significantly higher in the post-test (5.21 ± 0.21 m/s and 5.57 ± 0.34 m/s for women and men, respectively) than in the pre-test (5.13 ± 0.13 m/s and 5.39 ± 0.24 m/s, for women and men, respectively) (F1,14 = 14.70, p = 0.0018, η2 = 0.51) despite the fact that a significant decrease of speed in each successive run was noted (F7,98 = 82.19, p < 0.001, η2 = 0.85) for all of the participants in the pre-test and post-test.

Conclusions: The half-year training cycle of dance sport couples had no significant impact on their anaerobic endurance. It seems that individual training plans should include dancing interval exercises and interval training. The performance index is a useful tool in monitoring the training process and can be used as an accurate method for evaluating the anaerobic predispositions of athletes. It is recommended to develop specific, test-suitable dancing exercises.

Summary

Study aim: The human foot is an essential element of the locomotor system. It plays a key role in both the dynamics and the statics of the whole lower limb. The normal structure of the foot determines its mechanical function. During growth and formation of the foot structure, sport activity plays an important role.

The aim of this study was to analyse the structure of the foot in ballet dancers aged 6 to 14 years compared with a clinical reference peer group that did not do ballet.

Material and methods: The study involved 120 girls aged 6 to 14 years (mean age 9.6, sd. 2.4). Sixty of them formed the study group of ballet dancers, and the other 60 formed the reference group. To conduct the measurements, the computer podoscope CQ-ST produced by the CQ Elektronik System, connected to a portable computer, was used.

Results: A few differences were found between the foot structure in young female ballet dancers and their peers. A statistically significant difference was found in the hallux valgus α angle. The left foot of the examined ballet dancers was found to have a larger hallux valgus. A statistically significant correlation was found between the length of time of ballet training and the increase in the α angle values of the left foot and the right foot in the ballet group.

Conclusions: Ballet dancing in childhood may increase the risk of developing hallux valgus, with the tendency of worsening with training time.

Summary

Study aim: With contrary evidence regarding the effectiveness of acute whole-body vibration training (WBVT) on sporting performance, the current study examined WBVT’s effect on concentric torque of the quadriceps (Q) and hamstrings (H).

Material and methods: Following ethical approval, 11 male team sport players (age: 22.9 ± 3.3 yrs, height: 1.80 ± 0.07 m, mass: 82.5 ± 12.6 kg) completed three separate weekly WBVT sessions. Baseline and post – WBVT intervention measurements of Q and H concentric torque were recorded, using an isokinetic dynamometer, at each session. Isokinetic knee extension and flexion was performed at 180os−1 through 90o range of motion. For the training intervention, vibration amplitude remained at 2 mm, while frequency was set at 0Hz, 30Hz or 50 Hz; randomised so participants experienced one frequency per session. Torque data (Nm) and H and Q ratio (H: Q) were analysed using 3-way and 2-way ANOVA with repeated measures respectively, with three within subjects’ factors: frequency, muscle group and intervention.

Results: Main interaction effect (frequency x muscle group x intervention) was insignificant (P = 0.327). Significant muscle group x frequency (P = 0.029) and muscle group x intervention (P = 0.001) interactions were found. Intervention, regardless of WBVT, significantly increased concentric torque of H (P = 0.003) and significantly reduced concentric torque of Q (P = 0.031). While H: Q x frequency interaction was insignificant (P = 0.262), the intervention significantly improved H: Q (P = 0.001).

Conclusions: Team sport athletes experience a muscle-specific response in peak concentric torque to lower-body exercise. Acute WBVT does not provide additional positive or negative effects on Q or H strength.

Summary

Study aim: It is important for therapists to incorporate new practical methods into therapy programs when they have demonstrable efficacy in the treatment of multiple sclerosis. Investigating the acute effects of myofascial release techniques (MFR) and passive stretching (PS) on hind foot loading and the severity of spasticity in individuals with multiple sclerosis (MS) was the aim of the study.

Material and methods: Following the initial evaluation, 10 participants with MS (n = 20 feet) were given MFR for the plantar flexor muscle group. After the day following the first visit, participants were asked to come again and PS was applied to the plantar flexor muscle groups after the evaluation. The severity of spasticity was assessed with the Modified Ashworth Scale (MAS). Dynamic loading parameters of the hind foot – medial and lateral maximum pressure (N/cm2), active contact areas (cm2), contact percentiles (%) – were evaluated with dynamic pedobarography. Participants of the study were evaluated four times: (1) at the initial evaluation, (2) after MFR application, (3) 24 hours after the initial evaluation (pre-PS), (4) after PS.

