Sports Volume 2, 2014

Editor-in-Chief Eling Douwe de Bruin, ETH Zürich
Editor-in-Chief Eling Douwe de Bruin, ETH Zürich

Overuse Injuries Associated with Mountain Biking: Is Single-Speed Riding a Predisposing Factor?
Michael T. Lebec, Kortny Cook and Drew Baumgartel
Pages 1-13
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Abstract: Though mountain bikers are at significant risk for overuse injury, there is minimal quality research describing this relationship. Single-speed mountain biking, in which participants pedal a bike with only a single gear, may place riders at even greater risk for overuse problems due to the disproportionate physical effort associated with this type of riding. The focus of this study was to provide additional perspective on overuse injuries sustained by mountain bikers and to determine if single-speed mountain biking places participants at greater risk for overuse conditions. Four hundred and four (404) mountain bikers were surveyed concerning overuse injuries sustained during the previous year. Findings indicate that 63% of respondents reported an overuse injury affecting at least one area with the most commonly reported areas being the lumbar spine, knees, hand/wrist, and cervical spine. Individuals riding single-speed mountain bikes did not have a higher incidence of overuse injuries than riders of multiple-geared bikes. However, respondents who split time between riding single-speed and multiple-geared bikes were significantly more likely to report an overuse syndrome than those only riding single-speed or multiple-geared bikes (p = 0.0104). This group of riders may be at greater risk for overuse injury due to excessive fatigue and poor biomechanics.

A Preliminary Kinematic Gait Analysis of a Strongman Event: The Farmers Walk
Justin W. L. Keogh, Anthony Kattan, Scott Logan, James Bensley, Che Muller and Linda Powell
Pages 24-33
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Abstract: This study sought to obtain some preliminary sagittal plane kinematic data on a common strongman event (and conditioning exercise) ‘the farmers walk’ and gain some insight into its kinematic determinants. Five experienced resistance trained males performed three, 20 m farmers walks at maximal speed while carrying 90.5 kg in each hand. Farmers walk average velocity was significantly greater in the middle (8.5–11.5 m) and latter (17–20 m) than initial stage (0–3 m), with this also associated with significant increases in stride length and stride rate and reductions in ground contact time. Comparisons between each subject’s fastest and slowest trials revealed virtually no significant differences. In contrast, the fastest three trials (irrespective of subject) had significantly greater stride length, stride rate and reduced ground contact time than the slowest three trials. Based on the impulse-momentum relationship, the production of high anterior-posterior and vertical impulses over short ground contact times may be crucial for farmers walk performance. Future studies should utilise larger samples and investigate the ground reaction and joint kinetics of the farmers walk and compare these values to other forms of bipedal gait and resistance training exercises to get a more complete understanding of the biomechanics of this exercise.

Music in CrossFit®—Influence on Performance, Physiological, and Psychological Parameters
Gavin Brupbacher, Jona Harder, Oliver Faude, Lukas Zahner and Lars Donath
Pages 14-23
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Abstract: Gaining increasing popularity within the fitness sector, CrossFit® serves as an appealing and efficient high intensity training approach to develop strength and endurance on a functional level; and music is often utilized to produce ergogenic effects. The present randomized, controlled, crossover study aimed at investigating the effects of music vs. non-music on performance, physiological and psychological outcomes. Thirteen (age: 27.5, standard deviation (SD) 6.2 years), healthy, moderately trained subjects performed four identical workouts over two weeks. The order of the four workouts (two with, and two without music, 20 min each) was randomly assigned for each individual. Acute responses in work output, heart rate, blood lactate, rate of perceived exertion, perceived pain, and affective reaction were measured at the 5th, 10th, 15th, and 20th min during the training sessions. Training with music resulted in a significantly lower work output (460.3 repetitions, SD 98.1 vs. 497.8 repetitions, SD 103.7; p = 0.03). All other parameters did not differ between both music conditions. This is partly in line with previous findings that instead of providing ergogenic effects, applying music during CrossFit® may serve as a more distractive stimulus. Future studies should separate the influence of music on a more individual basis with larger sample sizes.

Physical Inactivity from the Viewpoint of Evolutionary Medicine
Sylvia Kirchengast
Pages 34-50
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Abstract: Activity patterns of recent Homo sapiens are characterized by a sedentary life style and consequently by exercise deficiency. This lack of physical activity increases the risk of various chronic non-communicable diseases and reduces health related quality of life. From the perspective of evolutionary medicine, the high rates of non-communicable disease among contemporary industrialized populations may be interpreted as the result of a mismatch between high rates of physical activity in the adaptively relevant (ARE) and sedentary recent life circumstances. Public transport, cars, elevators, supermarkets and internet shopping diminished daily physical activities dramatically, therefore recent Homo sapiens suffer from the consequences of a convenient life style, which is completely new in our evolution and history. The only possibility to increase physical activity and enhance health and well-being is through sporting activities during leisure time.

Acute Effects of Different Formats of Small-Sided and Conditioned Handball Games on Heart Rate Responses in Female Students During PE Classes
Filipe Manuel Clemente, Rúben Filipe Rocha, Fernando Manuel Lourenço Martins and Rui Sousa Mendes
Pages 51-58
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Abstract: The aim of this study was to analyze the impact of different formats (2-a-side, 3-a-side and 4-a-side) on heart rate responses of female students during small-sided and conditioned handball games. The heart rate responses were measured using heart rate monitors during physical education classes. Eight female students participated in the study (15 ± 0.0 years). The one-way ANOVA showed statistical differences with moderate effect between the three different formats (F(2, 1674) = 86.538; p-value ˂ 0.001;  = 0.094; Power = 1.0). The results showed that smaller formats (2-a-side and 3-a-side) increased the heart rate responses of female students during small-sided and conditioned handball games during physical education (PE) classes. The results also suggested that 2-a-side games can be used for anaerobic workouts and the 3-a-side and 4-a-side games can be better used to reach lactate-threshold and for aerobic workouts of high intensity

Effects of Endurance Exercise Training and Crataegus Extract WS® 1442 in Patients with Heart Failure with Preserved Ejection Fraction – A Randomized Controlled Trial
Sascha Härtel, Claire Kutzner, Eva Westphal, Matthias Limberger, Martin Burkart, Ulrich Ebner-Priemer, Matthias Kohl-Bareis and Klaus Bös
Pages 59-75
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Abstract: Impaired exercise capacity is the core symptom of heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF). We assessed effects of exercise training and Crataegus extract WS 1442 in HFpEF and aimed to identify mechanisms of action in an exploratory trial (German Clinical Trials Register DRKS00000259). 140 sedentary HFpEF NYHA II patients on standard treatment received eight weeks of aerobic endurance training and half were randomized to WS 1442 900 mg/day. Symptoms, 2 km walking time (T2km), parameters of exercise tolerance, cardiac and vascular function, muscular efficiency and skeletal muscular haemoglobin oxygen saturation (SO2) measured during a treadmill protocol were captured at baseline and after eight weeks. Adverse events were recorded during the trial. Mechanisms of action were explored by correlation and path analyses of changes. Symptoms and exercise capacity improved with training, but correlations between improvements were low and path models were rejected. SO2 increased, decreased or undulated with increasing exercise intensity in individual patients and was not altered by training. WS 1442 improved T2km (-12.7% vs. -8.4%, p = 0.019), tended to improve symptoms and to pronounce SO2-decrease with increasing exercise, an indicator of oxygen utilisation. Endurance training and WS 1442 were safe and well tolerated in combination with standard drug treatment. (This article belongs to the Special Issue Sports Medicine)

A Statistical Perspective on Running with Prosthetic Lower-Limbs: An Advantage or Disadvantage?
Hossein Hassani, Mansi Ghodsi, Mehran Shadi, Siamak Noroozi and Bryce Dyer
Pages 76-84
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Abstract: Technological developments have led to the increased use of carbon fiber and prosthetic lower-limbs in running events at the Paralympic Games. This study aims to exploit a series of statistical techniques in order to prepare a response to the vital question of whether utilizing prosthetic feet can affect an athletes ability when running competitively at the Paralympics Games by comparing both within and between different classifications. The study also considers the differences between running on biological limbs and prosthetic lower-limbs from a mechanical point of view. The results from the male 100 m, 200 m and 400 m at the 2012 London Paralympic Games have been the source of this investigation. The investigation provides statistical evidence to propose that the number of prosthetic limbs used and the structure of such limbs have a significant impact on the outcome of track events at the Paralympic Games.