Results: There were no differences in MAS (p > 0.05) according to time-dependent analyses (p > 0.05). After MFR, the maximum pressure of the medial heel and active contact area were increased (p < 0.05) and there was a carryover effect on the maximum pressure of the right foot.

Conclusions: This study showed that MFR was an effective method for management of plantar flexor spasticity in patients with multiple sclerosis in the short term and there was a carryover effect in favor of MFR. There was no additional effect of PS.

Summary

Study aim: In a volleyball game, multiple elements can influence competitive success, e.g. height, arm span and other anthropometric variables. The present cross-sectional study was undertaken to find out whether any differences exist between Indian inter-university male and female volleyball players as well as between players and a reference group in terms of anthropometry and handgrip strength.

Materials and methods: The present cross-sectional research was conducted on 114 randomly selected Indian inter-university male (n = 50) and female (n = 64) volleyball players aged 18–25 years. An equal number of reference group individuals who did not participate in any exercise or training programme were also taken. Height, body weight, body mass index (BMI) (kg/m2), hand length, hand breadth, second digit length, fourth digit length, second and fourth digit ratio (2D/4D ratio), upper arm length, forearm length, total arm length, upper arm circumference, hip circumference; humerus and femur biepicondylar diameters, handgrip strength (dominant/non-dominant), arm muscle area, arm area, arm fat area, arm fat index, % body fat, and % lean body mass were measured with equipment including an anthropometer, sliding caliper, handgrip dynamometer and skinfold caliper using standard techniques. The data were analysed using SPSS version 17.0. Student’s t-test was applied for the comparison of data between players and the reference group. Differences between the groups were analysed using the oneway ANOVA test. Bonferroni post hoc test was applied after application of the ANOVA test. Effect size was also calculated. Statistical significance (p < 0.05) was indicated using a 5% level of probability.

Results: Male volleyball players had higher mean values in height, body weight, hand length, hand breadth, second and fourth digit length, dominant and non-dominant handgrip strength, humerus and femur biepicondylar diameter, upper arm length, forearm length and total arm length, arm muscle area, arm area and percent lean body mass than the reference group. Similar findings were observed between female players and the reference group also. Statistically significant differences (p < 0.05–0.001) were also observed between male and female players except BMI, 2D/4D ratio, and arm fat area. These findings were supported by the effect size (η) calculations.

Conclusion: Volleyball players had better height, weight, hand and arm anthropometrics, handgrip strength and % lean body mass as compared to the reference group. Significant differences were found in anthropometry and handgrip strength between players and reference group individuals, suggesting that these findings could be very useful for player selection and talent identification in sports.

Summary

Study aim: The aim of this study was to examine the effects of 8 weeks of resistance training (RT) with three vs. four sessions per week and equated training volume on muscular adaptations in men.

Materials and methods: Thirty-three healthy young men volunteered to participate in the study and were randomly assigned to three times per week whole-body RT (RT3, n = 11), four times per week whole-body RT (RT4, n = 11) or a control group (CG, n = 11). Before and after training, participants were evaluated for one-repetition maximum (1RM) and muscular endurance (i.e., 60% of 1RM to failure) for the leg press and bench press. In addition, thigh, arm, chest, and calf circumferences, and percent body fat were assessed before and after training.

Results: The findings revealed significant main effects of time for chest and thigh circumferences (p ≤ 0.05). There were no significant group × time interactions for chest and thigh circumferences (p > 0.05), but the RT4 showed greater changes (effect size [ES]: 0.48 vs. 0.15) in chest circumference, while the RT3 showed greater changes (ES: 0.77 vs. 0.35) in thigh circumference. Significant group × time interactions were observed for the 1RM of leg and bench presses (p < 0.05). Post-hoc analyses showed greater improvements for RT3 in comparison to RT4 in 1RM bench press (p = 0.01, ES: 0.77 vs. 0.6) and leg presses (p = 0.009, ES: 0.94 vs. 0.86).

Conclusions: These results suggest that RT induces meaningful adaptive effects to improve strength and muscle size in men and RT3 appears to be more effective to induce muscular adaptations.

Summary

Study aim: This study was performed to investigate the effects of an eight-week multi-model sport activity home programme on function of children with cerebral palsy.