A Field Study of Low-Top vs. Mid-Top vs. High-Top American Football Cleats
Calvin W. Daack and David S. Senchina
Pages 85-98
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Abstract: Few studies have examined the role of shoe height in the context of American football cleats. Eighteen adult males (28.4 ± 1.9 years, 182.3 ± 0.6 cm, 75.7 ± 1.6 kg) performed four football drills (60-yd dash, 54-yd cutting drill, 5-10-5 drill [pro agility drill], and ladder jumping drill) in low-top, mid-top, and high-top American football cleats. Drill-specific performance outcomes were measured after each drill, and the subjects’ ankle range-of-motion (dorsiflexion, plantarflexion, eversion, inversion) and perception of the footwear (comfort, heaviness, stability) were assessed before and after each drill sequence. Performance outcomes were not influenced by shoe height. The high-top cleat limited dorsiflexion and inversion, but not plantarflexion or eversion, compared to low-top and mid-top cleats. Athletes rated the high-top cleats as less comfortable and heavier than either the low-top or mid-top cleats, but perceived the mid-top and high-top cleats to be equally stable to each other, and both more stable than the low-top cleats. Range-of-motion and performance scores did not change as a result of acute exercise. These findings suggest that high-top cleats may limit ankle motions associated with injury without deleteriously influencing performance, though athletes may not perceive the high-top cleats as favorably as low- or mid-top cleats.

Analysis of Wind Data for Sports Performance Design: A Case Study for Sailing Sports
Alessandro Pezzoli and Roberto Bellasio
Pages 99-130
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Abstract: Environmental conditions affect outdoor sports performance. This is particularly true in some sports, especially in the sport of sailing, where environmental parameters are extremely influential as they interact directly with strategic analysis of the race area and then with strategic analysis of the performance itself. For these reasons, this research presents an innovative methodology for the strategic analysis of the race course that is based on the integrated assessment of meteorological data measured on the ground, meteorological data measured at sea during the training activities and the results of the CALMET model in hindcasting over a limited scale. The results obtained by the above analysis are then integrated into a graphical representation that provides to coaches and athletes the main strategic directions of the race course in a simple and easy-to-use way. The authors believe that the innovative methodology that has been adopted in the present research may represent a new approach to the integrated analysis of meteorological data on coastal environments. On the other hand, the results of this analysis, if presented with an appropriate technique of meta‑communication adapted to the sport sectors, can be used effectively for the improvement of athletes’ performances.

Communication: Get Wheelin’ in Westlawn: Mounting a Bicycling Program in a Low-Income Minority Urban Community
Anne Dressel, Michael Steinborn and Keith Holt
Pages 131-139
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Abstract: Located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA, the Westlawn neighborhood is home to the State of Wisconsin’s largest public housing development. Westlawn is a low-income, African-American urban community that suffers from a wide range of health and environmental disparities. A community-based participatory action (CBPA) team was formed to address environmental health issues in Westlawn, and found asthma rates there are among the highest in the State. Decreasing air pollution, and corresponding asthma triggers, became a priority for the community. The CBPA team developed a bicycling program to reduce trips made by car and improve air quality in the Westlawn neighborhood. Input from focus group meetings shaped the development, implementation and expansion of the bicycling program. While the program was originally conceived to address environmental health issues, it provided key findings about how to encourage bicycling in low-income minority urban communities.

Motor Skill Improvement in Preschoolers: How Effective Are Activity Cards?
Lars Donath, Katharina Imhof, Ralf Roth and Lukas Zahner
Pages 140-151
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Abstract: Strategies to early develop and implement motor skill promotion in preschoolers are lacking. Thus, we examined the effects of a card-based exercise promotion program in a kindergarten setting. 214 preschool children (5.5 ± 0.6 y, range 4.2–6.7 y) were examined in the present intervention study. Body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference were measured. Children were randomly assigned to the KIDZ-Box® physical activity intervention program (INT: n = 107) or the control group (CON: n = 107). Children were trained daily for 15 min over 7 month at the preschool for agility, balance, endurance and jump performance, employing the card-based KIDZ-Box® media package. At pre- and post-testing, dynamic balance, jump and agility performance were tested. Cross-sectionally, agility testing differed between sexes (p = 0.01) and BMI (p = 0.02). Trends towards a significant association were found between BMI and side-to-side jumping (p = 0.1) and beam balancing (p = 0.05). Relevant interventional effects favoring the intervention group were slightly found for agility (p = 0.04, ηp2 = 0.02) and moderately for side-to-side jumping (p < 0.001, ηp2 = 0.08). Balance performance did not relevantly improve. As jumping cards have been used frequently by the teachers, jumping improvements are plausible. The activity cards are feasibly applicable but should be employed with more structure during longer training sessions.

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