Material and methods: The study included 44 patients (11 girls, and 33 boys) aged between 4 and 11 years, having spastic diplegic and hemiplegic cerebral palsy, and receiving physical treatment from the rehabilitation centre. The 44 patients were divided into two groups each consisting of 22 children as the experimental group and control group. The mean age, height and weight were 8.27 ± 2.10 years, 123.36 ± 17.33 cm and 25.45 ± 8.87 kg in the experimental group, while the same parameters were 7.27 ± 2.80 years, 109.36 ± 16.99 cm and 20.20 ± 7.16 kg in the control group. Before taking measurements, the consent forms were signed by the families of patients with CP. The physical therapy programme based on the Bobath NDT method which took forty minutes was applied to both groups two days per week. Also, the multi-model sport activity home programme which took 50 minutes was applied regularly during eight weeks and five days a week in the Experimental Group. The Impact on Family Scale, the Gross Motor Function Classification System, the Gross Motor Function Measure, One Minute Walk Test, the time standing on the left and right foot, and Visual Pain Analog Scale were evaluated before and after the eight-week multi-model sport activity home programme.

Results: There were no significant differences in some measurements including the Gross Motor Function Classification System, the Gross Motor Function Measure, One Minute Walk Test, and the time standing on the left and right foot. A significant difference was found only in the Visual Pain Analog Scale (p = 0.003).

Conclusion: The effects of the eight-week multi-model sport activity home programme can contribute to a decrease in pain level of children with cerebral palsy.

Summary

Study aim: The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of adopting an external focus of attention on motor learning among girls with ADHD aged seven and eleven years.

Material and methods: Twenty-four seven-year-old and 24 eleven-year-old female children with symptoms of ADHD were randomly assigned to groups receiving either external focus of attention (EXT) instructions or internal focus of attention (INT) instructions, making four experimental groups: EXT-7, INT-7, EXT-11, and INT-11. Participants performed a pretest followed by five training blocks under an external or internal instruction and were then given a retention test one day later. After training, we employed a manipulation check to verify the children’s type and intensity of focus.

Results: Adopting an external focus of attention, compared to an internal focus of attention, led to better motor learning among girls with ADHD (F 1, 44 = 5.08, p = 0.029, η2 = 0.10). In addition, adopting an external focus of attention reduced the children’s tendency to focus on self. Older children performed better than younger children in balance time (F 1, 44 = 16.10, p < 0.001, η2 = 0.26).

Conclusions: Our results indicate that propositions of the OPTIMAL theory can be extended to children with ADHD.

Summary

Study aim: This study compared the effects of intermittent negative pressure therapy (INPT) vs. active recovery therapy (ART) on post-match physiological parameters such as serum CK level and skin temperature of the lower limbs in elite soccer players.

Material and methods: Twenty healthy male professional soccer players from a Brazilian first division soccer club were enrolled in this randomized, parallel arm, open label, comparative study. After participating in 2 soccer matches, they were randomly assigned to two groups (n = 10) to receive a 30-min session of INPT (intermittent exchange of hypobaric pressure range 33 to 51 mmHg) or ART (self-myofascial release, mobility and stability exercises, and cycle ergometer exercise). The intervention was conducted after a match with assessments immediately before and after the intervention and again 24 h after the intervention.

Results: A significant interaction effect (F2,36 = 4.503, p = 0.018, η2 = 0.130) was observed, indicating that the decrease of CK from pre-intervention to 24 h post-intervention was greater in the INPT than in the ART group. Lower limb skin temperature was significantly lower after INPT than after ART (p < 0.003).

Conclusions: Serum CK level and skin temperature of lower limbs showed better recovery up to 24 h after the intervention with INPT in elite soccer players.

Summary

Study aim: The aim of the study was to evaluate the effectiveness of Shantala massage during the classes conducted using the Developmental Movement method in improving the “with” relationship in healthy children aged 3 to 4 years.

Material and methods: The study involved 12 healthy children aged 3 to 4 years participating in SDM classes with their parents. The participants were divided into two groups. In the experimental group, Shantala massage was used during play based on the “with” relationship, whereas the massage proposed by Veronica Sherborne was performed in the control group. The Child Behaviour Observation Scale (SOZ-D) was employed to assess the improvements of psychomotor development. The study was a two-stage study, before the Sherborne Developmental Movement Method programme (initial observation) and after six months of classes (post-observation). The duration of the programme was 6 months. Classes were conducted once a week for 40 minutes.

Results: It was found based on the analysis of the results that the introduction of Shantala massage led to a significant increase in the assessment of child development on the subscale of emotional development.

Conclusions: The use of Shantala massage during SDM classes has a positive effect on emotional development of healthy children aged 3 to 4 years.